A woman my wife knows from the farers’ Market invited us over for coffee and cookies. We walk in, and there on the couch is James Wesley, Rawles book Patriots. I probably should have ignored it and kept my mouth shut, but I said, “Oh, I see you are reading Patriots!”
That started a conversation and I admitted I had read it years ago. They admitted to being preppers, without going into many details. She said she is re-reading all his books. I did that a year ago, but I didn’t bring that up.
They live close to us, a hollow or two over, and obviously picked the location for many of the same reasons we did, including being well off the beaten track. They have a wood stove and a Big Berkey water filter in the kitchen. Like us, they have a spring-fed water system, but then, many people in these mountains do.
Neither my wife nor I admitted to being preppers. It’s not something we’re going to talk about with people we don’t know well. I said something like, “Well, we like the idea of being as self-sufficient as possible, which is why we raise chickens and bees.” We didn’t talk storage food or guns, even though I found out later in the visit that he is former military.
Later they told us they thought the guy “down the road with the big gate” was a prepper with a “compound.” I think it’s actually it’s a pole barn where he stores heavy equipment. Maybe they have an apartment on the top floor because they stay there occasionally. He’s a contractor who lives a few hours away. By all accounts, he’s a nice guy who may one day build a house and retire up here. Is he a prepper? I have no idea, nor do I care. It’s also none of my business.
Anyone in our area who survives whatever calamity causes the power to fail for months, the Internet to crash, and the cities to burn will have little or no choice but to become an immediate survivalist. If they are not done in by the sudden lack of necessary medication or other short-term problem, and if they have a roof over the heads and a wood stove to help them keep warm, they are going to be around for at least a while.
Maybe the non-preppers won’t have a couple of years’ worth of food store up, but chances are they will have something in their pantry. Most of the locals probably have a couple hunting guns and pistols and some fishing rods. Many of them will have a garden now or in the past. They probably know where the wild berries grow best and the old abandoned orchards can be found. The older folks may have all sorts of valuable skills. It’s a start.
Preppers are Welcome
We welcome fellow preppers in our area, even if we are not going around and hosting prepper pot lucks or other prepping activities. We like to keep our prepping on the down low. I’d rather have people suspect we might be preppers than come right out and confirm it. It’s not like I’m not going to compare pantry size or ammo stocks with anyone. I’ll be vague or say nothing rather than give details.
When people visit, we close the door to the store room. No one yet has been rude enough to ask, “What’s in there?” We had friends over who were impressed by the big gun safe in the basement. We told them the truth: the last owner had to leave it here because it was too big to get it out of the room. If that leaves the impression that it is more of a gun safe than we need, so be it.
The more people who are prepared, the better. Not just in our neighborhood, but everywhere. If the U.S. is going to survive the coming collapse, we need people who have extra food in the basement, extra bullets in the gun locker, and an extra dose of common sense. We will need people who can grow food, butcher a chicken, set a trap and make a snare, fix an engine, darn a sock, and distill alcohol. If we want a community that will pull together, work together and fight together, we need people who are not down to their last saltine and can of beans. We’ll need people that realize there is more to life than social media likes and who can spend hours a day doing hands-on labor that does not involve a screen.
Our New Friends
Our new friends seem like pretty nice people. I’m sure we’ll grow closer over time as the ladies have hit it off. (In my experience, when you have kids at home, you tend to become friends with people who have kids the same age. Once the children move out, you become couple friends when the womenfolk become friends.) We’ll learn more about their plan and they’ll no doubt learn more about ours as we feel more comfortable with each other.
As for that fellow with the big gate and the barn? I’m sure I’ll meet him one day. If the SHTF and he bugs out to the mountains, maybe he’ll use his heavy equipment to dig us a root cellar and a couple of shooting positions. Maybe he has a big tank of diesel and can help the whole community.
Time will tell.
In the meantime, if you want to subtly tell friends you are a prepper, just leave a copy of Patriots on your coffee table.