Teenage Survival Part 1: Before Their Time

Survival Tools for Teenagers

If you are an old dinosaur like some of us then you have been acquiring the tools needed for survival for decades.  If you are not quite so long in the tooth, you may have just started preparing for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event but you still have the legal right to make all of the decisions needed.

In addition, you have control over your revenue stream as large or small as it might be.  Some of our readers are not so lucky.

By Captain Bart and Josh, of SurvivalCache.com

Captain Bart:
The problems for those among our readers who are under 21 are much different. For those under Teenage SHTF18 the problems are even greater. This article (or series of articles) will address some of the problems of our under 18 readers. For the sake of brevity I will refer to anyone under 21 as a teenager.  I intend nothing derogatory, it is simply easier to write that way.

I agree that it is often times very difficult to try to be prepared when you are considered to be a minor.  I am somewhat younger than an old dinosaur such as my co-author Captain Bart, and I am going to try to cover the other angle of what Captain Bart covers throughout this article.

Captain Bart:
The first thing to keep in mind is that the mission at hand is survival, not combat. We often talk SHTF Kidsabout firearms and the role of weapons in defense and providing provisions for surviving. The survival mindset is what must be kept in mind as we discuss what teenagers can do to prepare for SHTF.  Your first and most important survival preparation is an informed mind that is prepared to face reality no matter how unpleasant the reality is.

We often get emails from inquiring teens wanting to know what they can do to be ready for end of the world combat, and the more realistic danger of personal self defense when society still functions as it does today.  My best advice is to practice something called situational awareness, Captain Bart has a wonderful article on this topic (click here).  In brief, situational awareness is just being aware of your surroundings, and trying to defuse a situation before it even starts.  Your goal should not be to be looking for trouble, or making yourself stand out. You don’t need to be listening to your iPod while you are going to the store, or walking around your neighborhood, doing so both draws your attention away from your surroundings, but also advertises that you have an expensive electronic device that can be pawned as fast as it is stolen from you.  Be the gray man.

Captain Bart:
So let us begin with the environment.  Teenagers usually live at home and depend on an teenagers living after SHTF eventadult/parent to provide the majority of their income.  Even if you have a job and contribute 100% of your support, your parents control how that money is spent unless you are over 18.  Even if you are over 18 or even 21, the homeowner (parent) sets the rules for the house.  I always told my kids, “My house, My rules” and I meant it.  As a side note, my son told me the same thing about a year ago when I was messing with his kids.  He was right, I was very proud of him, and surprised the heck out of him by agreeing.  So, we’ve set the stage; you cannot control your environment or the rules of the house.

This being my personal problem with “prepping”, finance is the weak spot of any operation. Without money, an army can not fight a campaign, without money an athlete can not travel and train, and without money a young person can not prepare, right?  Wrong! There are so many resources available to the young person that cost little to nothing.  Sure you can’t get a top of the line water filter, or the latest and greatest survival knife, but you can do so much to help you be more prepared than the average Joe.  For instance, don’t go and spend twenty bucks on a 5 gallon bucket and gamma lids for keeping your beans and rice in, instead go to the bakery at your local grocery store and ask for their empty buckets that they got flour and icing in.  Sometimes they will even clean them out for you. Another thing that you can do that costs nothing is to read.  I know what you’re thinking, “Come on, I do enough reading at school, are you gonna make me read big, thick books at home too?”  Yes, I want you to read, learning to read is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but I am not saying that you have to go and read every medical journal in the library to learn about first aid, what I am saying is that you should go find some good survival literature. ‘Alas Babylon’ by Pat Frank is in almost every library in the nation, check out books by Gary Paulsen, such as his ‘Hatchet’ series, ‘My Side Of The Mountain’ by Gean Craighead George, or even ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ by Johann D Wyss.  The options are endless, go out and read a book.

Captain Bart:
For the sake of this article we will assume a worse case environment; one in which Teenagers Surviving TEOTWAWKIeven the discussion of preparing is not tolerated.  In a case like this you have to start with the first and most basic rule of survival preparation; you must become the gray man. The gray man is the one who walks through a room full of people and no one can tell you what he looks like. If everyone is in a suit, he is in a suit. If they are in jeans, he is in jeans. He wares nothing unusual, says nothing contentious and does nothing unusual to draw attention.  In this case, that must also apply to your parents at the beginning of your preparations.  Never be disrespectful or disobedient, but within the rules of the house you can still start preparing.

I mentioned situational awareness earlier. I really can not stress enough that you do not want to draw attention to yourself.  I completely agree with Capt. Bart’s take on this topic, NEVER get on the wrong side of your parents or those who are in authority over you. How are you supposed to survive an economic collapse, or total end of the world warfare if you can’t survive life at home under your parent’s roof?  Believe it or not your parents do know what is good for you, and want what is best for you. Be respectful, and you will gain other peoples respect, this works everyday of the year before and after trying times.

Coming Soon: Teenage Survival Part 2

Photos by:
Annie Atkins
Michael Baltic

Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

badvoodoodaddy May 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Excellent post. I feel fortunate that my two youngest boys(15,17) both find prepping exciting and look forward to what we are going to do next. I started teaching them survival skills at a very young age and they have loved learning it ever since. I have always taught them that it is not how much gear you have or how expensive it is if you don't know how to use it first it is worthless to you. Learn all you can and learn to do with less.


