The Panhandle Rancher speaks……Re: Essentials of Prepping


Re: Essentials of Prepping

Prepping and praying and pass the bullets please.

I strongly suspect prepper burnout is a direct result of new found awareness of how vulnerable we are both as individuals and as a nation. It is this very awareness that drives many to prepare for exceedingly remote happenstances. In a way, this is like asking how many cartridges are enough, 100, 1000, 10,000? If a hundred rounds will get you through the week and 10,000 a lifetime, then what about your children’s lifetime? Why not then stock a million rounds?  Insidious? You bet it is and destructive of peace of mind, certainly. When I pursued collegiate education, my father laughed remarking that all education was good for is to make unhappy people. I think what he was saying is that effective education creates multiple opportunities with the concomitant drive to optimize individual circumstances. It is the very opportunities education generate that causes unhappiness. The easiest of choices involve three or fewer possible outcomes. With more possible good outcomes, one can never be certain of having made the VERY BEST choice and therein is a root of unhappiness.


For this reason, I recommend beginning preppers first secure a residence – and an alternate in a different geographic region, water, food reserves, method of protection, and reserve specie. These things form a core of stability from which the prospective prepper can then expand and build upon.


An awareness of multiple threats on the horizon drives the prepper lifestyle. As knowledge of these threats increase so does the desire to develop countermeasures  –  and  burnout may occur.


Live in an unsupportable region? Tied to it by family or job?  Know you should relocate but feel trapped? Then unhappy you are.  Knowledge breeds unhappiness. You know what to do, but yet do it not. My ranch in the Texas Panhandle had much to offer and my situation there may have been better than most. The very moment I became aware of new vulnerabilities of that region, I began research aimed toward relocation and I was miserable – until effecting that relocation.


Jewish people of pre-WWII Germany knew what they needed to do yet many did not – and generations of highly educated, productive, and innovative  people were destroyed, and in a crucible most hot.


A core component of prepping aside from the drive toward self-reliance is courage. Courage to do what is right regardless of circumstances, courage to draw lines in the sand clearly delineating good from bad and right from wrong. Courage to face criticism, courage to face ostracism, courage in  conviction setting you apart from the teeming masses of people seeking to get along by going along.


Protected and cuddled by our ever protective rich Uncle, too many people have never been faced with hard moral choice. I call the dilemma of hard choice, ‘being in the crucible’ because it is these very situations that remove the dross of our lives and serve to refine and purify character.  With good fortune, we find ourselves in incrementally difficult situations that allow us to build increasingly good character. Others less fortunate find themselves thrust into the hottest of fires with no warning. I have been a Texas judge. I know of which I speak.


My best daughter (the only one I have and by default, best), always exceeded expectations and those expectations were high. One day she telephoned me ever so distraught. She was in her second year of medical school at an institution with formal codified academic honor code. Her professors routinely made previous years’ tests available to the students as study material. Students regularly congregated in study groups to review these old tests. On the eve of an examination my daughter was approached by one of her study group seeking individual help. Her friend produced an old test and the two worked their way through the questions. Exams were passed out the next day and to the best daughter’s surprise, the questions were identical to those just studied.  My Phi Beta Kappa daughter diligently answered the questions and handed in the test. After class she naively remarked to her classmate how remarkable it was the questions were identical to those just studied. Something in the classmate’s reaction bothered her, hence the call to ole dad. I suggested she confront her friend again. Turned out the ‘friend’ was also a member of a click of female medical students who received ‘special’ tutoring from the professor. The friend admitted obtaining the test in advance, explaining that the professor often did so in order to help struggling students maintain an effective grade point. The daughter knew some of the classmates that were in the other ‘special’ study group.


The daughter was inadvertently placed in academic jeopardy; being in medical school made dismissal especially horrible. Admitting advance knowledge of the test would also serve to expose her witting study mate along those other specially tutored students, and the professor as well. Under the academic honor code, many of her class faced dismissal. The daughter knew what she had to do. My job was to help her see that she really had no choice regardless of consequence. She camped outside the office of the dean of the medical school. The dean told her that she might want to hire an attorney and hinted that she would be dismissed from medical school for cheating on an exam.


As it turned out, one of my friends was a professor at the same university’s school of law. He had been a colonel in the US Army JAG corps. He had significant life experience. I called him and briefed the situation. Of course he would speak with my daughter. The law school professor then met with the president of the university taking the matter beyond the school of medicine. The law school professor told the president a little about the daughter – and the daughter’s father, and I suspect mentioned that I was just the sort of person to pursue the matter ad infinitum and perhaps even make a call to 60 Minutes if this thing didn’t get resolved properly. An internal investigation ensued. The daughter was cleared of wrongdoing and a written apology issued.  The medical school professor was censured and should have been cashiered as I strongly suspect that he was using his position to extort ‘favors’ from the specially tutored female students.  Rather than dismissing half of the daughter’s medical school class for violation of the academic honor code, everyone was issued an automatic A for the course protecting the medical school from external criticism. I would have dismissed the lot of them with extreme prejudice and did mention the matter to the medical school accreditation committee. By exposing the fraud, my best daughter was shunned by many of her class who lost their ‘easy ride.’


