Posts Tagged With: Survivalism

Fear Built the Coffin, Are You Carrying the Shovel?

by Todd Walker

Preppers seem to be an intelligent, discerning bunch. They embrace individual responsibility, self-reliance, preparedness, and self-sufficiency. Very admirable traits indeed. My intention here is to shine some light on the foundation of many doomsday preppers – fear.

Grave digger removing a casket

All fear is not bad. It’s a gift in many cases that has been passed down ancestrally.

Fear of our future has motived many of us to change our lifestyle. Too much fear paralyzes. Picture your health. You’re chilling on the sofa after work with remote in hand – feeling fine physically. An ad from the Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex interrupts compelling you to take action (and their newest wonder drug – which may cause anal seepage). Hum, as the thought bubble forms. I do remember not being able to remember the name of my co-worker’s daughter’s husband. Is this the onset of …. [fill in the blank]. I can put up with a bit of seepage if that pill can help me.

Then there’s the pesky problem of information overload. We’re drowning in a tsunami of threats, boogeymen, four-horsemen hype that would make for a bad day – even for the most prepared. Anxiety and hand wringing in the corner or buying the latest shiny object seem to be our only hope of survival for our species. Negative news sells. Who tunes into a local newscast with stories of families that made it home safely for dinner? No one. We rubberneck to see the disconnected devastation and destruction on our idiot tubes. We want to have our fear – and be happy too.

But we have to stay informed on all the potential S hitting the fan, right? There’s better ways to stay informed than faux news. I try to find a happy medium – staying informed – without succumbing to anxiety-induced anal seepage.

Last year our family experienced our own genuine, personal SHTF scenario. This was not a drill or practice session. DRG’s life was on the line. Discounting or overlooking real threats to our families is just plain stupid. Minimizing our risk in this preparedness game is all we can do. The first step would be to prioritize what’s really likely to happen in our individual situation.

I’m not your typical prepper – whatever that term implies. I don’t own a single gas mask. I know the three minutes without air rule. It’s just that, in my estimation, owning a chemical suit and gas mask is not a priority for our family now. Would I buy one if I thought breathable air was in short supply? Yes. But for now, my priority is to fry bigger fish – like water and food.

Here’s the good news! We don’t have to watch fear-based TV news to stay informed. No more throwing remotes or shoes at the talking heads on your screen. Online alternative news sites are everywhere. User beware. Some prepping sites fall into the fear, doom and gloom category. I’ve found that I was guilty of this myself in the early stages of this blog – fanning the flames of fear drives web traffic. Again, look for information that offers practical advise and steps to living a more simple life. A lot of “non-prepping” sites offer excellent information. Meaning, surf outside the prepping wave pool. I’m always interested in other non “prepper” sites y’all ‘Commentistas’ have discovered. Please, do tell!

How do we avoid the coffin that fear built?

Put down the shovel and stop digging.

  • Relax. Take frequent breaks from the potential unknowns that keep you from sleeping. Health-destroying headlines top my list.
  • Turn off the TV. I use to be a news junkie. I’ve broken the addiction. I value my psychological health. Here’s a study that found that watching the news on television triggers persisting negative psychological feelings that could not be buffered by attention-diverting distraction (i.e., lecture), but only by a directed psychological intervention such as progressive relaxation.
  • Erase the hell-in-a-handbasket mindset. Bad stuff has happened in our time and to our ancestors – yet they prevailed.
  • Fire the worker bee in you. What if the secret to survival was to fire yourself? You’ve probably read the “What did you do to prep” threads on forums. If not, they’re easy to find. I sometimes get the impression that if you’re not doing something to prepare everyday that you’ll eventually get caught, um, unprepared. We have to escape the tyranny of the urgent – the daily grind. Well Mr. Knowitall, who’s going to do all that stuff ‘experts’ say are essential to survival? You will. But first, you must fire yourself. Go ahead. Step away form the food dehydrator. You could use the break, right? Take a weekend off to concentrate on your long-term plan. Act like a CEO, not a worker bee. Then, step-by-step, begin implementing your plan. Scurrying around full of fear is unproductive.
  • Focus on the main thing. Every trivial “news worthy” event has side-track potential. Your main thing may not be my main thing. Discover yours and focus your energy there.

