Saturday, February 26, 2011

Meet the unlikely survivalist

She's hot, she's together, she knows how to load a gun, change a tyre and feed an army. She lives next door. She's a survivalist!

OK, we don't know if she's hot...but Technorati has a great post about who is really running the survivalist show, and 'she' is in charge of the household budget.

Bear in mind the post has a distinctly American slant: "She (yes, she) is most likely a minivan driving soccer mom who spends most of her time running the household, brushing up on her survival skills by watching Bear Grylls, and practicing target shooting on the weekends.

"Advertisers already know the power and influence of these women. They make almost 80% of the family purchasing decisions, thus wielding significant power over a large portion of the GDP. While the husband is bringing home the bacon, she is figuring out how she can keep it frying in case of emergency. She knows it’s not a matter of “if” something catastrophic will take place. It is simply a matter of when, and she is quietly scrambling to get ready for whatever “it” is."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cody Lundin's semi-underground house

Survival guru Cody Lundin's groovy handbuilt digs was designed with a grid of rebar, burlap and chickenwire and building fence and then sprayed with pigmented concrete slush. Basically it's a modern-day self-cooling cave in the Arizona desert!
If you're not familiar with Cody's work (When All Hell Breaks Loose, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive), visit his website at

Possum Living in vogue again

In 1978 a semi-literate 18-year-old became a literary sensation when she published 'Possum Living', a guide to living on the cheap. This documentary follows her lifestyle and the ensuing public interest in her hillbilly, low-cost lifestyle. Her story had an interesting ending - she went to college and became a NASA scientist! With the rise in interest in frugal living, Possum Living is a charming and mildly eccentric glimpse of doing things differently.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Can you survive an economic crisis?

To some, the term "survivalist" conjures images of camouflage-clad men stockpiling freeze-dried food in a mountain cabin, but in the current economic crisis, the people quietly preparing to survive catastrophe may just be your next-door neighbors.

In his column in last month's Financial Times, business and technology expert Ade McCormack writes, "The world is in crisis and with it the world of business. Many of us have two plans. Plan A involves President Barack Obama performing some economic magic. Plan B involves a revolver, a vegetable patch and a subscription to Survivalist Monthly."

And while McCormack was writing with a hint of jest, dissent over the president's trillion-dollar spending approach to the economy has left many average, everyday Americans considering something looking suspiciously like plan B.

Discover the shocking truth about the U.S. economy – and what you can and must do – with "Black Hole," the most recent edition of WND's acclaimed Whistleblower magazine!

Bill Heid of Survival Seeds, a company that sells "banks" of high-yielding vegetable seeds sealed for long-term storage and awaiting a family's need to grow its own food, says business is skyrocketing.

"It's been dramatic, nothing short of dramatic," Heid told WND. "The survivalist mentality used to be considered a fringe element, but now that economic times are such as they are, many more average, regular folks are adopting the same set of preparations."

Heid told WND what's most notable is that his boom in sales isn't coming from just the usual survivalists stocking up for a Y2K-like event.

"Ninety percent of our increase in business is new business," Heid said, "people who have never thought about surviving in case of emergency before."

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Lehman's, an Ohio retailer of home self-sufficiency equipment, has recorded huge sales increases from across the preparedness spectrum, from curious buyers to the stereotypical die-hards, according to Glenda Ervin, the company's vice president of marketing.

Vic Rantala, founder of Minnesota-based Safecastle, which markets home shelters for protection against disasters such as hurricanes and chemical attacks, told the Monitor his company's revenues have more than doubled since 2007.

"If most people think of a survivalist as an armed loner with extreme views – there are folks like that out there, but there are many more in America who are simply involved in preparing for down times, lean times or disaster," Rantala, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, told the Monitor. "It's logical. It's common sense."

Seattle Times Columnist Danny Westneat interviewed Claire Anderson, a 68-year-old woman who was prompted by Obama's call for community organization to host a meeting of neighbors in her apartment. Their discussion of the slumping economy and fears of what lies ahead harkened back to the leaner days of her World War II childhood.