Geeves May 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I truly wish you would go on television and tell this to more teenagers. I read a story about how a couple of teenagers attacked an US Marine and his wife outside of a movie theater for telling them to be quiet during the movie they had just watched. The Marine was at home honoring his fallen brother who was also a Marine, the last thing he wanted was to be attacked by these teenagers. I believe more and more teens these days have lost respect for elders, their parents and have been so dumbed down from technology that if and when the SHTF, TEOTWAWKI were to happen tomorrow they would be lost in the sauce as my old Drill Instructor in Boot Camp used to say. Keep up the good work. Can't wait for part two…..



T.Rapier May 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

I always thought compulsory military service ( like Israel )would have been a better benefit to our society in the long run than the way it is now . One cant expect respect or self discipline from children who’s parents are children themselves .


CaptBart May 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Either one hundred percent service or something like Heinlein's Star Ship Trooper – only those who serve can vote, run for office or hold a government job. I could go with either way since I think of the military as Civics 101 – at least until the progressives get through pulling the teeth from the sheep dogs.


alex May 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

I'm a 19yr old aussie myself, learnt about prepping about 3 years ago (also interested about the NWO scenario), and I'm very glad you guys have made this post, and what im about to say is aimed for fellow teenagers, except for the last bit:

I think its important for other kids to absorb as much information as possible from all sources, take youtube for example, there's a lot of stuff out there about people dressed up in camo talking as if there prepping for the zombie apocalypse, and not a more realistic scenario, and only talk about firearms, which although useful, are not the only things to have.

However there is also some really good information about prepping, and i find that the best people on utube are usually those that cover a wide variety of the aspects of prepping, whether that be food/water storage, home defence, cooking, bushcraft skills, communication, discussions (e.g. whether to bug in or out and under what circumstances), etc.. , and indeed firearms. So just be aware of whats out there and don't just focus on the 'fun stuff'

It's important also to get a good library going, I'm in the process of doing this, and im trying to acquire books on general bushcraft, ropework, tool making, medical things etc… as i think knowledge is power. Also learn courses regarding first aid, firearms, bush craft, self reliance, but its a long term thing, especially if your going to university, as you may be short on time so just do the best you can.

In terms of acquiring supplies, books, gear:
Again, you may be short on time/money, so a good way to go about this, is just slowly build up you collection. A good tip is, if your parents ask for suggestions for a birthday/christmas present, maybe ask for things such as a first aid kit, or a book on bushcraft instead of the latest game, and instead of watching tv, get outdoors more

Finally for parents, get your kids into scouts, i didn't do it and in hindsight, i definately wish i did.

thanks for letting me have my say, and looking forward to part 2 :)


CaptBart May 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

I recently bought a Kindle (see http://survivalcache.com/kindle-survival-bug-out-… ) and have started loading it with cheap/free books. I have a bias that says what worked in the late 1800s will most likely work in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation. For that reason I find things like the diaries of those crossing the prairies or the Lewis and Clark expedition or home/farm encyclopedias from the age interesting. Things like cast iron/dutch oven cooking, fire stating, first aid etc are all there along with a need to be aware.
A Kindle for a gift opens a world of inexpensive reading that can be useful. Since this is a 'tech' gadget it is not likely to raise eyebrows from the parents.
Mine has things like the Army survival manual, map reading and orienteering, first aid, etc. I paid less than $4 for each and for some nothing. Also westerns by L'Amour and the writings of Plutarch and Teddy Roosevelt. Good resources, entertaining reading, and acceptable in places where a book about survival might stand out.


alex May 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm

yeh thanks for the reply, I'll definately have to have a look at maybe buying a kindle for those reasons, could definately be a handy tool in expanding my library


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I am currently in college and have many, many other "life" things going on. Because of this I have fallen a little behind on my prepping plans. The most important thing I can think of telling to a younger person who is getting into prepping is- Don't let falling behind on your schedule, or cash constraints discourage you! By simply being aware that there is a need to prep, and having a few basic items and skills, you are 10x more ready for a serious situation that the average person who is doing nothing and is only concerned with what is happening today right in front of him/her!


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I forgot to mention, I agree with you 100% about getting into scouts or a similar program at a young age! I started in Boy Scouts when I was about 6, and kept moving up in the organization until I turned 18, I got up to the rank of "LIFE" which is the rank before "EAGLE". I continued to work with the Boy Scouts, and Civil Air Patrol for several years after I had to stop scouts (because of age), I taught survival courses with a couple retired Marines, taught first aid & CPR along with a course called "When help is delayed" (if you can find a Red Cross that still teaches this course it is WELL worth the time/money investment!) and had a great time teaching the younger folks what I knew, and I know it sounds like one of those "after school" movies, but I learned from them too. The Boy Scouts are a great way to teach kids discipline, self reliance, HONOR (most of the folks I come across these days, no matter the age, have no concept of honor!), and many other concepts that EVERYONE could use!


