A quote has been on my mind a lot this past year.
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
2020 was insane. At times it was scary. That caused me to learn about the “prepper” world for the first time in my life and start thinking about how I could insure myself and my family against weird and crazy shit happening in the world.
My first step:
Go into a Covid rabbit hole on the internet until 4am.
I suddenly realized that my family and I would certainly starve to death if I didn’t run to Walmart immediately and stock up. So I did. Rice, beans, cereal, bars, peanut butter, water, etc. And yes… toilet paper.
Months later I would feel a little embarrassed at that reaction, but at the time it gave me a little peace of mind. As I’ve read books and listened to people in this space, I’ve learned that the prepper world is all about peace of mind.
Many also think about what they’re doing as an insurance policy.
We have health insurance, car insurance, and home owners insurance.
Why not spend a few hundred dollars, or even a few thousand if you feel compelled, to buy things you MAY need on the outside chance of an emergency?
I read a book by Neil Strauss called Emergency. In it there is this line from tracker and survivalist Tom Browne in reference to his Tracker School:
“Why would you want wilderness survival? Because of the what-if question. I’m going to hand you an insurance policy against the what-if question. By the time I’m done with you, you will be able to survive anyplace with nothing. I’ll teach you to build shelters, make fire, forage for food, find water—even if you’re in the Sahara.”
Here is a link to Neil Strauss’ Survival Garage List in case of an apocalypse. We have some and not even close to all of these things.
I’ve also asked myself, other than products I can buy, are there skills I can learn that better prepare me and my family for an emergency that are also just fun to learn in the first place?
- One skill that seems like it would be useful is growing food. I started a garden this year for the first time. It probably produced 20 small tomatoes total, 20 carrots, and a shitload of basil. Unless you can survive off of basil pesto alone, I’d be pretty screwed at this point. I’ve got a ways to go, but I’m learning.
- I also spent more time building and fixing things this year. I built the garden bed, a pergola (because sun shade is going to be very important in an apocalypse), and I made the decision to try and fix things at my house as often as possible rather than immediately calling our handy man. The time spent doing things with my hands was always time well spent. If I never have to use these skills in any serious way it was still time well spent.
- I just started a company that teaches men wilderness survival skills. This will force me to learn these skills more deeply myself.
I’m currently on day 5 of my first Soul Searching Adventure in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. (In the past, I sent this email with magical email software into the future). Today. I’m taking 10 men out in the wilderness for 5 days. After interviewing all of these men before the trip there was a single theme that connected them all.
The desire to feel more capable and confident in nature:
“I want to feel like if the world goes to shit that my family and loved ones can be supported by me.”
“I want to be a more capable man on every level. I want to be a true provider. I need to put the reps in in different scenarios.”
“I want to feel less domesticated.”
“I want to learn to survive in the wilderness and just feel more comfortable out there.”
I want you to know that I understand how ridiculous some of this sounds. Men preparing for a zombie apocalypse. I want you to know that I don’t believe we will ever HAVE to use these skills. I am optimistic about our future, and I have a healthy level of doubt. Regardless, these things are fun as hell to learn and practice.