C5 Practical Survival Advice for the Poor – Episode III – Taming the Hunter-Gatherer Instinct

With your host Category 5


This isn’t the order I had hoped to do this post in but I am rolling with the punches, us having done cleaning up after the person we have come to call the Undercaretaker… or more simply as fucking asshole. Then again we should have a computer again by this week and we can get back to things with photographs.


On the home front, we went from record high temperatures to record cold. Cue the Denialists. It’s cold, therefore global warming is a conspiracy. Yawn. If you don’t understand what is happening with Polar Vortexes, let me give you the retard version. All that warm Pacific air pushes into the Arctic, displacing cold air. I know DISPLACING is a big concept for you. That air gets pushed south to the eastern side of the continent. Because of the wavy northern oscillation no longer oscillates (Oscillation. Another big word for you, Johnny Denial.  Try sounding it out. That’s very grown up of you. Have a cookie), that gives Canada its cold but moderate weather by giving us cold warm cold warm. Now these big weather fronts get stuck in place and stay. Like Harvey.

So what to do when it is cold and miserable. Let’s go shopping like po-boy preppers, save a lot of dough and pick up a lot of free stuff.

Nah – we can’t start there.


Our ancient survival instinct that once kept us alive are now at war with our modern survival instincts. Our hunter gatherer instincts are winning… and we are sort of fucked because of it. For a lot longer than agriculture has been around, we followed the food.

But let’s pop the first survival fantasy bubble because a lot of po- survivalist slouchers want to return to the nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle we evolved to follow. Let’s forget all about that pesky 85 million increase in the population each year. Aliens go home. The earth is full. Could you take some of us with you. We will make great pets.

It’s not that I don’t understand. I have a HUGE… hunter gatherer instinct. It is a powerful drive in me. My earlier, immature survivalism was all about that.

Here’s the thing. The First Nation hunter gatherers did not wander aimlessly. They had a few destinations where they knew food would be waiting for them and a winter destination for them to return to once they were done this circle. And it was not primitive hand to mouth. Lots of food storage was going on to get through the next winter. Now, this is an over simplification because there were hundreds of Nations and they each did things differently according to terrain and weather. Lets also not confuse the highly civilized First Nations with our ancient hunter gatherer ancestors.  Nobody wanted to risk expending huge amounts of calories going someplace unless they were pretty darn sure food was waiting for them to justify the risk. The only reason to go someplace new is desperation and starvation when something fundamentally changed.

But whether you understand it or not, that is exactly what we are doing today. From the suburb to the job to the mall. Where the Tribal Cry is “Lets Go Shopping!!!!” As much as we understand that this is killing the planet, bankrupting nations and shitting where we eat, few of us have the Buddha like self-control to just say “No!” when the chips are down. You know you Wannit. Cue the valueless self-help books for our lack of self-control.

We buy things we don’t need and it is never enough to satisfy. Capitalist consumerism was the ultimate way to exploit our ancient hunter gatherer instinct. If you don’t have the money you can still hunt and gather on credit. The first card is free.

(Its missing the funniest parts, if my memory is correct. Something about blood coming out of his anus, afraid to see a doctor about it and praying each night for death. Yup. That sums up debt)

Does bringing in some essential logs for lumber feel good. Why not cut down the entire forest. Did fossil fuels help fulfill your nomadic instinct pleasure responses. Think how much better a mondo truck will make you feel. Just sign here. Your debt slavery helps the tribe economy. It’s patriotic. Etc…

Like I said, my hunter gatherer instinct is STRONG. Wage slavery jobs make me suicidal. I don’t like staying in the same place very long. This is a difficult problem for a survivalist subsistence farmer. I take zero pleasure in tilling soil, planting or growing stuff. Nada in watching animals grow.

But bringing in stuff, I could do that all day. Harvest time is stressful on any homesteader or farmer but I find it relaxing. Keep bringing it in. Store it. Stack it. I get mega self-fulfillment from going out to hunt for recyclable materials. There is never enough room in the car. I must stuff in one more item. Then get home. Unload. One more trip. Who needs sleep. It’s a rush. Hunt instinct, check. Gather instinct, check. Movement/nomad instinct, check. I get no deep satisfaction from building the many things I build with this recycled material… until it is finished and I have something new.

