Thursday, October 11, 2012

what are you prepping for?

WHAT ARE YOU PREPPING FOR?
If there was such a thing as an average prepper or survivalist ( I prefer the term survivalist for the person, and prepping as the descriptive activity, but I use both interchangeably and lose no sleep over it ) and you asked them what they were getting ready for, I imagine they would say “doomsday” and give it little extra thought.  And that is exactly what is being taught today, a continuation of Bruce Clayton’s “Life After Doomsday”.  Mainly about surviving nuclear war, it was the bible for most doomer books that followed ( I believe that “How To Prosper In The Coming Bad Years” by Ruff was right before Doomsday.  It certainly was better information, but Doomsday was the bible for the dreaded Yuppie Survivalists ).  Today, there is little difference.  Don’t live downwind of nuclear silos, stockpile freeze dried food and by all the gods, make sure your weapons are semi-auto, preferably plastic and very expensive.  Now, I wouldn’t necessarily want to live near silos, but I’d be far more worried about being downwind from power plants that will lose coolant to all their stored radioactive nuclear rods.  And while a few luxuries such as butter are nice in prepared prepper foods, if you depend on them for the bulk of your calories you will be dead very shortly because they are about on par with imported caviar for dollar per calories.  And while I think semi’s are great fun as toys, they are sure to get you killed when you shortly run out of ammo ( for the 99% who have no fire discipline- please, no comments from the 1%.  I know you are studly ). 
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It seems most survivalists are content with making shopping lists.  That in itself is not a big deal, but it also seems that is about where it ends.  They just earn more and more money and shop off more and more lists for stockpile items for their retreat.  They of course buy more bug out vehicles, which might have a list of how to drive to the retreat in them.  God, I hate lists.  Lists mean when you’ve checked off the last item you can stop thinking about the task because it is done.  And you focus on the items rather than the original purpose of the list.  Hump your lists.  If you can’t keep track of the items you need in your head, I suspect the list will never get completed.  Now, granted, not all lists are created equal.  Your basics to survive are about a half dozen ( grain and beans and grinder and filter and rifle and ammo ) but obviously some lists such as reference books will be a bit more complicated.  But in general, I try to stay away from lists.  Because a stockpile, while necessary, isn’t about talismans protecting you.  It is about tools.  And yes, the tools are for survival, but what are you trying to survive? 
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Yes, the collapse.  But a retreat with toys does not answer all your needs.  You have three very distinct and only marginally linked events you need to prepare for.  First, the unfolding collapse.  Second, the die-off.  And third, life after the Oil Age.  A retreat is great for a nuclear war or asteroid strike.  Both low probability events.  It isn’t so great protecting you against an economic collapse.  Because an economic collapse is not when you get into debt or count on your job to fund huge projects for survival ( while I imagine our little Argentinian friend is a great guy and has lessons to impart, be aware that a colony collapsing to enrich the worlds Empire is different than that empire itself collapsing.  In the micro sense such as crime and barter and what not, there are bound to be similarities.  But I doubt there will be in the macro sense.  It is far better to just observe what has happened here in the last seven years for your lessons ).  You had all better be very active currently mitigating the economic collapse with your actions.  Of course, little of what you do to survive economically will bleed over as a benefit to surviving the die-off.  Oh, I know having property paid for and an extensive garden with animals feeding you is great.  I don’t argue that.  It is a fine investment.  Any moves towards self-sufficiency is.  But that will only target you during a die-off, it won’t protect you. 
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Look, I know a lot of time and money and energy is required for each step to survival.  But don’t make the mistake of trying to carry one over to another if it isn’t applicable.  You must disengage from the money economy as much as possible.  Step one.  Two, you must go to ground and isolate yourself to survive the die-off.  Then, you’ll need skills to survive during a low population, no trade atmosphere.  While violence is still an issue.  Just stocking a retreat with beans and bullets isn’t going to address all three separate phases in your preps.  I know it sucks.  Survival isn’t as easy as a shopping list.  Hey, exercise isn’t easy either.  Every time you must force yourself to start the pain.  The rewards are not even very evident ( not as evident as the pain ).  After a certain age, the exercise is just needed to keep yourself from feeling worse as your body turns on you.  That isn’t really a very compelling reason for all the extra work.  Unless you’ve hopefully reached a level of wisdom that acknowledges that life isn’t fair and yes, you must run the gerbil wheel of life faster and faster just to stay in place ( Red Queen from Alice In Wonderland ).  Oh, the joy of advancing years. 
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5 comments:

  1. I wrote this today at 6am rather than my usual noon lunch. I'm working a half day and leaving promptly. I'll get comments tomorrow morning. Cheers, brothers!

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  2. I'm still worried about epidemics,SARS,Avian flu and other nasty stuff.

    Semi's are the shit.

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  3. Lord Bison;

    While I understand preparing to meet and exceed the three pronged assault of unfolding collapse, the die off and the adjustment to the post-petroleum world, if one doesn't have livestock prior to the second assault of die-off and the resultant violence, then how is one supposed to start over in the third assault of the post-petroleum world, if you didn't keep livestock? If everyone kept your advice, then we would all be sans-animals while in the die off assault all of them were destroyed, hence extinction and thus we would be living as vegetarians because all the wild game without law and the violence of the state to protect them, would become extinct as well. I will keep livestock if only as a means to an end for self-sufficiency purposes, plus I enjoy working with them and get the reward from learning more about practical animal husbandry. However I hope that I'm not the last livestock breeder in North America at the end of this wild ride. Keep keeping it real James.

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  4. agreed. it does'nt matter what "the event" is. the preparation and implementation of the three phases is basically the same.
    and YEAH getting old is a redheaded slimy cold bitch. delr









    '

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  5. Good for you. If anyone deserves a 1/2 day it is you my Lord. Great article today almost as good as your hair. The lake Erie Pirate formally used Ragnar as a name but someone else uses that now I guess. I like to remain anonomiss. I hate pirates but I live near the lake like you live near nothing. Lucky man. I can't dig a hole 3 feet and not hit water. Toledo is 15 miles and Detroit or what is left is 45 miles. X2 ammo needed here and no underground building with water table. I guess I am the buffer to my lord Bison or I put out the boat er... canoe 13 miles to the lake by ditches and creeks.

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