I wonder how many of you know or remember me. I was a very active ATS member from 2008-2012, during which time I was semi-retired and having a blast
learning as much as possible from ATS and the Internet in general. I was honored at one point to be on the WATS top-fifty ATS posters list (although I
think I've probably dropped off that list by now due to inactivity in 2013). I can honestly say ATS has been a fantastic learning experience, as well
as a lot of fun, in every possible way.
I have been almost totally inactive as an ATS member in 2013 for a specific reason: After shifting from "partially retired" to "fully retired" and
finally tying the knot with the long-suffering and patient girl of my dreams, I spent almost the entire year designing and building my off-grid
survivalist hiding-hole in a far-northern area that shall remain unnamed. And now Silent Thunder, Silent Thunder Wife, and Silent Thunder Dog are on
our way at last.
Due to the remoteness of this location, this year I had to go through the agonizing horror of Internet Addiction Withdrawal Syndrome, not the least
casualty of which was my beloved ATS habit. However, I spent a lot of time putting into actual and sustained practice the survivalist, hunting, and
permaculture knowledge I have been slowly accumulating over the past decade or so.
It is now time to make the move and bug out at last. Lots of us know bad times are coming. I have chosen to go to ground while I still can. I hope
that each of you will make the correct choices in the days ahead, whatever that may mean for you.
One thing I'd like to pass on -- something I learned the hard way this year: Truly building a working, sustainable bug-out environment for the long
haul is much, much harder than you might think. It is not for the faint of heart or for the casual dabbler. I have only taken this radical step after
about a decade of cautious preparation and learning, and even so, at every corner I have discovered new challenges and difficulties. (Dentistry in the
wild, anyone?) In short, don't try this at home, kids, unless you know what you are doing. And even then realize that you know a lot less than you
think you do.
This isn't a total goodbye: I'll be heading back and forth to civilized areas where I will be able to access the Internet and ATS in the days and
years ahead (provided said civilized areas remain civilized, of course). So I'll be keeping an eye on you all and dropping in from time to time. A
wise man who knew the value of takin’ it easy once said that you can check out, but you can never leave. In this case, I hope that is true.
To my ATS friends, my respected haters (yes, I know there have been a few…the price of being who I am I suppose), and the utterly indifferent: Thank
you all for all you have taught me, for keeping me on my toes, for challenging and pushing me to define myself and my world. I will be forever
grateful to each and every one of you. Take care of yourselves and be strong. I know you will.
Yours very sincerely,