Publishing & Graphics

Speaking My Mind

On Survival and Being a Prepper

Posted by Doug Jeffreys on July 9, 2015 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I believe anyone with a normal survival instinct is a "prepper". However, I hate the term prepper or survivalist due to the decades long smear campaign by the media. Now anytime one hears those words you immediately conjure up an image of a paranoid conspiracy theorist huddled in their log cabin surrounded by weapons and barrels full of dried legumes and beef jerky. I was a Boy Scout and believe strongly in the motto "Be Prepared". If you're prepared for the zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for any natural or man-made disaster that may befall you. Face it, no matter what part of the country or world you live in, you will face one or more common disaster scenarios. In my neck of the woods it's blizzards and floods, and the occasional tornado.

At the man-made end of the spectrum there is the threat of contamination by one of several nuclear power plants in the state. Or a state-wide blackout due to a catastrophic failure of one of our many coal powered generating stations. There could be a flood caused by the failure of one of our many aging dams. There could also be a financial collapse brought on by the crooks in our state and federal government.

All of the above listed reasons are a good excuse to be a prepper. Fortunately, my state has a rich history of woodcraft and outdoorsmen. Large portions of the population are accomplished hunters, anglers and farmers and even the city folk have backyard vegetable gardens. Most anybody would simply consider this part of their heritage and a common way to supplement their larder. But, these are in fact, the stepping stones to being a prepper.

Being a prepper simply means being self-sufficient. Aside from the outdoorsman skills mentioned, a basic grounding in the use of common tools and skills such as basic carpentry and masonry work. You don’t need to be a craftsman to build a decent cabin with an outdoor shower and an outhouse. There you have shelter and basic sanitation. With a little more study, some more specialized tools and some ambition you can easily go from surviving to relative luxury. I know. I helped my friend build a single story cabin with a simple sleeping loft, then over the course of a couple years transform it into a split-level, 5 room hunting lodge with two large fireplaces, stained-glass windows and a wrap-around porch and raised bed gardens. Neither one of us had any type of formal training in engineering, carpentry, blacksmithing or agriculture. All the materials were either acquired on site or bought as scrap from a local lumber mill. We learned by doing and not only was it satisfying and fun, but the end result was a beautiful structure that would have cost at least 10 times as much to have a contractor build it. I learned many valuable skills and continue to do so. Am I now some paranoid anarchist skulking about the woods wearing camouflage fatigues and sporting an assault rifle? Certainly not. But I do have the confidence and skill set to know I stand an excellent chance of surviving any turn of misfortune that may befall me; whether it may be something as simple as getting lost on a hike and having to spend an unexpected night in the woods to a major disaster such as a blizzard that may keep me trapped in my house for a week without heat and electricity. If I can do it, anyone can.