What’s the next pandemic? I don’t know, and frankly, don’t care. Viewing life through the lens of fear shapes our future. Sadly, a lot is written in prepperdom that reinforces the panic-stricken mindset. My job is to decide what’s worth my time and energy. Standing over my coffin of fear with a shovel and dirty hands is not an option for me. Fear not.

How about you?

If you’ve found this helpful, please share it with your it with your family and friends. 

Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can Follow me for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ability Is A Poor Prepper’s Wealth

by Todd Walker

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Lao Tzu

 

Image source

I use to look at all the preparedness blogs and books and turn green drooling over all the cool stuff these folks say I needed to survive an emergency, SHTF situation, or TEOTWAWKI.

I’d wake up at crazy hours of the night wondering how I’d get my family to safety in an emergency. I still envy some of my self-reliant heroes and heroine. It’s addictive. But I’ve come to realize that only makes me more stupid.

I’m no expert on anything. I’m a self-professed serial multi-tasker. I consider myself the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I’ve added lots of preparedness knowledge to my brain, but I have to balance my knowledge with wisdom. Taking away things like prepper envy adds wisdom. It’s so unwise to envy what many in the prepper community have in terms of gadgets, supplies, skills, and tools.  But I catch myself still doing it. Then I remind myself to live Sherpa Simple.

Here are 7 ways to beat the envy trap.

Prepper Envy Cure #1:

Be honest. Seems simple. The most useful, yet most neglected, item in my preparedness toolbox is honesty. I wish I was more honest with myself. I said I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I really feel this way. This isn’t false humility or self-depreciation babble. This falls into the more I know, the less I know category.

Arrogance humbles. Last year I decided I needed to start working out with my BOB (Bug Out Bag). I consider myself to be in above average shape for my age (50). So I sling my 40 pound pack on my back and start my daily 4 mile walk with my Dirt Road Girl. Into mile 2 I discovered I hadn’t been honest about two things: A) my fitness level; B) the amount of “needed” stuff in my BOB. Find out before showtime if you’re ready. Be honest and adjust your lifestyle.

Prepper Envy Cure #2:

Don’t worrying, be happy. Pollyanna notions about whirled peas is not what I’m talking about here. Worrying may be the biggest drain and waste of energy in the prepper community.

A friend gave me this advise in the early 90′s that has served me well since (when I do it): Be prayed-up and laid back. At some point, we all have to get over ourselves and depend on a higher power. Mine happens to be God. This is by no means a He’ll take care of everything excuse not to prepare for my future. Prepare. But stop worrying about things you can’t control. Do what you can do, do all you can do, and let go of the rest.

What’s your biggest fear?

Prepper Envy Cure #3:

Hone your abilities. Coach John Wooden once said, “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” You don’t have to be wealthy to be prepared. Skills trump gadgets.

Ability comes from experience and practice. Doing the Stuff. Turn off the TV or computer (ONLY after you’ve finished my article) and get outside and practice woodcraft or camping skills. Take a kid fishing/hunting. Walk your lawn and identify common weeds that might be useful for meds or food. You do have weeds in your yard right? I know exactly were to find plantain in my yard for the occasional tick bite or skin irritation. It’s an amazing wild weed!

Quit wishing you had the latest shiny survival object some experts say you need. Time spent developing skills helps dissolve prepper envy.

Prepper Envy Cure #4:

Avoid stupid mistakes. Avoid getting a personal “Darwin Award”.

“That could have put your eye out,” Mama said.

Why? Because we were shooting our BB guns at each other and she found out. It was obvious with the welt over my brother’s eye. Two inches lower and she would have been right!