"I think we're headed back to the days of the victory gardens," Anderson said. "We have to figure out how to help ourselves. We can't be isolated. We can't sit around and wait for the government."

A New York Times article from last summer suggests last year's elevated fuel and food prices sparked a surge of interest in gardening that hasn't slowed since.

"Seed companies and garden shops say that not since the rampant inflation of the 1970s has there been such an uptick in interest in growing food at home," writes Times reporter Marian Burros. "Space in community gardens across the country has been sold out for several months. In Austin, Texas, some of the gardens have a three-year waiting list."

George C. Ball Jr., owner of the major seed and plant supplier W. Atlee Burpee Company, told the Times sales shot up by 40 percent last year, double the annual growth for the last five years.

Ball said of the surge in business, "You don't see this kind of thing but once in a career."

Anxiety over the economy has generated a spike in other areas of the survival and emergency preparedness industry, too.

Harry Weyandt is president of Nitro-Pak, a company that sells freeze-dried food, survival kits, fuel, camping gear and a variety of emergency preparedness products.

"Since the middle of last September, the demand for our long-storing foods and supplies has been very high," Weyandt writes in a column on his company's website. "We are shipping orders as fast as possible, but the demand for preparedness supplies and long storing foods is gaining steam again."

Last summer, an ABC News report said "there are worrying signs appearing in the United States where some … locals are beginning to hoard supplies." The report said some suppliers were concerned the U.S. government may be competing with consumers for stocks of storable food.

Spokesman Bruce Hopkins of Best Prices Storable Foods told WND his company was having trouble obtaining No. 10 cans and other storable foodstuffs, in part, because the federal government was purchasing such large amounts.

"We don't know why," Hopkins said. "The feds then went to freeze dried companies and bought most of their canned stock."

A statement from one of the world's larger suppliers of food stores, Oregon Freeze Dry, also confirmed that sales of No. 10 cans had increased so significantly, the company couldn't keep up and had to remove the products from their online catalog. The company has since contacted WND to explain the shortage has been corrected and supplies are again available.

WND also reported a spike in gun sales in the wake of Obama's election that was even more intense than in the days following Y2K and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

And since November, the sale of weapons and ammunition hasn't slowed.

The Orlando Sentinel reports months of steady, heavy buying have left gun dealers in Florida facing shortages on ammunition.

"The survivalist in all of us comes out," John Ritz, manager of a Florida shooting range, told the Sentinel. "It's more about protecting what you have."

"People are just stockpiling," said a spokeswoman for Georgia arms, which has seen bullet sales jump 100 percent since the election. "A gun is just like a car. If you can't get gas, you can't use it."

Newspapers from around the world reported last month on people facing the economic crisis with increased preparations for catastrophe.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the story of Tony, a 44-year-old stockbroker who lives in a Sydney suburb with his wife and three children. Tony has been stockpiling supplies including rice, multivitamins, peanut butter, honey, soap and toilet paper.

Simon Beer, who operates a survivalist website in Australia, told the newspaper he has seen a surge in interest lately.

"Climate change, peak oil, the economic situation," Beer told the Herald, "people are seeing we're headed for catastrophic changes."

The Toronto Star reports the story of Paul, a man in his mid-50s who only three years ago became alarmed over the possibility of fuel shortage and began a plan to prepare for survival should the worst happen.

"When cars stop running? And grocery stores go bare? What do you think is going to happen?" Paul asked the Star. "It's mind boggling once you grasp it."

And while the newspaper did depict Paul as the more kooky kind of survivalist, labeling him "a conspiracy-minded fellow," the reporter nonetheless was surprised to find him "disarmingly self-aware and funny."

As for Paul, he laughed at the reporter for assuming a man who prepares for catastrophe necessarily fits some "survivalist" stereotype.

