Isn’t it a shame that we can’t get people as excited about preparedness as one author did about a man’s variations in his sexual interests? I mean… yeah, I understand that almost anything to do with sex is more interesting that preparedness, planning and survival, but if you die for lack of preparedness you’re not going to be around to enjoy sex anyway, right? That said, the whole “fifty shades” thing got me to thinking that there are probably that many different kind of preppers (if not more) and quite often we’re all lumped together in the same basket in spite of our differences.
Think about it: at the most basic and simple level of preparedness there are probably several million people just in the United States. These are the folks who have a week’s worth of food in their freezer and/or pantry. They have some candles (that they can easily put their hands on) for a power outage. They might even have a battery-operated radio and a non-internet based phone that’s hard wired (not cordless) so it’ll still work even if the power goes out.
At the other end of the spectrum are those folks who have constructed a “survival” or “doomsday” bunker complete with an independent power source, water source, secure access and bio-chemical filtration systems in the air control units. If they’ve gone that far there’s also likely an armory in the bunker and a healthy stockpile of ammo. There’s probably an even larger stockpile of vacuum-packed long term storage food stuffs.
There are also folks who exist at both ends of that preparedness spectrum: they have a primary residence and are prepared, at the most basic level, for emergencies but they also have a redoubt someplace that they intend to bug-out and head for when the stuff hits the fan (SHTF).
Some “preppers” don’t believe that a fixed location will be good for survival after the SHTF so they plan, practice and prepare for less comfortable nomadic existence, living off the land as they move and carrying all of their survival supplies either on their person or in their vehicle. Honestly, most folks I know who plan to bug-out of their primary residence in the event of a severe emergency or disaster also recognize that their vehicle may break down, run out of gas, etc. and they plan to shoulder their gear and continue on foot to their destination.
Some folks prepare for an economic collapse. Some folks prepare for a governmental collapse (although I happen to believe that one wouldn’t happen without the other). Some folks prepare for what they see as the inevitable invasion of the United States by countries that hold our debt OR those folks prepare for what they see as the inevitable 2nd civil war as patriots rise up against the growing unchecked spread of federal power.
Then there are the whole slew of people who all in between all those categories, mix and match them and prepare at some level they feel is sufficient. Others might criticize their preparations as insufficient. Others might call them crazy or say “they’re going overboard.” There will ALWAYS be people who are critical of you what you do, how you do it and why. Then there’s the rest of us: people who agree that being prepared is necessary and capable of holding a rational conversation about what level of “prepared” is enough. Most of us realize that “prepared enough” is as much a personal choice as the selection of a self-defense handgun or a person’s favorite knife. In other words, no one can be critical of my preparedness level; I’m the only person who has to be happy with it.
That recognized, let’s recognize one other thing though: no matter what your level of preparedness is it needs to address a few basic needs or it simply isn’t complete. Yes, I know I just said no one can be critical of your preparedness and if you make the conscious decision to ignore an important facet of your necessities as you plan and prepare, that’s on you. You’ll be the one paying the price – and hopefully you don’t have any family or loved ones who depend on you to help take care of them even as you knowingly choose to ignore an identified need.
So what are those identified needs?
- Shelter – protection from the elements.
Those truly are the most basic of needs and they CAN be provided for without stocking a “doomsday bunker.” Of course, redundancy is good so if you CAN stock your bunker AND your primary residence AND your vehicle AND your go-bag… all the better. As long as you cover all five needs as much as you can, given the limited space of each location.
One last thing: as each of us prepares we balance out our needs. The balance is achieved as we perform an unconscious self-assessment. We assess our own knowledge, skills and equipment. Bear in mind two things about this self-assessment:
It needs to be a brutally honest assessment. Don’t delude yourself even in the smallest way about your knowledge, skills or equipment. Lying to yourself does you no good at all.
The better your knowledge and skills are, where survival is concerned, the less equipment you need. If you can construct a good shelter with a knife and twine and what’s available in nature, then you don’t NEED to carry a shelter tarp, tent, etc. If your knowledge and skills aren’t up to the task of constructing such a shelter from what’s available, then you’d BETTER be carrying a tent or tarp to make shelter out of.
Everyone has their own perceived preparedness level need. Everyone has their own perceived survival ability level. Combining the two, which is what we all do, creates a lot more than fifty different shades of preparedness. What’s yours?
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