Your Personal Survival

If “things” go south for any reason you will be faced with the following challenge: You must reinforce or replace “everything” that you had previously relied on others, to provide. Another way of putting it is, creating your own personal economy.

In time those personal economies will evolve into one large economy and the cycle begins all over again. The past reveals the future. What causes us to repeat history is that our experience tells us an incomplete story.

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Fire Water and Food

With fire you can stay warm, prevent hypothermia, “purify water” and cook; that is if you have something to cook. Water can keep you hydrated, which is to stay alive and provide a way to keep your rice from burning. Two great elements to have around if they are on hand. 

Food however is going to be your biggest challenge. Ed Wardle Went ninety days in the wilderness alone with a backpack a small cache of food and ample hunting gear. His greatest challenge besides loneliness was the lack of a suitable food supply. The bottom line is that most of the world is hugely dependent on others for their daily bread. Growers, processors and transportation networks are all vital to our daily sustenance. To replace that system takes a good deal of skill and knowledge in order to feed ourselves and our families. It would be a good idea to have some sort of backup plan in case the aforementioned system fails.

Oh, back to the fire thing for a minute. Starting a fire is easy, just light a match; right? Wrong. Making a fire from scratch is not as easy as you might think. Forget the log lighters etc and try making a fire with some tinder and whatever fuel you can gather. It takes a bit of skill. If you don’t believe me, clean out the fireplace and start one from scratch; it’s a real education.

You’ve made fire and found water but it’s food that will be what saves you in the long term. There are a myriad of ways to find food, be it the hunter gatherer method or growing your own but somehow you will have to find a way to eat.

In the age of high tech gadgets of all kinds and technology that boggles the mind it’s interesting that the fundamentals of life are still our greatest needs and wouldn’t it be a great idea if we all turned our attention to the skills that will keep us going but have taken for granted because we thought we didn’t need them anymore.


Are you prepared at work?

Being prepared is just good sense. Things are changing rapidly and “nobody” knows for sure what will happen or when. Natural disaster, Utility failure, forest fire, flood and social unrest. The list goes on. While it’s prudent for each person to have their own plan and supplies it is also prudent to think about your work environment.

Suppose you’re snowed in at work; you can’t get home and travel in the city is reduced to foot traffic. They say it will be a few days before they can get the roads cleared. Here are a few things to consider. Will the heat be on in your place of business and of course what about food and water? Those items alone is enough to give anyone pause.
The first response will be to look to “the boss” for answers. What sort of preparations have been made will become evident very quickly.

If nothing has been done and there are only a couple of people who have some energy bars; those won’t last long if you have a dozen or so employees standing around. If the power is still on you may have water but if not the situation will get dark pretty fast.

No electricity means: No heat usually, city water will not pump, no lights or anything else that plugs in. On top of basic survival there may be other concerns such as health issues.

There are dozens of scenarios but the picture is pretty clear. The best remedy is to make your own plan that fits your area, climate etc. To get the ball rolling you can look here.


The single 30s Urban Minimalist

It’s easier when you’re young and single to keep everything neat and the messes of life to a minimum. Unfortunately as you get older life gets a little more messy. As you bring more and more people into your life it requires greater effort to keep all that stuff at arms length. You can do it but it also means that you will have to exclude some of the experiences you could learn from —out of the picture. You may have to refine your minimalism to fit or retire to a kind of monastic existence. Theory and practice are always two different things.

Relationships, marriage, kids, in-laws, coworkers all bring a certain complexity that is beyond our control. Stuff on the other hand is easier to edit but still requires a lot of work. Real life is not for the lazy man or the one who shuns diligence. We all have to work at something or we are in want.

I try to edit things down to three simple metaphors of living; Bed, Table and Chair. Understanding the motive for this is very revealing and perhaps more valuable than the doing. What’s beyond this life is found in the motive.

Searching your motives is a solitary act; the rest of living is mostly a matter of editing.


The rise of the bag movie

I recently posted a little piece about bags and how they play a role in our “everyday carry”. If you don’t know the term “everyday carry”, I would refer you to your favorite search engine. Nowadays just about everyone has some sort of bag, waist pack, satchel or piece of clothing etc. that serves as a way to carry our “tools”.

Since I come from the Boy Scout “be prepared” camp I think it’s kinda cool to be ready for whatever. Also I’ve noticed that a lot of movies are, for lack of a better term, “bag heavy”. Many character’s carry something and I’m not sure if this is simply a tech prop or a case of art imitating life.

What do you think? Are the movies more “bag heavy” or am I dreaming. One example of “bag heavy” would be the Bourne Trilogy.


When you realize

You’ve just received an text alert on your phone that [ insert crisis here ] has happened and it is not safe to return home. It’s about this time that you realize your emergency kit is in the trunk of your car which is in the shop for repairs. Fortunately you have a few things in your backpack but you still must find food/water, shelter and stuff.

How prepared or adaptable would you be in this situation? It might be as simple as staying with someone in an unaffected area till the crisis is resolved but if you have no transport, cash or other resources could you cope?

Imagining scenarios like this is a good way to train and find the strengths or weaknesses in your plan. It’s telling that we have sites like ready.gov popping up. The Boy Scouts weren’t kidding with that “Be Prepared” thing.


Secrets… shhhh

Secrets or “steps” or “keys” are often things that someone else has had the time to throughly investigate. There are only two kinds of secrets; those which are open but must be uncovered and real secrets which generally lie locked up in mens hearts. We all know a few of each type.

The real insight is this. You gain steps and keys over the span of your life and even if you can stuff your brain full of information it won’t help you if you don’t practice it. TLP