I can’t tell you how much I have actually been jonesing (seriously) to get back to Canada and do my regular hunting rounds through grocery and discount stores to hunt for something called Loss Leaders, and food sales to replenish our pantry. I am compelled to scour through dozens of food and thrift stores.


It is an instinct. A drive.


But I have channeled this drive so it works for me instead of the nomadic hunter gatherer instinct enslaving me to post industrial consumerism, debt and wage slavery. Channeling this instinct correctly saves us a shitload of money.

So let me teach you my best Kung Fu, grasshopper. The flying beaver, tight wad technique.

Since food storage is the First in C5’s F5s let’s start with the big one.


DO I HAVE YOUR FULL ATTENTION. This is some of My BEST advice to you. It’s not very interesting but it is TOP TIER prepping.


I am assuming here that you have some money coming in, if you are doing some wage slave job or receiving benefits. If not, see my 1st in this series.


I don’t have an expensive food storage of specialty freeze dried food or MREs. Prepping can be expensive. There is no getting around that. It requires sacrificing from today for tomorrow. So I want the best bang for my buck.

If you are newbie, this food storage plan is often referred to as – EAT WHAT YOU STORE. STORE WHAT YOU EAT.

(No need for a twenty year shelf life because you are going to be eating it and replacing it in 1 to 3 years)

A food storage or pantry may seem daunting. Even whack job bat shit Cwazy. A year supply of food can seem overwhelming and intimidating… but it all starts by picking up 6 extra cans of something when you look over from your regular grocery shopping and notice an awesome sale on something. It’s only 6 cans (or bags or boxes). You can afford that. You won’t experience daunting sticker shock. Well, if you do this each trip it starts to accumulate rather fast. When you notice those cans and boxes growing into a nice little nest egg, your focus at the grocery store starts to change. You start focusing on sale prices, half price stickers and trying to remember what it cost you the last time you bought it. You start noticing a lot of sales aren’t really sales at all. They tell you the actual price is higher to make it seem like a better deal. Saving 10 cents isn’t worth my effort. I am scanning for the ½ price or better.

Now, after you find yourself memorizing prices, you may find yourself asking, how can that be ½ price. Is it really ½ price? What is wrong with it? How are they making a profit? Ah. The Loss Leader. The MCFoodCorps choose an item to sell at a financial loss. This is to get customers in the door, knowing they will buy other stuff while there. At this stage in the game, I don’t buy the other stuff. I don’t need to. I have a food storage.


First Rule of Don’t Starve to Death Club – If it is not too cheap not to buy… don’t buy it.


The MCFoodCorps make very little money on me. In fact, they probably lose money on me. I can live with that just fine. I am under no illusion that these Big Box Bastards are pillars of the community. I am fully aware that they destroyed mom and pop small businesses, drive down wages, receive indirect tax subsidies and destroy functioning economies,  while delivering lower quality and food that can barely be called food at all. All the while, making us totally dependent on vehicles and fuel consumption. So fuck them. They have a self-caused end date anyhow.

So this technique requires a combination of obsessiveness and self-control.


Second Rule of Don’t Starve to Death Club – IF IT IS NOT TOO CHEAP NOT TO BUY… DON’T BUY IT!


Here’s my technique grasshoppers. On lousy, miserable rainy days when I need to get off the farm to keep from going cabin fever, bat shit crazy… or when some other chore makes it necessary to go into town… I get to go for a power walk… in climate controlled comfort. I’ll hit about 6 to 8 stores. I am rarely in them for more than 10-15 minutes. I power walk through the aisles, only focusing on loss leaders, promotions, day old stuff and I generally know where the clearance sections are where they get rid of products that the local knuckle draggers don’t like. Nova Scotians don’t like spicy or ethnic foods. I do. Especially when they are ½ price or better. 10 minutes and out the door. I bet their loss prevention officers follow me around because I regularly walk through the store without a cart, focus on everything and often leave with nothing.

