But what will you still be carrying six months after the "shit has hit the fan"? It will be very different, I can assure you. Your food supplies will have run out, half of your gear has failed and been abandoned, more of it has been taken from you by force due to bad luck or wrong-place-wrong-time. You may have made it to your home base and survived there for quite a while, but eventually roving gangs and other dangers will have forced you to bail out when the situation didn't get better.
Vehicles would all be out of fuel by this stage, and traveling openly on roads via other means would be too risky. Because of this, you will - by now - be on foot, carrying your whole world with you.
Six months after an SHTF event, the way the world works will have changed considerably. By now, the population may be down to as low as 10% of what it was due to mass deaths caused by starvation, infection, worsening of preexisting medical conditions, viral pandemics and pure mob violence born of desperation.
By this stage, new communities will have sprung up, controlled by force. The leaders will be the ones with the most food, the most guns, the access to clean water.
Many trained preppers will opt instead to go lone wolf - act on their own. This will mean that they will have to fend for themselves, provide for themselves, feed themselves, treat themselves, shelter themselves and defend themselves.
It's excellent to get the appropriate equipment ready for a worst case scenario, but once you've had to live off it for several months, what you have in your kit becomes a very different story, especially when you have to carry it with you regularly.
There are two main scenarios in which a lone-wolf type survivalist would find themselves, and they would end up with very different gear load-outs after a few months of fending for themselves:
The Woodland Survivor (modeled by Burt)
|Click to zoom for more detail|
The woods can be plentiful in terms of resources, but only to the trained eye and the alert of mind. Knowledge of woodlore and bushcraft will become a necessity, as well as hunting skills, edible plant recognition and herblore. Depending on your geographical location, one or more of these may actually be unavailable to you, making your life that little bit harder.
The Urban Survivor (modeled by CumQuaT)
|Click to zoom for more detail|
While useable resources will be plentiful in a city, the risk associated with rival groups, desperate wanderers and disease will be just as high. Due to this, it will be nearly impossible to establish a long-term camp, and your home will have to travel with you. Building temporary shelters, or using heavy ponchos and the like to keep yourself sheltered will be the norm, as you may have to get up and run at a moment's notice. Body armour will need to be worn due to the increased number of physical altercations that would ensue over turf and resources. Air filtration and gloves would need to be worn at all times when outside to prevent the catching of airborne diseases and viruses.
Blending InThe key to survival in either case will be your ability to blend into your environment. To disappear when it is needed. Using the correct colours, breaking up your silhouette, covering exposed skin and knowing how and when to move will be your greatest allies in remaining unseen.
|Here you can see Burt blending in with his chosen habitat|
|CumQuaT uses darkness and shadow to his advantage to hide|
You need to stay hidden so that any threat will not realize you're there until it is too late. Someone stumbling along, looking for food or other resources, should walk right past you and not even know you were there. It only takes one person to alert a larger group, and then a man-hunt may ensue. A community leader - leading by force and manpower - will not want a solitary lurker on in territory, so it is best to keep out of sight, keep your head down and keep to yourself if you don't plan on joining them.
I hope that this article has been an interesting insight into the topic, and was as much fun to read as it was to do up. Any excuse to get the gear on!
And remember, be prepared, not scared.