Is Gold a Good Investment for Survival?
Some survivalists are mainly concerned about present-day crises such as earthquakes and civil unrest. Others want to be ready for EOD events. The usefulness of gold depends a lot on the situation.
Natural Disasters: Not So Much
In earthquakes and tsunamis, having an emergency stockpile of paper currency can be more valuable than gold. While your paper money may not buy as much, it’s likely to be the main way to obtain water, food and clothing. It’s hard to imagine small shavings of gold (currently worth over $1,500 per ounce) being practical for buying day-to-day essentials. Most store owners would still operate using currency.
Civil Wars: Maybe
In times of civil unrest, the value of currencies can tank, or a new government can implement a completely different currency. Is gold a good protection against this? It’s hard to say.
In theory, even if the dollar were replaced, and all USD became worthless, you would be able to convert gold to the new currency. However, there’s a catch: taxes. Selling gold right now is tricky because of enormous capital gains taxes. In the unlikely event a new government issued its own currency, how much would taxes be for converting your gold?
End of the World Events: A Must
If we’re talking about the end of the world, the advantages of gold start to shine. In a situation where a country’s entire monetary system has collapsed, having a stockpile of gold allows you to hold on to your wealth.
Unlike paper bills, electronic bank accounts or other types of fiat currency, gold has intrinsic value. It’s a rare and precious metal. Gold has to be mined, not printed, so inflation isn’t realistically an issue. No matter the payment system that arises after the collapse, having gold means you can eventually convert your wealth to any other medium.
Gold is spectacular for long-term wealth storage. For day-to-day financial needs, things get more hazy. Your food-growing skills may be more important for a while.
What Kind of Gold Should You Invest In?
Not all gold is reliable for survival. There are several types that you should AVOID if your goal is prepping:
Not gold stocks or ETFs: Exchange-traded-funds and gold stocks are practically worthless for EOD situations. First, how can you be sure that the person selling you the stock has ACTUAL gold and not just numbers on a spreadsheet?
Not remote vaults: Be careful with companies that promise to sell you gold and store it in their super-duper-secure vault. Even IF the company has real gold in the first place (it’s doubtful), the owner can just take your gold and run.
Not huge bars: Instead of storing one huge gold bar worth half a million dollars, it’s a better idea to have a variety of weights. That way you can carry smaller amounts or have several different stashes for your needs.
If you’re going to stockpile gold, ALWAYS buy the physical kind you can hold in your hand or bury in a hiding spot. Rounds, hand-poured gold or minted coins are fine. Just make sure they’re certified as genuine, high-quality and high-purity gold.
Most “first-aid kits” are barely good enough to patch up superficial scratches, let alone help you treat yourself or your family for serious injuries. If you want to put together a true first-aid kit (it’s not going to be a tiny plastic container) that makes preppers proud, always include these items.
Some vital medical supplies are pretty obvious, so we won’t go into too much detail about them. When it comes to adhesive bandages, sterile gauze, non-sterile gauze, stretchable gauze and medical tape, more is always better. These items are some of the most important supplies possible, and they have limitless uses, so always buy in bulk. You can go through a LOT of bandages if you ever have a serious wound, which is why you need plenty.
Don’t skimp on quality. It’s better to pay a few more dollars now and have cloth bandages that do a better job of preventing infections than plastic ones. Get the self-adherent medical tape. It only sticks to itself, not to skin. That’s a big advantage for burns.
There’s no way to know whether hospitals will be available in a survival situation. Many survival experts recommend having a small surgical kit with these items:
- Sterile scalpels: You want several sizes of scalpels, such as #10, #11 and #15.
- Sutures and suture needles: Suture thread usually comes stored in isopropyl alcohol, or you can purchase a professional suture kit.
- Forceps: These are tools similar to tweezers. They’re often included in suture kits.
- Adhesive sutures: Butterfly bandages and sterilized adhesive sutures are an alternative for light-to-moderate wounds. If you don’t have experience sewing a wound, this option can come in handy, at least to help you reach a safer area.
Don’t attempt to use scalpels and suture needles yourself unless you have the training (or you’re in a life or death situation). These items are mainly so you can benefit from anyone with medical experience you come across.
A lot of people forget how important trauma shears are in many different situations. If you get hurt, it’s probably going to be outdoors, which means you’ll have your clothes on. Instead of having to move an injured family member to try to stop the bleeding, trauma shears let you cut off their jeans quickly.
Antibiotics, Iodine and Antiseptic Creams
You need several ways to prevent infections and control them if they appear. Make sure to have antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, metronidazole and cephalexin. These medications cover a wide range of bacterial infections.
