Making a “Last Run” When the SHTF

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The last-minute grocery and emergency supply shopping run is part of prepper mythology. Whether or not it makes sense to do a “last run” shopping trip is very controversial in the prepper community and has both positive and negative aspects. Whether or not to do so requires considerable forethought and mental preparation.

I know some preppers are horrified by the idea of intentionally utilizing a last run to top-off or expand supplies. It’s great to be able to hunker down with a mug of hot buttered rum in front of the fireplace and watch the snow come down or snuggle down with a good book to read by LED lantern light, but one of the key characteristics of preppers is their ability to take advantage of a changing situation and making it work for them.

I don’t recommend a last run be your first choice in emergency preparedness, but a last run can have advantages that may be worth exploiting. If you choose to conduct a last run, you aren’t less of a person or less of a prepper. You haven’t failed your family or yourself. You’ve simply made a reasoned, conscious choice to capitalize on another opportunity when every opportunity is important.

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After The Collapse Series: What To Expect From The Government After The SHTF

In most apocalyptic fiction, the main characters suddenly awaken to the immensity and criticality of their End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) situation and run to the store to stock up on supplies that virtually every long-time prepper worth his or her salt has already stashed. The fictional characters always have working automobiles, always have a respectable amount of cash on hand, and always manage to arrive at the store ahead of the soon-to-become violent crowd.

Really? Figure the odds.

In the main I agree with most posters, a final run is possibly/probably not a good idea, maybe.

If you’re talking about a last run to Walmart, then maybe you run the chance of getting into the middle of where you don’t want to be. However, there are lots of other sorts of “final runs”, such as to the bank, the gas station, the feed store, and others. How safe a final run is can depend on how fast, prepared and organized you are, and what particular goal you have in mind.

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With these 3 superfoods alone, you’ll probably have a complete stockpile in your group and you’ll never need to depend on anyone else in times of crisis. Watch the video below and learn more.

When 911 happened, I was in the barn working on something. When the news about the first tower came over the radio, I decided to go to the house to see what was on TV. I got there just in time to see the second tower get hit. Over the next hour, reports came in that we were under attack. The Pentagon was hit, there were reports of shots or a bomb at the State Department, the President was taken into hiding, a plane was in the air heading for DC, and there were all kinds of other reports and rumors. Then two fighter jets flew low over my house chasing a small plane. (That was really impressive!) It seemed early that first day that things might really be coming apart. Every bit of me wanted to sit and watch what was happening.

I also thought if things were going to go south, there were some chores to do. There were various tractor parts I had planned on picking up the next week. I also wanted another milk goat. So, I jumped in the truck and took off. It was remarkable. There was no one driving. It appeared everyone was watching, instead of acting. When I got to Tractor Supply, it was a ghost town. The lone clerk complained he wanted to close the store so he could go home and watch the news like everybody else. I was able to stock up with no problem.

When I arrived at the goat farm, I got the nanny also with no delay. I don’t recall the farmer even knowing of the events. He didn’t have a radio in his barn like I did. (Had the event been a nuke from N. Korea instead of several commercial planes, he might have been in a tough spot not knowing what was happening.) Since then I have occasionally wondered if things had really gotten bad that day/week if goat guy would have been so quick to sell what might later have become a prime asset. Early on, he was happy to make the deal.

My third stop was at the feed store for some additional 100 lb. bags of corn and 80 lb. bags of wheat and oats. Animals eat, and not a bit of that extra grain would go to waste if nothing more happened. If things really did get nuts, several hundreds of pounds of additional animal feed would feed a heck of a lot of people. Our supply store also sells a wide variety of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. No matter how many seeds you have, seeds is simply one of those things you can’t have too much of. There will very possibly be fewer seeds available for trade than even antibiotics and lead. Of course, the feed stores have fertilizers, sulfur, soil amendments, and Epson salts. I picked up a bit of all of those.

The day was passing and still very few people were out and moving. All three of these possible “final runs” were very quiet and easy, on a day that could have turned out to be a much greater long-term disaster. Had more planes dropped or bombs had gone off and if the terrorists had planned even greater evil and blown the power grid at the same time, people would have very likely panicked at some point. But early on, before folks got moving and were still just sitting in shock watching, a final run was safe. Thank God that day didn’t continue to grow worse, but in the early hours no one knew, and I felt it was better to act than to sit and hope.

