Not long ago I had an interesting conversation with a prepper friend about what would happen after the balloon goes up. He’s a cool, resourceful guy who moved here to the Northeast from California years ago because he thinks that at some point a collapse is going to happen and he doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed when it does.
Will things end up with the golden horde going south, post-collapse? My friend had thought long and hard about it and decided that Maine was a good place to make a home because the state is less likely to be a destination for the golden horde. In this post, we’ll talk about how sound that reasoning is, and why.
Definition of “Golden Horde”
For those not familiar with the term, a quick mention of its meaning might be helpful.
The original “Golden Horde” was a caliphate in 13th and 14th century Mongolia that was known for conquering large swathes of land in Asia and Eastern Europe. Some sources have it that the “golden” part of the name refers to color of the khan’s men’s tents.
The term was much more recently appropriated by James Wesley Rawles, author of the “Patriots” survivalist novel series, to mean the anticipated large mixed horde of refugees and looters that will pour out of the metropolitan regions WTSHTF.
Are You a Golden Horde Prepper?
Back to the conversation between me and my friend. We talked for a bit and came up with a theory.
First, we went with a worst-case post-collapse scenario where everybody was on foot or moving very slowly in vehicles. Using New York City as our starting point, we figured that if people decided to flee they’d have four choices, according to the compass directions. The horde could go north to the colder states, west to the corn belt and other points in the Midwest, south to the warmer latitudes, or east, bugging out by ocean.
Of these cardinal directions east via the ocean is the least viable option. Keep in mind I’m talking about the majority of the population of a city like New York. Most people don’t have boats ready to launch during a societal meltdown. A few will make it out that way, but not many.
If a NYC resident decides to go west, they’ll eventually run into the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachians are not big as mountains go, to be sure, but if you’re carrying children, aren’t in shape, or you’re used to following the path of least resistance, or you or members of your party have drug and alcohol dependencies, you’re probably not going to get over this range. They’re still mountains, and it’s a lot of work to climb one. So, again for most but not all travelers, the western route may as well be closed off.
At this point a person then has three choices: north, south, or back the way they came. If they are fleeing the city along with millions of others, they’d be going against a massive human tide in order to go back the way they came. That leaves north and south.
Which way would make more sense for people who are scared, disoriented, and looking for safety? To the north is the cold. In the wintertime, temperatures in Maine can range anywhere from below zero to twenty degrees. That’s pretty cold, folks. If it’s already winter when the collapse occurs, the last thing people on foot are going to do is go to where it’s going to be even colder. If it’s summer or fall, people will still know the cold is coming, and they’ll know that it will be more intense to the north.
Most people that I’ve met from NYC are pretty good folks when you get them in a one-on-one conversation, but one of the things I found that they have in common is that they have absolutely no idea about camping, hiking or other outdoor related activities that deal with the wilderness. They live in a concrete jungle and that’s where they’re comfortable.
So if a person is on foot, hungry, inexperienced in the wilderness, scared, and faced with mountains in front and cold weather and wilderness to the north which direction do you think they’ll go?
To the south is a safe bet.
And remember the caveat, we’re not dealing with absolutes, here. Some people will go over the mountains and some will go north, but I suspect the majority of people faced with these circumstances will head south.
The Golden Horde Going South: Advantages and Disadvantages
The south has a longer growing season and a much shorter and warmer winter than we folks up here in the Northeast have. Following this bit of reasoning, people will go south in droves looking for food, water and shelter. Unfortunately, if the majority of the population does this, then the southern states are likely to be overrun with refugees from the north.
But a place like Maine has disadvantages, too. What are they, and how can they be made into anti-horde pluses?
First, we’re at the end of the supply chain here. Goods and services have a longer way to go to get to Maine than one of the big population centers. If and when TSHTF, we’re likely to be on our own much sooner than the folks in the cities to the south.
However, if a person is reasonably prepared this need not be a devastating blow. First we need to stay warm. Because it’s cold here many Maine residents have wood stoves they use to heat their homes. Heating oil is expensive and relying on just one form of energy for heat is asking for trouble. When the temperature drops to ten degrees and below for extended periods of time, things tend to break down. You know it’s nearing the end of a Maine winter when the temperature goes up to thirty degrees and people are walking around in sweatshirts and windbreakers.
Second, we need clean water and food. Water in Maine is not really an issue as we have more lakes, ponds, streams and brooks than you can shake a stick at. Some way to clean the water may be needed, but the resource itself is there.
Food is where your prepping will come in really handy. If you have enough food to get through the winter, you’ll have time to get your garden in and possibly even do a little hunting. As I’ve noted before, thinking you’re going to live off the land by hunting is probably a foolish notion, but if you can get out there and supplement your food stores with wild game then you have an advantage. It’s like anything else, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
However, and this is the important part, “the worst” in Maine is much less likely to include a gradual invasion onto your land by the golden horde. We can’t say this with any assuredness about cities and states to the south of New York. There are just going to be too many people who want to remove the winter-heating conundrum from their equations. So for us, the north is the place to be.
What about your area? Are people likely to head your way when TSHTF? Are you prepared for them? Some or even most of those folks are likely to be good people in a bad situation. Will you help them?
Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below, and get those wool socks out of the cedar chest!