T Nation

Preppers/Survivalists


#1

I just came across this documentary and found it quite interesting:

I hadn't heard of "preppers" before, and to be honest a lot of the people in the video seemed very eccentric and I'm definitely not into crazy conspiracy theories, but the idea of being prepared to survive does appeal to me. Especially being physically prepared (which a lot of the people featured didn't seem to consider) and becoming more self sufficient.

Looking on youtube it seems that there are a whole bunch of tv shows and channels etc about prepping, and it seems much more common in the U.S. I was basically just wondering what the t-population thought of the idea in general and if there are any "preppers" on here? Just thought it seemed like an interesting topic.

EDIT:

This thread has evolved to take ideas for equipment needed for a survival situation, here is the list so far:

A party of you and your 6-20 closest friends should assemble:
Flashlights
Batteries (AA and AAA)
First Aid kits - bandages, gauze, sutcher stitches, dis-infectant, neosporin, Surgical gloves
Sowing Kit
Compass
Bottled Water (as much as possible
Water purification pills
Non-perishable foods, high calorie (as much as possible)
Matches
Other fire making supplies
Knife
Letherman pocket tool
Maps (preferable waterproof)
GPS
Small sledge hammer (like with a 1 1/2 handle)
Large sledge
Axe
Really big bolt cutter for locks and chains.
Prybar
Mylar Emergency Blanket
Mil-Spec 550 Cord
Cash (gold or silver preferred)
Rain gear
Wool socks (multiple pair)
Stocking cap
Polypropylene long underwear
Polyester fleece jacket
Gloves
2 small metal buckets
2 washcloths
Powdered/flake soap
Wool blankets
Shotgun (at the very least, prefer 1 gun per party member)
Sh*t-ton of ammo
Fishing gear (Including extra fishing line)
Somthing to boil water in
Sleeping bags
Assorted camp equipment
Toilet Paper
Medicine
Rocket stove
A Defender w/ snorkel
Maine Coon Cat (but only if it feeds itself)
Hyenas or Baboons (ditto on the feeding)


#2

I went to high school with the “Patriot Nurse” who has a big prepping youtube channel. I had never heard of it before either until someone told me she had like a shit load of subs for this thing.

Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.


#3

[quote]csulli wrote:
Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.[/quote]

Haha it’s a done deal! Looking forward to it.


#4

[quote]csulli wrote:
I went to high school with the “Patriot Nurse” who has a big prepping youtube channel. I had never heard of it before either until someone told me she had like a shit load of subs for this thing.

Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.[/quote]

Will there be wild dogs?


#5

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
I went to high school with the “Patriot Nurse” who has a big prepping youtube channel. I had never heard of it before either until someone told me she had like a shit load of subs for this thing.

Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.[/quote]

Will there be wild dogs?[/quote]
Wild up until the point where we subjugate them via victory in unarmed combat. They will then serve as our loyal war hounds.


#6

#7

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
I went to high school with the “Patriot Nurse” who has a big prepping youtube channel. I had never heard of it before either until someone told me she had like a shit load of subs for this thing.

Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.[/quote]

Will there be wild dogs?[/quote]
Wild up until the point where we subjugate them via victory in unarmed combat. They will then serve as our loyal war hounds.[/quote]

Or just hyenas.


#8

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Or just hyenas.[/quote]
WTF? Forget the hyenas, I’d rather hang with those other dudes keeping the baboons. Much more versatile pets.

Once in a while, I’ll watch “Doomsday Preppers” on NatGeo. Funny stuff how overboard these people are. There was a guy who owned a mini golf course and had it “secretly” outfitted to serve as his post-apocalypse fort. He was talking about how he designed one hole on the course to be the designated sniping area, with good cover and clear lines of sight to pick off potential looters.

Then there are the superfat folks talking about how they’ll live on nothing but freeze-dried corn and dehydrated turkey once the electricity fails. Okee doke.


#9

Pet hyenas and baboons?! That is ridiculously awesome.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Or just hyenas.[/quote]
WTF? Forget the hyenas, I’d rather hang with those other dudes keeping the baboons. Much more versatile pets.

Once in a while, I’ll watch “Doomsday Preppers” on NatGeo. Funny stuff how overboard these people are. There was a guy who owned a mini golf course and had it “secretly” outfitted to serve as his post-apocalypse fort. He was talking about how he designed one hole on the course to be the designated sniping area, with good cover and clear lines of sight to pick off potential looters.

