Prepping For SHTF In Breadth But Not Depth

A few days ago I started reading a new book, it’s called “War on the eastern front by James Lucas.” War on the eastern front is a collection of personal experiences based on diaries from German soldiers.

The majority of books I read are non-fiction. This is because I like to know what real-life experiences people faced during times of hardship. For example what were some of the issues that were faced during the Black Death?

Kevin Felts

Why did I pick a book on the eastern front? We know the German army failed to defeat the Russian army due to two things – the harsh Russian winter, and resupply issues. Those are the two main issues taught in just about every world history class.

On page 4 of “War on the eastern front”, it is noted that author A.J.P Taylor said “while his opponents were rearming for a great war in depth, Hitler rearmed Germany in breath. Everything for the front lines, but nothing for a second campaign.”

Hitler was so sure the German army could defeat Russia in a single season, there were no plans for a long drawn out battle during the Russian winter.  Nor were plans made for the following year, much less a war that lasted another 4 years.


If you have adopted survivalism as a way of life, a lot of what you see, read, hear and do is somehow related to survivalism.

When I read how Germany had prepared in breadth, but not in depth, it snapped that a lot of people prep for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI  in the same exact manner.  The majority of preppers stockpile 4 – 12 months of supplies, but have no viable plans for a long term SHTF situation that may last 2, 3, 4 or more years.

If you put the majority of your resources into prepping for a short term disaster, what do you have if a short term SHTF situation turns into a long term situation?

Stockpiling Not a Long Term Solution

Over the past century there has been a trend of moving away from growing your own and canning what you grow, to buying freeze dried, dehydrated foods and storing food in mylar bags.  The problem with buying manufactured food, society slowly loses the knowledge of being self-sufficient.

Mountain House freeze dried pouches

What are your second, third, fourth,,, layer of preps?

How are you and your family supposed to resupply for the second year?

What about the third year?  How are you going to refill the pantry?

Long after the #10 cans and mylar bags have been emptied, where will your food come from?  Once that #10 can of freeze dried food has been eaten, how are you going to replace that food?

Will you be able to plant that empty mylar bag to grow fresh bags of mylar full of rice?

Stockpiling food in mylar bags, stockpiling #10 cans,,, stockpiling a non-renewable food source is a dead end street.   Stockpiling food is like stockpiling time.  You and your family only have as much time as you have food.

Self-sufficiency Is The Only Long Term Solution

What did people do before our modern big-box-mart?  They grew their own, stored their own, then bought and traded for what they needed.  People learned how to work the land, plow fields, raise livestock, developed ways to preserve food,,, so that they were able to feed their families through the seasons.

Three half bushels of potatoes
Three half bushels of potatoes

My grandmother and grandfather had cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, guineas, and they preserved a lot of the food they raised in the garden.

A few weeks ago my dad told me how him and my grandfather would fill their small barn full of corn, corn that was used as livestock feed. I imagine they saved some of the corn to replant the following year.  To keep rodents out of the corn my dad would go out to the barn a night and shoot mice with 22 shorts.

The 13 hens my wife and I currently have lay around 7 – 10 eggs a day.  After my wife and I get moved to the farm, we plan on increasing the chicken flock to somewhere around 30 – 50 chickens.  With a handful of roosters my wife and I should be able to develop a long term self-sustaining chicken flock.   Long after the freeze dried eggs have been eaten, the hens will still be laying eggs.

Why did early settlers plant pecan trees?  Because pecans are ready to harvest around the end of October, and store well through the winter.

Why have certain breeds of chickens such as the Barred Rock, Dominicker, Rhode Island Red and Buff Orpington maintained their popularity? Because they are hardy chickens that are well suited for the homestead.

Why did settlers bring goats, sheep, cattle and pigs with them? Because humans and livestock form a mutual beneficial relationship.

Long after the powdered milk is gone, the sheep, goats and cows will still be producing milk.


For those of us that are prepping for a multi-year, long term SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation, stockpiling food is just one aspect that we should consider.

If we want to develop a well rounded survival plan then we need to move past “just” stockpiling food.

My personal feelings on this issue – the United States is going to hell in a handbag.  Corporations control our government, the federal reserve prints money out of thin air, North Korea and Iran continue to develop their nuclear programs, our cities are turning into cesspools.

Various nations of the European Union are going broke, some of which are looking to communist nations such as Russia for a bail out.

It is just a matter of time before something has to give.

If you have the opportunity to buy land in a rural area please do so.  Buy the land and if nothing happens in your lifetime, pass the land down to your children and grandchildren.

Teach future generations the skills that have been lost to the winds of time.  Skills that may one day save their lives.

It is not only for myself that I prep, it is also for my children and my grandchildren.