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Author Topic: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?  (Read 2458 times)

Offline MrCoffee

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Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« on: November 02, 2006, 03:33:21 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am asking this to the entire group, but before you reply, think on it for a bit.

Do we take getting prepared too far? When is enough, enough? When do we cross the line from prepared to disaster nut? Do we really need to carry PSK's or is a BOB/72 hour kit at home enough? Are we going overboard? Are many of us increasing our gear, or preparations, etc because of what they have read here on this site as well as other sites? For a large number of us, we are never really in the situation where we would need our PSK or Get home bag.

I am seriously interested in your thought on this.
I am NOT crazy! I've just been in a bad mood for the last 30 years!

Offline bobimbob

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006, 04:40:05 AM »
I don't think I am, at least, I think that I am not going overboard. I am going to refine and streamline my PSK/BoB and such; take some of the good ideas that I have been exposed to and replace my lesser efficient items/ideas but not abandoning anything for any end use. When you start getting too relaxed it could be the very time that you will need you kit and such. Some one probably said something like this: vigilance is the price you pay for (insert a pearl of wisdom that escapes me at the moment). Some one will correct me on this I am sure.
It seems like paranoia but being prepared like Baden Powell once urged is not a bad idea. It shouldn't dominate every waking moment but vigilance has its justification.   
Saru Mo Ki Kara Ochiru

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 04:44:08 AM »
i remember this f rom the old forum and i remain  the same no i dont think i taking it to far i dont think i am enough because of our current global situation with everyone else just me 2 cents
Complain less, breathe more.

It isn't until man is quiet that nature will speak.

In the silence and solitude of the night is when you truely find yourself.

Offline Dark Squirrel

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 06:48:57 AM »
Can someone take survival preparedness too far?  It would have to be a very extreme case.  Each individual has to look at their survival needs and determine for themselves just how much preparedness they need.  Someone might feel the need to build a concrete shelter underground and stock it with weapons and 10yrs of MRE's.  Lots of people feel they just need a bag with a few extra things for that "just in case" situation.  There are even people who can just get by with a good knife.  Someone who takes it too far would probably suffer from paranoia or some chemical balance and choose to alienate society totally.  Survival is instinctive.  Do you save money for a rainy day or in case your car breaks down?  Why?  "Just in case".  Right?  That's a form of survival.  Take it to the other extreme.  Don't consider survival at all.  In that case your a statistic fast.  You don't watch for strangers in dark alleys.  You don't keep a vehicle adequately maintained.  You don't have smoke detectors in a home.  How far is going to far?  That's a relative question.  Good one but without a clear answer.  Not everyone prepares for the end of the world.  Some people don't even prepare for if their vehicle breaks down.  You just got to look at yourself, look at your life and determine for yourself what your risks are and what you need to counter them.
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GO EVIL!!  WOOHOO!!
A stick is one of the most useful survival tools there is!
Time to get squirrelly!! :pray: :squirrel:
The beatings will continue until morale improves!!
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Lead Dog

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 06:49:25 AM »
I get two things from studying how to “survive”.  First, I learn techniques to help prepare me and my family to deal with emergencies.  Second, I learn primitive techniques that help enhance my experiences outdoors.

I like to view what I learn as primitive or wilderness skills instead of survival skills.  I treat these skills as an art and try to appreciate how historical figures, maybe even some of my ancestors, used these techniques in their daily lives.  My attitude is I am learning things that are interesting and meaningful to me.  The fact that I can apply these skills during emergencies is an excellent by-product!

So am I overdoing it?  No more so than someone that participates in any sport or hobby.  I just happen to have a hobby that may save my neck some day!  :)

Offline Dark Squirrel

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 06:50:58 AM »
Well said LD
Hakkaa päälle
GO EVIL!!  WOOHOO!!
A stick is one of the most useful survival tools there is!
Time to get squirrelly!! :pray: :squirrel:
The beatings will continue until morale improves!!
I'm not a shining example, I'm a horrible warning!!
Ya never know who knows what needs knowing!

taken by the wind...

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 08:30:07 AM »
~ I prepare for the "end of the world..."  :whistle: 

I agree with the fact that Survival is subjective... it's all based on a person's opinion of what they need, or of where they feel inadequate. That's a fascinating analogy... saving for the future, or maintaining your vehicle. I guess it all comes down to details. People focus on different things... some women today focus only on money... That's survival to them, having enough of it to sustain themselves comfortably. Maybe what you grow up without, you tend to focus on. I don't know. Since I was little, I've always had men in my life who were savy at making a living, so I always worried about what would happen if it wasn't about money? What then? Then one day, I needed to make a living because my dream life was jolted awake... so I picked a profession I could carry anywhere, and get a job.  So I was always interested in basic survival. (Because I always figured I'd starve... or freeze to death!) I'm really focussed on my vehicle! LOL! I want to make sure it has safety features to survive a crash.(cause I was in a bad one, and I only survived because I had a seatbelt on and I picked a car with side-impact airbags.) I got that survival need by working in a hospital... most women my age who get killed, are killed in car accidents... That's my unique perspective on that situation. it payed off. (In my opinion.) Either way, it's interesting, how views of what's important tend to change with each person, and with their own unique experience.