TINDERWOLF May 7, 2011 at 6:20 am

Very good article. I'm not that far off from the younger generation but I am definitly old school in mind. If my kids came to me wanting money to start their own BOB bag, or for prepping purposes or just wanted to learn more about survival situations there is no way I would be arguing with them, just be so happy that they had an interest in something other than new tech, or the new pop sensation. You are right on when saying you don't have to have lots of money to start prepping. The best survival tool you can have is your mind, and anything and everything around you is a tool or resource you can use for survival. Sometimes you just might have to look at it in a little different way. Here is a good exercise, trying creating a small survival kit without spending any money. Use odds and ends you find around the house, be creative, this is good practice cause if TEOTWAWKI happens you will have good scavenager skills.


CaptBart May 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

Good idea, Tinderwolf. The scrounged kit is a good way to start. If you have cable, watch shows like 'Survivor Man', 'Dual Survivor', 'Man vs. Wild', 'Man Tracker' and so on. Those shows have plenty of good ideas for making do. 'Doing what you can with what you've got' is one of my favorite lines from the Tremor movies but it is true.
Training the mind and body is infinitely more important than buying a ton of stuff.


T.Rapier May 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

Fantastic advise , you will be surprised about how much prepping and gear you can get done , even with parental restrictions . Scouting as stated above is a very good idea . Also find reenacting groups for medieval or civil war etc . Why ? two reasons , first off its very fun and educational , secondly , you will meet a lot of very very good craftsmen who know how to make things and have the equipment to do it ! Many times you can have a buddy make something cheaper than you can buy it , with it being actually better and made for your exact needs . Good example is some of this overpriced USED military equipment … Its not made out of gold , its used , and after 11years of conflict , a lot of it around ….and yet they price it as if it were the last one around……. you can get it made cheaper . Tactical vests for example are simple things and these people can take it apart with their eyes and make ya one, trust me on this . There are plenty of people with good skills that enjoy teaching you how , if you show interest in it .


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Good point, I have actually taught a few friends and neighbors how to brine,cure and smoke meats just because they were interested and asked! I did make them buy the meat though, but they kept what they made (after an approval sampling of course!). My uncle used to teach folks how to do some basic carpentry if they asked him, and provided the wood. Not only does getting out and meeting these folks expand your network of friends or as you mentioned improve your knowledge/skill base, but learning new skills will also boost your confidence, increase your self reliance, save you some cash (by doing things yourself) but after you learn the new skills you can pass them on to friends/family and pass on all the benefits to someone else!

On a side note, I learned how to cast my own lead bullets for my muzzle-loader recently, the guy I learned it from is a friend of mine who does civil war reenacting.


T.Rapier May 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm

You’ve seen a civil war ” mini ball ” then ! nothing ” mini ” about em lol , if it didnt kill you outright , you die of lead poisoning :)


CaptBart May 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Actually, not a mini ball but a Minie' ball – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini%C3%A9_ball for the story – designed to expand the base when fired to seal the bullet into the rifling.


T.Rapier May 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

either way it hurts and is big lol

T.Rapier May 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

I would also like to add that these craftsmen are as resourceful as any survivalist when it comes to using materials . I cant tell you how often I’ve seen the steel lumber / pipe strapping used as hinges , sewn into pouches and packs etc. to give shape and strength , reinforcement etc . Why not , its spring steel , weighs nothing and extremely tough . Easy to find , all construction sites just toss it away . Many other things that are good to know about as far as everyday things around you can be used for .


wyzyrdap May 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

For the young'uns, I would recommend, go camping/hiking as often as you can, preferably with your parents/family. If your Dad/Mom says "dang, we need a better tent/stove/first aid kit/whatever" , consider it a WIN in terms of getting them prepping. Alas, organizations like Scouting are NOT what they were when I was a kid. (This, from an unfortunate time as a Boy Scout leader)

When I was a kid, Scout Leaders showed me how to do things like safely use a knife and axe, light campfires and tie knots. The BSA was where I got my first NRA Hunter Safety certificate (and I lived in NYC at the time) . When I attempted to help my oldest son's troop, these were all considered "taboo" topics – "somebody might get hurt or turn into a terrorist"

So, camp and hike with family and friends, bring all the reference books and identify what the plants look like , learn for yourself that pitching a tent under trees just means it will keep dumping water on you an hour after the storm stops and that the "Rambo T-Rex Fillet Knife"
is less useful than a smaller utility knife.

For the parents:

Take 'em camping and hiking and fishing. Teach them how to avoid doing dumb things and then trust that they won't . Encourage building what they want to get, when possible. ("here are the flat packs for your new furniture and a power driver. Yell if you need help")

My youngest daughter is almost 20, and has been camping etc with me since she was 10 (edit: thinking back, she was 8, not 10) .
Last year, she spent a long weekend camping nearby with a group of friends. When her friends came by to return the tents and gear, her bf confided "dude, she kicked my a*s this weekend – she knew how to pitch the tents, light the fires, fish, cook the food and all the stuff we forgot, she had in her car trunk". One of the proudest moments of my life.

Let your kids make you proud of them.


