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Gimmie Shelter....With a Prepper

When I was a kid, there was an older guy who lived in a house on my route home from school who was slowly turning his house into a fall-out shelter for when we were attacked by nuclear warheads or zombies. He'd planted large shrubs around his property line so that we couldn't see in, not that we really tried, because he'd scream obscenities at us as we dared to walk past on the public sidewalks. Eventually we learned to cross the road.

But the idea of preparing to be able to survive while the rest of the population was snuffed out always stuck with me. Because while most of us know how to open our computers and peck out a blog post or an email, I'm not sure how well most of us would do without electricity. I feel pretty lost without my computer.

While I am an avid gardener and I can grow my own food, there are many other survivalist skills I simply don't have right now. But as I languish in a pile of my own ineptness, there's a small portion of the population that has begun to prepare for the worst. They call themselves "preppers" and unlike my neighbor, they're not hiding in bunkers, convinced 2012 is the end of the world. They're modern-day survivalists and they live life just like you and I do.

Only, when the end of days come, I want to be next to them.

They're the people who are stockpiling emergency supplies and canned goods and learning to hunt in the event that something catastrophic happens and relearning the skills that so many of us haven't learned. Because we haven't needed to. Why bother learning to sew our own clothes when buying them is easier?

I'll probably never become a full-fledged prepper, but I have to admit that learning a bit more about the old ways of doing things might not be a bad idea.
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  • Yummy Sushi Pajamas 2010/01/03 15:50:40
    Yummy Sushi Pajamas
    +2
    I lie awake at night planning my exit route (and the things I would grab) in the case of some sort of emergency. Despite being more comfortable sleeping in my undies, I wear pajamas to bed just in case I'd ever have to leave the house without time to dress. Now that we have our daughter, it's ten times worse. The other day I had a nightmare that there was an end of the world crisis and we couldn't feed her because she's on formula and we couldn't get it anywhere.

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Opinions

  • taitaFalcon23 2010/01/09 06:10:41
    taitaFalcon23
    Prepper - minimum basics: Knife, material to start fire (drier lint is cheap and reliable - so are plastic baggies to put it in) - 3 ways to make fires - for redundancy... 3 lighters don't count ( ex., you'd have access to: matches, lighter, spyglass). Rope and means to get or create and store water.... read as much as you can
  • Cara 2010/01/04 18:48:23
    Cara
    Be prepared for disaster yes. We keep all the stuff we need to survive Hurricane's and loss of power for an extended period. But if the end of the world were to come, I don't know if I would want the isolation and lonliness that comes along with surviving it.
  • Becky S... Cara 2010/01/04 23:38:02
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    *nods* Me either.
  • taitaFa... Cara 2010/01/09 06:12:05
    taitaFalcon23
    there will be others; that is your strength... man can be like a cockroach sometimes....
  • Gunfighter 2010/01/03 19:29:17
    Gunfighter
    +1
    One of the first mistakes that many "preppers", is to try to make a bunker out of their homes. The problem with that is depending on the state of "emergency" a departure from said bunker (and the supplies that go with it) might be necessary from a security perspective.

    Best to establish a two week supply of edibles and ofther needs regarding clothing, shelter, hygine, and water purification.

    Some things you'll need (Items marked with an asterisk denotes an item that every member of your family will need):

    A knife/mulit-tool

    waterproof matches

    Candles

    heavy work gloves*

    socks*

    two pair of sturdy, of road shoes*

    Solar powered Lantern/Flash lights*

    Rope (40 feet)

    light duty rope (40 feet)

    Nylon tarp*

    large, sturdy back pack*

    cold weather clothing*

    Weapons/ammunition (don't get squeamish. There will be lots of unprepared people who wil want the things that you were smart enough to have. You may have to defend yourself... or hunt)

    Sleeping bag/pad/blankets*

    a pot & frying pan

    fishing line & hooks, etc...

    Hatchet/tomahawk*

    full sized axe

    folding shovel*

    saw*

    sunglasses*

    medications*

    Analgesics

    cough medicine

    trama kit

    lots of gause and pressure bandages

    sewing kit

    If you do it right, you can spend about $200 per person and do most of this. Of course...



    One of the first mistakes that many "preppers", is to try to make a bunker out of their homes. The problem with that is depending on the state of "emergency" a departure from said bunker (and the supplies that go with it) might be necessary from a security perspective.

    Best to establish a two week supply of edibles and ofther needs regarding clothing, shelter, hygine, and water purification.

    Some things you'll need (Items marked with an asterisk denotes an item that every member of your family will need):

    A knife/mulit-tool

    waterproof matches

    Candles

    heavy work gloves*

    socks*

    two pair of sturdy, of road shoes*

    Solar powered Lantern/Flash lights*

    Rope (40 feet)

    light duty rope (40 feet)

    Nylon tarp*

    large, sturdy back pack*

    cold weather clothing*

    Weapons/ammunition (don't get squeamish. There will be lots of unprepared people who wil want the things that you were smart enough to have. You may have to defend yourself... or hunt)

    Sleeping bag/pad/blankets*

    a pot & frying pan

    fishing line & hooks, etc...

