Welcome to Modern Day Prepping!
My name is Bill Montgomery, and together with my wife Angie, we founded this website to share what we’ve learned over the past 15 years with self-reliant people like you.
Make no mistake, it’s been a wild ride.
From our failed attempt at putting together a bug out bag, to becoming the go-to in our network when people have questions about preparedness…
We’ve been living a self-reliant lifestyle since the night reality smacked us in the face back in 2008.
Now you’re probably wondering, how can you fail at putting together a bug out bag??
That’s an embarrassing story I’ll tell you about here shortly.
But first, I want to share with you where it all began.
The Night That Changed Everything
Let me take you back to a chilly fall night in 2008, sitting in the comfort of my home office.
Pretty sure it was October, because it was before the presidential election.
I was on my computer, reading some news article about how the financial system was melting down.
As I kept scrolling, I remember this feeling in my stomach like something was seriously wrong.
Like the people in charge were panicking.
And if the people in charge are panicking — and they know how the system works…
It didn’t take long for my mind to go places it hadn’t gone before.
At the time I was 31 years old.
Angie and I didn’t have any kids, we didn’t have any money.
We frankly didn’t have much of anything.
I remember thinking, what if the markets collapse?
What will happen to the banks? What if the trucks stop…
My mind was racing through all these “what-ifs”, with each one more disturbing than the last.
To be honest, I was scared.
A Childhood In The Midwest
You see, I grew up in the American midwest in a small, middle class community.
My dad always had a steady job, food was always on the dinner table.
Our family went to church every Sunday.
My mom stayed at home with my sister and I until we were in middle school, then she went back to work.
My younger sister and I did what a lot of kids do. We went to public school, played sports and hung out with friends.
We were even members of a small community swimming pool during the summer.
It was definitely no country club but without a doubt one of my favorite places growing up.
While there were some dark times and plenty of struggles, looking back I would say my childhood was pretty good.
I was very fortunate to have grown up during this window of time, in a good home, in a safe community.
As for the rest of the country, food was plentiful, jobs were available.
Parents worked hard to raise their kids. Many went to church.
And communities across the nation were, for the most part, safe.
Compared to many other places in the world, I think it’s fair to say that life in America was pretty good.
And up until that dreary night when I was 31 years old, I guess I always assumed that life in this country would keep on chugging along like it did for the previous half century.
The “Thin Veneer” That’s Being Held Together With Duct Tape
So after sitting in my office for a while in silence, all these thoughts began racing through my head.
I remember opening up a new tab on my browser and googling something about survival.
Maybe I just typed that word, I honestly don’t remember.
What I do remember is landing on some website dedicated to survival and preparedness.
I immediately started reading.
With each passing article, the darker things got.
TEOTWAWKI, bartering, roaming biker gangs…
It’s like my entire belief system was being assaulted. I felt like Neo in The Matrix.
That scene where Morpheus said: “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.”
It hit me like a bolt of lightning — the civilization we hold so dear is nothing more than a thin veneer.
And it’s being held together with duct tape by morally bankrupt people who make decisions that are not in our best interest.
A New Lifestyle Emerges
Starting the next morning I began reading about how money works.
I discovered that our entire fractional reserve banking system is basically a ponzi scheme.
I learned that The Federal Reserve is not even a government entity.
Rather, some quasi public/private enterprise that answers to no one and has never been audited.
I learned that the average grocery store in this country has about a 3-day supply of food. And when that runs out…
I started reading about how vulnerable our electrical grid is.
I had no idea how easily it could be compromised due to an EMP or terrorist attack.
I had no idea that if the grid does fail, it could take up to TEN YEARS to manufacture and replace many of the large transformers needed to operate it.
And if there’s no electricity for ten years…
Fortunately, I have a lovely wife with a good head on her shoulders. It didn’t take long for her to see what I was seeing.
Needless to say, Angie and I started “prepping”.
At least that’s what we thought we were doing.
The Early Days Were… Not Well Thought Out
Our initial days were marked by blind enthusiasm.
Our strategy was haphazard, buying guns, ammo, gear, food…
Like most people who jump into a new way of living — scared and uncertain — we were winging it.
It was a few months in when Angie and I looked at each other one day and realized that we needed to get organized and be smart about what we were doing.
Because if you’re not careful, it’s easy to spend money on stuff you don’t need. And we did not have money to burn.
So we did what we should’ve done on day one: we made a plan.
From making lists to rotating food to building out med kits and bug out bags, to diversifying investments, to making a plan to move…
Little by little, we were making sure that our family was prepared for the worst.
The Bug Out Bag That Was Too Big To Bug Out
I want to take a moment and revisit something I still get a kick out of.
Packing this bad boy was one of the first things I did back in late 2008.
In addition to some heavy tools and other stuff I didn’t need, I had an ammo can full of 9mm in there.
While I could certainly throw it in a vehicle, I can safely say that this monster wasn’t going on my back.
I never officially weighed it but I suspect it was upwards of 90 lbs.
I get a kick out of looking at this photo now, but back then I honestly thought it was something I would pick up, strap on my back and head out the door.
GUNS… My story wouldn’t be complete without talking about guns and other training
While I was given a shotgun for Christmas as a boy, it wan’t until late 2008 when I bought my first gun… in a parking lot behind a restaurant in Dayton, OH.
It was a used S&W 5906, a former police trade-in.
