Good morning my fellow ATS'ers. I wanted to spend a couple moments talking about something rather important to us all. Survival.
Survival, in the true sense, isn't maintaining the latest Ipad, Iphone and Game Console. It isn't even about electricity, if it comes down to that.
Survival is about being as awake, aware and alive today as you were yesterday with every expectation for that to continue into tomorrow. Everything
else is a bonus and a freebie to take as luxury if we are in a position where the word "Survival" applies.
It is not the most pleasant of topics and never will be among civilized society, but the fact of the matter is, the range of human survival is an
awesome thing to see as adaptation in nature. People can live almost anywhere and live on or without almost anything.
The truck travels towards a garbage dumpsite, either in Payatas in Quezon City or Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila. After the truck has dumped the
trash in these garbage sites, the leftovers begin to change its nature: from trash to food. Scavengers would swarm on these morsels like they were
gadflies, sometimes even fighting over them.. The food we consider trash becomes for them sustenance.
You may think that it is cruel and inhuman to let people eat food thrown away by others. But that’s the way it is in the poorest slums of Metro
Manila. Whatever that can be eaten will be eaten. It is the law of nature. It may be harsh but it is the reality.
Survival food for the poorest of the poor
There are Youtubes that describe the better ways to prepare and enjoy Pagpag, and I'm not the least bit joking. For the love of appetite though,
I'll leave those out.
Time Magazine has a very powerful piece in a slideshow that shows the range of "plenty" in the West to sustenance food diets in other areas of the
world for what is taken as the daily normal. Among a few notable examples:
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat
Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork
Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding
Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis
Food expenditure for one week: 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15
Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream
(Source: What the World Eats, Part I
Food isn't the deciding factor, in my opinion, for who would fare well or may not survive in extended periods of limited or no civil services with
limited or no large scale food production and distribution. Whatever causes it, that will be a very defining
aspect of daily life....but not a
(If that term leaves ANYONE confused...Please, learn the basics
. That IS life/death
Water is a whole different matter and there can never be enough said about water filtering solutions being on kitchen shelves. Even consumer Britta
filters are well worth having if used with boiling and proper
to go along with some gallons of pure and unmodified chlorine bleach. (Too much or a "good dash" of bleach into a gallon of
water can kill or make very ill as easily as make water safe to drink...)
Even shelter is not the most critical thing, by any means, in survival. Everything from Sheriff Joe's tent cities standing year around in Arizona, to
refugee camps world wide, to primitive living in a shocking range of climates and environments around the world, it's again clear that people CAN
live with what is available in many if not most cases. The longer the need, the more problematic that becomes but it's still left as being below the
most important thing.
?? So what is the most important thing in survival? Well, it's as simple as it sounds but much harder than it seems.
I believe that when it comes down to it, mindset is the single most important factor. A false sense of security and expectation of living comfortably
beyond where others can by over preparing can actually be a very harmful
thing and not at all helpful. ( Now that is not at all to
suggest that preparing isn't a wise thing. Everyone should have 3-6 months of food, water and basic supplies for hygiene and first aid.
That's a given as just common sense in life, regardless of future expectations. (Natural Disasters happen... or meteors fall when no one is looking..
) It's the going over-board that I think leads some to feeling secure when that is the worst mindset to enter a true SHFTF or disaster situation
Among those at ATS who have lived through serious hardship or disaster or strife in their lifetimes, how many of those incidents went anything
remotely like what you would or might have thought before the actual event, whatever it may have been?
What factors may bring a survival situation? War? Civil Unrest? Natural Disaster? Food Interruption? Water Contamination or Industrial accidents? Some
of those make supplies in place a good thing. In fact, a life and death thing.
Some of those will mean immediate abandonment and flight in an unknowable direction for advance planning.
In the long term, if a long term would be a part of it, one factor remains a constant. Even the BEST prepared people in the world will exhaust those
pre-stocked supplies, eventually. Likely, more quickly than ever expected before hand.
So in general, I want to add this direction of thinking to what everyone considers in the topic.
Mindset to survive, whatever that takes, while protecting those closest you each of us, is what may very well matter most and separate many in the
end. Mindset on a daily basis for "Situational Awareness" is more important and there is NO replacement for thinking things out before a reaction
. (Where are the exits in this new place? What seating affords a look toward the door and likely source of anything worth seeing while
Books have been written and studies done regarding the odds and outcomes to those who think that way daily and live through a disaster vs. those who
never consider life below daily norms or with unexpected events.
Survival would seem to favor the mentally prepared above the physically prepared. I hope both
are given consideration but only one
can't be taken or lost and matters right from the opening moments to the end of whatever has happened. It's also the one that can't well be
replaced after it's all started to go badly.