Doomsday prep beginner’s take: mistakes

preppers

So I’m getting into softcore doomsday prepping, and this will be a series.  Why?  Because it seems like those people have millions of practical skills, something we socialist urban Millennials lack dearly.  Because they are a gun culture.  And because I like mixing with scenes not usually associated with the Left, so I can meet people outside my own bubble for both curiosity and persuasion purposes.  (Besides, even if they are all Ron Paul supporters, they really love renewable energy!)

I immediately noticed that a lot of people are doingitwrong.

 

Being unsystematic

The first thing I noticed is that there is a ridiculous wealth of information out there, but it’s not organized.  There are very overwhelming lists of all these different things you have to do, but they are often not properly categorized into the key areas of human need/infrastructural readiness.  A beginner has no fricking idea where to start, and instead you end up with these confusing infinite lists of items and skills which are more discouraging than encouraging.

Besides, systematically breaking things down into categories is a good way to help yourself build habits of thought which allow you to cover your bases as you prepare and as you endure.  So here I have tried to cover the basics systematically.

Individual & single-family preparations

If your house is totally stocked up while the neighbors are all starving, you commit another mistake: making yourself a visible target.  Many survival manuals explain some skills which an individual can utilize.  But how long do you see yourself lasting alone?  Any kind of reliable security system, with people manning the night shift, is going to require a group of at least eight people.

Besides, two things: won’t you just feel incredibly bored and meaningless without society?  And do you really think you’re enough of a badass to provide every one of your needs without some kind of network of interdependence?  There are too many categories of need – you need to create an operational infrastructure system that takes too much effort for one person or even a single family to establish, but once stabilized, can provide enough viability to share with a group.

Over-reliance on a doomsday bunker

My least favorite thing about people building doomsday bunkers is that they require so much money, and anyone in the left-leaning, urban-oriented Millennial generation has none, for the most part.  In fact we have negative money, we have student debt.

Anyway, you can never know what will happen.  Many preppers have their own hyper-specific theory about exactly how shit will go down, and prepare particularly for that.  Is that really necessary, to pick your favorite crackpot scenario?  Why not just prepare for generalized infrastructural collapse?  But of course, you could end up dealing with a flood, or a virus, or maybe a civil war instead of a civil breakdown, or something strange could happen that disconnects you from your warm little safe haven.  In my opinion, real prepping is not about staying inside – it is actually about having a plan for navigating the brutal, cutthroat, violent outside world.

Thinking you can keep your prepping a secret

You’ve told at least one other person about your prepping, and when SHTF, everyone will immediately start thinking of who they know who preps.  Conversations will happen now and after SHTF, and it will go public.  Even if you tell literally no one else (like your immediate family even, who will probably blab at least once), people might make some obvious observations about your hobbies or things they notice around your home.  While it might be a good idea to keep your prepping as secret as possible, anything can happen.  So be prepared by possessing enough armed force to turn people away, by not making the next mistake.

Failing to form a gang

And a gang is how you navigate the outside world.  It deserves its own blog post.  Any reliable security situation needs a group of people so that you can take shifts standing guard at night.  And because most of us don’t have farms, the initial food supply situation will instead rely on procurement.  You are going to have to go find supplies in their typical American containerized form, to buy you enough short-term viability until you build not just any settlement, but a settlement stable and expansive enough to allow enough agriculture to realistically feed you year-round.  (And enough to feed the crew you probably need to secure such a space and related agricultural supplies.)

That temporary dependence on the remaining containerized food, for at least a year if not more, will be contentious.  Grocery and convenience stores will be ransacked, but they will also be war zones of competition.  Think of a post-apocalyptic grocery store like the initial bloodbath in The Hunger Games.  Everyone is there, you don’t want to be there.  And if you’re going to go there (which you’ll ultimately have to), you need to go with an armed crew ready to throw down.

You can form your survival gang now before the collapse, or you can have stuff in storage to entice others to join you once the shit hits the fan.  But it’s best if you at least know your way around guns and have one or a few yourself.

Placing your hope in the countryside

The city will become a deathtrap, but if you think you’re going to rush out of there and be welcomed, you’ll be up against suburban communities who are already panicked taking care of themselves.  They will probably shoot refugees on sight, if not simply turning them away with words and warning shots.  (This happened during Katrina.)

If you hoped to live off the wilderness by hunting and fishing, good job, so did everyone else – the game suddenly is not enough to split between all the contenders.  You will have to hit the countryside or some kind of empty space eventually for farming purposes, but beyond that?  Expect to work with where you are, or wherever you end up.

No renewable food vision

You can store food, but for how long?  You’re going to have to be obsessive to really store enough for years.  And what if you have to take on extra people?  Start cutting your food timeline into fractions.  Of course, if you refuse to take on extra people, you massively jeopardize your security by making yourself the subject of public envy.

All roads of survival ultimately point to restarting civilization by establishing some agriculture.  And no, not the perfect cyclic ecosystem in your doomsday compound.  You are going to have to sway with events, work with the outside world, and set it up in some kind of survivor settlement which you initially had no plans for.  There is a transitional life cycle for survivors, from being an individual in a collapse, to being part of a sustainable community.  You have to figure it out, and follow it.  (That’s another post.)

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