Survivalism, like everything else changes with time. During the Cold War – the 1950s and 1960s – people were worried about nuclear war with Russia. In the 1990s theories were a dime a dozen about how the United Nations was going to invade the USA. In the 2000s we were worried about terrorist attacks, and now in 2010 we are worried about financial collapse.
As I think about the past few decades, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s,,, to me, the 1990s was the best decade for survivalism. While Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he probably he did more to promote survivalism / conspiracy theories then anyone else that I can think of, besides maybe Janet Reno and the Waco situation.
1991 we had the Persian Gulf conflict – Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We got to see how well the Russian made tanks held up against the M1 Abrams. We got to see the stealth fighter and bomber. The world saw that the USA can kick some butt and take names later – if there was enough left to even name.
In 1992 there was Ruby Ridge and Randy Weaver
In February to April of 1993 we had the siege in Waco.
In 1994 we had the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA – even though Bill Clinton said during his campaign that he would not sign NAFTA, after getting elected, he crawfished on the subject and quickly signed the treaty.
Then there the books like Vampire Slayer 2000 – that predicted the new world order by the year 2000.
American Survival Guide was still being published. ASG is one thing that I really miss about the 1990s.
The stickers on the back side of street signs – those are direction stickers for UN troops – at least that is what the conspiracy theories said anyway.
The assualt rifle ban was signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994, which did not help public relations any.
There was talk of a United Nations invasion, and door-to-door gun seizers. This went along with the assualt rifle ban. Whoever did not hand over their guns, the UN would go to your house and arrest you.
Black Hawk army helicopters were flying low over livestock in some kind of experiment. I never did really understand this conspiracy theory.
The internet was still in its infancy. I remember an article in ASG about using bulletin boards on the internet. The article went into detail about internet service providers, having a 14kb modem (or slower), compuserve and I think AOL was even mentioned. The article included a picture of an old DOS based computer,,, it sure is strange to look back on those articles now.
To get ready for the year 2K
My buddies and I stockpiled bout 2 cords of firewood – to be able to cook after the power plants went off line. My buddy and I had bar-b-q pits that used wood. So we would be able to cook for a long time without electricity.
We stockpiled several months worth of food.
We bought several 16 gallon drums and filled them with gasoline. this was for the generator and our trucks.
We had our bug out location ready, with primary and secondary evacuation routes picked out. I would take the time to drive the bug out routes, record the mileage, and drive time.
My buddies and I, we held meetings where we had brainstorming sessions. We would throw out ideas and discuss them. We talked about stuff like bugging out, hunting, stockpiling food, water, cooking after the power plants went off line,,, typical stuff that survivalist talk about.
There are several things about the 1900s that I miss, like my kids still being little. But they have to grow up sooner or later.
Post your comments in this forum thread about being a survivalist in the 1990s.