I joined the North­ern NJ Pre­pared­ness Meet­up because I was inter­est­ed in sur­vival pre­pared­ness.  I think that soci­ety, espe­cial­ly in the sub­urbs, social­ly frown on prep­ping and pre­pared­ness in gen­er­al.  Almost every­one I have met that is a prep­per in New Jer­sey has pre­pared for dis­as­ter very qui­et­ly.  Includ­ing myself.  For me to join a pre­pared­ness group, even a loose­ly man­aged one was to expose myself as a prep­per and sur­vival­ist mind­ed indi­vid­ual was a reck­on­ing in my own mind.  I also want­ed to reas­sure myself that I was not crazy, spend­ing mon­ey on prepa­ra­tions in the event of a nat­ur­al or man made dis­as­ter.  Two oth­er rea­sons I joined were to learn some­thing and to meet oth­er like mind­ed peo­ple in the area.  To build a net­work in the event some­thing did go wrong so that we had a com­bined skillset to help each oth­er out, even if we all end­ed up going our sep­a­rate ways at some point.

The NJ Pre­pared­ness group is less than a year old, and was formed, in my opin­ion for peo­ple to come and share ideas, thoughts, etc.  This is a good thing, because there are var­ied lev­els of prep­per that show up, as it is an open forum for dis­cus­sion.  I am look­ing for­ward to our spring meet­ings with Prac­ti­cal Prim­i­tive, as well as the mock bug out week­end that was moved to spring.  Next meet­ing it was sug­gest­ed we dis­cuss alter­na­tive pow­er sources such as bio-fuels, solar, etc.  This is a for­ay into an area we have not dis­cussed.  I think that expan­sion beyond some of the top­ics we have been engaged in would be good.  I say this because I have been think­ing recent­ly about my own skill-sets again, and where I lack a LOT of expe­ri­ence, which also lends itself to Mon­day’s post on bar­ter­ing.

With that, if you are con­sid­er­ing look­ing for a group to get friend­ly with, form, join etc. do so with the con­sid­er­a­tion that no man is an island of infor­ma­tion or can do every­thing by them­selves.  Go in skep­ti­cal­ly, but with an open mind because you want to objec­tive­ly observe oth­ers to see if your per­son­al­i­ties, val­ues, and goals are aligned.  In less than a year I have seen more advanced preppers/survivalists come and go because the group is just not in the same place they are, and I have seen oth­ers come and go dip­ping their toes in the waters to see if the group might be for them.  Some of the toe dip­pers, I was hop­ing would stay.  They had skill-sets that made sense for the group.  I was hop­ing to learn from some of them, but under­stand if the group was not for them.

So, know­ing that I have seen peo­ple come and go from the group, it is my the­o­ry that build­ing a group that you can trust, con­tribute to, etc. will not be easy.  Every­one’s com­fort lev­el is their own, and you can­not con­vince some­one to do some­thing they do not want to if they feel you are too junior, they do not trust you, or they don’t feel your goals are aligned.  And, if any of the men­tioned cri­te­ria are the rea­sons, don’t be upset.  As you progress and become more estab­lished with your group, skill-sets, etc. you may choose not to be part of a less­er estab­lished or expe­ri­enced prep­per group as well.  Although, I think there is mer­it in shar­ing what you know if they are not going to take advan­tage of your knowl­edge.

Here are a cou­ple more resources for you to peruse on the pos­si­bil­i­ty of build­ing or look­ing for your own survivalist/prepper group:

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