Responding not reacting to changing times
Life in a tribe or on the frontier wasn't about reacting to things. Well, not too often. Something might change all of a sudden, but usually things unfolded based upon telltale signs that they were going to happen. It might seem to a greenhorn or new arrival that the folks were in an uproar and reacting, but usually what they were doing all along was preparing for security issues, weather changes, and putting up enough food for Winter and cutting enough silage to feed their animals.
They mostly responded unless suddenly attacked, and even then they responded by having enough ammunition, powder, rifles and handguns, and by preparing a tactical way of dealing with the new threat. Where is the enemy coming from? What are the natural barriers? How close are they? Are they on foot or using horses? Where are the natural watering holes that they'll probably visit along the way? Where will they camp for the night along the way? Is there food for their animals there? What are the seasonal issues that will help or hinder us or them? Do they have gunpowder weapons? What is the effective range and accuracy of their weapons? What's the best and worst abilities of that particular tribe? Can we negotiate a peaceful settlement? What do we have to bargain with? What types of subterfuge can we use? Should we sally from the fort or is it more defensible to stay within? Who shall we send at night to use guerrilla tactics?
They might respond by very clever tactics like changing the ground of the meadows that the enemies horses must ride through. Something as simple a device like caltrops might be added to trip up horses and riders. Maybe they set up a series of ambush sites along the way from good cover or from elevated positions? Maybe they had better rifles to use some limited sniper techniques? Maybe they made feeding or watering the horses and soldiers difficult? Maybe they counterattacked as the enemy made a river crossing? These are calculated responses based upon a careful analysis of how many soldiers will die defending and counterattacking versus how many of the enemy can they eliminate far from their homes. Pick off enough of the attackers, and they won't have sufficient numbers without reinforcements. A punishing counterattack might make the enemy choose a weaker enemy, and if allied with them, then messengers might ride to that village instead. Maybe those allies attack the flanks of the losing enemy soldiers too.
When greenhorns react, then they've already lost. They wait and see if a half-baked idea will save them. It's not in the remotest a plan, just a vague notion that this or that might help them survive. The worst concept is ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away as if by magic.
A tribe that's preparing for the SHTF scenario is looking at the season and thinking how to best plan for the season after the next. It's late Autumn now, and there's hardly enough time to plan for Winter, but rather to imagine what the Spring planting will be like. That's a good four months ahead.
How about you? Read the following and then close your eyes and think about the questions I'm asking:
How much food that isn't refrigerated is in my household? Are there complete protein sources and good nutritious carbohydrates that I can rely upon? How many calories per meal do I have, and how much extra do I have in case I have to feed strangers or relatives?
How much water do I have on hand? How good is my water purifying equipment? How am I for tools to create a well? What condition is my garden cart in case I need to haul water? How many water containers do I have? What's the average rainfall in my area? Where are the nearest water sources?
Do I know how to forage from the local region? What are the kinds of trees in my area? What are the harvest season of these plants? What herbs grow around me, and which can be used for culinary, sanitary, medicinal, or other uses?
What seeds do I have on hand? How many are heirloom varieties (not hybrids)? Who typically grows fruits and vegetables in my area? Can I get food from them in trade, or are they willing to say let me have some of their asparagus crowns? Do I have books on how to garden? Are there classes I can take to learn NOW rather than four months from now?
When was the last time I practiced using my ranged weapons? When was the last time I cleaned it? Do I have cleaning supplies? How many boxes of ammunition do I have on hand? Are my weapons in working order? What hand-held weapons do I possess? When was the last time I practiced with them?
What's a reasonable rating someone would give me about my defensive and offensive ability? How much upper body strength do I possess? How far can I run without resting? How much can I carry and run? When was the last time I tried to run? When have I ever tried to run with my backpack on?
What pioneer skills do I know to build things, repair things, make fires, harvest food, raise animals, etc? What books do I have on hand? Are they on paper or on my hard drives?
What alternative power do I have to use handheld electronic devices? Do I have a generator for short term use? How much fuel do I have? Do I have any solar trickle charger? Do I have a deep cycle marine battery? How many sunny days can I reasonably expect each season? When can't I use solar power? Do I have any redundant parts for the system?
How much clothing and shoes will my family need during the year on average? How many items can we make ourselves or alter so that others may wear them? How much laundry do we do, and do we have adequate laundry soap to do them? How will my family wash clothing without electricity?
Thinking about these things now post-harvest is about responding not reacting. Based upon your relative disquiet in your soul given the instability of our countries, wouldn't doing this now and prepping for it be PRUDENT not quirky?