We all make stupid mistakes. Prepper envy doesn’t have to be one of them.

backyard-bushcraft

Fatwood shavings lit with a ferro rod

I’m a big proponent of backyard bushcraft. Your backyard is a great laboratory for testing gear and developing skills before you actually need them. As you get comfortable with a skill in a controlled setting, say fire craft, take the skill to the next level on a day hike or camping trip.

Prepper Envy Cure #5:

Exercise mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know I should have only listed 4 cures. But I refuse to have “list envy” on top of prepper envy – (you’ve seen it, “The 39 Top Threats…”,  “7 Myths That Schools Teach as Real History”, “30 Canned Foods You Never Knew Existed“).

Functional Fitness: The Wild Woodsmans Workout

Squats on the rocks!

Check out these functional fitness ideas that will save you a gym membership and build your physical fitness.

Prepper Envy Cure #6:

Fail forward. No regrets. I regret way too much. Not what I don’t have so much, but what didn’t do.

When I was five, I wanted to grow up to be the guy that rode on the back of the trash truck. It looked fun at the time. I don’t regret following that childhood dream. I do regret wasting so much money, time, and energy on stuff that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of life. I envy those with no regrets. See how it’s a vicious cycle.

Regrets waste energy and stop your momentum. Let the past go. In an earlier chapter of my life, I read a John Maxwell book or listened to one of his cassette tapes (that dates it, huh?). I remember hearing the phrase “fail forward.” That stuck with me. I don’t always follow this wisdom, but it’s still true.

Regrets kills future ideas! I’ve never read any science on this, but it’s been proven in my life. The more I wallow in regret, the less creative I am.

Prepper Envy Cure #7:

Perfection is overrated. If you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), I feel for you. My mother-in-law has it. I don’t know how I passed the vetting process to marry her daughter. Thankfully, she overlooked my many imperfections.

We’re bombarded with thousands of images daily promoting perfection – the perfect figure, job, car, drug, home, makeup, gun, knife, etc. Resist the urge to envy ‘perfect’ people/preppers. Their life may be photo shopped. Be yourself. That’s enough.

Be honest about your imperfections. This quality opens more doors and opportunities than the vinyl veneer of perfection.

See, I told you I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, Camping, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

K.U.D.: 3 Simple Steps to Actually Doing The Stuff

by Todd Walker

Dizzy by data. Information overload sucks! Your brain is transformed into a pond of stagnant scum. Information flows in but just sits inactive with no circulation creating a breeding ground for pesky parasites in your cerebral cesspool.

When I first heard of the prepping movement about five years ago, I began investigating. Even though my parents had raised me to be prepared, my search in the online world of preparedness made my brain cells explode. The amount of information available was overwhelming. This past April, I decided to start this blog and add a few words to this avalanche of data asphyxiation. There in lies the problem. How can we apply of all this information and turn it into practical preparations?

Here are three simple, non-rocket-science steps that might help.

K.U.D. Know-Understand-Do.

https://i0.wp.com/www.knowledgejump.com/knowledge/iStock_000003541361Small.jpg

Photo: http://www.knowledgejump.com

Know

Knowledge is the first step in acquiring a new skill. The problem in our age of information is T.M.I. – Too Much Information. Most information we get from virtual friends on social media sites, news outlets, the bottomless email bucket, our bosses, the government, our spouses [just kidding Honey ;)], our pastors, and especially our school teachers… is totally useless. We’re bombarded with thousands of messages daily. It’s hard to focus. To paraphrase the Bible, “Without a vision, the people would perish in a bog of data.” Not productive. Close the other tab and quit looking at cats doing stupid stuff on YouTube and let’s get started.

Smart phones and new technology are wonderful tools. We’ve got to learn to govern our intake. When I decide on a new skill to add to my tool box, I get all the knowledge I can from as many proven sources as possible. You’ll find many “expert preppers” online and in print. I don’t put much stock in a lot of gurus unless they are doing the stuff. There’s nothing new under the sun. So find out who is doing the stuff and follow them, Grasshopper. It’s just like eating. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like crap when your body is called on to perform. Feast on good, credible info.