Not too long ago another event happened. The stock market went down 500 points one morning. There for a short while, no one knew what it meant. I called my brother who lives on the farm next door and said, “Let’s go.” We got to our local bank within 10 minutes of the first radio report so we could clean out our accounts, just in case, there was some sort of Wall Street/bank shut down. The bank folks (who we have known for a long time, as networking is a good thing) said they were well aware of events and the central office had already put them on notice to be ready for possible orders to close their doors. We apologized to them for withdrawing our money and we said we hoped we wouldn’t feel too bad or too foolish if we came back the next day to redeposit if nothing happened. The manager was entirely sympathetic and said they had even had a couple people in before us doing the same thing.

Survival Secrets Revealed…!

Hardtack. The Ancient Romans had them. Nelson’s troops kept barrels of them in their naval vessels. And these cracker-like squares were a staple ration for American soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.

Though they’re called different things in different cultures, this basic recipe has been a staple for militaries around the world for centuries. Made of flour and water, and sometimes a bit of salt or sugar, they are sturdy, filling and will last a long time if kept dry. Indeed, some soldiers kept a few as souvenirs after the war, and they are commonly on display in Civil War museums over 150 years later. Click the video and learn a new Lost Ways free recipe.

 

My brother and I then went to our second stop– the local gas station– to fill up our gas cans. Please note to those folks who claim to have a 10-year supply of everything on hand, on a farm one thing you always need is to top off your fuel supply. There just aren’t that many days you don’t run a tractor, chainsaw, mower, and/or generator. You can always use more fuel, and the cash we had just gotten out of the bank was going to hold much better value as gas than greenbacks might have been worth in a meltdown.

My brother and I returned home, satisfied that if for some reason commerce stopped that day, we were a bit better prepared. We had gotten cash and gas before any possible rush or shut down had happened.

Over the years I have, of course, become well prepared for “what may come”. I have certain ideas about what is best, including prepping for the next several generations, instead of merely 10 or 20 years. But I also try to be mindful of preparing for other possibilities. I often remind myself to not get rigid. Sure, it’s not a good idea to go to Target when a thousand other people are also there grabbing things, but nevertheless, I have prepared to do just that. You never know what will happen, so prepare for it. Something I’ve done with the big box planning is to make maps of exactly where the things are located that I might want in a rush. One of our local big box stores has routinely carried exactly three 25lb. bags of salt. It’s on a bottom self and hard to find. With the map, it’s easy. It’s halfway down aisle 3, bottom shelf, on the left. I don’t have to search. I don’t have to look. I don’t have to think or remember. Just go. Simple. I’ve also marked muck boots, spices, OTC drugs, canning jar lids, and other such items usually not craved in a panic. While most folks will be grabbing canned tuna and meat, I may be off to the side picking up pepper and sewing machine needles. So if I do decide I should go, at least I wouldn’t be in the middle of the worst of the fuss.

 

We’ve done that with every store within a certain distance. I don’t plan on going there. But if something unexpected happens and we decide we must, it’s much simpler, quicker, and safer with a map and plan than it might be otherwise. You might also check at your stores to see if they have store maps. The stores here provide them for anyone who asks, in order to help them in their shopping. Another thing a map accomplishes is that when “things happen” and our group gathers here, it’s simple to send out folks to various locations to pick up items if we decide it’s worth the effort or risk. We can just hand out a map and a supply list and simply say, “Go.” No discussion and no descriptions are needed, just go. If you can get to where you are going fast enough, and especially before the rush, things get much easier.

Another thing we do is to go to one of the local grocery stores every day to pick up the produce they throw out. It makes great free chicken and pig food, and since some of it just came off the sales shelves it’s still good for us to eat (but please don’t tell them that). We go knock on the back door of the huge store about noon every day, and there they are waiting. We go inside and talk a bit, look around while talking, and make friends. There is an incredible amount of food and such in the back rooms and loading docks of any major store. While the hoards are fighting in the store’s front, it just may be possible to meet your store “friends” and load up out back. Maybe not, but it’s worth investigating and considering. (Once again, networking can be a very good thing.)

So the point of all this is to remain flexible. In general, it may be best to not make a “final run”, but you just never know. With the right planning and forethought, a final run can be highly productive and even very safe. You may never get a second chance at an opportunity, so be ready to move fast if the right situation presents because you may be just as mistaken if you aren’t prepared to make the right move of opportunity as you are if you make the wrong move in the panic.