Then there are the superfat folks talking about how they’ll live on nothing but freeze-dried corn and dehydrated turkey once the electricity fails. Okee doke.[/quote]

Yeah I actually just watched one episode of “Doomsday Preppers”, it did seem pretty ridiculous haha! It had a large focus on crazy conspiracy theories, which I’m really not into. And yeah - loads of people buying all kinds of crazy gadgets while ignoring the fact that they’re obese. I’d wager that one of the most important things you could do to prepare yourself for an “apocalyptic” scenario would be to get yourself into good physical shape.

But I was interested if any people on here prepare themselves in any way. Not in an extreme way like the guys on these programs, but I thought with all the threads on here about EDC knives and the general pro-gun stance it might be a place where people had quite a survival mindset. Not sure if I’m wording this right lol.

I’m pretty much just rambling now.


#10

[quote]csulli wrote:
Anyway furo when the apocalypse comes you are more than welcome to join my Mad Max biker gang. We’re going to raid all these prepper people for their stuff and women. Possibly their children too if they’re old enough to fetch a good price on the post-apocalyptic slave trade market.[/quote]

Excuse me. Is your gang you accepting applicants from experienced Power Wheels riders?


#11

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Or just hyenas.[/quote]
WTF? Forget the hyenas, I’d rather hang with those other dudes keeping the baboons. Much more versatile pets.

Once in a while, I’ll watch “Doomsday Preppers” on NatGeo. Funny stuff how overboard these people are. There was a guy who owned a mini golf course and had it “secretly” outfitted to serve as his post-apocalypse fort. He was talking about how he designed one hole on the course to be the designated sniping area, with good cover and clear lines of sight to pick off potential looters.

Then there are the superfat folks talking about how they’ll live on nothing but freeze-dried corn and dehydrated turkey once the electricity fails. Okee doke.[/quote]

Baboons are definitely more versatile and pretty vicious from what I hear but you gotta respect that bone-crushing jaw power of the hyena. I read that their jaws are 2x stronger than those of lions. And I’m talking in absolute terms, not pound-for-pound comparison. Plus, they just look more evil than any other animal I can think of.


#12

[quote]furo wrote:
Pet hyenas and baboons?! That is ridiculously awesome.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Or just hyenas.[/quote]
WTF? Forget the hyenas, I’d rather hang with those other dudes keeping the baboons. Much more versatile pets.

Once in a while, I’ll watch “Doomsday Preppers” on NatGeo. Funny stuff how overboard these people are. There was a guy who owned a mini golf course and had it “secretly” outfitted to serve as his post-apocalypse fort. He was talking about how he designed one hole on the course to be the designated sniping area, with good cover and clear lines of sight to pick off potential looters.

Then there are the superfat folks talking about how they’ll live on nothing but freeze-dried corn and dehydrated turkey once the electricity fails. Okee doke.[/quote]

Yeah I actually just watched one episode of “Doomsday Preppers”, it did seem pretty ridiculous haha! It had a large focus on crazy conspiracy theories, which I’m really not into. And yeah - loads of people buying all kinds of crazy gadgets while ignoring the fact that they’re obese. I’d wager that one of the most important things you could do to prepare yourself for an “apocalyptic” scenario would be to get yourself into good physical shape.[/quote]

You know, I’m not entirely sure about that. With a sedentary lifestyle (not burning a lot of calories in the first place) and a bunch of bodyfat (lots of fuel to burn), they might actually be on the right track… assuming they live in secured and armed fortress. Obviously wouldn’t be so great if they have to be mobile.

Eh, I made myself a bedroll system last year from some plans I found in camping and military manuals 100+ years old. It’s a portable sleeping system, and don’t even need a tent because it can handle the weather and keep you warm and dry inside.

It’s basically equivalent to a sleeping pad + sleeping bag, but more breathable and in an all-in-one package. Mine’s made of a canvas shell, thick wool blankets with an aluminized foam sleeping pad built in. The whole thing rolls up and is held together with nylon straps. It’s fairly heavy (wool + canvas).