I know I’m at my saturation point when my spongy gray matter yells, “Enough already! I can’t take anymore!” Time to unplug and assimilate.

Understand

The dictionary defines assimilation this way: The process of receiving new facts or of responding to new situations in conformity with what is already available to consciousness. In other words…

Time to dig out of the avalanche. Do you have a clear grasp on the knowledge? Can I wrap my mind around the concept now? To get there, I like to break the data down into manageable chunks. Understanding comes when I’m able to clearly see the complete idea behind the knowledge I’ve gained. This is where the “ah ha” moments pop up.

For instance. Last week marked my first day with students this school year. After boring them with all the rules and procedures, I held up a #2 pencil. “How many people does it take to make this pencil from scratch?” One or two, up to 14 was their response. I told them that to make one pencil, it would take millions of people. This started a great discussion on all the equipment, technology, raw material, transportation, equipment, and man hours involved in pencil production. Light bulbs began lighting up. We took a concept and broke it down into its raw, organic chunks. That’s understanding. By the way, if you’d like a simple lesson in free market economics, search “I, Pencil”. You can download it free in some places.

You’re not done yet. To make the knowledge and understanding useful, it’s time for the hardest part…

Do

Photo: davepatania.wordpress.com/

This is where the majority of people experience an epic fail. They simply don’t start. Articles, videos, and books are not enough. My goal here is to motivate you to start doing. Every prepper must confront his/her resistance to doing. It could be laziness. This doesn’t apply to most preparedness minded folks I know.

Maybe money is the excuse. You don’t need the shiniest bells and whistles to be prepared. If the S hit the fan today, I have a feeling that a lot of preppers would have no clue as to how to make use of the stuff they’ve stockpiled. Like the bug out bag kit they bought that they never got around to testing. I’m not hating on these folks, I’m just saying get busy doing the stuff with your stuff. Know how it works intimately. How many uses can one item have? I pack all my kits from things I’ve made or put to use regularly. The other stuff is just shiny eye candy and heavy.

Due to Dirt Road Girl’s cancer, she won’t be returning to teach this year. We certainly feel the vise squeezing our family wallet. At the same time, we accepted the challenge of prepping with one less paycheck. How hard can it be, right? We’ve been there – done that before. Frugality and the right attitude is essential. Whatever the objection, you are the only person alive able to confront the issue of not doing the stuff.

Plan your work – work your plan. Make doing the stuff a lifestyle. In the past, I would never budget time to “prepping”. It was a hit and miss shotgun blast. Now I devote 30 minutes each day to pure preparedness. That doesn’t sound like much but it adds up. 30 minutes/day x 365 days = 10,950 minutes/year or 5,475 hours of doing the stuff. This allows me to work my plan every day. Momentum is a preppers best friend!

If your cerebral cranium is stagnating, dynamite the dam by doing. A lot of preppers are riding the wave of knowledge hoping they’ll be able to do the stuff WTSHTF. Granted, reading about it is better than total ignorance. But can you do it when it counts? Do the stuff now while resources are available. It would benefit all of us to turn off our computers and smartphones and get busy doing… Only after you’ve finished this article of course.

K.U.D. helps me live a simple, self-reliant, back-to-basics life… and avoid information overload.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

7 Surprising Reasons Why Americans Aren’t Prepared for What’s Coming

by Todd Walker

I’ve never suffered a gunshot wound.

I had a friend who was ventilated by some grudge-holding thug. Apparently, this idiot wanted to get even for a business deal that went south. He chased my friend through the bays of his car wash shooting at him with a .22 revolver. Fortunately, only his love handles got pierced.  After recovering, my buddy began making a plan to never get caught defenseless again.

Tobacco Smoke Enema – Nice!

What follows may be painful for some. It may hurt as much as the old tobacco smoke enema. The only difference is that I’m NOT blowing smoke up yours.

