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A Happy Slave to Comfort

Oct 26, 2009

I've often heard people lament the loss of 'survival skills.' It's a theme often explored, from the film Fight Club to the book Emergency! I can see the benefit of being able to 'rough it,' but I'll tell you right now: I'm not one of those people.

I enjoy convenience. I like having technology that works. I don't need that gritty nature feel.

This all stems from the weekend trip my wide and I just took to Point Arena, California. We stayed at the Coast Guard Historic Inn, a bed and breakfast about 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean. The Inn itself was run by a very nice couple who brought us fantastic breakfasts the two mornings we were there. They were welcoming, made dinner reservations for us and pointed us to some great sights. All in all, a great stay.

That said.

The boathouse we stayed in was very small.
Some would call that cozy.
The cellular service was non-existent.
Some would call this a welcome break from the constant connectivity of the modern world.
There was no TV.
Some would no doubt love a break from the 'boob tube.'
The boathouse was a landmark, so it had no fans, and minimal heat.
Some might enjoy this more rustic setting.
As the boathouse was largely unchanged from when it was built, insects were everywhere.
Some could see this as being in touch with the natural world.

All of those 'Some' statements, well none of those apply to me. Luckily I had 2 laptops with me, one to provide noise to sleep to and another to watch movies on. Even my wife, who loved the setting, agreed it was nice to WATCH something other than the ocean.

Make no mistake, the ocean was beautiful. The other folks staying at the B&B were nice, and our dog loved being on a trip with us. We really did have some great moments there, and I'm not sorry we went at all.

The problem is, and always will be, that these secluded getaways have so much baggage. Let me run down what I mean.

We stopped in a coffee shop to get some hot chocolate for my wife, and the hippie yokels were so busy having a discussion about some local BS that we waited a good 10 minutes for them to tell us the hot chocolate machine was out. Great, thanks for that. Yet another reason you ain't ever gonna find me living in a small town.

The drive there and back were experiences in hell on earth. The roads are windy, right near cliffs and sometimes so narrow I genuinely worried that we might have an accident. On top of that, my wife gets very carsick and the turns were not helpful.

Anything you'd want to buy was more expensive, seeing as how the whole town is about 500 people. It's just north of being a pure tourist trap, but there's just not enough town to support that.

Hey, don't get me wrong. If you're into that 'go see nature, be one with the land, rough it like they used to, who needs toilets that work' kinda thing, enjoy baby! But as for me, I'm happy being dependent on certain assumed variables. When the nuke hits, or the quake shakes, or whatever apocalyptic scenario you like lands, I'll guess I'll be cattle feed. Maybe, maybe not.

I do watch all the Mad Max flicks quite regularly, so maybe some necessary survival skills are lying dormant. Perhaps one day I'll find out.

Dave (UK)
nine and a half years ago

Either follow my sig to the main page or will take you to the forums. I don\\\'t run it, only moderate. Both moderating and survivalism are two new excursions for me. The former since April (and I\\\'m lucky that our base is very small presently, the latter for about a year.

What you have to remember is that some people do go off on a tangent initially (I think it works that way for some religious converts as well). I have started to settle down, look at things rationally and deal with sensible issues, in addition to being overrun with zombies and the New World Order. ;o)

I wrote an OP the other about redundancy (unemployment) being the most common disaster that one should prepare for. You might also note I have borrowed from your mantra about information not existing unless it is stored in at least two places. See? You already practice to a certain extent. Bottom line is it\\\'s about common sense!

Dave (UK)
nine and a half years ago

I\'ll have to pipe in on this one. I appreciate what you\'re saying but essentially you were off on a break and not a weekend course in bush-craft skills.

Essentially, modern survivalism is about taking control of your life so that you become more self-reliant if the need arises. Chances are you already tick some of the boxes without realising it. If the power went off could you light a couple of candles to see what you were doing? Sounds pretty basic huh? do you/would you like a few dollars in the bank saved up for just in case your car died or something unexpected came up? Do you have house/pet insurance? As daft as it sounds survivalism isn\'t just about running around like Survivor Man, neither is it about being John Rambo.

I\'m none of these and I moderate a small U.K. forum on Preparedness and Survivalism so I have a reasonable idea of the modern survivalist philosophy.

Rant over.

nine and a half years ago

You make a good point Dave. I guess I have a low-level survival ability, in that I\'m so paranoid I try to plan for the worst. To your point, though, this was a few days on the coast and I was itching for an escape so I\'m not sure what that says. What is the address of the forum you moderate?