Ask Urban Scout: The Preparedness Question
Hey there Scout,
I am just wondering that, while you are honing your skills to be able to create new out of the aftermath of civilization while nature is still intact, what are your thoughts about what to gather from this world (i.e ropes, tarps, rations, guns) to facilitate survival during whatever happens whenever it happens. haha the future is so wonderfully vague but extremely heavy if you have the proper amount of imagination and paranoia! also do you have a place to escape to, do you think this is necessary? a plan on how to get there undetected, other people to join? i am working on all of these problems right now but my energy and focus rise and fall like the sun and that quickly and if its a nice day outside you can guarantee i am not focusing on the warm weather clothing and wool blankets i will need stowed, mostly working working on my tan(vitamin d), muscles and ability to become nature as to remain undetectable. but i know there are things that are extremely important that will insure that the people with the right intentions for nature and the universe can prevail and that we should have these at the ready just in case anything happens. its funny because i have gone to some “survival” website with lists about what have, they will list “at least a half gallon of water per day per individual, which does not provide water for hygiene, so be sure to take breath mints and STRONG DEODORANT” seriously these people are worried about “hygiene” and its the Apocalypse?!?!? i guess if they weren’t intending to survive on MRES, which are sure to putrefy their systems, they wouldn’t smell so foul but come on, if you even wear deodorant right now i am pretty sure you have a special comet with your name on it hurling towards the earth this second..
I don’t know how well to say thanks but keep exploring and sharing,
Thanks for your questions! (and I appreciate your sense of humor) I’m sure you can imagine I get questions like these fairly often. What supplies should I have for the SHTF (shit hits the fan) scenario? Unfortunately most people hate my response… because I’m not really one of the SHTF people…
while you are honing your skills to be able to create new out of the aftermath of civilization while nature is still intact
I’d like to say that first and foremost I don’t think of myself as honing my skills to be able to create new out of the aftermath of civilization, but rather, I’m creating a new world to live in right now because I don’t like this one. I would be doing this work even if I didn’t think that civilization was collapsing. Which I’d also like to say, is already happening. Civilization has been in a state of collapse since the dark ages. The events that have prevented total collapse were two things; expanding into North/South America and the invention of the steam engine and then the oil one. If we see that civilization is already collapsing, we can start to see that “collapse” is not an over night event, but a slow and ugly death. At his talks, Derrick Jensen asks the audience what their threshold is for fighting back. What will it take for people to fight back against civilizations destruction of the planet? He lists the different species that have gone extinct or brought to the edge of extinction in the last hundred years or so and asks, when will you fight back? When the salmon are gone? When the polar bears are gone? etc. In the same way, I’d like to think of the SHTF scenario in the same way; what is your â€œshitâ€? When the salmon go, will that be the shit hitting the fan? When the ice caps melt? etc. Collapse is a process, not an event. It can be marked by larger events, but the process itself is slow and painful depending on your addictions to civilization. That’s not to say that fucked up events that are part of collapse can’t happen over night. Obviously there are tipping points (bigger pieces of â€œshitâ€) in various systems like the economy and the environment that could bring about quick changes.
what are your thoughts about what to gather from this world (i.e ropes, tarps, rations, guns) to facilitate survival during whatever happens whenever it happens.
I think that the stockpile mentality is a short-term one. Even if you stockpiled food for 7 years, at the end of the 7 years you’d better have a stable food production system in place. Generally people who spend time stockpiling don’t have a long term plan and if they do it involves seed saving for farming and domestication of animals. The stockpiling person doesnâ€™t make a long-term plan because they operate under the belief system that civilization will recover. Survival skills in the end, only keep you alive long enough for rescue. Stockpiling only keeps you alive through what they think will end at some point. In a total collapse scenario, civilized economic recovery will not occur. Not to the extent people will believe it to. So when we look at supplies, we need to imagine what level of technology, economy, etc. will we stay at after collapse?
