Monday, October 8, 2012

At the ready.

I'll admit it, I've been on something of a survivalist kick these past few days. Not that I'm currently making my escape plan for the fall of the civilized world, but the video some of these types put out are actually very interesting, both in a good, and a weird way.

First of all, I've been watching a lot of stuff by Sootch00. I don't know too much about his politics, aside from being a strong 2nd amendment supporter, but his dedication to "just being ready" is actually impressive. Its one thing to say 'what if the civilized world comes to an end tomorrow?", but it's another thing entirely to come up with some reasonable steps to take for the unlikely eventuality.

TNP, or The Nutnfancy Project, is a little less about survivalist and more about gear and firearms reviews with a very healthy dose of civic responsibility included. Despite what they have in common, I think what is more striking about Scootch and TNP's reviews are their differences in philosophy about general preparedness.

And I've just started watching ManePrepper's channel. This man is a no-shit, this-is-how-it-is, this-is-how-you-do-it perspective of crisis situations from a man with a military background to back up his statements.

The three of these men, something of  a random cross section of the "prepper" society, as it were, are just fascinating to watch for me. It would be easy to call them paranoid, but I don't think they are. I think that these are people who see preparations as a personal responsibility, just like putting on your seat belt before putting the car in drive. Weather or not the massive disasters they are planning for ever happen, I don't think any of them want the US to call into anarchy, their just more pessimistic about it's prospects than I am.

None the less, some of the vocabulary I have been exposed to is actually rather useful, and quite helpful for me, someone who is used to thinking things out, sometimes a little too much.

"Preppers": the modern evolution of the survivalists movement.

WROL: Without Rule of Law. I know that sounds a little out-there, but the aftermath of Katrina more or less silenced the silenced the last credible elements of society that were dismissive of how destructive people can be without authority to reign them in. The bottom line is that when civilization falls, even locally, and even for short periods of time, all hell can break loose.

Get-home-bag: This is the "what happens if I'm stranded?" kit that a lot of people put together and throw in the back of their car.

Bug-out-bag: This is the "I have to drop everything NOW and find safety" kit. Also called a 72-hour bag, it's meant to get an able-bodied person out of dodge for three (or more) days so that they can find a better situation, or make one for themselves.

EDC: Every Day Carry. It really is what it says and usually not much more, though there are some weapons or "prepper" connotations to the word.

All of that being said, there is a very real reason I am looking at this community right now. And no, I'm not about to start packing a 35 pound "Bug out bag" and looking over my shoulder for hidden federal agents. The reason is that these people do bring an important point of conversation to the social table; they are willing to ask "what if?" where a lot of others don't

Now, understand, we can very easily "what if" ourselves into paranoia and a stress related heart attack. But That extreme is no worse that going through life saying "I'll just stop by the gas station and pick that up" or "I'll hit Walmart later on"and having absolutely no idea what to do if that possibility was suddenly taken away.

Now, let me be clear, if society fell tomorrow  or if we were invaded, or if a plague broke out, I doubt that I could afford or fit enough supplies in a bag to make a major difference in the grand scheme of things.


What if I got a flat tire? -  I've already been down that road, and circumstances being what they were, I wound up dropping $20 in clean whites and toiletries for one night.

What if the car broke down? - Been here too, and let me tell you, help isn't as fast as you might like when its late and you're not completely sure of where you are. Just having a flashlight and a first aid kit was enough to keep my blood pressure down one time.

What if I had to walk in the rain? - Sure, I may not melt when I'm wet, but with the weather getting cold, sickness, fatigue or even shock (and possibly death) are the potential consequences of I'm not ready for what mother nature has in stock for me.

These, and a lot of other questions are what has prompted me to to add a few more things to my bag.

I went ahead and got a hydration pack for the previously mentioned bag. It was made for it, and it only cost ten bucks. It may seem a little over the top, but I figured with Oklahoma heat being what it is, if I am stuck, the ability to dodge into a restaurant or gas station and load up on two liters of water is worth ten bucks. Also, I'm actually thinking about getting some long hikes in in the later months of this year.

Thermal Underwear: Speaking of cold, I had to be out in our fine state's idea of a brisk autumn. Bottom line, I've seen, first hand, how fast a person can let cold enough to take them off their feet. I now have a clean pair of thermals sealed in a Ziploc in my bag right now in case I have to change into something warmer.

Camp towel. This one is a duel purpose item. First of all, the bag in't huge, and I do walk every day, meaning I need to shower. This thing is small enough to jam into my toiletries kit, less than a tenth the size of my normal towel, so space alone is worth it.

But... there is also the very real issue of getting wet when its dangerous. like I said before, cold and wet can be dangerous or even lethal. The ability to dive into a bathroom, or even under a tree and dry off before changing could make the different between simple discomfort or serious illness or injury.

Straps and carabiners: I know, this sounds like I'm going off the deep end for a guy who sits at a desk all day. The truth is, however, that none of the stuff I buy could ever hold my weight, or even the bag's for that matter. All I really have are two clips and two straps to lash stuff like a jacket, or maybe another, smaller pack to it if need be. Its not that I'm planning on anything. I just like to keep my options open.

And going back to the rain comment from before, I added a small poncho to the bag. On top of that are  two Cliff bars to the back compartment, and I condensed down the  first air kit, getting rid of the red box for space sake. Its all still a work in progress, but none the less, I am happy with what I have. In the end, the point, at least for me, isn't to be ready for anything  Its to not be so unprepared for the predictable stuff that I feel like an idiot after the fact.

1 comment:

  1. Cisco, this is a very well thought out article and makes some very good points. Thanks.