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm

That REALLY sucks that the Scouts have "gone soft"! I remember a year or two before I got out of Scouts, we were camping near Quantico Marine Base and the scout master arranged for us to get shooting lessons from a team of RECON Marines… THAT WAS AWESOME!!! It seems the pathetic, pansy, "panty-waisted", "know whats good for you better than you do" liberals strike down yet another American institution! Does anybody else wish these sissies would just take a LONG walk off a SHORT pier?!


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I agree ! too bad we cant sit all the liberals down in front of R. Lee Earmy for some re-education :D


CaptBart May 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

take a LONG walk off a SHORT pier?! – only if it is into a VERY DEEP ocean with a HUGE rip tide!


Josh May 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Good advice on all counts. I am a Boy Scout, and I completely agree with your statement. I am saddened by the fact that scouting is not what it used to be…….


T.Rapier May 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

and we wonder why this country is such a mess …. it starts with two letters P.C. …. avoid everything by not talking about it , thus it just festers and gets worse . Thank god for rednecks !


Tackshooter May 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for the great post i am right in the audience that yall are speaking to


CaptBart May 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I'm glad you find it useful. Please feel free to join the conversation. We'll do our best to answer any questions you may have and this is a good forum to float your ideas out for others to look at. Sometimes a fresh point of view can help us see holes in our planning that we didn't see.


KC May 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I would say scouting is the way to go for any teen. Mom and Dad may not want you to buy that big knife or military gear just for you to have. But scouts gives you a reason to have it, you may not end up with the lates mil spec gear but you don’t need it. Camping gear works just fine and won’t scary Mom and Dad. Keep in mind most people think survivalist/preppers are nut jobs and some are, but scouting is just a bunch of kid selling cookies and popcorn and from time to time they go and sleep in the woods. This is a must easier sell to Mom and Dad than I want to learn this so when the SHTF we can survive.

If you do the Scout thing check around, not all Scout troops are the same. You want one that is active and does a lot of camp/hike and is active in getting kids their merit badges. Merit badges are a cheat way to learn the skills you are looking for. You may even be able to get your parents involved so they pick up some of these skills.

And for those who are to old or to cool for scouts, a big problem with older scout my son being one of them, you can still find your local scout shop or search the web for the merit badges book that are used that teach these skills. These books are great, don’t cost a lot, are easy to fellow and are proven skills that work.


CaptBart May 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

true – another thing to consider is to look for a pre-1970 version of the Boy Scout handbook. It still has good stuff about knot tying, compass/map use, wood craft, first aid and so forth. I know some Eagle scouts near me and their troop goes to Piedmont every year as well as several long camp outs during the year. Good stuff – you are right; find a good troop because it is a life changing thing. I never made Eagle as it wasn't supported by the troop in my small town (sour grapes!) but the scout experience was still great.


As for PC it isn't so much what you can't say that bothers me (that is bad enough) but the redefinition of words that drives me nuts.
I freely admit that I am a terrorist threat to the US as defined by the current occupants of the seat of power. I am, after all, a military vet, a member of the clergy (I even own more than one bible – in various translations. Oh, the horror!), I own and carry guns and I – GASP! – actually read, carry copie (to give away) of, and believe in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. I salute the flag and pray every single day of my life for the preservation of my beloved country that I have fought and killed for. Of course I am a threat to the lily livered cowards that pass for politicians who claim to be our betters; perhaps the worst is that I owe NO allegiance to the United Nations or the World Court. That is the kind of PC idiocy that will cause patriotic discussion to be called Hate Speech and a Hate Crime. If we can't get past calling cowardice patriotism and appeasement statesmanship then I fear for the future of my land.
END OF RANT …….. for now


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

Bravo !!!!!! Capt . !!!! couldn’t agree more . This just shows Jefferson was correct .


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Either way , its time to dust off my Confederate shell jacket lol


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm

2 words- ON POINT!!!


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm

2 more words — NEVER FORGET


CaptBart May 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm

For those interested the 6th addition was mine as a scout; I have a copy of it now and I highly recommend it http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Scout-Handbook-William-…
if you're interested.
I'd suggest that this one or any earlier edition would be a good book. After this I no longer know if they are PC free.


TexasScout May 8, 2011 at 6:55 am

That's the one I used when I was in Scouts in 67'


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I think I have seen that in .pdf format . If I can find it , I’ll post , save folks a few bucks .


CaptBart May 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm

That would be great if the copyright allows – I'd put it on my Kindle :-)


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

As far as copyrights go .. i think its public domain now but if not ….. in the words of Sgt. Schultz ” I see nothing ! I know nothing ! “


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Haven't seen a good "Hogan's Heroes" reference in a long time… WELL DONE SIR, WELL DONE!

T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Well ChefBear58 , ya gotta be old LOL ;)

T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I think the PC crowd took it off the air ……. it probably offended some vaginas sensitivity …..

Josh May 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I agree that it should be pre-1970. I constantly refer back to my grandfathers old 3rd eddition handbook.


T.Rapier May 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Josh I’m very sure I did run across the 1911 version in .pdf . I’ll post a link when I confirm this .


T.Rapier May 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

OK here is one for the 1911 version . Post more as I find .


