M4S 015: Chris Weatherman Takes the Fiction Out of Prepping
Ask anyone who’s into prepper fiction about their favorite author, and the chances are that Chris Weatherman (AKA Angery American) is high on their list. Chris Weatherman is not just a prolific author (check out his Angery American Amazon page here). He’s also the real deal when it comes to preparedness.
Romance vs. Reality
Chris notes that many people have a romantic, action-movie view of prepping. Romance sounds great. However, reality sucks.
Preparedness is fun to talk about and plan. Unfortunately, the reality of what we are planning for is anything but pleasant. If we have to put our worst-case scenario plans into action, we may be in for a tough time.
Going it Alone
Many preppers think they can and will face a worst-case scenario on their own and go it alone. You can’t go it alone. Everyone needs sleep.
If the world is in such bad shape that you’re bugging out when it’s hit the fan, you’ll need others. In Going Home, the book that put Chris Weatherman on the map, Morgan Carter, his main character, found himself miles from home when it hit the fan and has to attempt to make his way home to his family. While he starts his journey alone, it’s not long before Morgan teams up with others for the sake of safety.
And the scenario he describes isn’t really that fictional.
When asked about prepping groups, Chris Weatherman advises that the best group of people is people you’ve known for a very long time.
If you don’t have a group, start building one now. Websites such as MeetUp.com work great. You should consider building your group around a variety of skill sets. This will improve your overall resiliency and capability. Don’t forget communications. Groups need to be able to communicate internally to remain effective.
Remember, building teams take time, so get started!
When building a preparedness group, you need to create relationships. As you do, you’ll learn about people’s personalities. When learning about personalities, you may want to consider the following:
- What stresses people?
- How do they react to stress?
- Do they have the needed skills?
- Are they safe and not reckless?
- Do they act responsibly?
- Are they just an eater? (An eater is someone who takes more than they contribute.)
The best way to draw out character flaws and see the real person is through mutual suffering. Training in difficult and less than ideal conditions is the best way to reach meaningful levels of mutual suffering.
Careful training and team-based pain also build camaraderie and cohesiveness.
Despite popular opinion, training does not need to focus on weapons! Learning new skills and gaining non-weapons-related knowledge is essential.
Remember, practicing and training with gear under challenging conditions not only stresses people but puts your equipment to the test, too.
Coping with Difficult Situations
Many non-preppers say they will give up and die in a dangerous situation. This is not usually the case because the human instinct is to survive. A drowning person will try to live.
One key is to prepare now so that you give yourself a better chance later.
Everyone can have a positive impact on their situation and chances for a successful outcome. It just requires forethought and effort.
Gear and supplies don’t need to be expensive.
Many times, lower-cost items work just as well as more expensive brand names. Buy things that work now, then over a period of time, budget to buy the nice-to-have items.
Thrift stores and yard sales can be excellent and cost-effective resources for preppers.
How to Make a Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag
Since his first book’s entire premise was about getting home, Chris Weatherman is adamant about the importance of bug out bags (or get home bags.) He says, first, if you don’t have one, get started and get one made!
You don’t need a top-of-the-line bag. A basic backpack, messenger bag, etc., will work and is much better than nothing.
Cover the following basics:
- Shelter – An inexpensive blue tarp and twine can make a shelter
- Water – A bottle and stainless-steel cup with a cheap filter works.
- Fire – Cheap lighters, strike-anywhere matches, fire steel, and road flares work.
- Food – A bottle of rice and bouillon cubes are cheap and a good start.
- Security – Machetes, knives, etc., can work. You don’t need an expensive gun.
- Medical – A small first aid kit is easy to assemble.
- Energy – Batteries, Goal Zero charger, small solar panel set up.
Start out with the basics and improve the quality of your gear over time. Most importantly, just get one made.
Information Is King
Being informed of any situation is important. A smartphone loaded with PDFs of books and survival manuals is well worth the effort.
Not only do you need reference information, but you also need to be able to get real-time information. A small AM/FM radio can keep you informed and also make you feel more comfortable. A radio with shortwave capability is ideal.
Ham radios are a great tool for staying informed. You can learn to use ham radios through local ham groups. There are also computer apps to help you learn.
The Biggest Prepping Mistakes Chris Weatherman Sees
When asked about the most frequent and biggest mistakes he sees in the prepper world, Chris pointed out the following.
- Preppers often over-focus on firearms and tactical gear.
- Try spending less on gear and more on education and training.
- Instead of buying a $3000 rifle, but a $600 gun. Then spend $2400 on training to survive.
- EVERYONE needs training! Focus on the basics!
How to Prepare in Spite of Society
When asked about prepping despite the way society sees us, Chris Weatherman had the following advice:
- Society puts up barriers to prepping.
- Many people don’t want to prepare because they don’t want to discuss or think about bad things.
- Be adaptable. The more adaptable you are, the more likely you are to succeed and survive.
- Suck it up! The Strong survive! Don’t be weak and full of excuses.
- Don’t assume because something has never happened that it won’t. Before 9/11 happened, most people don’t think it would happen. Box cutters and small knives were allowed on planes. That is normalcy bias.
The Bottom Line on Chris Weatherman
If you are a prepper fiction fan and haven’t already read his books, be sure to check out his Angery American Amazon page. You can also find him on social media here on his Facebook page. He’s a great guy and very generous in sharing his information with his fans.
Do you have any other thoughts or questions about the interview with Chris Weatherman? What is your favorite book by Angery American? Let us know in the comments section.