New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life’s Pollution

No matter where we live we are surrounded by all the sights, smells and sounds of the world around us. We don’t think twice that we see more stars in the country sky, that at night sound seems to travel farther or that we smell that fire in a fireplace from the other side of town at night.

As Preppers we need to stop, think and plan about this and how the removal of this “pollution” will affect our SHTF world. This is especially true for us urban Preppers.

If the crisis we are preparing for will remove electricity and or fossil fuel transportation forgetting this could be deadly. We will be confronted with a SHTF world where sight, sound and smells will be more easily detected – even during the day!

We will not be able to just light a fire in the fireplace to keep warm or to cook or use our outdoor kitchens in place of our inside stoves. Using an axe to chop wood or a candle flickering behind a curtain will become beacons to all those around us. The sights, smells and sounds of these activities will be detected for at least a mile.

What is the topology of your urban area? Is your retreat located in a part of the city where it will now be more readily seen? Do you live near a heavily wooded city park? Do you live in a part of town that is known for its larger properties or is a rural like pocket? Is there a river or pond near you? Consider this and how it may “draw” more desperate people to your area for water, building and or fuel material or what necessities to life they think you have.

This means that we must plan now to reduce these signs that seem to tell one and all that we are surviving quite nicely, thank you.
Think about getting a wood stove or fireplace insert that re-burns what usually goes directly up the chimney so that there is nothing more than heat waves that are seen or smelled from the outside. Sure if someone has a thermal scope or the like they will still be able to detect this from far away, but how many people actually have one of these things or would even think to use it in such a fashion?

If you have your own water well or generator, plan now to enclose it in some sort of sound proof structure and alternate exhaust for the generator. (Although what you will do for generator fuel in a long term SHTF world is something you need to consider too.)

Make sure you have a grill that you can use inside your closed garage so the smoke and smell of your cooking cannot be detected from miles away.

Make some kind of easily installed blackout devices for your windows, doors and skylights. Remember just closing the blinds or drapes will not do the job and you are in a SHTF world so tape or nail marks on your walls and ceilings are no longer important.

Try to find a place that is enclosed or surrounded by lots of shrubs, bushes and trees to cut your firewood in. Got a good sized shed you can sound proof for this? Find anything you can to muffle and hinder the sound from traveling easily.

Find some way to hinder the sight of your outdoor garden or food animals so they cannot be seen easily in the now “life pollution” free SHTF world. The smells and sounds of any livestock need to be considered and minimized too.

Where you cannot mute these smells, sounds and sights be sure your defense plans take this into account and are workable. Make sure you have good deterrents in place for your property line (outer perimeter) and access points to your home (inner perimeter).

Remember too that instead of protecting your home, loved ones and possessions from the usual one or two intruders looking for quick money, you may very well have to deal with a handful or more people at a time who are desperate for the necessity to life items that they lack and you seem to have.

Now is the time to get your MacGyver thinking caps on. To get you started here are a few things some friends and acquaintances are doing:

Got any more cheap, easy and effective ideas?

“Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Prep On!

From TNT


  1. Two comments. First, if things are that bad, staying in the city is suicide. Second, that if and when the system breaks down, there may not be any gasoline available after a while for a long time; best to have a good all-terrain bicycle strapped to your car.

    There is a series of novels - science fiction novels - I would recommend to all preppers. S.M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire" series. His Change is extreme, but as Ayn Rand (whatever you may think of her, she was right on some things) pointed out, it's far easier to scale things down than up. (From her book on writing fiction.) Steve has thought through his scenario very carefully and has done his research, and as several of his characters point out, an EMP would have many of the same effects as The Change.

  2. Although "survival in the city" could seem like suicide to many, there are actually many others that have been preparing for just such a scenario and will do fine. A few of these hardy individuals are acquaintances of mine. Granted none of them live in urban areas like LA or NY, but they are still large very urban towns. Unless someone drops a bomb right on them, they have accumulated all the goods, knowledge and skills needed to survive quite nicely actually. I however will not do anywhere near as well in an urban environment, hence why I am selling my urban house and planning to move rural.

    Good luck one and all and Keep On Preppin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. The problem with city survival would be far too many people scrabbling after the same resources. I'm just imagining half a million desperate survivors going after whatever they can find, even extreme long shots. (With half a million people you can expect any and all kinds of behavior.) Not to mention those who go mad or are originally vicious and, say, set fires for the sake of setting fires.

    However, with me the point is moot. I don't own any country land or have any relatives who do, and the SWEFA Land Fund has been looking for affordable land for their events for several decades without results. (Nor do they really have a decent mechanism for buying memberships or subscriptions! I asked and was told vaguely to just donate to the parent organization. Gaaah.)

    Anyway - need to try to get my balance back and my confidence and find a steady, uncomplicated fat-tired bicycle I can afford and take up cycling again. After something like 20 -- no, 30! - years not doing so.

    Thanks for the advice in your column - am slowly working on it.

  4. I hear ya!!! My acquaintances have supply stores, etc that would put LDS to shame. I’m not anywhere near that point!

    I got myself an adult tricycle with a basket. It is light weight and the rear axle folds up so it can be put on the bus bike mounts. I purchased solid tires (my area has goat heads from HE double hockey sticks that flatten most other bike tires) and it has 4 gears to help with hills and such. Not a dirt bike but close enough and with my old bones a two-wheeler just scared me to no end!!!

    Keep on Preppin and good luck ;-}



To reduce SPAM your comment will be posted after review.