Such is a minor sort of crucible of which I speak. Crucible situations all too often happen with no advance warning. Having survived several with honor intact, I remain alert for circumstances leading to the possibility of one occurring in the future. No one who has been in the crucible ever wants a repeat experience. It is too horrible, too awful, the consequences too dire. Yet it is these very situations that create – or destroy – character.


If you are still with me, you might ask, ‘What does this have to do with prepping?’


Quite a lot actually. You see I believe there is a time is coming when we all will be thrust into a crucible most horrible. When this happens, we will either cave to the very real pressures of the moment –  or to somehow find the courage to rise above petty circumstances and become something greater. With great fortune, that something greater may be a Patrick Henry, a Colonel Chamberlain, or even a George Washington.


Friends, I fear a storm is on the horizon, a storm of awful wrath and horrible consequences. I suspect that each of you intuit the same, else why prep? I fear each of us may someday have to make awful decisions, decisions that will have consequence, not only to us as individuals, but also to our families, and perhaps even to our nation. We can hear the roar of that storm in our ears right now. We look to the horizon and see dark clouds. With hatches well battened down, some of us will be prepared for the storm. In those days of strife and woe and gnashing of teeth, our neighbors and friends will look to us for leadership. Let us all pray for the courage of Leonidas, the courage of Washington, the courage of Lincoln, and that of Churchill.  I dread this storm, for in those days we shall need every last particle of courage. Let us pray that we weather the storm, and perish if we must, but as proper men and ladies, and with honor intact.



Panhandle Rancher


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19 thoughts on “The Panhandle Rancher speaks……Re: Essentials of Prepping”

  1. What a great “pump-up”, not just for the days ahead, but also for the every day, mundane experiences we face. I hope to share this philosophy with my eleven year old son also.

  2. This was a great article. Even those of us who are awake and can see what is happening, can get a bit overwhelmed and feel the hints of “What is the point?” I think this is a good reminder to remain diligent.

  3. I have been on the planet since gasoline was 20 cents a gallon and the only phone we had was a rotary dial (My aunt still had a party line). I still work to this day and when I go out into the field I never leave home without a back up to a back up. I treat my prepper approach the same way not withstanding the fact that utopia can never be attained. There is one perspective that I have not come across in the sites that I visit. I personally believe that having reserves beyond 30-60 days would be questionable because if you are looking at a widespread, long term, grid down, situation in the USA, I think that you would have much more to worry about than a few roving lunatics. There are other global power players that may use an opportunity like that to test our will.
    As a tertiary consideration to any military personnel on this site –
    What percentage of military people (Today) that would be deployed on USA soil would follow orders to fire on Americans (And yes I know what the Constitution says).
    Thank you for your time.

  4. PR, your daughter did the right thing and I can only think that at least is was in part due to her upbringing, you and your wife did great. Yes, I fear the storm that’s coming, but I keep praying that people will wake up and avert it.

  5. The storm is coming, my powder is dry and my heart is strong – my family stands with me. My oldest daughter stated yesterday that she would not fight for this country (government) but would die for it’s people.

  6. Rob and Gault (in his comments to another post),

    There was a famous series of experiments done by Stanley Milgrtam a professor of psychology at Yale. Milgram studied why people such as Nazis ‘just followed orders’ when any particle of moral rectitude screams contrary. His research became a movie (The Tenth Level) with William Shatner as the white coated professor. In the movie, people are chosen to be part of the experiment whereby one would be chosen to receive an incrementing series of painful electrical shocks administered when the ‘test’ subject failed to correctly perform a task. One never actually sees the victim being shocked and in fact the punisher only received voice feedback from the punished which proceeded with the level of shock to include pleas not to be shocked again. The white coated professor urged the punishers on, all for ‘science.’ Too many exceeded the ‘tenth level’ of shock which was the threshold when the shocks were supposedly causing pain. Professor Milgram’s experiment indeed offers insight into why people follow orders (see: ).

    I submit that an awareness of the very predilection toward following orders as exposed by Milgram can form a nucleus of moral character.

    Many of those in blue and in military service, are practicing members of the Oath Keepers.

    There will always be a core of people who get along by going along. It is up for us, society’s sheepdogs, to remain vigilant against those who unwittingly ‘follow orders.’


  7. What your daughter did took a lot of courage. I applaud her and you for teaching her to do what is right. Great article. Thanks.