T.Rapier May 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I have a 8th edition and a 5th edition, that were my fathers he gave them to me (respectively) when I had my "bridging over" ceremony and when I completed the "Ordeal" for Order of the Arrow. I also have a 9th edition, which I had to have for some of the things we did when I was in scouts, but the old ones have MUCH better information, and as you mentioned little/no P.C. garbage! I haven't opened the newer one since I got out of scouts, but the old ones I keep in my JEEP kit and my hunting pack (doubles as BOB); To be 100% honest, I couldn't even tell you where the newer one is!


MrAlpine May 8, 2011 at 5:32 am

My wife and I dont have any children yet, but I agree that taking them camping and hiking early is the best thing towards teaching them survival thought process. Learning how to catch and gut a fish, tie a real knot, shoot a rifle, etc. is priceless. I am thankful for my father who taught me, and his father before him and on and on. Fathers, I think I am preaching to the choir here, keep passing these skills down. I teach public school and I see these skills being lost. There will come a time when the upcoming generation will not know how to live without technological help; we may already be there. I heard that 1 in 4 people can not navigate without their GPS in the car. Soon, I fear, it will be 3 in 4; the other 25% being our children who learned how to read a compass and the stars from us. Happy mothers day. Children learn from your mothers and grandmothers too. I can crotchet, sew, cook, darn socks, grow my garden, and many others, from my grandmother and mother.


MrAlpine May 8, 2011 at 5:41 am

Does anybody remember the American Boy's Handbook? I have one copy. The book has lots of old time activities, fun activities. Building a boat, a bow, giging frogs, kites, loads of old time outdoor stuff that teaches as well as intertains. http://www.amazon.com/American-Boys-Handy-Book-Ac…


Josh May 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Yes, and I love it.


joey May 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Oh yeah! I’m fourteen, and it has been my main source of summer entertainment for as long as I can recall. I still go out in the woods with a .22 rifle, a pocket knife and that book. I have a great time. Im proof that a boy dosnt need an xbox to have fun. It may not be pc, but it keeps me healthy, and it helps me prepare for the future


l tliss June 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm

yeah i have one


TexasScout May 8, 2011 at 6:42 am

The one single thing any parent can to that will MOST provide knowledge and skills for SURVIVAL is to enroll their child in the Scouting Program. We teach life skills, survival skills and they don't even realize what they are learning will help them survive most anything they come across. Basic First Aid, Fire building, Cooking, Camping, Water Safety etc. But the main thing we teach is LEADERSHIP. We take a shy kid and turn him into a leader of his peers.

I have been a Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster for 19 years, in that time we have had 22 boys get their Eagle badge. Only 2% of the boys that join attain that rank, but ALL learn skills that will help them in life.

I speak for the Girl Scouts also, my wife ran a troop for six years.

Bill Albert
Asst Scoutmaster
Troop 188
Woodsboro, TX


Forge_Survival May 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Bill – good work!!


bob May 18, 2011 at 1:29 am

i agree. scouting is a life changer especially now…


Steven N May 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

Yep yep, I agree, situational awareness at 100% is the biggest tool you'll have in any sort of survival situation. As long as you keep the pistons in your mind working 100% I believe you have a huge edge over even those more prepared then you. I'm 17 and as I began to take an interest in the NWO and Marshall law a few years ago, I felt the last thing I was prepared. As I stumbled upon the capitalist conspiracy that is the Federal Reserve, I dove deep down the rabbit hole, and I try to wake others back to reality. I just purchased and am going to continue building my bug-out-bag, once summer starts up I'm going to get back to work and gather everything I need.

Unfortunately most friends and family fail to see the severity of economic collapse and hyperinflation. I am convincing my parents to invest in silver and I plan to do the same. I still hope to educate others and bring them out of whatever level of sleep they've been programmed to be in. I truly believe education will wake this nation up, and if you can wake them up to that degree then you give them the education that will motivate them to question everything, and save themselves.

I'm only 17 yet sometimes I feel like I'm living in the twilight zone. It's up to people like us to pull those we care about out into reality. As much as I'm sure they'd rather take the blue pill…


Steven N May 8, 2011 at 8:24 am

I've never been a boy scout just a thinker. If you want a teenager to to be interested in survival. Remind them the world doesn't end in Jersey Shore. For some of us that know, the world is much, much larger then most think.


Chefbear58 May 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Great article guys! I have already emailed a link to it to a couple younger friends of mine. I am roughly 10years out of my teens, but I remember some of the frustrations that were covered in the article; even though my family has always been prepping to some degree and we always did a lot of outdoor activities like camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, etc. As an "old man" I will offer a little advice for the "young bucks" out there… Aside from the RARE exception of a parent that is just a waste of a human being or a genetic donor, parents really do have your best interest in mind. They work hard to take care of you and keep you safe, respect their decisions and their positions as the leaders of the family and support their efforts in any way you can.