    Hatchet/tomahawk*

    full sized axe

    folding shovel*

    saw*

    sunglasses*

    medications*

    Analgesics

    cough medicine

    trama kit

    lots of gause and pressure bandages

    sewing kit

    If you do it right, you can spend about $200 per person and do most of this. Of course, your needs will vary depending on the size and ages of the members of your family.



    (more)
  • Becky S... Gunfighter 2010/01/04 23:38:18
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    Gunfigher. I heart you. I do, really. I'm glad to be your BFF.
  • taitaFa... Gunfighter 2010/01/09 06:16:52
    taitaFalcon23
    your list is pretty good - however, when confused go with the basics of: the means to make fire, water and make 'things'; you may want a spear for example). So you need 3 means to make fire( matches, spyglass, lighter), a water source and storage, and rope.... I'd add a mountain bike to your list but that is where things get confusing - what's important to you, may not mean a fig to someone else.
  • Gunfighter taitaFa... 2010/01/11 03:23:15
    Gunfighter
    My list wasn't meant to be all-inclusive. Sufficiency, as you said, can maebn different things to different people. Certainly, where you live and the time of year that catastrophe strikes are also factors.
  • taitaFa... Gunfighter 2010/01/11 15:55:11
    taitaFalcon23
    agreed
  • bashtree 2010/01/03 15:54:17
    bashtree
    +1
    Dude, me too! I am all about becoming as self-sufficient as I can. My decidedly black thumb is slowly lightening to a shade of brown (which means that it took me 2 years to kill mint, and all the vegetable plants I grew did in fact grow, but no vegetables ever appeared) and I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to grow food too, like you (jealous!). And this year, soapmaking is on the list too :) My husband would like to be 'off the grid' when possible. And he's been talking about taking archery classes....which actually sounds a little fun. Until I had to fling an arrow at a rabbit. And then cook it. I would probably cry and/or twitch the whole time.
  • Becky S... bashtree 2010/01/03 17:06:21
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    The idea of flinging an arrow at a rabbit (the visual, mind you) is funny. But being self-sufficient is a good thing, I think.
  • Yummy Sushi Pajamas 2010/01/03 15:50:40
    Yummy Sushi Pajamas
    +2
    I lie awake at night planning my exit route (and the things I would grab) in the case of some sort of emergency. Despite being more comfortable sleeping in my undies, I wear pajamas to bed just in case I'd ever have to leave the house without time to dress. Now that we have our daughter, it's ten times worse. The other day I had a nightmare that there was an end of the world crisis and we couldn't feed her because she's on formula and we couldn't get it anywhere.
  • Becky S... Yummy S... 2010/01/03 17:07:13
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    I've been planning my exit route since I was a kid and learned about how we were supposed to do that for fire safety. Sadly, I do not have a ladder in my bedroom to get down the side of my house. Which I suppose I should get.
  • Yummy S... Becky S... 2010/01/03 18:37:08
    Yummy Sushi Pajamas
    +3
    I'm off to Walmart today, and it's all I can do not to get a ladder now, though Evi sleeps downstairs so I imagine it wouldn't matter.
  • Treecat47 2009/12/31 22:34:48 (edited)
    Treecat47
    If these things happened, people would survive better than many of us think. One of the human race's greatest attributes is adaptation.

    Also who is to say these shelter people would survive well? Some would but are they psychologically prepared for possibilities? Are they as prepared as much as you think?

    Of course I'm not saying these things will happen, they are unlikely but still possible.
  • Jennifer B 2009/12/31 18:56:21
    Jennifer B
    Well, I KNEW there was a reason I keep all those books in the house. Otherwise, I'd go insane without my computer. I can survive without electricity & shopping for quite a while, but the whole hunting thing? mmmm. not so much. How will I live without soda and junkfood????? Argh.
  • Becky S... Jennifer B 2009/12/31 19:42:28
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    See? EXACTLY. We could home brew Diet Coke.
  • Rebecca 2009/12/31 17:51:55
    Rebecca
    While death due to whatever 2012 might bring........or might not bring, I think it might be more frightening being one of the only ones to survive. I would feel so alone if it was just a few members of my family and I hanging around. The people I'd be in a shelter with wouldn't be immune to colds, flus, death.........resulting in more isolation. What would there be to enjoy?
  • Becky S... Rebecca 2009/12/31 19:42:02
    Becky Sherrick Harks
    Yeah, exactly. Plus, with my luck, it would be the members of my family who hate me, and they'd hate me after the world ended so I'd be even more isolated. Good call.
  • The Only Girl 2009/12/31 16:55:07
    The Only Girl
    I have been considering buying a crank radio and flashlight. Perhaps I'll get on that now. Baby steps you know.

About Me

Becky Sherrick Harks

Becky Sherrick Harks

Saint Charles, IL, US

2009/12/22 00:55:26

Doesn't sleep. She waits.

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