Survivalism Gets Old Real Fast

September 5, 2007 at 12:20 pm 6 comments

Peak Oil Survival

Dear America,

I just returned from a week of traveling your many roads, camping in your beautiful woods, and perusing your many small towns. On one end of the extreme, I slept in an emergency cabin made for stranded hunters in the woods. No electricity, running water, or even a lock on the door. On the other end… I also stayed in nicely furnished cabins with a shower and a cooking stove.

Let me tell you, survivalism gets old within the first few days. And admittedly, I’m not boasting I did anything other than go camping. I even went camping pre-loaded with food and water, a hunting knife and lots of good books. I rented a Jeep that was easily refueled at the many gas stations along the way to and from the woods. I was redirected from a 50,000 acre forest fire by helpful rangers. That may not be survivalism for you back-wooders, but for a city boy, it’s a whole new world.

What it means is that I faked survivalism and fled the city with the best of plans. But here’s what I learned along the way:

– You need ice for your cooler at least every two days if your perishables aren’t to perish
– If there are shortages of gas, you may not be able to flee farther than a couple hundred miles from your present location
– Spilling lamp oil inside your vehicle makes breathing super fun
– Invest in Coleman stoves and propane while you can
– Trees and rocks DO fall in front of you on back mountain roads
– Small town economies want your money but they don’t want you
– Headlamps Headlamps Headlamps
– Freeways suck until you need them
– Knowing martial arts is wise
– Poachers like to ride in back of trucks to hunt deer at night

I could go on, but the ultimate lesson is that even if there was some sort of massive energy crash, running from your home won’t matter for very long. Being on edge and distrusting anyone who rolls by your camp as a potential adversary truly sucks. Also, Unless you already live in a small, self-sustaining community that would band together to keep out the droves of people fleeing the city, you may be turned away from their road blocks. Or road pirates could easily pick you off from any of the roads you travel.

Going over the peak oil energy cliff

All in all, it comes down to people doing what’s best for themselves and their families as we head off the energy cliff. And since everyone is so underprepared for any kind of immediate crash, it would probably be a bloody mess after just a week or so, no matter where you are. People have to eat and drink to live, period. So, while I do my best to kick start more localization of economies, I guess I’m going to go have to also build an ark and learn some kung-fu.

My hope is that we have time for a transition.

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Entry filed under: Die Off, Economic Collapse, Energy Crash, future, Living in Hell, Peak Oil, Personal Preparation, Random.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dawn  |  September 6, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Wow, that sounded like quite the experience… and kinda depressing as well if one is not ready for a collapse.

    Good way to express it with personal experience, thanks

    Reply
  • 2. Kickaha  |  September 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    A few years ago, we went without electricity for three days due to an ice storm. We still had water and gas, so we didn’t freeze or have to squat in the bushes to take care of personal business.

    Still, it was three days of hell. I was amazed at how many of my habits are based on having electricity. We are such a spoiled and coddled generation.

    Reply
  • 3. wardsurvival  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Hey,
    Its hard to realize how much we depend on electricity untill its gone. We have a natural spring a few hundred yards from my home, but carrying wated back after an ice storm isnt fun.

    Reply
  • 4. sparringk9  |  October 20, 2008 at 8:02 am

    what a fun post. i do live in rural community and could do okay for a couple of months…but the truth is if an armed band of thugs came along i suppose my little squirrels survival cache could be taken away if i am not prepared to go all the way.

    Reply
  • 5. Citizen Zero  |  October 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    It is not as easy as one might think. I am now a rural dweller, a little over five years ago I made the switch from a urban life. I can tell you that I don’t miss living in the Saturday night gun and knife club a bit.

    You are completely correct in the fact that bugging out is not a viable alternative, it doesn’t work out very well when everybody else gets the same idea and does not even know where they are going to go.

    You are also right in the fact that small, tightly knit, communities in rural areas want outsiders money, but not the outsiders. Outsiders are looked upon as a source of income for the various retail establishments, but they don’t want more people moving in and developing the area.

    I can tell you that if the development gets to a point where I have to put up with the added traffic and crime rate that comes with it, I will only sell my place and move out further.

    Moving out into a very rural area is a life changing experience. Now that I am used to the quiet and predictability of my home life, I would not trade it in for anything. Yeah, there are issues with the power going out for extended periods and the like, but we take it in stride and weather the outage in comfort (a woodstove, Alladin mantle lamps, a propane range and water heater also help).

    Power is something that you can account for the loss of relatively easily, if its in your budget to buy a backup generator and stock the fuel for it ahead of the time that it is needed. During our last major storm we were out of commercial power for six days, the generator kept the entire house running smoothly through the whole outage.

    Thank you for sharing you experience, the points that you illustrated are very valid, and some are the very same that I learned after I moved out into the sticks.

    Reply
  • 6. peakoilboy  |  October 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Citizen Zero,

    Thank you for writing that comment.

    I have decided to stick it in the city and help other people that need help – even if a nuclear blast goes off, someone needs to inform people that 99% of the radioactivity will be gone in three days.

    Maybe that’s the reason we are told to prepare 72 hour emergency kits?

    Odds are good some cities are going to be lost in the mayhem of the nuclear era, and the walking average Joe zombies that will be in shock will need care.

    We look forward to continued business with rural areas – the city needs food so instead of tourism, rural areas need to beef up permaculture farming and can make money by teaching classes of new farmers how to love the earth and make her produce more life (read:food/fuel).

    Reply

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