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Traveling, living, loving, exploring and trying to make some semblance of sense out of this crazy world.  


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Selling Panic

So... it was bound to happen. More and more people are jumping on the Alex Jones/Glenn Beck crazy train to Paranoiatown, taking advantage of the fears of America and the tragedy in Japan to sell "survival kits" for Americans and their families. Just saw a brand-new one advertised here on blogspot and linked on Facebook (just one more reason I will soon be deleting my FB account, BTW).

So, as someone who has spent most of the last THREE decades camping, hiking, and SURVIVING in the outdoors, here is my advice, COMPLETELY FREE!

Here's Survival Tip #1- GET IN SHAPE. You can have all the best survival gear in the world... it won't do you a bit of good if you can't hike a mile through the woods, carry a pack for a mile on the trail, touch your toes or climb out of a hole the height of your body. Get that appendix out, and have those wisdom teeth pulled.

Survival Tip #2- Learn how to hunt- not just shoot, HUNT. If you have no experience with shooting living creatures, rest assured that no matter what the peril to your life or those of your loved ones, you will freeze in the moment of truth and die. Expect to spend quite a bit of time on your hands and knees bringing up your lunch after your first kill, and expect the same thing to happen if you ever have to shoot another human being. We are hard-wired against killing our own kind... that's why the military takes MONTHS to turn even testosterone-saturated young men into soldiers.

Survival Tip #3- learn to fish, pitch a tent, build a fire with a single match, use a compass, read a map and generally Exist in the Outdoors. A healthy, well-armed idiot with a tent full of deer meat is still an idiot who will die from exposure lost on the trail.

Survival Tip #3- Learn to recognize the signs of tularemia, rabies, and Lyme's disease. More people will die of these diseases, food poisoning and bad water than will starve to death or be killed by the ravenous hordes of the lesser races most survivalists are planning on fighting.

Survival Tip #4- Purchase and maintain a wardrobe of functional polypropylene underwear, fleece tops and bottoms, waterproof shells, gloves, wool hats, a blalaclava and a pair of good, waterproof boots. Practice layering systems when out on those hikes you will be taking to get in shape and hone your outdoor skills.

Survival Tip #5- Purchase a copy of any branch of the military's Survival Guide provided for soldiers. These guys have been keeping expensive assets (trained service men and women) alive in the full range of conditions available on Planet Earth for over 200 years.

Survival Tip #6- get a gun you are comfortable with, practice using it, cleaning and loading it, and STAY IN PRACTICE.

Before you go out and spend your hard-earned dollars on "survival kits" or "bug-out bags", find out what experience and qualifications the folks selling this stuff have. Get a list of the items in the bag and see if you couldn't put together your own kit for 10-50% less than you'd pay to have someone seal it in a colorful bag and feed you right-wing propaganda and politically-oriented Christianity during your "information session".

There is nothing wrong with being prepared. But selling panic is just plain WRONG!

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