How do you know if an “expert” is full of shit?

math - when the expert is full of shitMaybe you’re new to this thing called prepping. So am I. There is so much information that it can be overwhelming. I spend a lot of time researching and trying to learn, and lots of “information” sources contradict each other. As a new prepper, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? How do you know who is feeding you a line of crap and who isn’t? What if what you’re reading is on a respected prepper site but doesn’t seem to make sense? I’m new to this game too, and I’m not claiming to be an expert. However, I have a pretty good BS detector between my ears. So how do you know if an expert is full of shit? It’s easy and I can tell you how…

Do the math

It’s really easy to tell if someone is selling a load of crap or speaking something that actually makes some sense – just look at the numbers. For example, I read a post today where the author said something that involved some basic math…

“If your retreat is a three hour drive away by motor vehicle, this will amounts to 42 hours of walking. Be prepared that you may have to walk at least partly or the entire distance to your retreat. You may be fit enough to accomplish this task in four to ten days, depending on terrain.”

Ignore the grammar error and look at the math, comparing the numbers to your own experience. My preferred bugout location is 200 miles away. On a good day with light traffic and no speed traps, I can make it in 3 hours. That’s a pretty good clip. To walk that distance in 42 hours, I’d have to average almost 5 mph. IF I’m in good shape and IF I’m not carrying a heavy load and IF there are no delays, I MIGHT be able to manage it. To do it in four days though, I’d have to walk 10.5 hours a day. Add in food breaks, poop breaks, hydration breaks, time to set up shelter for the night, etc. and it could easily be 13 or 14 hours of hard work every day. Could you maintain a 5 mph pace for that long? Maybe, but the math gets worse…

Conditions probably won’t be ideal…

If your bugout happens in the summer or fall, you “just might” have high temperatures to deal with. That “might” slow you down or force you to travel at night. If you’re bugging out in the winter, daylight hours will be limited. You “might” have to deal with rain or snow. Your path “might” be slippery or icy. In spring time, you might have to deal with flooded creeks or high winds. There might be people to avoid which could also slow you down. On top of all that there’s the stuff you need to be carrying, according to the expert…

More math – simple addition…

So we know “how long” it’s going to take us to walk under ideal conditions. What else? Oh, we need to carry some stuff. The same post recommends that we have – in a bug out bag, the following:

  • 12 gallons of water (100 lbs)
  • 5 jars of peanut butter + energy bars (6 lbs or so)
  • Extra clothes for the whole family (at least 5 lbs per family member)
  • Ultima Thule sleeping bag (4 lbs and $240 per family member)
  • Military surplus Arctic Squad Tent (50 lbs, $500-600)
  • Guns and ammo (about 20 lbs based on recommended items)
  • Misc stuff (about 10 lbs)
  • Total weight – 222 lbs for a family of four

So, question -if we divide the weight equally, can every member carry their share of the load? If not, can the adults in the group handle the extra load? How about at a steady pace of almost 5 mph through difficult terrain for almost 11 hours? Doing the math, I’m starting to think that maybe this expert is full of shit…

Other things to look for…

There are other ways to tell if the expert is full of shit, or at least full of themselves. What actual experience do they have? If they have no real world experience, it doesn’t matter how many people follow their blog or like them on Facebook. Are they willing to discuss other opinions, or at least make a good case as to why their opinion is the correct one (other than “I’m an expert and 500K people follow me on Twitter”)? A BIG RED FLAG is if they claim that all the “other experts are wrong and listening to them will get you killed.” That’s not instruction, that’s fear-mongering.

How do you know if an expert is full of shit?

If you still can’t tell, re-read the above. Learn how to apply critical thinking. Don’t accept things without questioning whether or not they make sense. Believe it or not, even prepping concepts make sense. At the same time, don’t assume that someone is full of crap just because they post something that you don’t agree with. For example, I don’t think an EMP event is the most likely threat facing our country, but some people do. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it just means they see potential threats differently than I do. I’m not an expert, but I can spot a fake one. You need to learn how to spot the fake experts too…

Peace out,
porcupine

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