I think it's also important to remember, like Dave suggested, that more often than not the decisions you make that REALLY add up to survival, are probably not going to occur in the woods...  (food for thought.)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 08:54:38 AM by taken by the wind... »

HazeyWolf

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 02:17:04 AM »
"Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis are all as inevitable part of a Earth's story as sunrise and sunset are a part of the quotidian routine; the only signal differance has been the rythm and the pitiless irregularity of their occurance. All that humans do and everywhere that humans inhabit is for the moment only; like the cherry blossoms in the Japanese spring-time that are exquisite simply by virtue of their very impermanance.  Geology - particularly a dramatic new geology - serves as an ever present reminder of the fragility of humankind; of the evanescent nature of even our most impressive achievments."  -  from Simon Winchester's 'A Crack in the Edge of the World' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Winchester, http://www.amazon.com/Crack-Edge-World-California-Earthquake/dp/0060571993.

"Life is trouble. Only death is not." - 'Zorba the Greek' by Nikos Kazantzakis; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorba_the_Greek_%28novel%29

“The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival.” - US Senator Morris King Udall, receipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo_Udall ("Too funny to be president...")

There are many dimensions to the topic, and there are huge differences between wilderness and outdoor survival knowledge, "traditional living," voluntary simplicity and homesteading, emergency preparedness and "survivalism."  I respect them all immensely. IMO, the question should only be asked and answered by one's self and for one's self.  Perhaps a more important question is whether one is prepared enough.

 I consider my interests to be a hobby - the interests of a humble green-horn and enthusiastic amatuer outdoor enthusiast, naturalist, environmentalist, and civilian emergency volunteer.  Some people are into aviation or boating or other persuits - are pilots and boaters going to extremes when they develop skills regarding navigation, emergency tactics, communication techniques, etc?  Anyone who likes to spend time in the wilderness should learn basic skills, continue to develop them, and refresh their knowledge from time to time...

Without intending any offence, I do personally feel that there are some people who may qualify as being paranoid or obsessively compulsive about the subject of survival (and/or other things as well) - such individuals are probably  successful people in their choosen field, and I hope they live near me in case of an emergency.  Radical Gun-Nuts and agenda specific extremists may be a different story, but I admit that  I love to witness destructive action at a distance now and again - http://www.knobcreekrange.com/

Its a complicated world (more so all the time), but I tend to have some Conservative Libertarian Progressive Secular Humanist Green Existential Objectivist Laissez Faire Capitalistic Hippie Militant Democratic Republican Independant values rounded out with some Pagan Beat Environmentalist Pychedelic Peace-Nick Hobo Zen Poetical Abo-Mountain-Cave-Naked Folk R1B1 sensitiviity and would like to inspire individuals to take responsibility for themselves and extend their preservation skills to their families, communities and environment as an act of consciencious altruism and ultimately an with optimistic love for the world as it is, as it might be,  and for their own place in it no matter what.  More than anything, I personally find survival topics - whether related to urban emergencies, outdoor living, or connected to aboriginal skills , a kind of art; empowering, interesting, social and fun - because they provide practical, scientific solutions to potential stesses in my immediate environment while educating me about nature, history, and providing oppurtunities to help myself, loved ones, and others in the case of a real emergency.  There are few true experts, and there is always much more to learn... what one individual calls "survival," another just views as "the way of life."

It's a free country - people should do what they they want to do within the confines of our laws.  Beyond that, we get the Democracy and leaders we collectively deserve... this worries me, lol... For the most part, in the big picture - individual lives, survival, and the promise of the future has always been precarious, and history re-written... http://www.amazon.com/American-Revolution-Democracy-Struggle-America/dp/0670034207

Sadly, there is a lot of fear-mongering in our society and the news reports often mention threats of pandemic disease, peak oil, catastrophic climate change, nuclear and biological terrorism, etc., and the rapid pace of technological and social change we are experiencing inspires  fear of the future and a fundamentalist and protectionist retreat toward "safety".  Perhaps those fears are over-blown, perhaps not; such threats do exist, though to what degree remains unknown.  The 20th Century was the bloodiest ever for humans, with more violent deaths than any other century, and the specter of nuclear annihilation loomed throughout its later half.  Thankfully, we've pulled back from that brink for now, which seems to me to have been the greatest threat the world has yet faced.     