Other Survival Must-Haves
For cuts and scrapes, pack povidone iodine to disinfect wounds. Afterwards, an antiseptic cream and gauze can speed up healing while preventing infection. For burns, you’re going to want a topical analgesic with lidocaine (this is actually useful for many injuries) and hydrocortisone cream, in addition to the over-the-counter painkillers included in a normal first-aid kit.
There are other practical items that aren’t technically medical supplies, but they make a huge difference for emergencies. For example, heavy-duty trash bags and rolls of plastic wrap can prevent wound contamination and double as protective gear if you run out of surgical gloves. Emergency blankets can save a life if someone goes into shock. Don’t pack too much to carry, but try to prioritize and prepare for reasonably likely situations that are life-threatening.
Keeping your family safe and well cared for during unprecedented times is crucial to your survival. The two principal concerns for any survivalist are health and food — food being the primary. The best way to secure food in the event of a global or national crisis is to grow it yourself or have a self-sustaining food source. Animals provide some of the best nutrients for a human diet. Unfortunately, for most animals, you need to understand butchery. However, chickens offer a brilliant way to feed your family and stay healthy with no need for killing the animal or source.
Cows, goats or lambs are superb farm animals to choose for a food source, but they take a lot of work to keep healthy and raise to maturity. Unless you have farming knowledge, it is best to stick with relatively self-sufficient animals. Chickens do not take a lot of forethought. They are small animals with high intelligence. As long as you provide suitable housing and a safe environment, they will mature and provide for your family for years to come. Also, if you purchase both males and females, you can raise and use these animals to barter, should the need arise.
Chickens need a coup to live and thrive. They are vulnerable creatures and often look like a tasty snack for other larger predators. A coop need not be fancy, and it doesn’t even have to be significant. The average chicken only needs about 15 square feet of living space, which means for a group of six chickens, you only need about 90 square feet. A chicken coop should comprise several things.
Full wire enclosure
Housing for each hen
Shaded and sunny areas
While you will need to buy feed for your chickens, it is relatively cheap. However, in the warmer months, your chickens will probably munch on surrounding grass and insects, which makes them excellent sources for pest control. The birds will control the bug population around your home and gardens.
Caring for Chickens
While chickens are great at taking care of themselves, they also need help and love from their human caregivers. Chickens are smart animals, which makes companionship very important. Also, chickens are birds, meaning that they poop everywhere. You will need to clean out their coop several times per month to ensure they stay healthy. The CDC recommends first removing debris and then applying a diluted disinfectant to all surfaces, leaving it on for at least 30 seconds before wiping it off. Once all surfaces are dry and clean, you can return the chickens to their coop.
Expense of Chickens
Chickens are not expensive animals to purchase or raise. Their food is inexpensive, and during the summer months, they will thrive on natural food sources. While a coop is expensive to buy, you can build one yourself for a fraction of the price.
Chickens are the prepper and survivalist’s best friend. These animals offer a recurring food source during a disaster, keeping your family healthy and fed. They also help to control the insect population around your farm or home. If you are looking for the perfect pet or food source for the next global crisis or pandemic, look no further than every farmer’s favorite bird.
There are two types of people in this world; those who prep and those who don’t.
For those who do, many don the label of prepper/survivalist quite proudly. They also understand the true meaning behind SHTF (AKA Sh*t Hits the Fan). The SHTF philosophy is for those who are willing to identify the many threats facing them and their families and take the proper steps to mitigate them.
How the Survivalist Movement Got Its Start
Much like many other major movements throughout history, survivalism got its start during times of turmoil. The 1950s were a period of great tension between the United States and Russia. The threat of nuclear war loomed large over everyday life. Kids were subject to drills at school while adults were encouraged to build fallout-proof bunkers.
While worries about nuclear war eventually subsided, many people still sought to be prepared for a world catastrophe or other chaotic events. The survivalist movement started to gain momentum in the 70s, particularly with the creation of The Survivor newsletter. Creator Kurt Saxon, who is best known for coining the term survivalist, filled the newsletter with essential skills and tips on how to get by off the grid and on your own.
Eventually, the term survivalist evolved into the term prepper, which began to take hold in the early 2000s. Bolstered by the events of September 11, 2001, many people recognized a legitimate threat in the making. Other events throughout the decade, such as natural disasters, also increased the need for readiness among the American people. As a result, many started investing in underground bunkers, camping supplies, non-perishable foods, and even weapons and ammunition.
What It Means Today
While survivalists were once maligned as “kooks” and “reactionaries”, their actions look far more reasonable over the course of recent history. These days, being a prepper is all but mainstream. There are magazines and books devoted to the subject, as well as TV documentaries showing the daily lives of preppers all over the nation. People think nothing of stockpiling canned goods or other food items. Others keep a healthy collection of guns and ammunition because you just never know what’s around the corner.
