1I was worn out from travel and trying to recover from some minor surgery, so I spent the day riding the couch. It was my misfortune to turn on a cable show about preppers.

If you didn’t know any better you would think they are all complete fools that are a little bit crazy and a lot bit dangerous. This show was set in a compound in Florida which they ran like a military camp. It showed them “training” by blowing up a car, while the son of the star was crawling on his belly away from the blast as they shot rifles over his head. The idea was to make you think he was in great danger, but that it was necessary to “train” him.

One guy ran around in a military costume, so you knew he was “security” and the gun guy. But, his haircut and demeanor was completely tactard. As they showed him mishandling a multitude of firearms, they said he was an ex-marine and maybe he was. But, my guess is he peeled potatoes or cleaned the latrine a lot more often than he ever carried a loaded rifle.

The “hunter” of the bunch had a do-rag on his head, a sleeveless t-shirt and a Fu Manchu moustache. From other cable shows on survival I have watched, I am led to believe that is the required costume for his role as the woodsman. (Although in fifty years spent prowling the backwoods of the world, I have never met anybody but a pretender who dressed that way.) He spent his time training the same son by making him pick up pig shit to feel and smell for freshness. The show made a big point about how wild hogs would rather fight than run and then had this fool yell, “Watch out!” as a gun fired off camera to make you think they just gotten charged.

The next scene was the hunting “expert” showing the kid how to gut the dead hog. Except they were doing it all wrong, holding the knife backwards with the blade pointed at the guts, which is a sure sign of an amateur.

They talked about how it was important to avoid puncturing the “gall bladder” and how that would contaminate the meat with feces. Really? I guess they never actually read a book on anatomy. Clearly the entire scene was staged for the shock value as they talked about “ripping” the guts out of the hog while the camera zoomed in on the intestines, which had been washed clean of blood so it wouldn’t offend anybody.

At that point I switched channels and looked for a rerun of Justified. No wonder the American public thinks preppers are whacko, nut-cases.

But for those of you who think that the scenarios played out in The 14th Reinstated are possible, prepping is part of a smart strategy for surviving what’s coming. That goes way beyond stocking up on bullets, beans and band aids. In my mind, the best “prepping” is learning how to live on your own. Learning the skills of a self-reliant person. In other words, learning the things that most country people have known all their lives.

If you want some good, honest, real life advice on some of the important topics about being prepared, pick up a copy of the inaugural issue of the new magazine “Be Ready.” It’s filled with articles from some very smart writers about how to survive a disaster. The editor is an old friend of mine, David Fortier, and he handpicked the writers for their areas of expertise.

I am proud to say I wrote two very different articles in that magazine. One on how to make your drinking water safe and the other on butchering your own meat (which I recently learned will run in issue #2.) Both are themes that are touched on in The 14th Reinstated because I think they are critical to survival.


2After a disaster, the guy who can butcher his own meat and keep his drinking water pure is going to have a better chance of survival for himself and his family than the guy who can set up a website or launch a new ad campaign. The mechanic or the farmer will do better than the social worker or the lawyer.

3If you want to keep your family alive you need to learn a lot of skills. The time to start is now. Can you build a shed? Repair a truck engine? Plant a garden? Repair a broken rifle? Reload ammunition? Cast bullets? Butcher a deer? Sew up a cut arm? Sharpen a knife? Cut down a tree with an ax? Make dirty water safe to drink? Navigate unknown terrain without a GPS? Can food? Make jerky? Make a knife from a file? Trap a rabbit? Catch a fish? Build a shelter? Build a fire when it’s wet outside? Avoid detection? Stay warm when it’s cold? Treat heat exhaustion? Shoot a gun? Shoot a bow? Cook on a wood fire? Get a truck out of a mud hole? Paddle a canoe? Navigate at night? Make snowshoes? Walk on snowshoes? Repair a ripped coat? Repair a ripped tent?

4Can you survive without the “system?”  You better hope so, because, that’s just scratching the surface of what you need to know.

If you can’t do all of these things and more, it’s time to start learning. Besides, these skills will help you in life. Being able to do things yourself and being self-dependent can save a bundle of money and do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.

Getting an issue of “Be Ready” is a good place to start.