We owe thanks for our lives to our ancestors;  their hard-won knowledge and wisdom, their personal suffering and sense of loss, to their strength and will to survive mulitiple ice ages, and all the horrors of human history.. not just for our  lives, but for the possibility of being and becoming more.

"...Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one.”  - Joseph Campbell
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 11:22:21 PM by HazeyWolf »

Offline Watcherofthewoods

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2006, 08:08:04 AM »
ok hazey you ARE TO SMART lol
Complain less, breathe more.

It isn't until man is quiet that nature will speak.

In the silence and solitude of the night is when you truely find yourself.

HazeyWolf

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2006, 04:54:36 PM »
ok hazey you ARE TO SMART lol

LOL - no I'm not, SK - I'm just ranting for fun...  don't take me too seriously - lol.

Offline Bigblue

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2006, 06:56:50 PM »
Hazey -
Quote
....but I tend to have some Conservative Libertarian Progressive Secular Humanist Green Existential Objectivist Laissez Faire Capitalistic Hippie Militant Democratic Republican Independant values rounded out with some Pagan Beat Environmentalist Pychedelic Peace-Nick Hobo Zen Poetical Abo-Mountain-Cave-Naked Folk R1B1 sensitiviity....

Feeling a bit schizophrenic these days?

Quote
....what one individual calls "survival," another just views as "the way of life."


Or, as in my case - "recreation".

I do spend a lot of time in the woods and on the water so a certain degree of familiarity with those environments, and proficiency in the associated skills, is a professional requirement. But, curiosity, more than anything else, drives my quest for knowledge, and the skills I practice (bushcraft, navigation, wilderness cooking waterskills, etc), I do so mostly on my leisure time and thru intrinsic motivation (recreation), not because I feel "the end is near and I best be ready". I do it because its FUN! Although, its entirely possible that the knowledge and skills I have acquired will come in handy (read: indespensible), but which ones?

When it comes to "survival", I have no idea how to prepare. As you pointed out Hazey, the event may come in the form of a volcano, sunami, a weather event, world war, or some nut with a suitcase full of plutonium, there's just no knowing. So, which one do I set about training for? If I new what I was going to survive, then in my mind, it wouldn't be "survival"... it'd just be living under extra-ordinary circumstances. Yeh, I can stock up on food, water, and batteries in the event of an earthquake. I can get really good at trapping wild animals, and lighting fire by rubbing sticks together, and I could build an underground bomb shelter, and, and, and.... But, then Lucifer's Hammer hits and I don't know how to surf!!( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer's_Hammer ) :hugegrin:

So, in the meantime, I'll just have fun during my leisure time, in the off chance that paddling a canoe round and round in perfect pirouettes will somehow save my ass when the SHTF. The rest, I'm just not gonna worry about.



I take people way out into the woods and then do things with them.

SHUT UP AND POST  :P


Offline RovingArcher

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 04:55:19 PM »
Perspective....................To me, the word survival, means living through some possible out of the ordinary negative event, which has little to do with the gear we carry and more to do with luck and destiny.  Of course, individual views are based on a lot of factors, not the least of which is fear.  Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of losing loved ones, fear that your gear isn't worthy of the task, etc.   This drives people to buy, buy and buy more gear, trying to be better than they were and hoping that it's enough to help us live when others fail.  Truth is, it isn't gear that helps us to live, while others die.  It is the physical experiences we have in life, that help us to live and die.  It is luck and it is the intensity at which we live each breath.  All the gear will do, is help us be more comfortable while we are living.  I like being comfortable in life and that transfers to being stranded in the desert or playing in the woods.  Can't be comfy without gear of some kind.  It might be just a knife and a bic, but if that's your idea of comfort, then more power to you.  Myself, now that I'm putting on some elder years, I like a lot more comfort than I once did.  I like knowing that if I'm in the mtns and my PU breaks down, that I can put up a shelter, gather some wood, build a fire and insulate myself, all with the help of the stuff I carry in my PU.  Call it a GHB or a BOB or whatever, but what it really boils down to is that it's a comfort bag that will help me live life a little easier until I can get home, or wherever it is that I'm going.

Make em sharp and shoot em straight, or leave em home.

Offline LOST

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2007, 08:32:01 AM »
After much of the country has seen such harsh conditions with heavy snows and power outages I thought some might have more to say.  Any new thoughts on being ready for anything now?

Offline RovingArcher

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2007, 11:54:19 AM »
Even though I kind of danced around the whole thing and hit on some truths in my previous post, I'll add, Yes, I believe that many people take it way too far in their minds.  It rules their lives and it ruins their lives and I'll admit here that I had some difficulties with that myself.  The ol' fear thing set in and I was off and running, but through my spirituality and understanding of life as I know it, as well as a trip to the Coure d' Alene Reservation, where I helped some friends through a winter and spent a lot of time alone, in the cold, communing with Great Spirit and Mother Earth, I was brought  back to where I should be.  As a result, I find that I am more at ease within myself, but I am also more in tune with what's really happening around the world and how it will affect my immediate and extended families. 

