September 28, 2021

Lights Out Weekend – Are You Really Ready?

This guest article was originally published back during 2017. But the challenge still holds true. Practice a period of “Lights Out” (grid down) to discover the holes in your preps.

Guest article, by ‘NRP’…

“Practice” makes you better at what you do. Enables you to learn and know “how to do it”, and what to expect while you do it.

It’s common sense that practice makes perfect. Knowing what to do and what to expect when a skill-set is called upon (especially when least expected). It’s important, and probably critical for success.

I have done many “Lights Out Weekends” during the past few years. Now this may sound silly to some whom might ask, “Why would you spend a few days in the back yard or in the woods when you have a very comfortable house sitting right there?”

Well there’s an easy answer to that:
“When is SHTF going to happen?” Maybe when you’re home? Or away at work? Or in town, Or how about when visiting Aunt Martha 40 miles away?

One never knows; so is it not better to “practice” for “Lights Out?” (grid down)

A great book (novel) of a lights-out experience:
LIGHTS OUT by David Crawford

Would it be good to know if you are ready to spend a few days, OR LONGER, living out of your Get-Home-Bag (GHB) or your Bug-Out-Bag (BOB)? Or at home without the grid?

We all have seen many MANY lists telling us we need “this or that” in the BOB-GHB, right?

Well everyone has “lists”. I’m sure I’m on a few lists myself 😉 , BUT without using the skills, the “bags”, the “kits”, the “stuff”, the “practice”, how will you know how well you will fare when “something” happens?

The only way is to actually spend a few days without the grid. Meaning on a Friday night, or whenever, when you drive into that nice warm garage, just grab the GHB and park yourself in the back yard. Or better yet, park the truck a few miles away and walk home, then march to the Bug-Out-Location (BOL), aka back yard and let the fun begin.

I believe 90% of us will be very surprised how difficult this “practice” will be:

– Build that shelter you plan on with a Tarp and some Paracord

– Get that fire started (not in the propane BBQ sitting there on the porch)

– Get a bucket of river water and filter it to drink

– Try cooking over that fire you built, or use that little rocket stove you have.

– Now the hard part. Build that nice comfortable bed from some sticks and leaves. FYI, the ground gets really REALLY hard at 2:00AM.

– OK OK, you made it so far, time for some sleep, yeah right, every little noise will wake you, did you remember a sleeping bag in your BOB-GHB?

– Forget about the coffee in the morning, because you need to get up, pack everything, and take a 5 mile+ hike; now do it all again, TWO more times/days.

– Ohhh YEAH, got enough of that TP?

– How about the second day you practice cleaning an (imaginary) deep cut or splinting up a broken arm?

I bet you will find very fast how much “stuff” you have that you really DON’T need, and what you may need and don’t have. Remember how heavy all that stuff/water is when you need to walk 30 miles home.

Personally I try to do a Lights Out Weekend every 5-6 weeks. Yes even in the mud and snow. I’m NO expert by any measure, but I have refined my thinking and the “bags” to reflect what it will take for me to get home or hold up somewhere for a few days-weeks.

Are you up to the challenge of a “Lights Out Weekend”?


Ken adds: I would suggest (if you’re up to it) to simply go to your circuit-breaker panel and shut off the power to your home. Then begin dealing with the consequences of life in your home without electricity. Even if just for hours, overnight, a day, two days?

What are you going to do about the refrigerator and freezer(s) that are now sitting there slowly warming up? Do you have a well pump that now is not pumping water? Is it winter and your house is now getting cold? Etc…

It will really open your eyes and help you figure out what you really need to do!

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