Monday, February 28, 2011

The Yin and Yang of preparedness




These days I find myself contemplating survival, preparedness and life in general. As I said several times already, the correct mind-set and awareness are “always on” mods to your brain. If the right mentality regarding survival is embraced its never turned off, it never goes away, but it filters your perception and influences your actions. But this “always on” mode must never be mistaken with being paranoid, and even worse, it should never make you fall for the doom and gloom so common among the survival and preparedness community.
Where does common sense stop and where does depression and doom worshiping begin? The purpose of this article is to analyze just that and maybe make some soul searching to make sure we’re going in the right direction.


Extremes in survival and preparedness

As all things in life, there should be a balance in your survival mindset and emergency preparations. As an example, for those of us that have been into this for a while now, there are things that dont compute in our brains anymore. Not being able to defend yourself and your family in your own home is one of them. Yet there’s millions of folks that are just counting on dialing 911 ( and using their mutant X men type powers to freeze time until help actually arrives, say 15 to 30 minutes in the best case) On the other hand never setting foot on the street out of fear isn’t reasonable either.
Sometimes there’s a disconnection between what you think you’re doing and how effective that will actually be in the real world. Having 25 guns doesn’t make you safer that having 20, so just adding more weapons and gear may be just a matter of hoarding, rather than real security. This is a common problem these days. Difference between hoarding and collecting? A collection is guided based on country of origin, period, or some other topic in common. Hoarding is just buying stuff randomly. Maybe the guy that invested five hundred dollars in a used Glock, some ammo, holster and concealed weapon license and another 500 bucks in a defensive shooting class is better prepared for trouble than the guy with a safe full of guns but no weapon on him when he actually needs it.
You can be capable of defending yourself yet lead a normal life, that includes a social life as well. I often read about survivalists having problems interacting with people they consider (and probably are) sheeply. In my opinion, this is a negative attitude since being capable of blending in and not only that, also being tolerant of other people’s choices, no matter how misguided we consider them, is an important trait for survivalists. A real survivalist should be just as comfortable doing fighting training soaking wet and covered in mud or in a social reunion with people that can spend four hours talking about topics we may consider superficial. Adapting means this too, being capable of interacting in other social circles, and feeling comfortable while doing so. Next time you find yourself in such a situation, try doing your best to fit and mentally take note of how successful you manage to be.


Paranoid doom and gloomer

Its so easy to get caught in all the doom and gloom. Especially during trying times such as these, with an ongoing economic crisis world wide and un uncertain future ahead. But you know what, doomers have been promising the end of the world for centuries. Just like there’s people that believe in bigfoot theres people that will swear to you the world will end next year, and when it doesn’t they’ll say its going to happen the next one. Dont worry, they have no shame in keep doing this their entire natural lives. Who knows? sometimes they “get lucky”, at least in their minds, and some event does take place. Truth is you should prepare no matter what simply out of common sense. And during the good times you just enjoy them as much as you can while you keep prepping. The way I see it preparedness is all about happiness and quality of life. Preparing means problems, accidents or unfortunate events, life threatening or not, will be overcome or solved better and faster and I can go back to enjoying life quicker. Preparing as an excuse to be sad, miserable and angry or as a way to justify depression or character problems, that’s of no use.
Make no mistake, during hard times, specially during periods of recession, unemployment and crime, you need to be one peppy, happy son of a gun to make it. If you’re already depressed before things really get bad I promise, you wont stand it when it gets worse. A positive attitude is essential to survival, and economic collapse survival will put this to test for years to come, maybe the rest of your life.


Weekened or Theoretical “preppers”

Taking a few classes (self defense, food storage, first aid, just to name a few) an then going back to being your old self wont work either. Being all tactical during a shooting class only to store everything and spending the rest of your week completely unarmed because concealed carrying isn’t comfortable or convenient means you wont be ready when you need it the most.
Your company doesn’t allow you to carry? Leave your gun in the car then but put it back on when you get inside, and by all means, find other ways to have tools for defense on the meantime, even if its just a folding knife. Sometimes I really dont feel like carrying a bag with the stuff I often post about here, but I do it anyway. It has all come in handy in enough situations to remind me how important it is to carry a minimum amount of gear at all times as your daily EDC. The epitome of this are “theoretical" survivalists and preppers, spending hours on line talking about survival but no actual preps. Gun? Not yet, still putting the money together. BOB? Go bag? car kit? EDC gear and kit? Nope. Food stored? No, I’ve been “thinking about it" but still nada. Guys, reading hundreds of gear threads and reviews wont do you any good if you dont get up and actually put a kit together, actually bother to carry the minimum gear often mentioned. Trust me, eventually you end up using it so you learn to appreciate it.


Selective preparedness

It usually happens that guys just love guns and concentrate on that, buying lots of guns, maybe knifes, but completely ignoring other areas of preparedness.
For the ladies, its usually that they feel more comfortable with food preps and storage, also gardening, but the idea of training for self defense isn’t as appealing.
Folks, you have to cover the basics on all regards no matter if you personally happen to like some better than others. We’re human and its very hard to be objective, but we must do our best to be as logical as possible about preparedness and survival and cover all areas, starting with the essential ones such as security, both personal and at home, food and water, shelter, health and finances.

Like everything else in life, a balance to your preparedness is crucial. Do your best to get all the family involved too. Dont force it and try starting with the areas that you believe will be of more appeal to each family member.
Take care folks and have fun!

FerFAL

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good perspective, Ferfal.

Steve

Anonymous said...

I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

The theoretical prepper could also be called the Phony or Fake Prepper. They talk a great game, but bring nothing to the field except a lot talk. Mostly of "this should work if" or "I'm planning on doing..." or "Soon I'm getting...". These are the people who jump on the prepping bandwagon. Them and the stocking only guns and ammo are the two I most worry about.

mama4x said...

Thanks for a well written and good article. I like your longer mindworks sometimes instead of responding to emails... as a girl who does food storage and gardening, let me reassure you that I'm getting my CCL and gun range membership, and getting EMT training this summer. Woo hoo well-roundedness.

mama4x said...

I forgot to mention I just ordered your book- literally about 10 minutes ago- and am so eager to read it. I link to you all over my blog. Http://sustainingfarm.blogspot.com

russell1200 said...

A lot of companies have policies that disallow firearms anywhere on the premisis: that would include the trunk of your car. North Carolina legislature is thinking about disallowing that practise, but that is the way it is here for the moment.

Doug from Oz said...

Just carrying around two of the items mentioned in the $99 EDC post, the Leatherman Squirt PS4 and the Quark mini AA torch has proved a great help to me. I just wish my country allowed CC... Still, I did get a Leatherman Tti and the unbreakable umbrella to help with the self defense side of things.
Berkey filter was ordered this week, and I'll pick up a chest freezer from a seller on Gumtree (Aussie Craigslist) this weekend.

barcoded said...

Excellent essay, Ferfal.