Having been raised by my family and extended family to always have certain things with me when I enter into life and having been a boy scout, where the motto is *Be Prepared*, I will always dabble with gear and practice skills.  I will always have enough of what my immediate family needs, put away for any type of emergency.  I will always keep an eye on the enemies that would do harm to those that I love and I will protect my loved ones by doing battle with the different forces, both literally and figuratively and when I'm too old to be much good anymore, the torch will have passed to another, or many others, to take my place.  It is a natural order of things for men to be hunters and warriors.  It is our responsibility to provide and care for the Elders, Women and Children, as well as those that can't help and care for themselves.  But we can't let it consume us, because if it does, we can become destroyed by it, along with those we are trying to protect. 



Make em sharp and shoot em straight, or leave em home.

Offline Holly

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2007, 02:39:35 PM »
RovingArcher, this is the best, most common-sense approach I have heard in a long time!  I wish that everyone looked at things this same way.  Thank you for sharing such a deep, intimate part of yourself with us.  I know that a lot of us are on different parts of "the path" in our journey.  Some of us have matured to the point where you are now.  But some of us are still taking baby steps and see terrors around every corner and boogie-men under the bed...I hope that your post will help keep it in perspective for everyone who reads it.  Great post!  :thumbup:

"Wherever you go, go with all of your heart." ~ Confucius

Offline Holly

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2007, 02:51:01 PM »
Here's my take on it:

There is nothing wrong with trying to learn skills to help you become a more independent, self-sufficient person.  It is prudent for a person to learn the basic skills to help increase his chance of survival in an emergency situation.  It is also important to be able to take care of your family and loved ones in those situations.  When does it become wrong?  When it interferes in a negative manner with one's marriage, career, debt obligations, and personal relationships with family and friends. 
"Wherever you go, go with all of your heart." ~ Confucius

Offline Swede

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2007, 04:20:31 PM »
Good point Roving Archer passing the torch on to another. Thats one reason Im here. I learn much and try to teach some of the things I have learned. To me thats one of the tragadies of the passing of the"old" folks is the knowledge of survival they take with them.Every old person knows something about surviving in everday life. So maybe thats what we do here pass on information so others can survive.

There is no such thing as being overly prepared.
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
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Offline LOST

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Re: Are we taking the whole "survival" thing too far?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2007, 07:40:32 PM »
There was a time when mankind did not have the ability to annihilate the whole world in such a short time with weapons of mass destruction.  There was a time when man was not bringing to ruin his own habitation, literally destroying that which supports his own life.  Now we live in that period of time and the majority of us would not want to survive what would be left after something like that. 

There are the times though, when a city or small country is devastated by circumstances that leave its citizens without a clue as to what to do.  These are the times in our lives we prepare for.  We can't do much about a nuke that may or may not hit one day, but we can be aware of a pending natural disaster.  We can prepare for emergencies when we may leave home for a vacation in the dead of winter in snow country.  We can be aware if we live in a flood plain and there are more than the usual rains coming.  People living in the open country have been doing that for thousands of years.

Being more than a "little" prepared is okay too if it gives one a sense of security in an otherwise violent world, where its common to hear words like "live for the day, for tomorrow we may die" or "its me or them" as common expressions.  We need preparations for the unexpected but we do not need to go ballistic and fortress up.  Face it, there is always someone out there with the means to take what you have if they want it bad enough.  We do not need to become reclusive for the fear that others would have us live in.

A months worth of food to get through a trucking strike, a blizzard followed by another blizzard, personal hard economic trials, civil unrest, etc. - a months worth - this is not too much.  Having enough food stocked in a subterranean vault for five years, and that is blast proof, well, I do not see where it would be helpful unless you plan on never seeing the light of day again due to a major event. 

The survival that I believe the majority of us agree upon, is that which will enable us to endure strife, hardships, trials, and mishaps just a little bit better than previously.  We seek the kind of survival skills that give us the edge during emergencies to endure until we can otherwise seek help or where help will come to us.  The majority of those here are seeking to improve their chances, not have the mindset that they are ready for anything, come what may.  I believe those who believe they are ready for anything (in reality) are the fool hearty and should beware that someone smarter, bigger, and badder will always come along to pull the rug out from under them.

There is an overlapping area of true survival and bushcraft as well.  I believe these are the skills we should never lose.  These are what we will need in the event of social upheaval.  Bushcraft is what laid the basis for man's technology today, and we should never give up the fundamental teachings of our ancestors.