"What did you expect?" he asked the Star reporter with a smile. "Head-to-toe camouflage?"

Bug-out signal - monitor the Internet

South African blog claims Internet going down will be the 'trigger' for survivalists to bug out...control the internet, control the information.

If you don't know what bugging out means you might want to learn, people all over the world is preparing for a global meltdown, a crash or something like armageddon coming, this might sound far off and if you dont know what prepping means you might think i'm a mad man.

However in the past few weeks we kept a eye on survival forums, posts talking about bugging out and general survivalist sites and they think the time is near for the need to be prepared, but what is their "meter" or their signal that they now have to bug out?

Well, we did a bit of research and out of all the posts, blogs, polls we could find we saw that the "meter" or signal that would make people bug out the most is when the internet goes down. As we wrote earlier the internet is the true meter or level one can see the freedoms a country enjoys. When those freedoms are under attack the internet is the first to be censored.

Thus we can now see a censoring or the want to censor the internet of governments like the UK, Australia and the US, that is because their "freedoms" are under fire from big corporations, governments, tyrants and what we call the "new world order" as they also claim to be on the path of just that.

It is safe to say that most big protests are now planned through the internet, even Obama who was elected president was helped by the internet. I have doubts that if it were not for the internet he might of not been the President although I might be wrong on that one, here where I am it seems to be looking like that was the case.

So the general internet population or those survivalists that are on the internet believes it is the internet that is their meter, signal or whatever we can call it that when that goes down, that will be the time they will bug out.

Stay tuned for daily survival news.

What is a survivalist?

Survivalism guru Kurt Saxon tells it like it is...

When a person embarks on a course of action, whether it be a profession, hobby, belief, or whatever, a label is needed. Some people don't like labels but they are necessary for advertising and identification.

The term "Survivalist" is fast becoming a household word. It is mentioned constantly on television, in newspapers, magazines and radio. Although just about everyone has come across it, few really know what it means. The term evolved from the general phrase "back to the lander". That was used mainly by ecologists and conservationists alarmed at the growing pollution affecting the quality of life.

The January 1970 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS printed a comment by Gary Snyder on pollution. "The human race for the last century has allowed its production and dissemination of wastes, by-products and various chemical substances to become excessive. Pollution is directly harming the eco-system. It is also ruining the environment in every direct way for humanity itself." In the same issue, reprinting from CAVALIER, an article titled "How to Make It Your Way", they suggested escaping to communes. "So the air is full of crud and the water tastes funny and the nine-to-five is a drag. You're tired of the subway, dog crap in the streets, bumper-to-bumper traffic and plastic TV dinners. Maybe the communes--with all that fresh air, sunshine, love and home baked bread--are really into something." The communes didn't work out very well. There was an overall like mindedness but the lack of discipline and practical skills doomed most such projects from the start. Also, too many who joined communes simply wanted a secure refuge where they could smoke their dope in peace.

THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS had a great impact on the Urban Dropout movement from the time of its first publication in January 1970. They made millions aware of the possibility of finding a more pleasant environment and creating a more secure and fulfilling lifestyle.

In the early '70's Don Stevens, who sells books on self-sufficiency out of Washington state, popularized the term "retreater". The term obviously indicated one who had prepared a retreat in the boondocks to go to when city living became intolerable. There is nothing wrong with the term "retreater" when used in its proper context. But it is a buzz word to certain types. I just heard what might have been a joke about a general who had an auto accident because he ignored a "Yield" sign. "Yield" was a buzz word to him.

"Retreater" was acceptable to pacifist drop-outs of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS school of thought. But to the more aggressive person it had strong connotations of cowardice. I certainly didn't like it, since my scenario of the near future calls for aggressive measures to protect mine from all comers. A poem says "I'll build my house by the side of the road and watch the rest of the world go by." That attitude is fine for "retreaters" but what happens when part of the world turns in to loot that house by the side of the road? The pacifist drop-outs and other non-involved persons simply leave the cities with no fanfare. They don't feel the need for a label because their move is not any form of protest. Also, they don't seem aware that the people they simply don't care to live near may well be a danger to them in the future as marauders.

