Prepping in Canada: Prepping in Canada is not too different from prepping in the USA one of the major differences in the climate as it is much more colder. Another factor for Canadian preppers to consider is the short growing time due to Canada’s geographical positioning in the North. Canada can be ideal for preppers due to its vast amount of forests and local natural resources but be wary of the bitter cold in winter.
Canada’s weather is harsh and you will need to have a good source for electricity especially if you are in a remote area. My recommendation is to get one with minimum 3000 Watts Click here to check price on Amazon.com
Prepping in Canada
The 10 million sq km of Canada is a wast and everlasting landscape, over 99% of the population lives below the 54th parallel. One of the hallmarks of Canadian topography is the mighty boreal forest which stretches the length o the country and comprises of millions of sq kilometers of forests that have never had foot set by man. Much of it hasn’t even been surveyed and all of this awaits the bold post-apocalyptic Canadian prepper should they be cunning enough to traverse it.
There is a reason why Canada is so sparsely populated and why California is so jam-packed, namely due to the climate. Most of the climate in Canada gets very cold and uninhabitable that survivability is limited to a select area. The ecological carrying capacity of the land in spite of having some of the largest reserves of wild game on the planet simply cannot sustain large numbers of people using non-replenishable hunter-gathering methods.
Methods that many people will try to revert back to after grid down scenario happens. Accessing most of this pristine wilderness without modern technology whether, by air, boat or land is almost impossible. One of the major differences between prepping in Canada and in the US are the gun laws, while you can own almost any type of bug out gun in the US, Canada has far stricter laws regarding any kind of guns.
Most people do not know but there is currently a magnetic pole shift happening and the magnetic north is actually in Canada already instead of the Arctic, if you need more information on the subject check out my article Pole shift effects on humans.
Bug out in Canada
The most human-friendly of the many biomes that characterize Canada’s landscape is the Pacific North West also known as the West Coast. This lies in the province known as British Columbia, the environment of British Columbia is a very dense old growth forest for the most part and lots of this is temperate rainforest. Towards the interior of British Columbia, there are more alpine mountainous regions and the lower interior of BC is also one of the warmest climates in Canada.
Here you can find the only desert in Canada and it is referred to as the Okanagan desert however it is not technically a desert, it is actually a shrub-steppe biome. Within this biome with proper irrigation while the grid is up scores of vineyards and fruit trees abound. A significant portion of Canada’s fresh produce is produced within this region.
Native American tribes like the Nootka the Chinook have lived in these lands for thousands of years, they will have an advantage in a social collapse scenario as many know how to live off the land. However, the often forced integration and domestication of many of the native peoples of Canada has caused many of their traditional skills to diminish. It is quite possible that within a grid down post collapse situation this area will certainly be a magnet at least for people in western Canada looking to flee the killer cold of the Canadian winter.
The Canadian population, as it stands, is about 35 million, if people start running towards British Columbia this region could sustain a much larger population as the exporting of the goods would stop and the locals will have a lot of surplus food.
This is one of the richest regions in Canada in terms of food resources, it is one of the most productive places on earth in terms of fish harvesting it has some of the most abundant wild game on earth, they have one of the longest growing seasons of any Canadian province particularly in lower BC where they grow peaches, cherries, apricots and numerous other vegetables and fruits with the exception of citrus.
Self-sustaining horticulture with a diverse selection of crops is most likely to occur within this region thus it is more likely to support the highest human population densities after an SHTF situation. However, because of the general dryness of the Okanagan desert, the ability to power large scale irrigation systems is going to be essential. Canada has a lot of resources, which in an SHTF situation can feed a lot of people, although odds are that in a major SHTF situation most people who know about the location of some of these natural resources will head that way.
The availability of resources can be both a blessing and a curse in an SHTF situation, on one hand with some hunting and trapping skills you can easily feed your entire family, however as more and more people flock to these location the resources will be stretched out even further and conflict will be inevitable especially once the local resources are starting to get depleted. Generally speaking, resources found in more remote areas will be harder to access, and in a major SHTF situation in Canada, these resources will be the last ones to be accessed due to the difficult terrain.