Why do so many Americans refuse to prepare for worst case situations?

Or better yet, why do they not even prep for potential everyday emergencies? You’ve seen them pass you on their donut tire at 67 miles per hour heading to the 7-11 to get their winning lotto ticket. I’m sure with all their winnings they’ll be able to prepare, right?

Being prepared doesn’t take huge financial windfalls. So why do so many people think it’s a stupid idea to be prepared? Here’s my list.

A) Peer Pressure. Remember school days? Who wants to be standing outside looking in on the popular group? We all want to feel important and part of a group. We’re social animals. The group we associate with can determine our future.

My daddy always told me, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” If you hang out with prepared individuals, you’re likely to become more prepared. As prepping goes more mainstream, many in the media portray preppers as crazy, racist, isolationist, anti-everything survivalist. None of us want that label. There’s always a few fringe types in any group that make media salivary glands wet. The new growth to the prepper movement is fueled by “normal” people like soccer moms, taxpaying business owners, and law-abiding folk.

B) Government Schools. My day job is to teach at a local school government indoctrination center. My advice to any preparedness minded parent of school aged children: AVOID GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS NO MATTER THE COST! Government schools manage ignorance for profit. Read more here.

Preparedness and survival requires self-reliance and the ability to think for yourself. The State forces kids to spend their most formative 12 years (16+ including college) learning how not to learn, but conform. Finding learning in government schools is as hard as finding a corner in a round room. A quarter of their lives circle the toilet bowl taking the path of least resistance to the collective’s sewage plant to be recycled and made “safe” and useful tax-payers.

Parent choices greatly increase or decrease their kid’s survivability. So what’s the solution for educating prepared individuals? Homeschooling may seem impossible. Both parents have to work to keep the family feed, clothed and sheltered. It comes down to our priorities. What “important” stuff can we kick to the curb to rescue our kids from government gulags and offer them a real education? I can’t answer that for you. Humans are individuals with unique situations. One size does not fit all. Homeschool, unschool, anything but government school.

C) Dependence. We’ve abandoned our roots. Due to reason # (B), our history is intentionally distorted. I often ask kids to tell me about historical figures and events like Abraham Lincoln, the War of Northern Aggression, or more recently – the Federal Reserve. As to Lincoln and the unCivil War, kids today are taught that Lincoln invaded the south to free the slaves. While I abhor the concept of someone owning another person, I know that Lincoln didn’t care about slaves being freed. Follow the money.

When my ancestors stepped off a boat in 1735, there was no free lunch or welcome basket full of government goodies. dependence on their own ability, family, and immediate like-minded friends started my family journey in America. Their self-reliant skills didn’t insulate them from set-backs and calamities. The find-a-way-to-get-the-job-done attitude is what helped me and my family survive to this point. Thankfully, I’m part of the remnant of self-reliance left in our country. When their Katrina-style disasters hit, communities rebuilt without the help of FEMA. This spirit of pioneering one’s own life has been traded for dependence. Even after natural and man-made disasters, I’m amazed at the false hope Americans place in our government’s ability to sweep in for the rescue. It’s a stupid idea most Americans hold.

D) MBM (Morally Bankrupt Morons). “All I need is guns and ammo to survive. When the SHTF, I’ll just take what I need.” I’ve read this statement, or similar sentiments on many preparedness/survival forums. I want to think they were just trolls. But I know there are lazy, corrupt individuals that will resort to this style of survival – for a while. Do they think that the very people they plan to plunder are not able and ready to defend their personal property?

I saw an episode of Doomsday Preppers where one in their group stated that they don’t buy weapons and ammo. Their plan, when the armed  horde of hungry looters show up, is to show them all their food and offer more if they leave them unharmed. Maybe some MBM’s will live to loot another day. I wouldn’t place my hopes of survival in this strategy. Your mileage may very.