Although it might sound "sneaky" to some, another way to get your folks on-board with prepping if they are against it, without conflict, would be to try and plan family activities that would require some gear, food/water preps, skills and knowledge to do. Examples that come to mind are ones that I listed in the first paragraph, hunting, camping, fishing, backpacking, hiking and my personal favorite kayaking -OR- canoeing! To do these activities safely, you need at least some basic gear/supplies/knowledge/skills. I know when I go out hunting, camping or kayaking I ALWAYS take my field surgeon kit -w- my trauma and first aid kit, enough food for 3-5 days (along with gear to cook, transport water), water purification for 9 days (more when I pack my filtration system), clothes for the predicted weather and lightweight rain-gear, knives/hatchet/saw/firearms (depending on the activity and local laws) and an improvised shelter option. Some of these things would be common to find in the sporting goods section of wal-mart, and probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow if your family/friends have some outdoor recreation planned. If your folks aren't the "outdoors type", then just try working on them a little, tell them about friends who have told you how much fun they had with their family camping over spring break; Drop ideas in conversation, this takes a little finesse and tact to not be completely obvious, but it can help to implant the idea if you are trying to do it subtly!

If you manage to get the folks in on a camping trip (or other outdoor activity), make sure you don't get to hard on them! If dad is having a hard time getting a fire going, don't criticize, get in there with a little bag of dryer lint coated with wax that you made and help him out! If mom is cooking dinner and it gets a little scorched, don't fuss and complain, DIG IN… eat it up and ask for seconds! It's important to remember that if you haven't been camping before, chances are they haven't either -OR- it has been a LONG time! Having a negative attitude and negative comments, will only serve to hinder your progression to prepping "Valhalla" (Norse mythology version of heaven). Be positive, be helpful and respectful… I guarantee that it will help your cause immensely, and might be the beginning of not only new activities for your family to enjoy together, but might just give you the skills and tools to survive if/when things get REAL BAD!


Dave H. May 9, 2011 at 6:28 am

Great article Capt Bart and Josh! I look forward to reading part 2!


ChristianRebel May 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

As a 20 year old college student I greatly appreciate this series.

Also I'll be the first on to back Josh by saying reading and learning is the best thing you can do when you start out (especially if you're in a financial pinch) I got a nice foundation in basic survival knowledge from a book that's in the college library (plus touring sites like survival cache of course are cheap ways to begin) it'll prove very valuable when it comes to weeding out the good ideas from the bad ones.

Also if you really want to start training I recommend first aid as a nice stepping stone to begin with. In relation to other survival themed course's it's one of the cheapest AND most likely to use (I've only been certified for a year and I've had to use the training twice already, would've came in handy in a past incident before training too.)


T.Rapier May 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Well said , CPR/ first aid is invaluable knowledge . A man at work was saved many years ago because somebody had this knowledge . As far as good and bad ideas go ….. you first have to have a plan of what you need and are going to do . That will dictate what prepping avenue you need to follow . Obviously , if you dont own property , ideas about homesteading will be of no use to you , but they are still good ideas if you did . If you live in a dorm , then bugging in may not be a good idea and theft will be a constant threat as well as lack of privacy , etc , etc . If you have no vehicle , that also is a thing that will dictate your prep direction . as people have said many times on this site , network with the ” right ” people , improvise if your wallet tells you no , and always be thinking . But above all else , be flexible to the situation . You will do fine . Low budget ? no problem ! flea markets , the dollar stores , yard sales , even ebay ( i got a pair of magnesium and steel fire starters for $3 including postage ) They work fine .


CaptBart May 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Just so, sir. In fact, building a first aid kit WITH first aid training is difficult. Without training you are sure to get some things wrong and/or waste money on things not needed. I second your recommendation – a good first aid course and then some time with a wilderness first aid book should give you a solid base to build from.


LesStroudfan May 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks again Captain Bart and Josh for another great article. Since I can be classified as being "a minor," I personally know how it feels want to be prepare for TEOTWAWKI, but not have the resources to do so. In all honesty, the best thing any minor could do at this point in their lives is to do what Captain Bart said: READ! And then some. Luckily for myself, I can admitt I am an avid bookworm so I like to say inform on the latest and greatest survival gear through various mediums such as books and survival websites such as this one. Therefore, I would more than willing to help in anyway possible in the discussion on what minors should be doing right now to be prepare for anything. Just hollar at me on my gmail.


T.Rapier May 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm

You can prep more than you realize :) and feel free to add to this discussion anytime you wish as your current status may voice things we have missed ( its been a long time sense a lot of us were your age )


wyzyrdap May 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Making a LOT of assumptions here – so feel free to complain, if it does not apply.

As a "kid", you cannot buy a piece of "Bug Out Land" ( I can't either, due to a recently-failed employer) You are, however, perfectly legally-allowed to check every "rural land real estate" website within 30 miles or so of your home. Specialize in the ones that have been on sale longer than a year, (assuming there are some resources there, not total desert)

If family are somewhat on board, take them there to look ( such a cool camping spot.., right? – never know, they might be cool..) , if not, drive there and learn the route, or perhaps, find a driver with similar survival ideas, if you cannot drive. ( won't recommend learning to drive at a too-young age, and stealing a friend's vehicle- that would be bad)

Personally, I don't yet own the land I'm aiming at (should have bought it last year when I had the chance – dang internet ..) but know where I'm running to.