Because so many people will flock to this region security may be a big risk factor. In terms of firearms, the actual amount of firearms is moderate as there are about 250k registered gun owners which are around 6% of the local population. In addition, as it is a coastal environment with many islands and much avid mariners piracy will be another security risk.
High population densities within the area of Vancouver and on its most eastern parts of the island could make for some problematic competition for resources within this region. Generally speaking, the population density drops significantly as you move towards the southern BC interior in the Okanagan Valley but this area will be a magnet in a post-collapse environment and the population density is probably going to drastically increase.
Security in a post-collapse situation will mostly depend on two factors like the rule of law and population density. In a major SHTF situation in Canada, off the grid and more secluded communities will be probably fine as most of them are self-sufficient, however, if there are too many new people incoming this will stretch the supplies of any community which inevitably will collapse under its own weight.
If you need more information on bug out guns which are good for hunting and self-defense check out my article What is the best bug out gun.
Large urban areas will have no rule of law after a major SHTF, and as the local population density is fairly high the situation will spiral out of control fairly fast. In my opinion, the best security is the harsh environment and the large landmass of the country. Most areas are extremely hard to reach, and if you have the possibility to bug out in a location where you have access to fresh water and food which is far from any settlements than in most cases you are safe, especially during winter times as traveling to some of these locations will be outright impossible.
Another security risk will be Vancouver’s drug culture and the sheer amount of people that are trying to get their fix pst collapse. the infamous East Hastings street in Vancouver is world renowned for its high number of drug addicts. When the SHTF these people are going to need a fix and they have to find it somewhere, it is safe to say that they are unlikely to be prepared to survive.
In spite of the drug problems the standard of living on the west coast is amongst the highest in the country, in fact, Vancouver is one of the most ridiculously high priced places to live. This also means that most people are without owning a house and spend a majority of their disposable income on things that make them a more efficient urban commuter and consumer, thus there will be a lot of people who will not be prepared.
Drug addicts pose a real threat to preppers in Canada if you are not following OPSEC and some of these drug addicts find out that you have valuable supplies they might decide to come and pay you a visit in an SHTF situation. The harsh reality for any drug addict during a major SHTF situation is that they will not survive for long, as their main objective is to get their next fix, everything else such as food and water is in second place at best.
During a major SHTF scenario, the drug supply chain will be disrupted as most people making a profit from drugs will try and stay alive, and in an SHTF situation food and water can be more valuable as gold. As the supply chain stops the drug addicts will go in a full panic mode, this combined with the SHTF situation and a no rule of law scenario will be extremely dangerous. Not just for the drug addicts but also for any civilians and preppers alike.
Preppers in Canada
In spite of that many people on Vancouver Island have contingency plans as they do live near to the Juan de Fuca fault line which is a section of the proverbial Ring of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean A group of fault lines that are notorious for their intense seismic activity and could be activated in any moment. Thus many people on the island are prepared for this potentiality, and altho the exact number of preppers in Canada is unknown it is safe to say that out of the 250k gun owners many of them also have wilderness survival skills. These skills will be in high demand and highly transferable post-collapse.
Although there are not many people who consider themselves preppers in Canada, however, there are a lot of groups and communities which do live off the land, are mostly self-sufficient and some of them live completely off the grid. In my recent article Off grid cabin essentials, I have pointed out some of the tools and resources which you will definitely need if you are thinking to live off the grid.
People who have been raised in rural environments tend to have the necessary skills to live off the land, on the other hand, most people in urban areas can not tie their shoes without some kind of government assistance. Odds are that in a major SHTF situation where large portions of the urban population will be displaced, Canadian preppers will either lay low in remote wilderness areas or band together to protect their supplies, and none of these two options are good news for any non-prepper.