While being a prepper may be trendy, it’s not for everyone. A lot of people can’t seem to accept that we’re living in the SHTF era. Social unrest is higher than it’s been in decades. There are fears about collapsing infrastructure. Misinformation is rampant on all sides.
How You Can Ready Yourself for a SHTF Situation
With recent world events, prepping is even more valuable than ever. Let’s face it: you can’t always rely on the local or federal government to act in your best interest, whether that involves your health or your security. What you can do is make sure you and your family are fully prepared for the following:
Law Enforcement Is No More – Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect citizens, but you can’t always count on the boys in blue. Law enforcement may be inaccessible or incapable of responding to a genuine SHTF situation. Even worse, there may come a time when you can’t exactly trust your local police force. Know your rights as an American citizen so you can identify wrongdoing at every turn.
Fallout From a Natural Disaster – Even if a natural disaster doesn’t impact you directly, you and your family could still experience turmoil because of it. What if a natural disaster affects the food supply chain? What if it causes massive unrest? What if a natural disaster cuts the supply of power to your home? Safeguard yourself against these effects with a good stockpile of food, access to firearms, and back-up power in the form of generators and fuel.
Looting Gangs – When society starts to break down, roving gangs and looters aren’t far behind. These individuals will think nothing of breaking into your home and taking your belongings – or even worse – if you don’t protect yourself. Make sure your bunker is properly fortified against break-ins. If you have a stockpile of weapons, you should be highly proficient in their use. Also, each family member should have a bugout bad ready to go in the event your town or city becomes uninhabitable.
If you’re looking for a good handgun, it’s wise to take a look at guns that consistently make top-selling lists. Here is a list of the best-selling handguns in 2019, rated by likelihood of jamming.
5. Taurus G2C
The Taurus G2C has enjoyed great sales over the past couple of years and is one of the more affordable pistols you can buy. It has a polymer frame and a 12+1 capacity. This gun is a little small, since it was designed primarily for concealed carry. It’s easy to see why people on a budget choose this convenient little handgun for protection.
When it comes to jamming, though, Taurus doesn’t have the best reputation for jamming. The brand has also been subject to a surprising number of recalls int eh past few years. Some users report absolutely no jamming issues with their Taurus G2Cs, while others claim they are susceptible to horizontal jams. Keep that in mind when deciding whether or not it’s worth it to save a few hundred dollars on a handgun.
4. Smith and Wesson M|P 2.0
The Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 is an attractive handgun with a 4” barrel and an easy-to-rack slide. It also has excellent accuracy.
While many users swear that the M&P 2.0 performs like a charm every time, others report that they gun tends to jam. This may be due to “limp-wristing” rather than keeping the wrist locked when cycling the weapon. S&W is known for their great warranties, so if you happen to have a problem with your gun not performing as it should, the manufacturer should be able to rectify the problem for you.
3. Glock 19
The Glock is often considered the workhorse of handguns. It’s reliable, performs well and is relatively affordable. The Glock 19 is the most popular Glock model and is commonly used for self-defense.
According to some gun owners, a Glock is more likely to have a “stovepipe” malfunction, which refers to the fired case failing to be properly ejected from the port. This can cause the case to get caught between the barrel hood and the slide’s breech face and lead to a jam.
It’s easy to avoid this by maintaining a firm grip with the firing hand while using the supporting hand to efficiently and firmly clear the empty case and chamber a new round. For this reason, the good-old Glock 19 takes our number 3 spot on the list.
2. Beretta M9
The Beretta M9 was adopted as the U.S. military’s service pistol in 1985. It is one of the most reliable semiauto handguns for concealed carry and self-defense. It is also one of the most extensively tested handguns in existence. It features a delayed blowback system and short recoil, which cycles the action smoothly.
Despite its impressive reputation, some users report that the Beretta M9 tends to jam. However, most gun experts report that the Beretta M9 has very few jamming problems when it is properly lubed and cleaned. This suggests that the gun might be hygiene-sensitive, but fires smoothly when cleaned regularly.
1. Sig P320
The Sig P320 has great reliability and is easy to use. It’s also a solid, robust pistol that doesn’t receive a lot of complaints in public forums. In fact, two versions of the P320 pistol were selected as the new standard sidearms for the U.S. Army. The full-size version weighs a hefty 29.4 ounces without a loaded magazine, and has a 4.7-inch barrel. It also shares the modest grip of the P250.
The Sig 9mm P320 also has great ratings as far as jamming goes. While the gun is known to sometimes eject a live round with an empty cartridge case, when this happens, it typically does not lead to any other malfunctions, such as “stove-piping.” For this reason, the Sig P320 takes our top spot for best handguns that don’t jam.