I’ve tested it in light rain (the canvas got somewhat wet, but I didn’t), as well as in snowy weather in the mid 20s fahrenheit. With some decent cold-weather clothing, like polypro[pylene] shirt and pants, and some wool socks, it’s kept me warm and dry.

I keep it in my car.

I’ve also built a portable rocket stove, as a nice, efficient cheap wood-burning stove for cooking. Not good for warmth, but great for cooking.

I’m also about 90% done with a canvas lean-to, again, based on a very old design. It’s designed to work as a great reflector for a fire outside, to keep you warm, give you a good view, and make sure there’s plenty of fresh air. For whatever reason, I just never quite finished making this.

Um…

I also made a roorkhee chair, designed back during the British Empire’s conquests of Africa and India, as an officers chair. Comfortable and completely breaks down to be portable.

What else…

I’ve taught myself some basic stonemasonry and have the chisels and hammers to do that. Mostly just played around with it, but I think I know enough to actually build something if I needed to.

Food-wise, I’ve tried to make bread from scratch, using wild-yeasts, but I never really got too far with that. The whole point with that is all you would need the flour (which, if you had the mill, you could grind yourself), and be able to live on bread for awhile.

A lot of this is just curiosity though.

All of these people have this idea that if society collapses, they’re going to live in this perpetual “survivalist” mode.

Personally, if society collapses, I’m more interested in rebuilding civilization as quickly as possible.

Which means… 1) being able to survive with a mobile lifestyle – cooking, shelter, recreation; 2) being able to move to an agricultural lifestyle – so, being able to make bread and other grain-based stuff; 3) being able to actually settle roots – so, use the stonework to build an oven, to make bricks, then use the brick to build; and use that to be doing some ironwork and work with metal… salvaging scrap metal should be fairly easy

So I just sort of focused on it from that standpoint.

But I seriously don’t think any of that is necessary. It’s just a neat way to explore a lot of history, traditions, and ideas. Taps into my history and engineering/science interests.


#13

Roorkhee chair:

Broken down:

The whole thing is just held together by tension. You basically just lace up the canvas on the bottom with rope through the D-rings, and everything holds together. No fasteners needed.

The stitching looks… bad, but that was before I had a sewing machine and was doing it by hand.


#14

[quote]LoRez wrote:
You know, I’m not entirely sure about that. With a sedentary lifestyle (not burning a lot of calories in the first place) and a bunch of bodyfat (lots of fuel to burn), they might actually be on the right track… assuming they live in secured and armed fortress. Obviously wouldn’t be so great if they have to be mobile.[/quote]

Haha I hadn’t thought of that! But I do think mobility would be pretty crucial to survival in most scenarios. Who knows though, perhaps it is all part of their plan!

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Eh, I made myself a bedroll system last year from some plans I found in camping and military manuals 100+ years old. It’s a portable sleeping system, and don’t even need a tent because it can handle the weather and keep you warm and dry inside.

It’s basically equivalent to a sleeping pad + sleeping bag, but more breathable and in an all-in-one package. Mine’s made of a canvas shell, thick wool blankets with an aluminized foam sleeping pad built in. The whole thing rolls up and is held together with nylon straps. It’s fairly heavy (wool + canvas).

I’ve tested it in light rain (the canvas got somewhat wet, but I didn’t), as well as in snowy weather in the mid 20s fahrenheit. With some decent cold-weather clothing, like polypro[pylene] shirt and pants, and some wool socks, it’s kept me cold and dry.

I keep it in my car.

I’ve also built a portable rocket stove, as a nice, efficient cheap wood-burning stove for cooking. Not good for warmth, but great for cooking.

I’m also about 90% done with a canvas lean-to, again, based on a very old design. It’s designed to work as a great reflector for a fire outside, to keep you warm, give you a good view, and make sure there’s plenty of fresh air. For whatever reason, I just never quite finished making this.

Um…

I also made a roorkhee chair, designed back during the British Empire’s conquests of Africa and India, as an officers chair. Comfortable and completely breaks down to be portable.

What else…

I’ve taught myself some basic stonemasonry and have the chisels and hammers to do that. Mostly just played around with it, but I think I know enough to actually build something if I needed to.

Food-wise, I’ve tried to make bread from scratch, using wild-yeasts, but I never really got too far with that. The whole point with that is all you would need the flour (which, if you had the mill, you could grind yourself), and be able to live on bread for awhile.