BC is the home of some of the wildest predators on the planet, the highest density of North American Cougars, Grizzly bears, Wolfes and Black Bears. If you have the skills for hunting wildlife than you should be ok, however as more and more people will start migrating to different areas of the country due to SHTF situation and more and more people start hunting your odds of a successful hunt will decrease drastically.
Most people fleeing large cities will have no clue on how to the actual hunt, they might have a rifle and some basic idea of how to hunt but more often than not they will probably just scare away the local wildlife. As a Canadian prepper in addition to hunting, you also should learn at least the basics of fishing, foraging, and trapping as these will supplement your food stocks in the long run. If you have the skill to also smoke meat than you are in a good situation as you will have the ability to preserve meat for the long run.
There are a lot of animals you can hunt in Canada, however, there are some dangerous predators competing with you for the same animals. If there is a sudden influx of new people hunting in an area it might quickly decimate the local wildlife, leaving predators without a source of food. Hungry predators and the ever increasing contact between predators and humans will be extremely dangerous.
Most of the population within Vancouver are trained to respond to the prospect of tsunamis. As a significant portion of Vancouver Island rests well above sea level much of the island would be spared of the effects of a massive tsunami like the one that devastated the island of Japan in 2011. Another potential hazard in this region is the forest fires without somebody managing these fires many of the forests that should have already burned but didn’t will start to burn in a grid down situation.
One other hazard, particularly for Vancouver, is going to be the high amount of rain, altho this is a good thing as it acts as a source of fresh water but without proper shelter, it can complicate life significantly for many months of the year. Probably one of the biggest dangers to the local population after a major SHTF situation are wildfires, these can move fairly quickly depending on the local humidity and in very hot summers they can be unstoppable.
Mobility in many parts of British Columbia in a grid down situation is going to be very challenging as the major roads and corridors that link these different regions together are very limited and could easily succumb to some sort of gridlock. From a military strategic standpoint that if we were ever in some sorts of conflict in the region these roadways that link the deferent regions together would probably be prime targets. Collapsing one of these highways could severely weaken the population’s ability to respond to any form of attack.
In addition, about 99% of people access Vancouver island through ferries with the exception of a few that have their own boats, these ferry terminals like the major highways are sure to be totally gridlocked in the case of shit hits the fan situation. In an SHTF scenario like an EMP attack, your selection of vehicles which you can use will be limited, if you need more info check out my article Best bug out vehicle for EMP.
Unlike the great plains of Saskatchewan where there are endless grid roads and detour possibilities there are very few major corridors that are available to the natives to get from point A to point B especially on Vancouver Island.
Some of the best qualities of Vancouver is its climate as it is the warmest and the most hospitable in Canada. Vancouver island seldom falls below 0 degrees C and the Okanagan region will seldom fall below -10 C. The west coast compared to the rest of Canada probably has one of the lowest population of pests such as mosquitos, black flies and other stinging insects altho in the Okanagan desert there are Black Widows and venomous rattlesnakes.
The Canadian climate is a two-edged sword, on one hand, short summers mean limited time for cops to grow, and on the other hand, the long winters provide plenty of snow for fresh water supply. The harsh climate might also protect the local populations from other people, in a global conflict people who will flee the directly impacted areas will probably flock to areas where the government is giving handouts and not to areas where surviving is difficult even without SHTF scenario.
If you have read my article Best alternative heat sources during power outage, you probably know that you have a lot of options to heat your home or off-grid cabin even in the harsh Canadian winters.
The climate is good for preserving meat as during the winter time, temperatures fall well below freezing this means that you can have a frozen food pantry during the winter time and during the summer you have to start smoking meat. For any prepper in Canada, it is vital that you prepare for winter time during summer, hoard as much food as you possibly can and have a strict and very defined way of rationing food.
Sommer will not come always in time and even a couple of weeks of below freezing temperatures could hinder your progress and survivability.
