I don’t prep for any particular hazard, but try to build skills and equipment to deal with many/most/all problems. One way of doing this is to look at what has worked in the past. I look at what has happened, why it happened, how it could have been prevented, and how people survived and incorporate that into how I operate.
That being said looking back at historical situations I believe economic collapse is something that has a high likelihood of occurring and if/when it does occur, it would have a pretty catastrophic effect on my life. Therefore, I devote some of my research time to looking at situations that occurred in the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), the Great Depression (1929-WWII including the 1937 Great Recession), and the 3 Year Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002).
Anything that documents how the general public survived in these SHTF situations interests me – especially firsthand information like the YouTube Cooking with Clara videos. Of particular interest to me are books like Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse Which documents how he survived the 1999 Argentine crisis.
So when I opened my email to see an email from SHTFSchool.com inviting me to review Selco’s One Year in Hell Course, I jumped on the opportunity. Selco is the online identity of an individual that claims to have survived a year in a Balkan City during the Yugoslav Wars of the early 1990’s. It only took a few minutes to get a login, but it took me several days to work through the material.
The course has several aspects – It is primarily a series of 17 audio interviews. These interviews cover the months and days preceding the conflict and how “preppers” were seen to be crazy, and how the media and government kept reassuring the populace. They move through the actual crisis periods and talks about group dynamics during the crisis and what tools and supplies are needed. He talks about foraging, trading, hygiene and the dubious value of gold. I learned a lot from the interviews, however, his accent is pretty thick, and on occasion it was hard for me to follow.
There are a few video’s in the course that explain certain concepts like home defense in greater detail.
The course contains a couple PDF downloads – some are lists of what is needed and why, as well as a short text that backs up the other material.
Lastly, the course contains access to forums for students to share information.
I think this is a pretty good deal if you approach it with an open mind. Selco talks about what worked for him, including certain moral ideals and mental health issues and how people coped with the stress. He butchers a few sacred cows.
I cannot say I enjoyed the course, it was pretty raw – like sitting down in your living room and having a frank discussion with a war survivor, but I can say it gave me more than a few things to process and think about in my personal survival strategy.
In particular, I like how he elevates skills over stuff. Discusses how he foraged at night, and the steps he took to keep as safe as possible while doing so. Selco was a nurse at the time of the collapse, and had no experience with firearms, and he describes how that changed and how his group operated. He has some frank discussions about morals during times of collapse that any prepper needs to hear and think about.
His first couple of recordings talk about the time leading up to the collapse and the signs that some saw but most discounted. It was eye opening to hear how even smart people in his circle did not think that their leaders and their citizens could devolve into chaos and war.
I have recommended it to my personal prepping friends and think that the $30 course fee is a fair trade for what you get.