Recently I took some time off to work on my roof. Being a large project for one man I decided to enlist the help of a childhood buddy of mine named Bruce.
Bruce is a simple man. He has little care for the world around him and has more of a belief, he is “in the world” and not “of the world”. Happy to just make it by day to day, Bruce lives modestly, grows a yearly garden for food and finds pleasure in just living with nature. Bruce is not a wacko environmentalist of self-depriving minimalist. He is just simple and enjoys a simple living.
While catching up on many childhood memories of our endless treks through the woods and the nights spent camping by our local lake I began to think. Have I become weak by living in today’s world? Could I really make it in a long-term survival situation? What are the real risks of complete social collapse?
There is no question that I am not the young man I used to be. I am not in shape and I carry around enough extra weight to survive a food shortage. In an apocalyptic situation these would all be to my disadvantage.
However, I also believe survival is part of one’s nature. You either have the instinct or you do not. Those that do, will find a way to survive with the resources they have, those that do not will squander, waste and find themselves to be the quickest victims and casualties.
So what are the risks really? The truth is no one really knows. I think it is disingenuous to live with one’s head in the sand and think it will or could never happen. History bears out the evidence, of the fall of every great civilization of the distant past. Are we really so arrogant to think somehow we are too good or too big to fail and that it could not happen again? If so, I would argue then we have already taken another step down the road to certainty.
Here are the facts. The world is already breaking down around us.
• Unprecedented levels of chaos in the middle-east
• Tyrannical nations are gathering greater access to weapons of mass destruction (and proclaiming they intend to use them)
• Constant streams of illegal immigration, bringing with them lawlessness, social breakdown and disease
• Hordes of refugees (with terrorists embedded) forcibly migrating into Europe and as promised by the President also going to be allowed in the USA
• Radical terrorism and ideologies
• Racial breakdown on the home-front, that is not just overlooked but in many ways promoted by so-called leaders in our own nation
• Large scale natural disasters
In talking with Bruce we came up with some simple yet important revelations, in the event of social collapse. First it will be critical that people learn to ban together and work harmoniously as a group. The two primary rules we established for group acceptance were:
1. You have to be able to take care of yourself.
2. You have to have a skill you can bring to the group.
These rules apply to EVERYONE including women and children. In this new world there will be no room for slackers, moochers or whiners.
Everyone has to be a leader but also open minded enough, in the right situation, to be a follower. There is little room for self-pride when it comes to survival. A well-oiled machine (group) can not only learn to survive in any environment but thrive and live with some modicum of safety and comfort.
Personally, I think the 72hr prepper mentality is a bit silly. Packing up a bag to make it through 72hrs is a waste of time and resources. Let us be honest, with a simple bottle or two of water (which can be gathered from the back of a commode if needed), we will not die of dehydration or starvation within 72hrs. Most 72hr emergencies can simply be ridden out by doing nothing.
A true survival situation however has no clear endpoint.
Being prepared for survival is not so much about what we have but knowing how to use it. A true survivalist needs NOTHING. I know from my childhood experience in the woods I can survive and thrive. I can make fire with little effort, I can pull together shelter very quickly, I can make rudimentary weaponry for hunting (and defense if needed), I can purify the nastiest of water and I can scavenge my environment and use what I find in endless industrious ways. I am ready to walk out my door at a moment’s notice with nothing in hand and I am ready to survive.
The most important thing in survival is not what you have but how you use it. So while I am always prepared, I am now taking the time to be better prepared.
So what does this mean? It means gathering the smallest things possible to make basic survival the easiest. Many people refer to this as creating a “bug out” bag/kit. In a scenario of complete social collapse this will be the first thing I grab. Everyone who is a survivalist has their own opinion as to what needs to go in a bug out bag and how much it should weigh. I would say they are all both right and wrong. It is what you carry in your head that is critical. Everything in the bag is for convenience.
For me personally I am going to set a maximum weight of 80lbs with breakouts at the 20lb mark. This does not include my most basic gear, such as my survival knife or my sidearm, as these will be worn at all times. The bug out bag itself is just as much about storage, mobility and ease of stashing when needed. My personal destination is deep woods, so ease of carry is not that big of a concern as I just have to get there. Once there, everything can be stored and this is when my 20lb breakouts become more feasible for day to day survival.
Once I have gathered my bug out supplies I will do a follow-up and post a picture of my bag's content and how each item has its own special purpose.
In the meantime I would also encourage you to get better prepared and make a bug out bag/kit of your own. I encourage your feedback on what you will be including in yours, what items have unique significance and what's your plan of survival.
Remember when making your bug out bag/kit you should prepare for your chosen environment. For city dwellers you will want to choose a more urban plan and supplies than would be necessary for deep woods survival. It is your environment and plan of survival that will best dictate the things that go into your bag or kit.
Invariably when reviewing your bug out bag or kit you will notice something IS missing.
One of the things that every serious survivalist agrees on, is that a good knife or two is critical to being well prepared. At Nashville Gun & Knife we offer a vast array of knives, emergency food supplies, flashlights and of course GUNS and AMMO needed to complete any well-developed bug out bag or kit.
After enough people have submitted pictures of their bug out bag/kit I will post pictures and a checklist to help others better prepare their own. I will also set up a poll and provide a special prize to a winner in each of the three following categories: Outdoor Bug Out, Urban Bug Out and City Bug Out.