Since my piece on Doomer Optimism, I’ve had so many people reach out and ask for guidance on how they can do something similar to what I’m doing. Many of them go so far as to ask, “Can you just tell me what to do?”
I will not.
There are two reasons for this:
- I am NOT an expert on this subject
I’m not an expert on any part of the skill set necessary for the local, sovereign, community based life that I am building for myself my family. I’m learning as I go, from people who have been doing things like this for years. But the deeper issue is #2.
- I do not believe in telling people what to do
The core value I live is sovereignty. To me sovereignty means free people, using their minds and their judgment and their emotions to determine what is right for them.
Me—or anyone else—telling you what you “should” do is antithetical to that. Even telling you “what to do” is counter to that.
I will choose what I’m going to do, you can choose what you’re going to do, and we can respect each other’s choices. That’s the basis of a free society.
This being said, I’m more than willing to help people that want help. I will NOT tell anyone what they “should” do, or what the “right” way is, I AM going to do two things:
- I will do my own work.
- I will share what I learn and experience from doing my work. If learning about my experience helps you, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too. Sovereign people can make their own decisions.
This post will be my resource list of the things I have read or listened to or watched that have helped guide me on my journey. I’m going to update this list at least weekly, if not more often, as I learn and experience more.
In short, these are the subject matter experts I find useful and credible on the subjects I am studying.
The Best Overall Starting Point for Preparation
I’ll be honest–there is nothing that I feel is a “perfect” starting point for preparation in the current moment in history we are in.
There is one book that does an amazing job of summing up a very reasonable, effective and useful approach to preparation, and I consider it the best starting point for most people (including me):
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times
What’s Useful To Me About The Book: It’s written by James Wesley Rawles, and is by far the best single resource I have found on effective preparation for either disaster or other sorts of chaos. He does something fundamentally different than most “preppers”: he focuses on being resilient and able to survive and thrive by producing your own food, energy, etc–which is crucial for any plan. I’ve used this book, and many of James’ other books (especially this one, Tools for Survival) as my primary guides. James is the founder of SurvivalBlog, a very well known and respected blog in this space, which also has a wealth of information (this is the best place to start on the blog).
What’s Less Useful To Me About The Book: James has a very specific orientation to preparation that does not fully align with mine. He seems to come from the cold war era assumption that we are preparing for a complete societal breakdown and total anarchy (either from nuclear war or some sort of monetary collapse). I think we’re going to see a slower speed collapse and shift. As a result, he does not spend much time talking about deeper community building or more sustainable long term living in world that is functioning, but not at the level we are used to. He also does hot have a view of defense and firearms that I find to be as good as the deep subject matter experts I listen to (though his view is not horribly wrong).
If you want to see what I mean, his novel about his vision of a coming collapse is called Patriots. I learned a lot of great stuff from that novel, but also found myself at times thinking his scenarios were just not at all likely or something I needed to worry about.
The Best Starting Point for Defence
I will deeply flesh out this section soon, because of the five pillars of preparation (Defense, Water, Food, Energy, Community/Location) it’s the one I’m most confident in as of right now.
I can tell you the best two books that summarize everything:
Prairie Fire: Guidebook for Surviving Civil War 2
Concrete Jungle: A Green Berets Guide To Urban Survival
Both are written by the same author, and are intended to be a series. Concrete Jungle is the first book in the series, but I think it’s better to read Prairie Fire first.
What’s Useful To Me About The Book: They are written by a former Green Beret, Clay Martin, and this dude really knows his shit. I had no idea who Clay was when I read his books, and almost everything he said about guns, self defense, community defense and all of that rang totally true with the very best advice I had gotten from the true experts I had personally learned from. Not did it ring true, but he added so many details and explanations that really helped me contextualize defense and see it the way a soldier would see it. I also love Clay’s writing style and his no bullshit approach. The man speaks his truth, and that resonated with me (even in the few times where I disagreed with his conclusions).
WARNING: reading these books might freak you the fuck out, especially Prairie Fire. It freaked me out. I thought I was ready in terms of defense, then I read that book and realized I hadn’t even thought about a TON of shit I needed to–which is of course why I found it so useful.
What’s Less Useful To Me About The Book: Clay does what all experts do–spends too much time in the deep details that most won’t care about. He does make a serious effort to NOT do that, but he knows so much about guns he almost can’t help himself at times–I seriously think he could talk about guns for a thousand pages and not get it all out.
Also, the book is very poorly formatted and has misspellings and all kinds of copy errors. Normally those mistakes are red flags to me, but he obviously did it himself and rushed it to print, which when you read it you will understand why, so it didn’t bother me as much (but I am a goddamn book guy–it still bothered me a lot, which probably won’t matter to most people).
The Best Starting Point for Water
The Best Starting Point for Food
The Best Starting Point for Energy
The Best Starting Point for Community/Location
The Extended Defence Resource List
The Extended Water Resource List
The Extended Food Resource List
The Extended Energy Resource List
The Extended Community/Location Resource List