A lot of this is just curiosity though.

All of these people have this idea that if society collapses, they’re going to live in this perpetual “survivalist” mode.

Personally, if society collapses, I’m more interested in rebuilding civilization as quickly as possible.

Which means… 1) being able to survive with a mobile lifestyle – cooking, shelter, recreation; 2) being able to move to an agricultural lifestyle – so, being able to make bread and other grain-based stuff; 3) being able to actually settle roots – so, use the stonework to build an oven, to make bricks, then use the brick to build; and use that to be doing some ironwork and work with metal… salvaging scrap metal should be fairly easy

So I just sort of focused on it from that standpoint.

But I seriously don’t think any of that is necessary. It’s just a neat way to explore a lot of history, traditions, and ideas. Taps into my history and engineering/science interests.[/quote]

Ah those things are so cool! I completely see where you are coming from, building these things and acquiring these skills out of curiosity and interest rather than an actual feeling that you’ll have to rely on them some day. But it must be cool to know you have these skills just in case.

As a child my favourite book was always the SAS Survival Guide and I’d spend ages trying to make the animal snares and hunting weapons outlined in it. Never really thought I’d actually have to use those skills though.


#15

Rocket stove:


#16

How exactly does the rocket stove work? Is it similar to a kelly kettle? I have one of them for camping and it is brilliant.


#17

That whole “prepper” thing is a real double-edged sword.

On the one hand, they promote self reliance - real self-reliance, like growing your own food, keeping out of debt, and having skillsets that can get you through some lean times (appropriate what with our Great Recession) - and they generally have some pretty cool or interesting ideas on a wide variety of subjects. Kind of like “pioneer skills,” you might say.

On the other hand, many of them are absolutely fucking insane. Like, CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY insane.

One time, I was reading a post on Survivalblog.com (check it out, interesting stuff), and one guy wrote in to talk about what kind of tools and such he kept in his car, just in case he couldn’t get home and a disaster struck. Well, fair enough, I thought - lots of people live in wide-open areas, and might be pretty far from home if something bad happens. Plus, I’ve gone through Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy and I know that this shit really does happen.

So I read further, and the guy lists the events that might happen that he’s most concerned about being caught away from home during. The first was a blizzard/snowstorm, the next was a hurricane, the last one was… the rapture.

Yep. The fucking RAPTURE. Right up there with hurricanes and blizzards as “Things I Might Realistically Get Caught Outside In.” It was not tongue-in-cheek either, this hillbilly was dead serious.

So those websites and message boards involve that kind of tradeoff. There’s definitely useful info in there, but it’s hidden among crazy talk about “The end of the world as we know it” and “societal collapse.” And these are typically fat, which is hilarious to me.

One site that I try to read is this one: http://ferfal.blogspot.com. The dude has basically survived during the worst of the collapse of the Argentine economy, and has a lot of USEFUL info about dodging mobs, dealing with home intrusions and high crime areas, etc. etc. He kind of laughs at the assholes that write on things like Survivalblog because they’re… well, waiting for the fuckin rapture. This guy is much more realistic and way more worth your time.


#18

[quote]furo wrote:
How exactly does the rocket stove work? Is it similar to a kelly kettle? I have one of them for camping and it is brilliant.[/quote]

Yeah, it’s similar.

Here’s a diagram I found that basically describes the idea.

Pretty much, you preheat the air coming in, and then the burn tube has to be long enough so that all of the gases get burned. The stuff that you normally think of as smoke… if concentrated long enough, a lot of those additional compounds can get burned. By insulating the chimney, you reduce the heat flow to the outside so that it can keep the chimney hotter and the fire burning hotter. The warmed chimney + the chimney height then helps suck the air in on the bottom, so you get an even hotter fire than using just ambient air.

At the base, there’s enough heat in there to soften iron to a cherry-red.

I’ve been pretty impressed with the whole concept. Simple, easy to make, and a long as you get the proportions roughly correct, works very very well.


#19

And i thought this thread was going to be an opportunity to bash Lacoste fashions and Duran Duran.


#20

However, for what it’s worth, anyone who thinks of themself as a “prepper/survivalist”, or associates themself as such… I think is pretty much on the crazy side.

Just like those “fitness” people. I don’t mind being fit… but definitely don’t want to be lumped in with that group.