Surviving a Mad Max World: How To Avoid Marauders and Looters After the Collapse

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on SHTF Plan

This article was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Ready Nutrition


[Editor’s Note: A mad max scenario is one of the worst-case scenarios one can prepare for. The adage “if you can’t protect you don’t own it” rings true in this case. Long-term survival plans that reflect this type of disaster suggest preppers getting away from urban and suburban living and heading for hills. While this would be the safest option, there are dangers that lurk for those who plan to “live off the land.” Because in a post-collapse world – they will come for all that you own.]

Seems almost self-explanatory, right? I mean, what could be so involved with the term “living with the land,” right? There is a lot to it. There’s a reason to do this:

Living with the land will help you to live, and avoid the greatest hunter of all: man. Men…mankind…has the same instincts as you, the same success in the generations as you. Although this is not an “anthropological” treatise, it holds a lot of anthropology within it, because there are a few key points you must keep in mind: Your weakness is a weakness shared by other men; your strength is a strength possessed by other men; what you can do can be done by other men.

The commonality is both your strength and your weakness. You become cold, and so does the man (or men) hunting you. The dark poses impediments and unknown dangers, and it does the same to your hunters.

Turn the Hunters Into the Hunted

You can turn the hunters into the hunted…for you are a hunter: it is “hard-wired” in you through a thousand generations of successful hunters, warriors, and killers. You need to eat, and so do your pursuers. You need water, and so do they. You can track, and so can they. You have senses that can detect man, and so do they. All of this, yes, you know, I’m sure.

But have you considered it all? Really considered it?

The land: to blend with it, and to live with it without being obtrusive is the key to avoiding the hunters…and remember that they have the same limitations as you. The more pure and “clear” you keep your senses, the better they’ll work for you. We have done some pieces on the way the eye works, and the sense of smell. This is the time to do your work…your training to use these senses to their maximum capabilities. Let’s cover some basics as to what to expect when you’re living with the land and avoiding marauders, foreign soldiers, forces of a dictatorial government, and so forth.

10 Ways To Avoid Marauders and Looters After the Collapse

  1. Don’t travel the heavily-traveled: stay off of paths and trails and cover your tracks, as most people (and anyone hunting you) will use them. Busting brush will ensure you’re safer.
  2. What’s easy for you is easy for them: taking the harder path will oftentimes confuse and discourage them.
  3. You lay a trail for dogs or men: your scent for the dogs and your tracks for the men. Defeat both: use “blue” (water) features to disguise and throw off the scent, being careful not to leave footprints in banks or mud.
  4. Opposite actions and times: You sleep during the daytime, travel at night. I have emphasized this (to the “chagrin” of naysayers galore) in previous articles…you have to develop the ability to move at night.  When they’re eating, be on the move.  When they’re awake, you stay in a hide site.
  5. Boobytrap all avenues of approach and high-traffic areas: punji stakes, pits, and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). Heaven forbid!  Do you want to win, or just play “good guys and bad guys” in the woods?  There is going to come a time to act and not just sit around with all of your canned fruits and stored supplies.  Hopefully, that time will come later, so that you can prepare for it.
  6. Key choke points use for an ambush, and to circle around them: As they pass through a defile, backtrack on them.  Or ambush them in the defile.  A rock slide is a beautiful thing that can be initiated with a minor amount of explosives
  7. Use the animals as cover: following them will throw off the trail of the dogs. It will also say something for your tracking ability to be able to follow a small herd of deer or elk.
  8. Your pursuers can be “distracted”: I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to leave for them….the standard fare can be imagined. Your job is to avoid them or to “deal” with them, not to “win them over to your side.”
  9. Do not underestimate their tenacity: they may have you greatly outgunned, with multiple “shifts” to put on you to allow you only a scant amount of rest and sleep. This is where endurance and physical training comes into play: the “thing” that nobody wants to hear about.
  10. If it looks as if it’s a good hide site in plain view?  Then it’s not, and they will be sure to check it.  Don’t put yourself underground even before they catch you.

One of the things you’re going to have to do is practice, as well as reinforce your plan of action for when the time comes. Sound boring? It’s better than going to some mall and spending all day meandering around with a herd of beeves. You have to develop these skills so they’re ready to employ at a moment’s notice. The knowledge is not enough: you have to put it into practicum. That’s the only way to test yourself and know your capabilities. Falls in line with the Army saying, “Know yourself and seek self-improvement.” Don’t stagnate: improve. Learn to live with the land, or you may not make it through…when “the man” comes around.  JJ out!

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Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

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