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An important reality check

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posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 03:13 AM
I occasionally hear statements in this forum, which cause me to think that some of the people who post here, have unrealistic expectations. Said statements usually go something like this.

"I'm going to bug out into a rural environment, completely by myself."

At the risk of sounding provocative, I had thought this subforum was about surviving; not about having delusions about how badass you are, which is likely to result in the exact opposite. I said this before in the recent bugging out in Australia thread in passing, but it is a seperate topic, and so I think deserves to be pointed out in its' own thread, in more detail.

The bottom line here is that the one man warriors that we've all seen depicted in 80s action movies, do not really exist. Those movies are just that; movies. The scenarios depicted in them are a complete adolescent male fantasy. If you think you're going to be able to go out into the bush and live like one of them, entirely by yourself, you are in for an extremely unpleasant, and potentially lethal surprise.

If you're anything like me, one of the things that you perhaps have the most difficulty in forgiving yourself for psychologically, is the unspeakable, cardinal sin of being a civilian. Being a soldier is held up as one of the primary ideals and definitions of success in contemporary Western society. The troops are idolised, and if you aren't one yourself, particularly as a male, then it is entirely possible to feel deeply, chronically, and perpetually insecure as a result.

My avatar here, was a Survivalist Hunter within the roleplaying game, World of Warcraft. The character was essentially a composite of John McClaine, Martin Riggs, and B'Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager. For nearly three years, I practically lived within the game.

It was a lot of fun, and I really got into it, to a degree that, in hindsight, I'm able to see was borderline mentally ill. In the end, if anything, it ironically forced me to become more realistic than I previously had been, about my genuine complete lack of both knowledge and ability, where real-world Survivalism is concerned. I know a lot of us here, if we're honest, probably suffer from at least varying degrees of romanticism where this sort of thing is concerned.

Very few of us, however, myself included, have any real experience with the concept of logistical management. Most of us these days don't even need to cook, let alone engage in serious long (or even medium) term planning, with regards to our food supply. I've gone through periods at times of eating once every other day, before; when I was living in Melbourne I often couldn't afford it more often than that, but I think the real reason was that I simply wasn't good at staying on top of it. I wasn't buying rice back then.

As another related question, how many of you have been exposed to violence, or a truly, potentially life threatening situation? I can count the number myself on one hand, and most of those are things which other people have said were not really dangerous. It is very easy for us to forget just how sheltered and protected, most of us really are.

How fit are you? I'm not. I hate exercise. Sitting in front of a computer and guzzling down junk food and Coke; that's my idea of a good time. When I was in NSW in Febuary, the weight started coming off, but it's slowly creeping back up again now. I'll bet most of you have a stomach that is larger than you'd like, don't you...but who wants to go to the gym to keep it off? Not me.

The point is, that as I've said, most of us are completely domesticated. We're used to going to places to get our food, which don't have anything to do with how said food was actually produced. I would doubt that more than 1% of us even engage in recreational activities (like knitting) which have some sort of useful physical product at the end of it; those things are becoming lost arts, in white society.

There are still things that even fat, indolent damn civilians like me can learn, however.
One of the most basic ones is firebuilding. Which pattern/configuration to put wood in, whether building a small or large fire is a good idea, etc. Things like that.

Keep one of these in your pocket. You don't need to wait until your life depends on it for it to be useful, either; there are any number of situations in daily life where they can come in useful.

You can also keep a flint and steel on your keychain. I bought a ready made one, but there's a guide here on how to make one, if you're also interested in that.

These are all very small things, it's true; but I've found that if nothing else, using them can cause me to start thinking in a particular to make use of what is in my immediate environment, rather than thinking I need everything plastic wrapped.

The other, single most important point that I want to get across to most people though, is please, please, not think that you're going to be able to survive entirely on your own. The response of most people to my description of myself here, will probably be to say that it is pathetic to the point where I shouldn't even be writing here at all...and implies that I am beyond helplessness; but that is entirely the point.

Know what you do have to work with, and what you don't...and for what you don't have, that is why you will need other people. You need them to be people you trust, yes; and maybe not even all that many of them...but I know that I can't live without other people myself, and that causes me to assume that at least some others can't, either.
edit on 8-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 03:21 AM
reply to post by petrus4

There are many who think that they are in the mold of the flick, "The Book of Eli."

