Tin hat wearer, conspiracy theorist, nut job—yes, that's just a few of the names you get called when you watch the non-mainstream media, read about bushcraft and prepping. But is it really something that people should think about as part of their daily lives?
There are many ways in which people look at the state of the planet, the government, and the environment, and feel that there is something just around the corner that could essentially cause the lights to go out. You just need to look at the news and see that broadcasters are reporting daily on civil unrest and the next WWIII. I have to admit, I was one of those people who just took it all at face value and shrugged it off with the most nonchalant view of "well, it will never happen to me."
My awakening, so to speak, came about two years ago, really, when I started to read a book recommended to me by a friend about Agenda 21. Now, yes, I know most feel that it is a conspiracy, and if they feel that way then they are fully entitled to do so, but the book was more of a grassroots level theory by a Californian writer. It was fascinating.
Now, I didn't suddenly turn into a conspiracy theorist, but I did start to read more and research more. And then came the TV programs about the lights going out, a faux documentary about what would happen in London if the lights went out for ten days. That, my friend, was the big one, where I actually sat there and said out loud "that could actually happen!" The premise was a cyber attack on the national grid. The grid went down and chaos began, because we are a nation that thrives through the use of technology and electricity which, in turn, runs said technology.
I started to feel that maybe those tin hat-wearing preppers were actually onto something. What would I actually do if the lights went out? I don't carry cash. I mean, I usually joke that I am like the queen, as I don't carry cash! How would I feed myself? I used to run down the cupboards until I had the dodgy meal of whatever was left mixed together and would then finally admit I had to brave the supermarket.
I decided to take action and change my ways, which I feel has been the best thing I have ever done. I went out and braved my first bushcraft session and actually found it exciting. I loved camping as a child and, to be honest, I love the peace and quiet of it all. I can now make fire without relying on a lighter; a small accomplishment, but one I am proud of. I can forage for food and fish.
I made sure that I always pull out a little bit of cash each time I am near an ATM for that emergency eventuality. I also made myself face the supermarket demon and ensure that I am prepared ahead of time so it's no more baked beans, pasta, and kidney beans dinner combo from the back of the cupboard.
It's the little things that, I feel, have actually prepared me for more than just the WWIII scenario.
You meet amazing people whilst you learn, though, yes, okay...you do meet some real enthusiastic people who are just wanting the whole world to come to a halt, but you also learn that there are benefits to this lifestyle.
I know that, if I lost my job, I would have enough food in stores to get me through the hard times ahead. No more panic of "where is my next meal coming from?" The boiler breaks? No problem. I have enough cold weather gear to keep me warm.
We have another drought or issue with water pipes bursting, and water supplies are an issue? That's cool, I can filter my water from my rain catcher I created or dip into the bottled stores I have.
It's nice to know that I will be okay, that I feel I can survive tough times, even if they are not a world-altering event. I think it's something my granddad would have been proud of me for, given he was always a man who grew his own food and worked on the farms, living a truly off-grid lifestyle.
Maybe it's time you thought about adding that extra tin of food to your weekly shop and asking yourself: what would you do if you had a few hard months ahead of you?