Seriously! I did one of these runs yesterday while on a trip to hook up with my friend, Flightmedic. Keeping up with the Friends part of C5’s F5s… and the Fuel Storage part. (Full disclosure. All of my F5s are light at the moment. Food Storage. Food Production. Firewood. Fuel Storage. And Friends. That is because we were away for the year and much of this needed to be rotated or used before we left. We used all our gas storage except for two emergency gas cans. They went into the car to rotate it and I brought home 100 liters. This is still a light amount but that will have to do until I return from my next 6 months trip to Barbados.)

So I did a power walk through 8 stores. 5 of them, I left with absolutely nothing… and not much from the other 3. One 2nd hand store I hit, I left with one bicycle tire only for a whopping $2. Of the few things I did buy, no loss leader sales this round. But this brings up another issue. There are some food items that I like that rarely if ever go on sale… but I am doing this multiple store power walk anyhow and have semi memorized the prices… so I know what store has the item I want at the lowest price. That is all I left with while there. There were no big food finds this trip but I had done my fulfilling, hunter gatherer chore. By greatly reducing my food costs I can occasionally splurge on other prepping items. Over a few years of doing this I learned that certain items I want will go on a super sale once a year. So I have to check regularly so I don’t lose my load that year. Sometimes I am just surprised by a promotion. Over time and a few mistakes you start examining packaging. Oh look honey this one is packed with mylar instead of plastic. Bonus.

But the big success this trip was this F5, friends part of the trip. I got an email from Flightmedic saying “did I understand correctly you are back in Canada? I am passing through there for a medical appointment so let’s get together.”  I hadn’t seen flightmedic for several years because his life went to shit in biblical proportions, as in a progression of numerically improbable events, as in, proof that there is a God and he hates us all. A series of fucked up events that would kill most men. He had needed his space and I figured we had a ¾ chance that we would lose him. I know from first hand experience that there are fates worse than death. But here he was, pulling through on the other side and it did my heart well to see another, now PROVEN SURVIVOR. Plus it is just great to shoot the shit with another serious prepper. Someone who doesn’t think I am loopy for having a food storage, paid for land, concerns about forest fires and flash floods. His words that I am roughly paraphrasing from memory, “And to think people still deny global warming is real. It’s hilarious. I have been watching CNN lately while working on other projects for the sheer entertainment of it because it is the ultimate soap opera. When I  first met you, you told me a civil war was brewing in the U.S.. You said you had figured this out from listening to fringe right wing AM radio while traveling in the mountains and reading alternative media… and now, years later, I’m watching it begin to play out right out in the open in the mainstream media… as entertainment.”

It’s nice to get some positive feedback on my predictive skills. I am used to hearing things like, “When I  first met you I was pretty sure you were nuts. Turns out you were right but it was so far out there that I just could not hear it, let alone accept it. Now the odd things you were saying are obvious.”

So back to food storage.


Flightmedic added, “My wife is all over loss leaders like a hawk. She used to manage a food store and understands what’s going on. Here’s a tip.  There won’t be many real sales happening this time of year. Corporations are coming up to year’s end and they want to boost profit numbers to show larger dividends.” He was right. No sales to be found this trip. He added, “When things went really bad for us, we ate through our entire food storage. It kept us going. We were, literally, one month away from reaching the end, having nothing left to lose before the government apologized for its gross mistake.”

And that folks is why you have a food storage. It is not weird, paranoid or hoarding. With the Use What You Store, Store What You Use method, you simply have on hand what you were going to have anyhow. You are stocking it yourself instead of having a corporation store it for you in a warehouse and you are eliminating any disruption that might happen during a collapse of the Just In Time delivery system.  Remember, most cities only have a 3 day supply of food… and climate change related disasters can wipe out your crops in an instant. That is why it is the First F in spite of that the Second F is more important.

Now, we also have long term food, properly stored in buckets in mylar. We have a few number 10 cans but not many. We have what I call poor man’s mylar (industrial sized pickle jars sealed properly with hand warmers as oxygen absorbers. I’ll cover this next article. I invented this one.) These are not to be used until we are getting old and approaching our own end expiry date. But the majority of our food is the stuff we rotate through and save a lot of money doing so. Use up the old stuff first. Put the new stuff in the back. Easy peasy.

But this all started with buying 6 cans on sale instead of just one. Then some beans, pasta and rice. Nothing traumatizing. Nothing that broke the bank. When we moved to the property we had no food storage since moving across a continent with food is sort of silly. Next thing we knew we had a sizeable portion.