The stockpile is a way of having a (false) sense of security. People want to feel that they have their bases covered; “Once I get everything on this list I’ll be able to survive anything!” Unfortunately for those people, it’s a delusion. In this culture, we are taught that wealth and possessions are a form of security. In natural systems however, which will take precedence in collapse, cooperative relationships are the best way to have security.
Now I can hear you all saying, “Sure, sure Scout. Love your neighbor and all that… But uh, what should we stockpile?” It seems no matter how many times I explain this to people, they still want me to give them a list of supplies. What I have seen is people just get the list of stuff, and think they’ll be okay when something terrible happens. Let me say it again; there is nothing you can do or buy that will make you completely safe and secure as collapse intensifies or during a SHTF event. Who knows? Yes, there are things you can do that will increase your chances, but only in the short term. You need a long-term plan, and by that, I mean you need a long-term relationship with the land, its other-than-human companions, and with people you can consider family who also have this relationship with the land and its other-than-human companions.
also do you have a place to escape to, do you think this is necessary? a plan on how to get there undetected, other people to join?
A lot of people have different ideas about this. Some people say you need to hunker down and stay put. That staying in a place you have a familiarity with should sit at the top of your priorities. Again, this plan of â€œstay putâ€ can only really mean that you expect a cultural recovery to take place. If you didnâ€™t expect a recovery, you would want to stay on the move because once you (and/or your group) stay in one place long enough, you will deplete the resources you depend on for survival.
A more long-term strategy would involve getting to know multiple pieces of land and tend them on a seasonal circuit, they way our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. Then you wonâ€™t have to â€œescapeâ€ from anywhere, because youâ€™ll live right where you need to. And then we come back to the idea that rewilding does not imply preparedness, but re-creating a culture that uses regenerative principles.
but i know there are things that are extremely important that will insure that the people with the right intentions for nature and the universe can prevail and that we should have these at the ready just in case anything happens.
The things that have extreme importance for ensuring people with the intention of not fucking up the planet or fucking over anyone, do not have to do with stockpiling products, but stockpiling quality relationships.
â€œOkay, okay! Geez Scout. I get it. Butâ€¦ seriously, what can I get?â€ Oh, shit. Fine. Iâ€™ll tell you what Iâ€™ve got in my backpack!
1. Carving Knife
2. Leatherman Tool
3. Water purifyer
4. Water bottle
5. 12X12 Camo tarp
6. Matches (in a water proof containter)
7. 3 lighters
8. 100ft Parachute Cord (probably want more)
9. Spool of fishing line
10. Alan wrench set
11. Small crescent wrench
12. Rain Jacket
13. Rain leggings
15. Collapsible saw
16. Mini hatchet
17. Medium sized metal pot (for boiling water/cooking)
18. Mini sewing kit
19. Small Water-proof notebook
21. Sleeping bag (in water proof stuff sack)
22. Road/Topo Maps
23. Back-packing stove w/ 1 extra fuel container
24. Roll of plastic baggies
25. Small Battery-free Flashlight (the kind you shake to charge)
26. Small mag-lite w/ extra batteries
…I think that’s it. I’d take everything out and catalog it, but then I’d have to fit it all back in again and that takes fucking forever. One of the things you will notice about my list; I donâ€™t have food rations. Why? Because I know enough edible wild plants. I also know how to kill enough game, assuming of course, that any exists in a total enviro-collapse scenario! But again, you can see that my list has non-renewable expendables. Once they brake, if I canâ€™t fix them, Iâ€™ll need to know how to make them. To know how to make them, Iâ€™ll need to know what trees serve what purposes, in order to know where the trees live, Iâ€™ll need to have a preexisting relationship with the land. Etc. etc. etc. etc.
So yeah. That about sums it all up. Don’t rely on the short-term stockpile mythology. Go out there and start rewilding now.
Thanks Jessica! Does that help?
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