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8/14/13

Reader Brainstorm: Keeping Survivalism Fun

Let's face it: being a survivalist type isn't always easy. Prepared, provident living is not exactly mainstream behavior this day; throw in a healthy measure of libertarianism, pro-2A, traditional family values and a generally independent/self-sufficient outlook and you can find yourself on the fringe pretty quickly.

Throw in the desire to maintain some level of operational security/low profile, and you end up not being able to talk to the average acquaintance about a lot of what you do in your spare time.

Add in the potential for criticism, mockery, teasing or nagging from those who are within the "circle of trust" and it can become even tougher. When your spouse, children or friends think you're foolish/crazy/paranoid, it can become even harder to stay motivated.

Sprinkle in the tendency for many in survival sphere to be negative, whiny, nit picky and close minded and things can get even tougher. If you're not doing things their way, you're doing it wrong. If you're using product X instead of product Y, you've made a grave mistake and will surely die. There's lots of bickering, lots of self-experts proclaiming their way above all others, and a heavy dose negativity and general hating at times.

The point is this: there are many forces conspiring to get you discouraged, depressed and make survivalism un-fun.

Here at T-Blog, we try to have fun with survivalism, not take ourselves too seriously and not focus on the doom, gloom and negativity in the world.

I'm interested to hear from the T-Blog tribe on this though: what do you do to keep survivalism fun while staying positive and energized?

11 comments :

  1. I try to get my 9 year old son involved when (re)packing BOBs or organizing my long term storage caches. Even things like simple household kits for first aid or power outage contingencies. He's always interested in what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, always asks questions. It's a good way to stay positive and remind yourself why you prepare.

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  2. Haven't really had a hard time staying "motivated". I just do my thing, and tell people in the trust group (that are interested or like minded, even if they aren't survivalist) that it is not a bad idea. I particularly enjoy the bushcraft and and shooting part of the "survivalist" thing. Every body in the trust group and lots that aren't are all into shooting, hunting, fishing, or just general bushcraft. I just talk about this and not as much of the "crazy" things. Maybe it is just my area or the people that I make friends with. I have not been at the "prepping" thing for more than a year or two, so I don't do much of the crazy things, but they are on my mind.

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  3. I enjoy making a game out of being tactically discrete. I work on being creative in how to carry my gear and not look like I am carrying anything. My daily carry bag is a Max-P Methusala, and it is great for blending in and being very functional for carry in an office environment.

    My weekend " speed-bag" is a Max-P Lunada, and I use it for a smaller grouping of essential gear instead of carrying the full bag. The best part about the Lunada, is my FNX-45 Tac is stuffed away in the interior slip pouch and you would never know I had 15 rounds of 45 ACP on-board.

    I enjoyed your article, keep up the great work.

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  4. Everything's integrated into my regular, everyday life. I can fruits and veggies, because I enjoy doing it and I like taking care some of my own food production. Same with growing a garden. I ride my bike because I like to ride my bike and because I like the feeling of being solely responsible from getting myself from point A to point B. Not having to rely on car and oil companies to get around is a great feeling. And hey, if the ballon went up, I could get around just fine for about 2 years with what I have stashed away in my garage. Mostly, I don't even notice the fact that I guess I'm some sort of prepper.

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  5. I think focusing on skills and dirt time helps a lot. A lot of time we just get caught up with hoarding gear and forget to play with the stuff we already have! There's always more gear to buy and what depresses me is all the crap my budget doesn't currently allow for. Unless you're a millionaire there's likely plenty of crap you wish you could go buy tomorrow.

    But knowledge and developing skills is typically free and is a lot of fun too. And it makes the gear you buy more practical. A bug out bag that never gets touched is a lot less fun than something your practicing with and getting dirt time with on a regular basis.

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  6. riverriderAugust 15, 2013

    when you find out let me know!lol, its tough sometimes watching the direction the country/society is going and not being able to fix it. i stay involved on several blogs of lmi for positive reinforcement and use my gear on canoe trips as often as the stars align for a trip. plan on doing some backpacking/testing again this fall. some days i just walk away from it all and forget about it for a bit.

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  7. I actually like the secretive aspect of prepping. I go to my local stores and get what I need mixed in with my regular shopping, and think: “no one has any idea that I’m getting this to be prepared for the SHTF scenario”, and smile to myself!
    I do sometimes feel guilty, that I will be better prepared than my neighbors or strangers who live nearby, or co-workers, etc., but I have to think of my own family, and being prepared is my way of telling them that I care.

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  8. A few thoughts in no particular order:
    -Getting out and doing stuff you enjoy that is somewhat preparedness oriented helps. Go shooting, hunt, fish, garden, camp, whatever.
    -Have some balance with the rest of your life. It probably shouldn't be all crazy all the time.
    -Don't be all doom and gloom 24/7. One simply cannot worry too much about the possible implications of every mess abroad or political scheme at home.

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  9. I have fun in the doing and learning. I've made my own candles (learned it here), in the beginning I never had been to a range and now enjoy my time there, learned that gardening is a lot harder then it looks.
    I have always loved taking things apart, learning how they work, and fixing them when necessary.
    I don't know what is going to happen next in the world, if nothing great, if something then I have given my family a chance to survive.

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  10. One of the things I do to keep things fun, is test and trial gear. If I like it, I use it, if it's adequate for use, but not quite what "I" am looking for, I pass it on to someone who can use it, but isn't as rough on gear as I am (my nephew's Scout Troop absolutely lives me!) and if it sucks, I toss it, or put it in the "to be modified" pile for future consideration.
    I have very different opinions of what works for me, over what a lot of other people consider to be the best gear, or method. And that's fine. My rig may not be the shiniest or newest, but it works, I know I can rely on it, and I know it inside and out, so if I break it in the field, I know I can fix it, kit bash it, or when it's totally FUBAR.
    Either way, I'm good with what I do, and how I do it, and I think a lot of people in our community would benefit from that outlook. Just because we differ in opinion, doesn't mean either of us is wrong, it just means we have different perspectives on the same subject.

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  11. Making survivalism fun has to include the kids. It should start very young with parents reading to them and showing them how much good stuff is contained inside those pages. The intent is to develop a desire to learn everything and anything contained within a publication. Whatever interest and ability is nurtured will be a vast improvement over public education.
    The next step would to find some simple project for pre and early teens. As a radio amateur I think in terms of electronics but carpentry, machine shop, welding etc. are needed to keep the homestead functioning after SHTF. The ability to fix things will become vital as time goes on. This must be a 1 on 1 effort with one adult the child respects working with at most 3 kids. The adult will learn together with the child. Whatever you do don't throw a book at the kid and tell him to study!
    I would recommend starting with very simple electronics kits to introduce the subject and both adult and child would learn to solder and use hand tools. Something as simple as a solar powered landscape light can brighten the homestead in dark times as well as at night. From there progress to simple Geiger counters and simple short wave receivers. If there is interest there is a whole niche (called QRP)of amateur activity based on using CW with only 5 Watts transmitter power. Add a QRP transmitter kit to the existing receiver, throw up a crude antenna, and work stations 1000 miles away. With AC power off the usual high power HAMS will be shut down but your QRP rig can run on a solar panel-car battery power source forever.
    That is only one example. The important thing is to work with the kids and have them earn the praise of a respected adult. Kids have a mind like a sponge but must be motivated to learn in spite if the educational system.
    Do it right and you have launched the next generation of survivalists.

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