Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism? They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives. Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?
There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession? What about a hobby and a lifestyle?
If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession? If so, is work an obsession? Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession. Other times work is something we do to live.
If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?
Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life. Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?
There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.
Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would your survival gear stockpile look like? For a lot of survivalist it would be mostly beans and bullets – meaning not very much thought has been put into the plans.
When the SurvivalistBoards youtube channel was opened, I wanted to publish a wide range of videos. The plans were to post videos about everything from gardening to wilderness survival. There are certain topics that do better then others. It seems that fishing videos probably do the worst in view counts, and firearm videos do the best.
But to have a balanced channel and blog, I think one should cover a wide range of topics. It seems that example videos and articles work best. Instead of saying what people should do, I show people what I am doing, and end it with that. Then let the viewer make up their own mind.
How does all of this relate to stockpiling survival gear? When dealing with survivalism, I do not think its enough to just stockpile bullets and beans. A well rounded, long term SHTF survival plan, should cover as much information and resources as possible. It is not enough to buy a case of 7.62×39, store some rice and beans in mylar bags, and then proclaim you have a well rounded survival plan. Ammo, rice and beans are not a well rounded plan.
With organizations like FEMA, and the preparedness divisions of the separate states telling people to stay prepared for a disaster, there is no reason not to listen. All families should have at least 7 days worth of food in their house, and a small stockpile of bottled water. Some people stockpile MREs, while others may stockpile canned goods, beans and rice, or even freeze dried foods.
By previous examples, the government is either inept, unable, or unwilling to protect its citizens during a disaster.
Lets take the outbreak of the swine flu for example. When the swine flu was first reported in mexico, President obama refused to close to borders with mexico, citing companies would lose too much money of the borders were closed. By that example, when it comes down to profit or protecting the citizens, the government will protect the profits of big business over the safety and welfare of the citizens.
With the government willing to sacrifice safety in the name of profits for big business, is their 3 – 5 days worth of food and water sound advice? I do not think so.
In some kind of disaster, the less prepared people are, the more dependent they will be on the government. This is where the concept of stockpiling survival gear comes from. Lets say that some kind of long lasting disaster happens – civil unrest (LA riots for example), hurricane, natural disasters, another world war,,,, I do not want my family standing in a food line to get something to eat. I would rather have a garden, and stockpiled food to help us get through what ever happens.
In my opinion, there are about 4 levels of prepping:
Short term preppers – these are the people that buy enough food for a couple of weeks. they may keep a months worth of canned goods, rice and beans on hand. These are the people that go into panic buying mode when there is news of a disaster. When the news says there is a hurricane on the way, these are the people that run down to the store and buy as many supplies as they can afford. I do not consider people who keep only about 1 – 2 weeks worth of food stockpiled “true” survivalist.
Medium term preppers / survivalist – these are the people that might keep 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled. They may be stockpiling mountain house foods, storing rice, beans and oatmeal in mylar bags.
Long term survivalist – these are the people that store food in every closet, basement, closet and corner of their house. Long term survivalist try to keep around 1 year of food and water stockpiled.
Top tier survivalist – these are the ones that have planned food production past one year, have access to a farm, have prepared a secure Bug Out Location, have land to garden and places to hunt and fish. A top tier survivalist would rely on stockpiled food in the short term, or until they can get their livestock and garden production up to sustainable levels.
The name “top tier survivalist” may not be correct, but its the only name I could really thing of at the time.
Besides dividing survivalist into groups defined by how much they stockpile, there are another series of groups – the hobby prepper/survivalist, your lifestyle survivalist and the radical survivalist.
Hobby survivalist: Are the ones that jump on and off the prepping bandwagon, depending on current events or who they are influenced by. The hobby survivalist probably does not keep a good inventory of their survival stocks, probably does not keep more then a few weeks of supplies on hand.
Lifestyle survivalist: These are the people that make survivalism part of their lifestyle. Everything they do in some way revolves around prepping. Whether its fishing, hiking, hunting,,,, lifestyle survivalist associate the activity to survivalism.
The radical survivalist: These are the people that stockpile weapons and ammo in the fear that the US government is going to enforce marshal law, round up everyone that opposes the government and send those people to FEMA death camps. Radical survivalist are nothing more then fear mongers.
When I was in high school, the father of one of my buddies was what I consider a radical survivalist. He had a firearm hidden in every room of the house, to the point of knocking holes in the walls, hiding a firearm inside the wall, and then putting a pictures over the wall. His reasons for having firearms in every room was so that when the FBI or BATF raided his house, he would have a firearm within reach.
Fast forward 25 years, and the guys house was never raided. I never understood “why” the FBI or BATF would want to raid the guys house anyway. He was a law-abiding citizen, so I did not understand where the paranoia came from.
The 1970s and the 1980s were interesting times for survivalist. The threat of nuclear war with Russia was a clear and present danger. Russia was in Afghanistan getting its butt kicked by a bunch of nomads. Duck and cover public service announcements were broadcast on TV. Soldier of Fortune magazine and American Survival Guide was the reading material of the day. But it was in the 1990s and beyond when things really got “interesting.”
When I was in high school (1982 – 1986), the dad of one of my friends seemed a little “radical” to say the least. If not radical, maybe just very, very paranoid. This was before I had very much knowledge or experience in stuff like the New World Order (NWO) and conspiracy theories.
This happened about 23 years ago, but I am going to try and tell the story the best that my memory serves me.
The father of my buddy had busted holes in the walls of the house, then stuck a rifle into the hole. He said if the feds ever come to get him, he wanted a firearm within reach. So there was a gun in the wall of every room. Even while sitting on the toilet there was a firearm within reach.
The dad stayed armed just about all the time with a Colt 1911 45 ACP. There were a couple of times where the dad was seen in town with the pistol. One time he was at a local grocery store when a clerk saw the pistol in his pocket – the clerk called the police. When the police approached the man, the son asked the officer if they could talk in private. The son told the police that his dad was a little “off” – and he was. The police officer was nice enough not to arrest the man, but made him leave the store.
Then there was the stories of the FBI watching his house, bugging his telephone, following him,,,,,,.
My buddies dad ran a small home based business and repaired small engines, such as lawn mowers and boat motors. I think this had something to do with making below a certain amount so he did not have to pay income taxes.
The family lived a very frugal lifestyle, ate a lot of cheap food (such as peanut butter), wore clothes that had holes in them, did not go to town very often. If memory serves me right, most of their food was out of store bought cans. This was so when the power was cut off very little food would spoil. I remember the family eating a lot of peanut butter and honey.
One story the dad told me went something like this – years ago he was away from home working on a construction job. Instead of renting an apartment or hotel room, he slept under his car. There just happened to be a panther living in the area. So the dad started putting food out for that panther and slowly tamed it.
About 3 years ago – 2005, 2006 or 2007 – I saw the dad at a local grocery store. He looked kinda rough and gave the appearance of being homeless. His hair was in a tangled mess, his clothes were dirty looking and he had a strange, almost lost look in his eyes. He is not homeless as I know where he lives and I see his car parked there on a regular basis. I did not speak to him, maybe I should have, maybe I am glad I didn’t.
I just can not imagine being so paranoid, as to believe that the government is watching everything that I do. It seemed that my buddies dad was obsessed that the FBI (or someone else) was watching every move he made.