The Back-Packers Guide to the Apocalypse (Part 2)

As we discovered in Part 1, the threat of the Apocalypse is not bearing down upon us at this very minute as the charlatans and commercial thumpers would have us believe. We are actually in pretty good shape as far as those things go. I stated in my earlier post the only realistic potential apocalypse scenarios are an asteroid/meteorite impact,  a super volcano or a pandemic/epidemic. The first two are really rare and we would most likely have time to prepare and adjust for the events. The pandemic/epidemic is the one to keep your eye on. When that comes it will be swift and severe, and because we are a globally traveling society, it will spread very quickly. But remember, if you are not exposed to the threat, it will not harm you.

In any survival situation, you can use Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a rudimentary guide. Maslow used a pyramid to illustrate this concept with Physiological Needs as the largest and most relevant, encompassing the base. Next up the scale was Safety Needs followed by Love/Belonging Needs. There are two more needs at the top of the pyramid, Esteem and Self-actualization, but they are more along the lines of “feel-good-about-yourself” than actual immediate survival. Basically, you must satisfy your Physiological Needs (breathable air, food, water) before you can move up to your Safety Needs (shelter and defense). Both of these needs must  be satisfied before you can satisfy Love/Belonging (a mate and a community). It makes a lot of sense in that if you’re starving to death you’re first priority is sustenance of the body instead of finding a shelter, and then a mate or community to join. When you secure food and water, your focus then turns to adequate shelter. When both of these needs are met, you’ll look for companionship, and so forth and so on up the pyramid. Maslow’s Hierarchy kind of puts the situation in an initial primal perspective for your apocalypse survival.

Now most of the commercial entities who talk about dooms day survival are adamant about hoarding gold, silver and currency. Most likely because they are selling that product. That’s all fine and wonderful if you want to swap your gold bars and all your cash for a can of tomato soup to feed your family when you’re desperate. If economies crumble and we are reduced to a barter society, people will want to trade for the essentials of life not the luxuries. Gold, silver and currency is fine for a really short term event where society is relatively intact; but for a long term disaster where the economy has shattered, it will be a burden instead of a viable tool to secure any kind of supplies. And fully expect to get shafted in any trade using gold, silver or currency for an essential. If you’re in a daily struggle to secure food and water, then fish hooks or ammunition or vegetable seeds will be vastly more valuable to you as a trade item than a $100 bill or bag of silver coins. If I have something you need, I will trade you for something I need. This is where you must get out of the current worldwide economical mindset and get barter primal like the stone age. That’s the situation that will exist.

Next big issue is to shelter in place. You might have to forage for food and water, but at your home you have most of the weapons, tools, clothing and other essentials you will need for a decent attempt at daily survival. You can set up a perimeter and defend it, if needed. You may not have power or running water but it will be a satisfactory shelter regardless. Don’t cram your family, and whatever else you can, into the car and take off down the highway seeking a new horizon unless it is unavoidably necessary to escape a deadly situation. There will be total chaos and anarchy on the roads and highways, with desperate people doing despicable things. When a man is watching his wife and kids beginning to starve, he WILL rationalize the behavior and do whatever he needs to feed them. Harming or killing you and yours will not affect him in the least. It will be sad but true. That is the nature of humans. So if at all possible, be inconspicuous make your stand at home.

Now, what you store up against the apocalyptic event for survival is basically up to you; whatever your personal needs will be and the environment you will live in until the crisis has ended. The basics for everyone will be food, water, special medicines needed, shelter and weapons for defense. Maslow’s Hierarchy again. It’s not brain surgery so put a little thought into it and start putting smart things away if you deem necessary. Depending on the event, you may need to learn some canning/preserving skills or first aid or farming skills; or at least buy some books to have on hand outlining those skills if you need them.

The key to the whole issue is to be aware of the threats and know what options are available if they occur. To be perfectly frank, a dooms day event will most likely never occur in your lifetime so don’t be foolish and sta

rt spending frivolously for naught. There is a lot of commercial companies that thrive on the foolish who they can terrify into buying their products. Don’t get caught up in that circus. Be mindful of the news media stories, know where you can procure threat appropriate items and have a general plan. You will endure.

Personal common sense has saved more lives than all the collective doctors, clerics and academics who ever lived.


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