Wait. Mrs.C5 did freak out at one point. We were getting worried about money. She said, “Stop buying more food! There is like $300 of food in the back. I laughed and told her no. $300 is nothing in comparison to what the expensive food storage systems would cost. And I was going to eat it anyhow. All the while saving money if only by  beating food inflation by a year or two. I think she freaked on the sheer foreignness of it.  It is not what most people see. But now she fully embraces it…having seen the savings. Now that it is not completely alien. She is right in there adding to it as well as arranging and organizing it.


So,…Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.



Now I like boom sticks as much as the next guy. I like playing with them. Touching them. Stroking them. Lubing them. Licking them. Inserting them… Oh! Not like that perverts. I mean bullets. Inserting bullets. Never mind.

…..Maybe alittle bit like that…..

It’s just that, if you want to impress me, I don’t want to see your personal vibrating tactical toys. Dressing up in camo and tactical vest is all pretty sexy and all. I understand that it is all kinky fetishism. Sure, I am flattered. Maybe even a little curious. But if you want to impress me, show me the SIZE of your… food storage. The sheer bulk of it. I wont be impressed by a tiny food storage.


I’ll end this with a quote from Chris Martenson on food storage.

“Because it is cheap. Because it is easy. Because your great grandparents wouldn’t understand why you didn’t and would be really angry with you.”


I guess you know you are a real prepper when you find yourself saying, “Wow. That is an AWESOME shelving unit.” and meaning it.

On my way home, I rolled past a side of the road garbage can and hit the breaks when I noticed some Breeder Trash beside it. It was the safety netting they now  put up around trampolines. I have been collecting these lately because Breeders made bad investments and now they are on the side of the road like those giant pools everyone bought a couple of years back… until they got a hole in it. I find this darn useful material. The safety nets I use for sun screens on the greenhouses and the rubberized tarp material from the ex-pools. As a bonus I then found a heavy ratcheting tie down strap on the road that must have fallen off a lumber truck. I can fix that. My hunter gatherer instinct is now happy.


Stay tuned for the next installment. Taming the Hunger Gatherer Instinct Part 2 where we will cover the other ways to tame the beast with cheap or free preps.

You may also be noticing….this isnt really advice for the poor. Its for the middle class that have no idea how to be poor. Its survival advice FROM the poor.


(Thanks, NS for the donation)

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3 thoughts on “C5 Practical Survival Advice for the Poor – Episode III – Taming the Hunter-Gatherer Instinct

  1. Yeee! The reply area is active on this one!

    I really enjoyed this post, as my husband and I actually also greatly suffer from the hunter-gatherer complex. But, our budget is really tight, so we only let ourselves buy food…and therefore justify buying waaaay too much food every month. After a year of stress-buying at the grocery store, we have like 2-3 months of food we eat stored up, and no where to put any more! Currently, one dining room chair has three cases of canned pacific salmon (it was .50cents/can!) and on top of that is a box full of fruit leather, lara bars, collagen and other foods. Under the chair is a grocery bag full of bags of cashews and macademia nuts. Sometimes the end of our table also holds another big ol’ crate of food we have no where else to put. Our shelves are full. Our freezer is full. Our cupboards are full. We don’t have anywhere else to put food…but trust us to go shopping and buy even more food!

    I used to feel really bad about this stress-buying, but we have such a stock of all our favorite foods that if I go to cook something, there’s a 95% chance I have all the ingredients. That’s really nice! And, I don’t have to worry about food if we have a long power outage. I just wish our small house had more room to store stuff!


    1. Oops. I forgot to turn off the comment button.
      But I will leave this one up because it provides social proof…and you went to the effort. Thanks for the comment. Finding a lonely wall for a shelving unit really helps. But you also bring up one of the thoughts I didnt put enough enough emphasis on. This type of shopping can be the cheapest form of entertainment…wile getting exercise and stimulation…while reinforcing how fucked our food system is…plus it is an early warning system.
      And before it comes up…I didnt forget about animal grade wheat. We already did a full article on it. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/c5-presents-the-worlds-most-boring-survival-advice-also-the-best/


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