Numbers survive, not individuals.

A sense of community is the way to go.
edit on 8-4-2012 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 03:50 AM
reply to post by TDawgRex

community can only stretch so thing you know,socialism is governed

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 04:17 AM
It doesn't matter what you plan for. When the SHTF all plans fly out the window and survival instincts take over. You might as well just get some gear, practice a little with it and then chill out and wait because you never know what will happen. Chaos is going to change people for better or worse. Unless you are like J.W. Rawles and your entire life is dedicated to survival you're only giving yourself a thin veil of comfort and security at best in a real survival scenario.

Chaos will tend to equalize the masses. And you will become part of the mass, unless like I said, you are like J.W. Rawles.

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 04:42 AM
While i agree with the general message of the OP, i think that is also a little too general. In fact, it is important to note that military elite across the globe are known for their ability to function both as an individual and as a team. I used to be of the mindset the OP is discouraging. Having trained and studied since i was a small child i am 100% confident in my ability to survive on my own. But thats just the problem, surviving is pointless if there is no one to spend it with. I now feel it is my responsibility to help share what i have learned with everyone around me, thus increasing our chances of survival exponentially. You turn barely surviving on your own to living with a group.

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 08:08 AM
I just want to chime in with a thought about peoples SHTF plans, i have posted quite a bit on here and have seen a lot of what OP talks about. I will tell you what i have come to conclude, no matter what i plan for the actuality will be very different. Whats the old saying The best plans never survive first contact, that is how i have decided to look at it, i plan for only certian things. Food and water being the tip top priority, i wont be bugging out to a forest alone, i will be bugging in with my wife and kids so i plan accordingly. What worries me most is this, will i be able to adapt fast enough to the situation no matter what it is, i believe i have enough food for quite a while, plenty of water, live in a small town in farm country have a lot of like minded people near me. I think those are important preperations to make, but will i adapt to the situation fast enough thats what worries me, and should worry you to, when SHTF happens it will be different from what everyone expects, i see it like this, when it does actually happen its not going to be one specific thing, it will be thing after thing after thing creating a snowball effect which you will have to adapt to or...........

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 09:02 AM
as to how the saying goes, the strong will always prey on the weak.

sure, being in a group may have it's good points but at what cost, someone will always need to do the dirty work, more mouths to feed, more rules to follow, more conflict against one another.

who really wants to get the short end of the straw, not the leaders or those who control, that's for sure. might as well just become a slave to the PTB., it'll be no different in the long run.

posted on Apr, 8 2012 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by petrus4

Terrific post!
In the infrequent times I come to the Survival forum, I tend to say the same thing but not as well or on such practical, rational, everyday terms. Most young males think of themselves as superheros without a cause for the time being. Then when the time comes they will leap into the street, automatic weapons hammering away, mopping up the scum that stands in their way. Like porn movies give a poor idea of what sex is about, so do video war games.

Survival always has and always will depend upon a social interaction between like members. Don't be mistaken about the term "like members." They need not be good-hearted types but could be a band of marauders killing everyone in their path as they sweep through neighborhoods. They could prevail because as a mob little serious thought is involved in their actions or the consequences thereof. The counter to their lifestyle will be a force in each area assembled of those willing to work together for the common good. Unfortunately, a key aspect of that "common good" is a sharing of resources. And that concept is virtually the exact opposite of that we have been convincing ourselves is what we need to be doing at the present time, hording and stocking for our individual needs. The key to survival, both individually and as a people, will be the networking of like minds across all things that relate to that current existence.

Today, we have elaborate cultures, societies and governmental infrastructures to handle those chores almost without our thinking about how they all work together. If the dreaded time of one SHTF or another comes, the human animal is going to need to sit down around the fire in long, counsel meetings to determine what is right and wrong and which way to go from that point onward. Cooperation will make survival work.

The ways of the warrior cannot be discarded because there will always be a need for a defensive force gauged to the manner of other groups. All in all wiser heads with a view toward the future of that time need to be in charge of those that pull the triggers.

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