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Life in Rural America

What Defines a Survivalist

Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page.  The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that.  I removed the comments and blocked the person.  Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.

There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.

Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?

I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter.  All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.

Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?

What is it like to be a survivalist?  I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.

I consider myself a survivalist.  I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains.  What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.

His entire way of life revolved around the government trying to get him. The paranoia went so far, that the dad busted holes in the walls of the house, then stuck a rifle or shotgun into the holes. In his mind, when the government came to get him, he had a firearm in every room.

The dad did small engine repair, and made just enough money that he did not pay income taxes. A lot of the people paid in cash, so there was no record. The mom was not in the picture, she had left years ago.

The family lived in severe poverty because of the dads obsession with the government. The kid I went to school with, he never had nice clothes. The family tried to live off the grid as much as possible. As a result they lived in poverty.

Is living off the grid and living in poverty how people picture survivalist?

When I think about the post made on the Survivalist Boards facebook wall, I think a family growing their own food, using solar power, living off the grid, living in poverty barely able to buy clothes. I am sure there are a lot of people who can make good money and still live off the grid. After all, if the Amish can flourish off the grid, can’t everyone?

The difference between the Amish and everyone else:

1 – the Amish have the support of their community.

2 – the Amish have been living like that for hundreds of years.

I have no plans on living like the Amish, except for maybe during a long term survival situation. But for some reason, people expect survivalist to live a primitive lifestyle.

How do I live a survivalist lifestyle

I live a survivalist lifestyle by practicing my long term survival skills. This might seem odd to some of yall, but bugging out to the wilderness is not part of my long term survival plan.

My long term survival plans include hunting, gardening, farming and fishing, general homesteading stuff.  My chicken coop was built so that it can be loaded on a trailer and hauled to the Bug Out Location.

What people on Facebook had to say

I decided to ask the following question to the Survivalist Boards facebook page – How would you define a survivalist?

Here are some of the replies I received.

someone that prepares for the worst and hopes for the best

Someone who can take care of their family for an extended period of time without outside influence.

Someone that is NOT counting on FEMA to rush in and save the day in the case of a natural or unnatural disaster. Having seen those poor suckers in food lines, I’d rather be called a survivalist than a victim.

Someone who lives today and plans for tomorrow

Someone who is a realist, who knows that the government isnt always going to be there to help in times of disstress caused by natural disasters.

Someone who is able to survive in extreme situations.

Last one standing.

Someone that can live off the grid at any point and time

Someone who can survive with the bare minimum, knowing what is important and what isn’t.

Maybe knowing how to start a fire without a lighter or matches

All they need is a knife and a canteen.

Someone who isn’t too cute to do what they have to do b4 they have to do it. has a plan for emergencies and is able to follow through with it. Someone who if needs be can be self reliant by any means necessary. and someone who isn’t afraid to shoot the crap out of someone who threatens their or their families very existence. someone I would stand by regardless of race.

Someone who prepares to be independent of commercial services and public conveniences for an extended period of time for a variety of circumstances. Self reliant!

Whoever is left when the smoke clears and the dust settles

Someone who has trained and is mentally and physically equipped and prepared to help his family and himself/herself survive through whatever hardship is thrust upon them whether natural or man made !

I think a survivalist is a person who can sustain his/her self without assistance from other people or organizations or one who has the ability & know how to coop people to work together to establish self-sustainability as a group.

Someone who is Prepared for Whatever comes down the pike. Whether it is by stockpiling food or learning to survive off the land or a combo of them both. Someone who will not have to depend on anyone else to get by and is fully prepared to go it alone if necessary.

To me a survivalist is someone who can make due and adapt to any situation( no matter what). Even if they are not prepared. Government or no government does not matter. There was no government 2000 years ago and they made it. We just have to use our noggins.

Someone who has the knowledge and skills to shelter, find food and water without help from anyone.

A survivalist is someone who can, if the need arises, be completley independent.

A survivalist is a person that prepares for the worst.It doesn’t matter whether it’s hyperinflation,natural disaster,man made calamity,or etc.

I wouldn’t call it paranoid…I would say they know how screwed up this world can be and just decided to roll on their own…best way to stay out of jail if you’re fed up…

Is one who tries to prepare for anything, but equally important can keep their wits about them no matter what the world throws at them…… With discipline and hope!

Not sure how much “sin” would be involved but would be trying to do good and what is right to live life.

None of the above , I would call a Survivalist a person who is aware of his or her surrounds and current events and has the knowledge to Sustain themselves without any help .

A normal person that hopes for the best but prepares for the worst

Smart, realistic, practical…having a strong basic instinct for self preservation, someone who looks life full on and realizes that not all things things are within our control and plans accordingly. In short, a person who cares enough about his family to take steps to ensure, to the best of his ability, they have the basic essentials…someone smart enough to realize FEMA isn’t going to be there…

A person who wisely prepared to provide for him and his loved ones in case of an emergency. Look unto the ant comes to mind. It all comes down to being prepared. I’m a baker who works out of her house and I all ways joke about have 25# bags of flours, rice, sugar but I guess in a way it’s a start.

Someone who can adapt to their environment

Adapt to spontanious environment change, and able to improvise with a calm head to use whats at hand.

Simply someone who has taken the time to develop the skill sets (its ongoing) to survive and support their family without outside support.

A survivalist is someone who makes do with what he has and the skills to survive with it

A survivalist takes care of mind, body and spirit with a holistic and proactive approach in preparing themselves, their families and their community for whatever might come their way. It should not only be about preparing for the worst, it is about peace of mind. A true survivalist is an influencer and would never stand alone

A realist who hopes for the best preps for the worst. Most likely considdered by our government to be a domestic terroist because they believe that the constitution is the surpream law of the land. Believes in our national soverienty Believes in God. Stands for traditional marriage and one who thinks abortion is just leagalized murder.

Someone who is trained to be able to look after himself in a dangerous situation and who is prepared for any disaster.

The one standing and breathing is the survivalist. The dead one on the ground is not. When the SHTF that’s all anyone will care about.

I think the Guy in the woods is one type. My method is to try to learn something useful about as much as is humanly possible. Freeze dried food, ways to make water safe (and the knowledge to do it with everyday chemical and filtration) power sources. Edible local plant knowledge ..guns n ammo etc. I agree to a point with Cherise but I’m in Philadelphia my idea is to bug out and I have to means (even after an EMP)

A survivalist is someone over comes what ever challenges they meet in their efforts to accomplish their goals !

You have to be able to eat the dog….really. Foraging skills and edible anything, and I mean anything.

A little paranoid is good a survivalist is the person who against all odds survives and makes the best out of whatever they have

Someone who endeavors to think beyond the next bend, realizes that nothing lasts forever and that excessive dependence on others is a position of weakness

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock

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