Tontopaint May 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

GREAT post guys. I started prepping when i was 19 but I started to open my eyes when I was 18. The best advice I can give you already did READ. I look through survival blogs almost every day reading what catches my eye or what looks good to know. I even go to bookstores to browse through survival books just so I can learn what I need with a limited budget. I was lucky to be in a southern family and be raised with guns for hunting and learning how to work the land but even still I have a long way to go. The way I started was with "google" I just started searching and low and behold TONS of free info over the internet. Just remember if it is based on what some one else thinks to take it all with a grain of salt. Good Luck


JohnDoe1999 May 11, 2011 at 7:57 am

I've been in a prepper mindset all my life; I get it from my father talking about 8.0 earthquakes with a 12 gauge in his hand (I exaggerate for effect, but I digress.) Regarding "combat" I've always believed in a prepared for the worst, hope for the best mindset, but I do have a small group that is trained for more than just "sitting on the front porch with a pumpgun, sipping coffee, and eating MRE's." However I stress that we are hardly planning on anything offensive and "weapons tight" is the name of the game. I have always been into self defense, and feel that situational awareness, a skill so many of my peers lack (I guess that they think I should constantly be concerned for their life as they j – walk in rush hour traffic 20 feet from the cross walk and of course, they wouldn't hesitate to take me to court but again, I DIGRESS) and self defense will be far more applicable to a SHTF event than small unit tactics,although I reserve my opinions on that in regards to TEOTWAKI. Of course, being 17 presents some obvious concerns regarding firearms, and as a rule, I never do harm to my status as a law abiding citizen. For example, I cannot carry a blade until 18, but I have found a way to legally carry pepper spray. Regarding finance, dual purpose comes to mind, but I have collected (and read) a wealth of Military Field Manuals (most can be downloaded for free) and other books. With few exceptions, knowledge and the practice to implement it is more essential than the latest gear. Thank you for addressing this issue, it has been a pressing one for me.


CaptBart May 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

"With few exceptions, knowledge and the practice to implement it is more essential than the latest gear." Absolutely true. Everyone west of St. Louis and east of San Francisco was a "survivor" in the 1860s. That is just the way it worked. The gear they used kept them alive – they didn't have rangefinders so they learned to estimate distances for example. Cap and Ball black powder weapons, horses or foot power, basic medicine (much borrowed from the plains tribes) navigation by reading the star and sun positions etc. are all something anyone can do.
One of the nice things about Scouts is that in a good troop the 'peer pressure' is to be good at self reliance and to gain the skills needed.
I don't know where you live but not even a Swiss Army knife? How about a Leatherman? While it does have a blade most folks don't consider it a "knife". Don't get in trouble with the law but you might check to see if you can carry one of those.


ZM1995 May 14, 2011 at 7:39 am

i am 16 years old so i know that its hard to plan for combat when you cant buy a gun so the best way to survive a combat situation is tto not be in one practice your stealth techniques if no one can see you then no one can fight you try reading the rangers apprentice series it is a medeival fantasy series but they have great tips about being unseen


JohnDoe1999 May 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

I can make myself invisible through camouflage and proper movement techniques, however although my friends and family have a disproportionately high number of military age males who default to my knowledge, my family cannot even walk 10 miles on flat terrain without any weight. I expect to bug in, and take an active defensive posture against looters and gang members. It is already agreed upon that firearms will be purchased, and that I will be the the one to use use them in a TEOTWAKI situation, and be responsible for teaching others in an appropriate and legal way. I suppose my situation is better than most my age in that I have people willing to be trained, and a consenting and supportive parent. I also don't mean literal combat, as Captain Bart says "we are preparing for survival, not combat"


bob May 18, 2011 at 1:25 am

i have found that the best reading is an old boyscout handbook. it teaches survival skills, the older books do, not todays touchy feely manuals but the manual fron the 60s is a godsend. it teaches good common survival skills, and morality. and you learn some good qualities that give the reader something to think about. forget this fantasy stuff. if you have to fight, fight to win, then do it. kids today need to learn that respect is earned as a matter of time, not given .instant gratification does not exist in the real world. to expect it is to have already lost the battle. . fear is a good thing. thats why you get scared. what they need to learn is how to use that fear of the unknown and make it into a useful skill. good hunting


CaptBart May 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

As the Duke said in one of his movies,"Courage is being scared to death … but saddling up anyway". Anyone over the age of about 10 who tells you they have never been afraid is either a fool or a liar. In either case, avoid them because they can not be trusted to act appropriately in extreme situations. Fear has kept many humans alive over the millennia and will continue to do so if we do not let it paralyze us or keep us from doing what needs to be done.


Regulator5 July 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Great Article. I have 4 kids myself, (4, 7, 12, &18). One place to look for teen training is Civil Air Patrol. They offer great medical training for trauma victims, military style discipline and training. This could and would be a great stand alone activity or combined with Scouts to provide a more rounded and fuller selection of training, knowledge and experience(s). I do not know if the "Explorer Scouts" are still around. They were in Ft Myers, FL when I was young. They were dedicated to teaching teens about a specific career field, i.e. law enforcement, fire fighting, etc and JROTC and Civil Air Patrol often would join these groups on huge weekend getaways, "Explorer Weekends". .