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Our grandfathers had more knowledge than any of us today and thrived even when modern conveniences were not available. They were able to produce and store their food for long periods of time. All the knowledge our grandfathers had, in one place.Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in the book:

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!

 

Discover how to survive: Most complete survival tactics, tips, skills and ideas like how to make pemmican, snowshoes, knives, soap, beer, smokehouses, bullets, survival bread, water wheels, herbal poultices, Indian roundhouses, root cellars, primitive navigation, and much more at The Lost Ways

 

Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in The Lost Ways:

From Ruff Simons, an old west history expert, and former deputy, you’ll learn the techniques and methods used by the wise sheriffs from the frontiers to defend an entire village despite being outnumbered and outgunned by gangs of robbers and bandits, and how you can use their wisdom to defend your home against looters when you’ll be surrounded.

Native American ERIK BAINBRIDGE – who took part in the reconstruction of the native village of Kule Loklo in California, will show you how Native Americans build the subterranean roundhouse, an underground house that today will serve you as a storm shelter, a perfectly camouflaged hideout, or a bunker. It can easily shelter three to four families, so how will you feel if, when all hell breaks loose, you’ll be able to call all your loved ones and offer them guidance and shelter? Besides that, the subterranean roundhouse makes an awesome root cellar where you can keep all your food and water reserves year-round.

From Shannon Azares you’ll learn how sailors from the XVII century preserved water in their ships for months on end, even years and how you can use this method to preserve clean water for your family cost-free.

Mike Searson – who is a Firearm and Old West history expert – will show you what to do when there is no more ammo to be had, how people who wandered the West managed to hunt eight deer with six bullets, and why their supply of ammo never ran out. Remember the panic buying in the first half of 2013? That was nothing compared to what’s going to precede the collapse.

From Susan Morrow, an ex-science teacher and chemist, you’ll master “The Art of Poultice.” She says, “If you really explore the ingredients from which our forefathers made poultices, you’ll be totally surprised by the similarities with modern medicines.” Well…how would you feel in a crisis to be the only one from the group knowing about this lost skill? When there are no more antibiotics, people will turn to you to save their ill children’s lives.

If you liked our video tutorial on how to make Pemmican, then you’ll love this: I will show you how to make another superfood that our troops were using in the Independence war, and even George Washington ate on several occasions. This food never goes bad. And I’m not talking about honey or vinegar. I’m talking about real food! The awesome part is that you can make this food in just 10 minutes and I’m pretty sure that you already have the ingredients in your house right now.

Really, this is all just a peek.

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!

 

And believe it or not, this is not all…

Table Of Contents:

The Most Important Thing
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff
Ginger Beer: Making Soda the Old Fashioned Way
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican
Spycraft: Military Correspondence During The 1700’s to 1900’s
Wild West Guns for SHTF and a Guide to Rolling Your Own Ammo
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills, and Stamping Mills
How Our Ancestors Made Herbal Poultice to Heal Their Wounds
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? or How to Wildcraft Your Table
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS System
How Our Forefathers Made Knives
How Our Forefathers Made Snowshoes for Survival
How North California Native Americans Built Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouses
Our Ancestors’Guide to Root Cellars
Good Old Fashioned Cooking on an Open Flame
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Preserve Water
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread…….
Trapping in Winter for Beaver and Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did
How to Make a Smokehouse and Smoke Fish
Survival Lessons From The Donner Party

Click here to get your paperback (a great gift for the coming holidays) copy of The Lost Ways and The Lost Ways II

10 COMMENTS

  1. I would buy 20 lbs of lemons and then make a “lemon pickle” which could last 1-2 years when properly cared for. It uses the whole lemon – high source of natural vitamin C.
    Ingredient: Lemon – 7 (these are the smaller ones)
    2 tsp salt
    Sesame Oil – 3 to 4 tbsp
    1/2 tsp Mustard seeds –
    1 tsp Asafoetida – (you can leave out- not necessary for preserving)
    3 tsp Fenugreek pwdr –
    Red Chilli Pwdr – 2 tbsp
    Juice of 3 lemons
    1/4 C vinegar

  2. On September 11 I was, by dumb luck, in the grocery as the first plane hit. As soon as the news broke I turned around, bought 2 extra gallons of milk, 4 cases of water, 20 pounds of flour & a hell of a lot of fresh meat. On top of my normal weekly shop. And I filled my gas tank. The cold frames were ready for fall gardening & seeds set aside. And I probably would do it the same again given the opportunity.