Some people have an aversion, even a fear of tools called guns. In the wake of Sandy Hook, I’m encouraged by the bare ammo shelves and empty gun stores. It gives me hope that people are listening to their “gut” and making preparations for their future. Defending their life, liberty, and property against enemies, foreign and domestic, seems to be catching on. Why shouldn’t it? It’s our natural right.

I’ll put real simple here. I don’t care who, whether pastor, clergyman, senator, family member, or Santa Clause tells you guns are evil and you don’t need them, put as much distance between them and you as possible. Part ways. Period.

Back to the MBM. These individuals embody the entitlement mentality and our moral backsliding in this country. Hunger is a strong motivator for stupid stuff. I’ve never been shot, and I’ve never shot anyone else. I pray to Papa that I never have to face the choice of kill or be killed. If that time comes, and I’m afraid it will, we each have to wrestle before hand with our resolve to protect our life, liberty, and happiness.

Read the signs and heed legitimate warnings. Don’t live in fear. Prepare accordingly my friends. Avoid being low hanging fruit.

E) Nationalism. Arrogance leads to a fall. It could never happen here. This is America! We’re the envy of the world. I’m convinced that this is the thinking of the mentally ill – or the historically illiterate. I hear the disdain coming from ‘educated’ folk all the time. I think they suffer from altitude sickness in their ivory towers. Totalitarianism happens one step at a time. As long as we are allowed to wake up in our homes, drink our coffee, go to work, watch our TV programs, rinse and repeat, tyranny becomes routine. Vigilance dies. It’s frog-boiling 101. Gradually heat the pot of water and the frogs don’t jump out.

I love my country. I love my freedom more. Humility and honesty seem to be lost traits. I hope that there are enough people waking up to help rebuild our crumbling republic. .

F) Mental Enslavement. With enough time, falling water can cut through rock. Is what we call ‘freedom’ really freedom? Many in the patriot movement call themselves “freedom lovers” yet accept tyranny as normal. We’ve all heard the battle cry of patriot-lite types. You’ll have to pry my guns from my cold dead fingers! No worries. The State will gladly oblige. Yet, the water fall of tyranny continues to eroded our liberties. It’s like watching a catastrophic train wreck in slow motion.

“Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human freedom.” – William Pitt

We have as much freedom and liberty as the State allows. To realize and enjoy our natural rights, we must free our minds. Stop listening to talking heads. Free your mind. Don’t be deceived. The smoke screen isn’t just coming from the liberal media types. I use to listen to conservative talk radio religiously. I can’t stomach the party line talk anymore. Some pundits distinguish themselves as conservative, not republican. Liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican. They are just different sides of the same liberty-destroying coin. Flip the coin to choose your master.

Ancient Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”

G) Stifled Self-government. Critical thinking is dead (See # F). Passivity is encouraged, even demanded. Habits form us. We prefer  our guardians of darkness. It hides our secret need for fake security. We are addicted to our velvet chains. The principles of non-aggression and self-ownership have been systematically eradicated. Most Americans favor State coercion over individualism and self-reliance. Voluntary relationships between free individuals is no longer viewed as common sense. Our State monopoly on schooling crusades for government dependence and even sites individualism as a mental disorder.

Rejecting government dogma invites the use of ‘legal’ force, or the threat of force, to reform rebellious subjects of the State’s idea of being a good citizen. We have to get over ourselves and our dependency on government ‘safety’ nets. That is, if we want to be self-reliant. Breaking the addiction sometimes comes step-by-step. Sometimes it’s cold turkey that works. We’re all different. Do what works for you.

Don’t wait. Take one step towards building preparedness and resilience each day. What physical, mental, spiritual, emotional steps did you make today?

Don’t beat yourself up if any of these 7 reasons apply to you. It’s hard not to relate to some of these reasons. But who wants to be the person walking out of the restaurant bathroom with a strip of toilet paper stuck to their heel? How embarrassing.

So much is riding on you – your family, community, and even what’s left of our country.

Free you mind!

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Economic Collapse, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self Defense, Self-reliance, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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