Monday, August 1, 2022

Problems in Self-Sufficiency

Reading through the news, AKA the crap-o-sphere, then reading through the insights (generally questionable) and the opinions on the blog-o-sphere, I have come to the conclusion that I have no conclusion - yet.

Commercial media is promoting whatever sells the paper, figuratively speaking.  Read Fox, CNN, or Reuters, and you can find the same story written three vastly different ways.  It doesn't matter which article is true and correct.  The publisher doesn't care.  What the publisher (or the board of directors) cares about is increasing revenue and increasing the number of readers.

Opinionated bloggers care about whatever amuses them.  A few have something worth listening to; most actually don't.  Many are publishing how-to commentary on survival skills and how to acquire them.  My thought is even if you do learn outdoor skills needed for survival, your shelf life is limited.  Here's why I think so, followed by a rant of sorts.

Should the fertilizer hit the turbine blades and civilization fail, I'll make it for a while.  Depending on how bad living in the city gets, maybe not a long while - but a while.  I have exercised induced bronchial asthma, and it's getting worse instead of better, and I have an intermittently recurrent irregular heart beat, which is kept in line by a daily pill.  Once the medicine runs out and there's no more to be had, I'm living uncomfortably on borrowed time.  So there's that.  I'm also old, overweight, and in bad physical condition, meaning that walking thirty or so miles a day while carrying a pack is not my idea of a good time.

But if you're not like me, you've got a chance.

The first thing to consider is just where and how you'll learn this skill set all these bloggers are talking about.  Most of these writers are living in a comfortable house somewhere - not out in the wilderness.  My thought is that I'd want to learn from someone who has no electricity or modern conveniences, or has spent a good portion of their life living this way.  The place to find these folks is Alaska, parts of the northern United States (Wyoming and such), or on a sailboat.

You might try finding someone in these areas who is willing to take you in for a year or three, but it isn't all that likely.  For one thing they're all hermits.  For another, they're trying their best to stay away from people like you.

That leaves you with live-aboards.  People who live aboard a boat, often a sailboat, and who know how to survive.  I recommend a full keel sloop, over twenty-five feet, and outfitted for living aboard.  Not all are.  Unlike the Alaskan survivalists, live-aboard folks are generally friendly and willing to give advice and help where needed.  If I had to leave my condominium behind, I'd consider a sailboat.

Problems that no one talks about too much involve health care off the grid.  Everyone's armed to the teeth, but just where are you going to find a dentist when you're being driven out of your mind with an infected tooth?  These things become important.

Fire control is another good item.  I actually have a few fire extinguishers (the one in my car needs filling), but I need an actual first-aid kit.

Financially speaking, I'm a bit bent.  Not broke, mind you.  Just badly bent.  We'll see how much better or worse it gets once not-a-president brandon is out of office.

I think this is enough rambling for today.


Ed Bonderenka said...

That's why I'm a proponent of short term prepping.
Enough to get through until sanity returns.
Any longer than that is only prolonging the inevitable.
I am prepared for the inevitable.
My ticket has been purchased.

PioneerPreppy said...

Hmmm not so sure about losing skills very quickly in the long run. I am kinda an advocate for taking up skills, learning em to a point and then moving to the next one. I have found they come back pretty quickly when/if you need em again. As someone who used to be very rural I am dealing with suburban creep right now and how that may or may not change my long term plans but as long as people left me alone I could continue out here for some time. That's the key though will a be left alone and do I still have the physical abilities to defend my little corner of the world? The odds pile against me more and more with each passing hour.

CWMartin said...

My firm hope is that the apocalypse will be preceded by the Rapture. Either way, God will provide. Not to the means I'm accustomed to, but the worst that will happen is waking up in heaven.

Mad Jack said...

Ed: That's why I'm a proponent of short term prepping.

You and me both. I'm reminded of the run on .22 ammo. I heard stories of people buying pallet loads of the stuff - to what good end? .22 is rimfire and has a shelf life, and if the pellets fail to impact the windmill, you'll be left with several hundred pounds of .22 ammo. You're actually going to shoot all that?

I've got enough stuff to get by for a while.

Pioneer: I am dealing with suburban creep...

Nice to see you. Any friend of Glen's, etc.

When I just a little pain in the royal venochie and my dear old mother had yet to acquire her first gray hair, my father saw the development coming. We had a ten acre horse farm (Palominos, American Saddlebreds, one Mexican burro) and the old man didn't like neighbors. Our house was one thousand feet back from the main road, which at that time was a little cinder road. But, you know, civilization encroaches.

Dad planted rosa multiflora all along the south fence line. In three years we had an absolutely impenetrable hedge against suburbia.

Sometimes kids would come up the driveway and want to see the horses. We'd oblige, politely. That said, we never attended neighborhood block parties or cookouts or anything like that. I later learned that the neighbors were afraid of my father, as he could be quite brusque at times. We didn't go to church, and we were self-sufficient in a way that most people today wouldn't understand.

I think if you grew a hedge, you'll be happy you did so.

CW: My firm hope is that the apocalypse will be preceded by the Rapture.

You and me, CW. Here, there, or up in the air!