It is my opinion that if you are a prepper or survivalist, as most everyone reading here are, then you should be able to be brutally honest with yourself. I know there are a few who stop by and read and very often get totally pissed off at what I have to say. Well those readers (admitted ones or not) are more than likely going to be even more pissed off at me after this post I have no doubt.
I have always said I am a numbers guy. Doesn't mean my numbers are always correct but you have to start somewhere. Sustainable living is a science but a science with so many variables it might as well be an art form. The canvass that can be used to create your sustainable masterpiece is as varied as any other factor so what works for one may not work for another. This allows so much leaking of fantastical thinking or possibilities into things that whatever fairytale you wish to believe can be reasoned in your own mind to be sustainable. Until it isn't.
Let's start off with a scenario. One of complete collapse for at least a time. One that is well known enough that little background building is needed. Let's use "One Second After". An EMP has struck and everything is dead. No electricity, very few cars or other vehicles. No goods coming in by rail, no trade, you are on your own.
We will add to this mythical scenario a total vacuum. For this study in brutal honesty we are not going to worry about roving bands of cannibals, looting officials for the common good or even sickness and/or injury. No invading foreign armies but also no friendly neighbors or distant relatives showing up with a semi-trailer full of MRE's either.
The first thing I am going to tell you is if you are alone you are not going to make it.