Another limiting factor on the west coast is solar power as there is a lack of direct sunlight. The only thing that is going to work out here for a significant portion of time is the thin film amorphous solar panels. Some might be better of looking at wind and tidal power as it is a more viable way to produce energy but it requires large energy to produce it. Luckily there is a lot of different ways to generate power other than solar.
In this area, your best power generating tool will probably be a wind-powered generator. Usually, these wind-powered generators are fairly small and can easily power some smaller electrical devices. If you want more power which can support an entire community than a wind turbine would be your best option, although buying one and setting it up could be extremely expensive especially in remote areas.
When deciding what kind of power generator to get allways think of how easy is to maintain and to repair it is. Generally speaking, the more complex any device is the easier it breaks and in a major SHTF situation finding an engineer and spare parts for your wind turbine will be impossible.
In terms of the population density of the region, there are 4.6 people who live in British Columbia this is approximately 1/8 th of the entire Canadian population. At least half of this population is condensed around the Vancouver metro area so much as this will be a hub for people escaping the cold weather a myriad of security threats are going to present themselves in this increasingly densely populated region that everybody is going to be flocking to in an emergency situation.
The demographics of Canada are predominantly Caucasian however it the Vancouver area 35% of the inhabitants have some Asian ancestry. One of the highest population of Asien ancestry on the North American continent.
This multicultural diversity, while it has its numerous social benefits, may contribute to polarisation post-collapse. Post-collapse segregation or people aligning themselves along linguistic lines should be expected. There are also about 250k people who can directly trace their lineage back to the First Nations people of Canada also known as native Americans.
Within these densely populated areas, the presence of gangs like the Red Scorpions, the United Nations, Independent Soldiers, Triads and the Hells Angels will all be groups that will be vying for power amongst 170 other gangs most of which are lower level, street gangs. These career criminals will want to take control of an entire area in a no rule of law situation, these people are not unfamiliar with violence, during normal times where there was a rule of law it didn’t stop them from doing illegal activities and to become violent. What do you think will happen in a no rule of law scenario?
Luckily most of these gangs will not leave their territory, so everybody that have left these gang controlled areas after a major SHTF is probably safe, at least from the gangs. The most likely reason why these gangs will stay on their home territory is that they can easily take whatever they want from anybody, but once the supplies start running low they will probably look for different areas which do have the supplies they need.
Additionally, within the Vancouver region, there are several prisons located and in an SHTF situation, they won’t be able to account for all the prisoners. There are very few police officers to police this region which numbers in the lower thousands thus things are bound to get out of control very quickly. The Vancouver riots that took place when the Canadian hockey team lost the Stanley Cup, just imagine how these people are going to act when they are rioting for food.
Safe to say that is going to be another major security threat. There are also numerous military bases mostly naval and airforce bases within the west coast of Canada.
The unique environment of British Columbia as abundant and plentiful as it may be with wilderness foods like salmon, crab, etc will not lend themselves to refugees without some toil and strife. The people that are most likely to survive there are the people that have already built self-sustaining life there. If you are serious about prepping in Canada, British Columbia should be prime prospects for your consideration.
When it comes to prepping there is a labyrinth of laws which you have to consider and most of these will hinder any attempts to prepare for any doomsday scenario. Luckily Canada is vast and mostly empty, people who choose to live off the grid or to become preppers in a remote area will probably not face any problems. One of the major difference, when it comes to prepping in Canada to the USA, is that Canada does not have FEMA.
Without an organization like FEMA, the Canadian government will most likely rely on the army after a major SHTF situation. Although transporting military personnel in large enough numbers to establish the rule of law might be difficult due to the sheer size of the country, especially in bad conditions like during winter time.
Prepping in Canada is somewhat harder than prepping in the USA, this is mostly due to the colder environment. The biggest threat after an SHTF in Canada is during winter time, the combination of no rule of law and lack of logistics when it comes to food will become problematic sooner than you thought. Most off-grid communities in Canada during summer times prepare for the winter, people who are currently living in urban areas have very little knowledge on how to prepare for the winter time.