I spent a week with a doomsday prepper deep in the outback. This is how it changed me

The Heretic

Good quote here

".....hoarding alone won't keep you safe when society falls apart. "If you have a stockpile of things, then you'll become a target for those things, if you have a stockpile of skills, you'll be the person that people work to keep alive."
You may become a target if people know you have hoarded, and you don't have a community that has reason to help you defend yourself.

There are a lot of variables. Location, whether you have been careful about not advertising that you have what other people want, your security preps, the size and makeup of the people with a vested interest in keeping you alive. Part of the latter is not just whether you have goods, but also your skills and experience.

It works that way now too - just with less threats. I have my job because of my skills and experience - not just experience in other jobs, but the fact that I am the one remaining person who has been on this particular team working on this project for 8 years, and the others have been there at most 2 years. Until they catch up to me, they have a reason to keep me around, and probably afterwards too (by that time I will retire anyway).

But there are a LOT of people in the world who do not value experience or skills. Many believe any person can replace any other person. Both the Soviets and the Chicoms had this problem when they dealt with farmers. People today who don't really understand where food comes from, much less what it takes to produce it, don't think much of farmers or other people who produce goods from natural resources. When SHTF they will just go out and raid the farms - if it is during the winter they won't find much.
Other insights aside, here's a couple of my own observations on this article:

1) agree with much of his basic commentary;
2) no way intended to represent 'prepper/survivalist' POV;
3) YMMV as always;

While gear is of course needed, the surprising extent of such continues to amaze. Yes, I had overlooked dental floss & gum disease. Base my comments on what I've seen the actual geezer/outback folks I've known.

Our gear-enhanced era of invasive marketeering does permeate and influence much of what I've read over the decades. One of the most impressive "BOB" setups was a kit capable of extended comfort & support for months, in a 20# package, carefully tuned over years of his own field experience.

Certainly the comment on 'collecting things' vs 'collecting skills' is excellent point.

The common points seem to be a few in a short list: adequate blades, fire making, personal warmth/dryness. Endless examples of minimal tools in the skilled hands in an otherwise primitive circumstance suggest knowledge a far better commodity than any warehouse goods.

I once was introduced to a man fresh out of an entire multi-season jaunt (one of many) into Outback Idaho. Small pack, belt knife, walking staff, literally 2 days off the trail. Clear eyed, zero % body fat, hard as a rock grip, un-social former .mil who spoke little but was direct & remarkably precise in his notions of living off-grid. His hobby was tending as possible, withering fruit trees in old abandoned homesteads in back country that had literally zero roads. He figured he could endure the predictable unknowns of Raw Nature.

Old time hunting partners and their wealth of experience have demonstrated ample adaptability to solve daily needs without the pleasures of Amazon.com. I celebrate what they shared.

So the theoretical advantages symbolized by the amount of fuel Australia.gov keeps on hand vs the zillon-year aborigine presence raises less concern than it once did, dental floss be damned.


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