  8. PR,

    I enjoy reading each of your articles. There is always so much truth in what you say. Doing the “right thing” and not speaking out against “going along to get along” has never been the easy choice. I have lost many “friend”, a few promotions and a few jobs for my beliefs and morals. For speaking out when it was necessary. However, I have the ability to like what I see when I look into the mirror and the one person who’s opinion matters to me still (after 37 years of marriage)has respect for me when many others have walked away because it was easier.

    I too see the coming trails and tribulation. I for one will be standing in the gate until the last.

  9. PR, I consider it wise to give your thoughts considerable weight and I/we appreciate them. As to the Milgram experiments, I found the results dumbfounding, perplexing and disappointing. It’s understandable that some/many/most would go against fundamental standards of morality or their own sense of right & wrong if under severe threat of harm to themselves or their loved ones. But for such high percentages to do so for little more than folding money and lack of free will (?) is stunning.

    Yes many struggled ” Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures.” But they went on(61–66% making it to the 450 volt level)….

    I read the attempts at explaining the results and there’s no comfort to be found in any of them.

    “Many of those in blue and in military service, are practicing members of the Oath Keepers.”- PR, I hope this is true.

    PR, you ended with “Friends, I fear a storm is on the horizon, a storm of awful wrath and horrible consequences.”- What 2 things/possible events concern you most, have driven you to where you are now…. honestly I’m just curious what did it for you and are they the same as my 2.

  10. I learned about the Milgram experiments on Mysteries of the Museum on cable tv. I too was shocked when the results were announced. My husband and I have had discussions about if our armed forces will blindly follow orders or refuse to fire upon Americans. My husband and I think if our forces refuse to follow orders the UN will be brought in. If this happens we feel all our forces will unite to fight a common enemy.

    I fear America’s financial future will be our downfall or a large part of it. If FEMA/FEDS offer help or act on orders under martial law to put people in ‘camps’ for their own good, the first people to be rounded up will be the 40% that depend on handouts and have done so for years/generations. This will hopefully eliminate a large percentage of the criminal element.

    No matter what happens your article is a nice reminder that our character is what makes us separate from our corrupt/out of control government.

  11. John,

    I’ll save ‘what did it for me’ for another post as it is hard to do justice in a brief post.

    I appreciate you reasoned views and of course all of you who replied to my post.


  12. PR- your truth is real and deep-your values solid and respected-
    my periods of burnout have come from the realization of the power of Marshall law
    and from being the main active prepper in our family.Everyone else is supportive and help when I absoulutely ask but there are times when I dont want to go and rotate the food etc and times when I wish I could go on a little vacation but dont due to the reality of the what ifs.
    Yesterday we had to put down our daughters old beloved horse who was fading and finally couldnt get up.My husband did the deed after my daughter and I prayed over the horse and said goodbye.Then we brought him up to the field so the wildlife could have life from his meager remains. The circle of life .
    I was grateful my husband did it.I have had to put down animals myself and its tough.This always makes me reflect on what the future may bring and the courage and faith it will take to survive.Prepping is a way of life.
    I would appreciate knowing what two things you deem critical PR.You are always very insightful-thanks. Arlene

  13. Arlene,
    I share your sadness. I’ve had to shoot too many horses that were injured. We have two horses that are more than 20 years old in our herd now. I hand fed them some grain today in order to see how their teeth were working. May try to ‘float’ them one last time. They’re thin and the stronger horses are nudging them away from the food. It is sad and this is likely their last summer.

    We have a doggie graveyard out by a corner of the orchard that holds many old and faithful friend. That is sad too for many of my dogs had more character, more spirit, more goodness, and more loyalty than a lot of humans.

    One of my friends in the county road department made me road sign proclaiming ‘Dead Cow Corner’ for where I pulled up faithful cows that had died. Locals named the nearby intersection Dead Cow Corner and now that is what it is. Of course the same friend also made me another sign that proclaimed, ‘My way or the highway.’ I’m still thinking about that.

    Arlene, we cannot take anything out of the world with us when we die. The two things most important to me is my relationship with God and then with family followed closely by friends. You know it is the intangibles that cannot be touched that are most important. Things like houses, cars, and money – well there just transitory and of little use to our soul. Some of the more valuable intangibles are love, friendship, freedom, liberty, and the like. These are the things that have true value.

    When I think about what you said about being worn out with rotating food, I am reminded of Luke 10:38-42. Please read and ponder these verses. Be like Mary, not her sister Martha; choose the best for yourself. The future will always be indeterminate. There will always be peril. There will always be work. Set aside time for yourself and family. Celebrate the times of your life here on the earth. Our existence should matter for much more than the work we do.

    Enjoy your comments always.

    Best wishes,

  14. Very poignant and inspiring on a Sunday morning. At times I feel the highs and lows are getting too close from the pressure to prep. Well thought and written as usual.

  15. PR please e mail me directly again when you have the time-thanks.I accidentally
    deleted your last e mail and I would like to respond. Arlene


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