First, Who is or What is the “Golden Horde”?
While the phrase originally came from the ancient Mongols who overran eastern Europe in the 13th Century, the prepper community uses the phrase as follows:
“The “Golden Horde” is (are) the anticipated throngs of unorganized and organized individuals, groups, and ‘gangs’ who will be out roaming, searching, and even looting & pillaging for food and supplies following a major widespread societal and infrastructural collapse – without the rule of law.”
There’s a lot of varying opinion regarding the possibilities and probabilities of a Golden Horde, and how far (or not so far) they might get from any given population center.
That said, under extreme conditions of desperation without hope of external “help”, some will give up as they weaken, while others will desperately extend outward on the prowl for food, supplies, and whatever they need. Still others will individually or by group take advantage of ‘without rule of law’ because they are who they are. It will be dangerous times indeed.
I don’t want to get into the debate about the likelihood or unlikelihood of the Golden Horde itself, or how far they might get. There are lots of variables that may affect this including population density, regional – geographical and other factors.
However let’s assume for this topic of discussion that there are “hordes” of varying numbers who are prowling for supplies in your region.
The question is, how might the Golden Horde be misdirected or redirected so as to lesson your chances of an encounter or being overrun and pillaged?
And let me preface this by saying:
I hope this type of situation never happens!
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EFFORTS TO AVOID THE GOLDEN HORDE
I have read my share of novels within this genre.
While a physical confrontation may be a last resort, and perhaps unavoidable under some circumstances, one would think that all efforts should be made to avoid the chance of confrontation to begin with. When the bullets start flying, no matter how you look at it, it’s life and death probabilities on either side. What if your side takes losses or loses?
So…once again, how might this be avoided, misdirected or redirected?
‘CR’ from the blog recently commented,
“SHTF and WROL.” “The Golden Horde may in fact be looting and causing general mayhem. Myself, I am hoping people remain civilized for the most part. Looters and angry mobs can become very ugly in short order if unchecked.”
I agree with the hoping part (although not actionable itself), and I also agree that “angry mobs” can (and likely will) become very ugly – quickly. Desperate people will likely do desperate things. Especially if their very survival is dependent upon it.
If there is any possibility of a Golden Horde in your area, no matter how large or small the groups themselves, one might consider a plan of action (and a backup plan) just in case.
HOW MANY ARE IN THE GOLDEN HORDE?
Work out scenarios for each of a number of hypothetical group sizes.
There will be individuals by themselves. There will be small groups of just a few or several. There may be larger, more organized groups of squad size up to a dozen individuals. There may even be larger ‘platoon’ size units say up to 30 or so… And so on. You get the idea.
Having said that, my own opinion is this:
Initially as people’s supplies run out, there may be individuals and small groups who will forage out in search of supplies for survival. Some will scavenge what they need from what may be naturally available. Some will approach others for help and handout. Still others will become more desperate, demanding, and forceful. A terrible time indeed where some or many will do whatever they need to do to survive.
As time goes on, there will be the ruthless element who will establish their own groups, tribes, gangs. Some of the desperate will join up with the promise of a ‘piece of the pie’. They will be a dangerous force for sure.
MISDIRECT & REDIRECT THE GOLDEN HORDE
Okay I’ve already written 700 words and still have not gotten into “how” to redirect or misdirect the mobs. So let’s get into it.
First, they will likely and initially prey on the easiest targets. Especially the individuals and small groups. They will be looking first for easy opportunity. Why? Because no one wants to put themselves into undue danger. Even the looters themselves.
That said, deterrents will be just that: deterrents. That’s what you need.
The best deterrent in this context is to be invisible. You do not exist. You, or your place. No one can see it. That’s not to say they won’t stumble across it, but if they can’t see it from their routes of travel, they won’t even know there’s an opportunity.
Being invisible to the Golden Horde might be literal (out of sight) or figurative (eliminating invitation while in plain sight).
LITERALLY OUT OF SIGHT
Ideally your ‘place’ is out of sight from primary and even secondary routes of travel. I’m just pointing out that comparatively it’s probably safer in this regard to be “off the beaten path”. Not to say however that you won’t be found. So don’t convince yourself that you’re safe.
For example, I happen to live at the end of a private dirt road completely out of sight from anyone. However common sense indicates that ANY road is a clue that ‘something’ is down there… I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I would not be affected. Fortunately however I live very far away from population density and in a town less than 1,000 – many of whom are living a lifestyle on the side of self reliance. But that was the plan when searching for this place…
But I know that I’m not immune from issues should there be a terrible collapse of infrastructure and distribution. Why? Because I know that most are not adequately prepared for it. I too only have so much to go around from my storage. I can grow a fairly significant amount of food, but we’re talking full time and how many will it feed? How many others are going to be able to do that?
– If you have a garden, is it in sight?
– If it’s summer or fall, people will be ransacking gardens for sure.
MINIMIZING OR ELIMINATING INVITATION
Many or most people live where there are plenty of neighbors. Suburbia. Even out in rural areas many people still have visible neighbors and can be seen from the street.
While there may be little (or much less) you can do to deter a large organized horde rummaging systematically through an area, you might be able to misdirect smaller groups or individuals a bit more easily (or at least avoid unintentional invitation).
Again, the individual or small groups will be looking for easy opportunity. So make it hard.
You might approach this from two different viewpoints. One is that of “graying out” your abode. To dully blend in or to appear non advantageous. The other is to present threat of force such that they’ll move along.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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For example on one hand you might say that a place that appears to be nondescript or even abandoned, this in itself may be an invitation for “lookers” who feel they’re safe to check it out because of the appearance of no activity. One never knows what one might find there, right?
On the other hand, maybe that same place will be overlooked because there are no indicators of value there. How one accomplishes this appearance gets into the creative. And there’s no guarantee that it will work.
Threat of force.
On one hand you might say that the appearance of a defensible fortress will likely deter most individuals and small groups.
On the other hand it most certainly signals that there are supplies to be had there. You may be opening yourself up to the possibility of word spreading and maybe even a larger attempt. But maybe not, depending on your own region.
THE RIGHT COMBINATION
There will be no absolute solution to this dilemma. What may be effective in one area might not in another.
I’m of the general opinion that being ‘grayed out’ and unremarkable is preferred, while at the same time being backed up with a strong defensible position. Plus, a backup plan to bug out (even just temporarily) if things get out of hand (no sense dying over ‘stuff’). You could have cache’s elsewhere to get you by.
There’s nothing to see here. Move along…
– Noise. Don’t make it. It will “attract”.
– Smells. The aromas of cooking may carry a long way.
– Smoke. It can be seen and smelled. Wood stove?
– Solar panels. They will be a commodity. Can you see them from the street?
– Light. At night it’s quite visible through windows.
– Supplies in plain view? Hide them.
You’re going to need it.
– Enough people to do shifts?
– Night Vision Device. A game changer and force multiplier.
– Have a security plan?
– Adequate hardware.
So now that I’ve got this topic going, let’s hear some of your specifics.