Regulator5 July 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I also loved the idea and thoughts on getting involved in the reenacting. I got my 12 yr old, only son, started by the medieval approach (also how I got him to enjoy reading). I can show him different facets of the survival "realm" and even if he talks to friends, it's about how they hunted, camped, fought in medieval times and so OPSEC is much better controlled. Finding games and other generic ways to teach your child will detract from what the neighbors and school officials think when, NOT if, your child talks to their friends


Diana August 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm

During an already stressful time in thier lives, teens have it particularly hard when it comes to prepping. They are pressured to always "be cool" and are afraid to been classified with the old wacky guy with a bomb shelter and MREs. It can be especially dificult if a teen's parents don't share the same ideas about survival or the need to learn these skills. One simple thought to keep in mind – "Knowledge is power". Even if you can't prep tools or gear for whatever reason, information can be stored quietly in your head, with no one the wiser, until it is needed. Lots of research is free and you owe it to yourself.


ARP January 16, 2012 at 12:08 am

I get a lot of free books on camping/ things that you can eat while hiking. One being America's Camping Book, it covers ropework diff transportation,Emergencies-make it yourself everything you need good common survival skills.I have got a bunch of great books and the best part they were free because the library was going to throw them away because they were old


john August 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi im 13 and have a a buget of exactly $10 so what can i do i mean i cant just go and come home with 20lbs of rice and a machete and my mom laughs when i bring up shtf even stuff like hurricans and we live in freaking FLORIDA were there is always one just missing us i have tryed to get stuff but all i got was a slingshot,pocket knife, some matches what can i do


SurvingJerry August 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

Move out in 5 years.
Meanwhile, educate yourself as much as you can, particularly about how to improvise things you can't afford or have access to.

Parents (speaking as one) should not dismiss their child's fears and concerns about the world (rational or not). These are great opportunities to talk to your children and impress your values and world views upon them. I always say, if you can't even convince your own children that you are right about everything, then you're completely hopeless.
Do it while they are willing to talk to you. In a few years you will be such an embarrassment to them that they will claim to not ever have seen you before. (I'm not there with my kids and I hope I am able to keep my relationship with them open and honest, and thus never have it come to that.)

As for you, young man, maybe Mom would be willing to pay for you to be in Scouts (or other similar organization that teaches skills and personal growth) and/or martial arts classes. You can at least be fit and understand how to use the tool that is your body.
And like I said, enrich your mind. The internet is a fabulous tool (duh). You can learn anything you set your mind to for free if you're willing to look.


Andy January 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I am 15, and I got into prepping a year ago when I took the emergency preparedness merit badge. I have done a lot or research and it has opened my eyes on how anything can happen and that everyone should take the boy scout motto "Be Prepared" seriously. from my own personal experiences, I believe that people don't give teenagers enough credit, or trust us as much as adult.


Rick October 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

Excellent post.
Thanks for sharing. http://teenagesurvival.com


BVB January 26, 2014 at 8:32 am

If any teenagers have read this far, good for you, there's a lot of good advice here, and learning the information is half the battle to survival. Knowledge is power in a SHTF situation. Practical knowledge mind you


captain/C#313 March 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

i'm a teen prepper…in some ways

but, i prefer grouping up with some of my clan friends (which is only 2 right now) and their families, like i would leave a friend and his family to die fending for themselves right?

i tell them about the latest news, (natural disaster, scenarios, economic collapse(which is a huge thing were trying to prepare for) and other bad things) and then we advise what is best to do what.

problem is, we have the will to protect family, but what is that will if someone tries to shoot us down because we have a few crumbs of bread left.

I haven't really looked deeply into leading, but my clan,unit (whatever you wanna call it) is what i lead, i can't go back. I can tell that one of them is willing to defend his family, i respect that. He knows what to do, but no combat experience. The other is…ehh…off track, our goal is to get to the zone, without harming civilians, but he comes up with "oh we get rid of this guy when this happens due to what he did to us". i don't do that. I show mercy to those in the past, because i know that they will get what they deserve in the future…leave them be, you know?

i'm easily paranoid as a teen honestly, i'v had troubles with the school in what i do, really it doesn't bother me, its just telling my own family, they don''t understand… no matter what i say.

its just very difficult preparing as a teen like me, i constantly have to hide the stuff i make, store so they don't get taken away. But i know sometime soon enough i will have to show them, and tell them everything i know… i feel lost though, am i really doing a good thing, or just leading people to their demise? :(


Chefbear58 May 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

29 actually, but I used to watch it all the time as a kid… we lived overseas (explained elsewhere), on base, and had DoD television ONLY… AND we had the TV where using the "remote" meant shoving my little brother and telling him to change it most of the time.


Chefbear58 May 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

It's a terrible whining sound when they get a lil' grit up there isn't it!


CaptBart May 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

I have actually never been shot (shot at but they always missed!) but I remember the words of wisdom from my Army recruiter – The good thing about getting shot is that it feels so good when it STOPS hurting. You're right, BIG and, I'm sure, PAINFUL. Like TEOTWAWKI, and likely TSHTF, any injury may well prove fatal. Without antibiotics and antiseptic treatments the infections will prove painful and fatal.
We have lost much of our knowledge about how to deal with such things without modern drugs.


CaptBart May 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Thank you for the links, sir. I do appreciate them.


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