    • On 9/11 I was finishing breakfast and going into my office late that morning ( at a defense/firearms company) when my office manager called me panicked and screaming that she was driving back from from the airport and that she’s not flying to NJ for a software seminar as we were being attacked. I put the TV on and after about 10 minutes, we saw the second plane hit. Being survivalist since the late 1970s, we already had supplies at home so I called all employees off for the day and told them to stock up on what they need. I went to the office and although I owned dozens of guns myself, I picked up a belt-fed machine gun we imported and signed it out (it looked bad and we had no idea if major countries were involved in the attack or how long it would last- we were also involved in the defense industry and there was talk of several national security attack scenarios for years). I think the plane in PA crashed about that time (we were in western PA). My wife and I then went to the local grocery store to buy whatever extra supplies we could; canned food, powdered milk, batteries, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, toilet paper, etc.. The store which is large supermarket chain was dead. There was no panic there just as the author experienced – hardly any customers were at the store. Even the store employees were just going about their business as usual and when I told them why we were quickly buying what we were buying (two shopping carts worth) the reply from one of them was that they thought it was a good idea but he didn’t do anything for himself while we were there.
      I agree with the author that if something on a grand scale would have happened (small nuke, massive bombs going off in other cities, etc.) and if some TV stations would have gone out, the panic would have happened at that point.

  3. On 911 my only concern at the time was I needed at work I was working at the only burn center in the state and thought we’d be receiving multiple patients from NY all afternoon we kept getting reports of a bus load of patients were inbound thankfully there was no bus

    • And I was teaching high school that morning, in the Washington, DC suburbs! A huge percentage of my students had parents working in the Pentagon, the Capitol, the State Department… keeping everyone calm was our ONLY priority that day. No opportunity to think of shopping, much less go out and do any.
      It just depends on where you are and what your responsibilities happen to be.

  4. Another possible “advantage” to that last run would be being seen by your neighbors as acquiring stuff. This may mislead them into thinking your preparation is as poor as theirs. Maybe even gain a little intel from the crowd. Either way, your shopping list should be short and your time in the store should be as well.

  5. I consider myself “prepped up”, but of course you can never have too much of anything if that’s all you’ll ever have.
    So I made a “Last-Minute List” on my phone. If I happen to be in position for a Final Run I’ll do it.
    Amazing the things you can think of that you’d like to have more of.

  6. I don’t foresee a last run as depicted in the story save for in the case of nuclear war. In ww3, it will last about twoo weeks of actual fighting and nukes flying, after that comes invasion, if there’s a victor left with the manpower and transportation.

    In a non nuclear war shtf, it will be much more like the Argentinian economic crisis, it was a modern day great depression but with the amoral mindset of today. In Argentina at that time, if you stopped for someone who walked in front of your vehicle, they or their friends waiting nearby would rob/rape/kill you and take the vehicle. Eventually people with running vehicles put guard bars on their front bumpers and just ran into anyone who tried that tactic In a lot of ways the people of Brazil are already living this way, where thefts, executions,, everything one expects in shtf is taking place in broad daylight and seems to only be getting worse. Just go to liveleak and search for off duty Brazil cop and watch the vids for an example of the shtf reality. In one vid, an off duty cop is ay a drive thru and someone on a motorcycle rides up in the space between his car and the curb and points a gun at him. The cop pretends to be searching for what the robber asks for and the robber gets several bullets instead of cash. This also reminds me of something my paramedic instructor said if you come across an accident on a lonely stretch of road, keep on going and report it as it may have been a setup.

    A lot of times in Argentina and Brazil the perps use the same modus operandi, they wait till you come home from an errand and you’re at your front door with items filling your hands to strike. or at the gate if you have to get out and unlock a gate. It will be best to have overwatch at all times, I presume neighbors will be looking out for neighbors like never before.

  7. Like the other poster said,
    If your neighbours see that you are ok and not out trying to get stuff they will think, hey they have food etc, would buy some essentials like pain meds and whatever I think will last a long time, with cash. Would not go alone, my Son and Son in Law will be with me watching our backs, the first few days should be ok before the masses realise, this could be long term, so what is in my shopping trolley won’t look like a lot, anyone noticing that lives close by will think, they are like me and only had a small amount. Got solar panels and batteries to run a 12v fridge freezer and a solar oven, keeping the smell of bacon and eggs down to a low lol
    Have got enough cannisters of those small gas BBQ’s to last 12 months to heat water and make rice meals

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