I bought it from my good friend’s dad. (A legal transaction in the state of OH).
That purchase sparked an interest I’ve maintained to this day.
I won’t go into details about what we have, but we like common calibers: 9mm, 556/223, 308, 22LR and 12 gauge.
As far as makes, I like Glocks and M&Ps. For AR’s, I really like BCM and Daniel Defense. I also like certain Ruger rifles.
The topic of firearms is a long one with more opinions than grains of sand on the beach.
So needless to say there’s a lot to cover there and we won’t get into it here.
But a collection of guns is worthless if you don’t know how to use and maintain them.
My Time At TDI
Tactical Defense Institute is a training center in southern Ohio, founded by the venerable John Benner.
My first trip to TDI was in 2014. My dad and I went there to take their Handgun 1-3 class.
This is their entry level class for handgun and recommended for new students.
TDI’s Upper Range
Now, I had been shooting pretty regularly for the five plus years leading up to this trip.
I would hit the range a few times per month, and thought I was “proficient”.
Needless to say this was an eye-opening and humbling experience.
What struck me most about TDI is their philosophy, which boils down to this: software trumps hardware.
Simply put, your mindset trumps any tool. Your best gunfight is the one you never enter.
While that philosophy is foundational to their teachings, there is no mistaking the fact that they are world-class experts at firearm instruction.
It’s fair to say me and everyone who came out of that class was confident and highly competent with how to run a handgun.
The first half of day 1 was spent in the classroom, where stories were told and concepts were shared that instilled a new way of thinking in me and every other student.
Once we hit the range, it was all about the basics. The fundamentals.
Safe handling, proper technique, rinse and repeat.
Another thing I really respected about John and his staff was how open minded they were about form and technique.
If you’ve been around the gun industry for any length of time, you know that opinions are strong.
Different calibers, styles, grips, stances, techniques… And everyone has their reasons why.
The team at TDI teaches what works best.
For example, there’s a reason why nearly every top handgun shooter in the world all uses the Isosceles shooting stance: It works.
I ended up feeling right at home at TDI.
The instructors are first-class all the way, expertly trained, highly skilled, and they know how to convey what they know to shooters of all skill levels.
I went to TDI several times over the course of four years. I took their higher level pistol classes, in addition to their Tactical Rifle classes.
I plan on going back and taking my boys (and getting the wife some much needed trigger time).
The Never-Ending Education
My time at TDI was some of the most enjoyable of my adult life. Some very close friendships were formed from those trips.
But it’s not just about guns.
Angie and I have taken defensive knife classes and field medicine classes, we’ve consulted farmers and others about growing food.
We’ve consulted engineers about “things”.
We know that learning how to identify edible plants and how to suture a wound could be life-saving skills one day.
I think that’s what makes this lifestyle so enjoyable over the long-term. It’s a never-ending journey of learning and honing skills.
It’s Not Just About Food And Water And Gear And Guns
Through years of trials and tribulations, Angie and I have come to a crucial realization:
True preparedness goes far beyond tangible resources, it starts with cultivating the right mindset.
When you realize that the world is basically on fire and the fire department isn’t coming anytime soon because they’re short staffed and out of water…
It changes how you view things. It changes how you live.
Even the most mundane tasks like going grocery shopping are different.
We’re scrutinizing prices and expiration dates, we’re looking at lists and checking how much we should buy.
And maybe the most striking — we’re looking at everyone else in that grocery and wondering, how are these people going to make it?
Which brings me to a foundational principle that we subscribe to: it’s all about community.
We all have different opinions about what’s going to accelerate the collapse, whether it’s the financial system, war, a deadly pandemic, asteroid impact, grid failure…
The list of legitimate threats is long.
What matters is how are you going to survive? Angie and I believe that strong and tight knit communities are the only way.
If you ever watched The Walking Dead (of course you did, you’re on this website), there’s one thing that stood above everything else for those who made it:
They stuck together.
Because when the worst happens, people need the support of people they can trust.
Now is the time to build relationships with like minded people and make plans.
Because grabbing a bag and heading into the woods when it all falls apart is probably not the best strategy.
I won’t go into details, but it’s fair to say that Angie and I have spent the last 15 years building relationships and formulating plans with others who “get it”.
If you’re reading this and you’re just getting started, you don’t have a network or don’t know where to begin, start small.
Talk to your closest friends and family, feel out where their mindset is.
Talk to people at church, your kid’s sporting events or activities, the fill-in-the-blank place where you spend time.
People like us are out there and we all have similar feelings about what’s coming.
And this is for the newbies:
Be smart about what you share with others. Don’t tell the world about your preps and where everything is.
Because when SHTF, people will remember that you have stuff, and they won’t think twice about trying to take what you have.
Which Brings Us To Today
Our journey over the past 15 years has seen plenty of ups and downs.
We don’t know everything, we don’t claim to know everything.
But there’s a reason why people in our network seek our guidance on preparedness.
We’ve invested the time and energy and resources to living this way while raising a family.
We use this website to share what we’ve learned with like-minded people like you.
And unlike The Constitution of the United States, this website is a living document.
If you find something on the site that doesn’t make sense, or could be expanded on, please reach out and let us know.
We always welcome feedback from fellow patriots.
The fastest way to get in touch is to visit our Contact Us page.
To your survival,
Bill “Monty” Montgomery