Unlike the back-to-the-landers, the ecologists, the retreaters and such, survivalists are not non-involved pacifists. They are not necessarily eager to kill, either. They are simply aware that civilization is cracking up and see the possible need for desperate measures to come through with a whole skin. The social unrest of the '60's gave a great but delayed impetus to the Survivalist movement. As discontent manifested in urban rioting, clashes between militant rightists and leftists, assassinations, etc., the government threatened gun confiscation. Millions grew afraid of their government and felt trapped and helpless. As their children were bussed to black neighbourhoods, as their streets became increasingly dangerous and the quality of life lowered, they began wanting out. The weapons oriented magazines urged protest on all levels. They also detailed to their readers the government threats as well as the overall urban dissolution.

Some of them used the term "retreater" when suggesting that their readers drop out. But gun-oriented types were more likely to sit tight than leave under the stigma of "retreater". I am not suggesting that anyone put off leaving because of the term. It is just that they took a militant stand rather than retreat. In late 1975 when starting THE SURVIVOR, I coined the term "Survivalist" and used it in the first issue published in January of 1976. In THE SURVIVOR I have been urging decent people to abandon urban blight and take their loved ones to a safer environment.

My term has been catching on and now those offended by "retreater" are quite satisfied to call themselves Survivalists and move out. It has turned out to be a word anyone can accept as a label if they want one. Even so, the media is generally down on urban dropouts so they have been giving Survivalists a bad name. As you know, the media is part and parcel of the Urban Establishment. It follows that anyone unwilling to stay in the cities and support the Establishment and its hordes of dependents is some kind of a kook. A while back, Boyd Matson, of the TODAY SHOW, called with the idea of interviewing me. When he found I didn't wear a camouflage jacket, a beret and carry a burp gun he backed off. Some time later I saw the segment he made to describe Survivalists. There was a flock of about a dozen turkeys wearing camouflage jackets and drilling with rifles in the Oregon woods. I didn't know them but I could tell they were urban clerical types fantasizing playing soldier. They said they had a cache of food and weapons they would go to when the collapse came. In the event that they could get to their cache they would find that roughing it might be a little harder than they thought. Also, with such a Mickey Mouse setup they would run out of supplies in no time. Then they would turn into the same kind of predators they claimed to be armed against.

Do not be surprised when you see Survivalists portrayed as idiots and fear-crazed kooks. The sorriest was the Lou Grant segment titled "The Survivalists." They had a nut in that show who, during a California flood, stole a roll of plastic at gunpoint. He had his kids armed and waving their weapons at anyone who came around. He also used a phrase from one of my editorials, "Those who prepare to survive deserve to survive."

So they had my material and used it to make Survivalists look stupid and dangerous. They don't all do that but don't be disturbed when you see such depictions. Although everybody uses it today, I figure since I made it up I can also make up its definition. I certainly didn't mean it to be used to describe predators.

My definition of a Survivalist is a self-reliant person who trusts himself and his abilities more than he trusts the Establishment. Insofar as the Establishment is deteriorating, the
Survivalist prepares to leave it.

There are some who call themselves Urban Survivalists but I consider that a contradiction in terms. To hole up in an apartment and expect to survive mobs of starving rioters is silly. Imagine utilities cut off or blown up. Add police and National Guardsmen fighting urban guerrillas, firemen letting whole blocks burn and
all exits being cut off.

A real Survivalist would move out of the urban area to a small town while there is still time. I can't see how a Survivalist could live in a city in the first place. So if you consider yourself a Survivalist and want to tell your unborn grandchildren about it, get out of the city. Move to a small town and become part of the community. When the worst is over you might have seen some turmoil and even driven away some urban marauders. But you and yours will survive with dignity and with no regrets.

That is what a real Survivalist is.

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