Prepping mindset: The basics of psychological warfare
02/18/2021 / By Zoey Sky / Comments
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Prepping mindset: The basics of psychological warfare

Prepping is a multi-layered discipline. It involves more than just stocking up on survival supplies before SHTF or learning important skills like firestarting or hunting.

As a prepper, you also need to be mentally strong so you can protect yourself against psychological warfare. You may even need to learn how to use it on those who wish to harm you. (h/t to

Don’t give in to PSYWAR tactics

Psychological warfare, or PSYWAR, refers to tactics done to deceive, manipulate or influence an opponent. These efforts also aim to cause despair, fear, hopelessness and loss of morale in opponents.

Follow the tips below to stay one step ahead of people who may try PSYWAR tactics on you when SHTF.

Avoid the honey pot

Knowing what motivates you can help an opponent win when they use PSYWAR tactics on you. One example would be the honey pot, a tactic often seen in films where a beautiful woman is used to seduce the hero.

However, the honey pot doesn’t always involve attractive people or the promise of a relationship or sexual favors. A trap like this can also involve something you want, which will be offered to you until you can’t help but put yourself in danger to acquire it.

When SHTF and someone offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, listen to your gut. They may be planning a honey trap that could get you killed.

Make sure you don’t fall for a honey pot by stocking up on supplies that you will need in a post-SHTF world, such as:

  • Cash
  • Clean water
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Food
  • Medical supplies and care
  • Shelter

Be patient

In a disaster scenario, you may need to barter with someone for supplies or information. Once you’ve determined that you’re dealing with someone trustworthy, be patient. This ensures that they don’t take advantage of you by overpricing or asking for too much if you’re bartering goods.

A prepper should also learn how to be self-sufficient. After all, if you can grow your own food or if you have a stockpile of supplies, you won’t need to deal with other preppers when SHTF. (Related: 11 Tips on avoiding prepper burnout.)

Protect your privacy

If other people don’t know anything about you, they can’t try PSYWAY tactics on you.

To protect your privacy, you should:

  • Remove stickers from your car. To civilians, stickers are cute things used to decorate your car but others might use these stickers to figure out which political party you support, what school your kids go to, or how many people and pets are in your household.
  • Be wary of strangers and even people you know. Once you’ve identified who your true friends are, be careful when dealing with people who suddenly seem interested in your job or your prepping activities.
  • Teach kids not to talk to strangers in person and online. Tell them that it’s dangerous to give out personal information because it can be used to hurt them or your family.
  • Stay away from social media. Each app you use comes with terms and agreements that, upon closer inspection, give companies the right to your personal data once you give your consent. Stay offline if you want to remain hidden when SHTF.

Extreme psychological warfare and primal human fears

Extreme PSYWAR tactics are often used during situations like civil uprisings, war, interrogation or terrorism to dehumanize and break a person until they give up information that can be used to defeat your side.

Psychological warfare and torture exploit basic human fears. Understanding these fears and trying to conquer them can help you survive if you are captured by the enemy.

  • Spiders and snakes – This fear may seem silly to someone who keeps spiders or snakes as pets, but most people react badly when facing these creatures. Even if you’re not deathly afraid of spiders and snakes, seeing them can scare you into cooperating with an enemy.
  • Drowning – Swimming is a learned skill, and it can be terrifying if you’re threatened with drowning if you’ve never learned how to swim properly.
  • Being alone – People are social creatures and only a handful of individuals love being alone. When SHTF, the prospect of spending the rest of your life alone could scare you into making bad decisions. Don’t make this mistake — find family and friends you can trust in a post-SHTF world.
  • People you care about getting hurt – It’s human instinct to want to protect your loved ones. Kidnappers abuse this fear and threaten to harm your loved ones if you refuse to pay the ransom.
  • Death and the afterlife – Even if you don’t believe in the afterlife, the fear of dying can make you give in even to the most outrageous demands.

When SHTF, people will use whatever means necessary to control you or take what you have.

Learn crucial survival skills, stock up on supplies, fortify your homestead and team up with trusted family members and friends to ensure that you remain safe when disaster strikes. Don’t fall for PSYWAR tactics and always plan ahead.

Visit for more articles with tips on how to improve your mental fortitude when SHTF.

Sources include:

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