Preparedness

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I suppose in alot of ways I am your run-of-the-mill yuppie with a slant toward environmentalism. My job is stressful and I strive to maintain balance so I am engaged in a alot of outdoors and spiritual activities when I am not latched to my BBerry and laptop.

I grew up on a small farm in the deep south and have vivid memories of waking up at the crack of dawn as a youngster to feed calves and goats. I spent many a summer hoeing and picking corn, beans, squash, and okra (which I must say I REALLY miss okra in the northeast). I have skinned fish with my Dad. I have helped dress wild turkeys, backyard chickens and even deer. I have been to slaughterhouses with my Dad when we would slaughter a cow or a hog to sustain our family into the next summer.

I was fortunate enough to attend a well-respected educational institution and earn a degree in Sociology peppered with a minor in Political Science. My degree makes for a great wide angle views, perceiving global shifts, and forecasting probable outcomes.

I share my personal history because my experience is germane in the continuing conversation. Please follow me below the fold….

I hike extensively on the weekends.

Sometimes it’s day hikes – sometimes overnight camping. I usually go out with a group of people.

Preparing for a day hike is much different than preparing for an overnight. Members of the group with which I usually day hike pack very lightly. In some ways, this makes alot of sense if you have significant elevation gains 1K or higher. It’s tough to climb the equivalent of 20 or 30 flights of stairs with 30 lbs on your back.

BUT, every now and then someone gets lost from the group. I have known 2 members from groups I have hiked with and several members from other groups that have either gotten lost, hurt, or accidently left behind.

Because of this, every time I hike, I take enough gear that I know I can (a) defend myself and (b) survive at least a night outdoors, as well as two fully loaded first aid bags. I’ve heard lots of horror stories about people falling over or hurting themselves whilst hiking, so I always carry my first aid kit with me. I like to be prepared. Early on, fellow hikers joked about my carrying too much gear, but after a few unexpected and unfortunate encounters – were it not for my gear we would have all been SOL. Since then, almost 1/2 of my usual hiking group carries the same amount of gear as I do.

But I want to focus on the group that doesn’t prepare. They fall into 2 camps – 1. “It won’t happen to me.” and 2. “Someone else will take care of it.”

The “It Won’t Happen to Me” group is just out for the exercise, scenery and perhaps great wild-life spotting.  They think I am overly cautious and are usually waiting for me at the top of a summit because they took little more with them than a snack and some water.  Thoughts of anything “going wrong” or “unexpected” doesn’t register with them. They will put in their 10 miles, go back to the car, and head for the tavern afterward – anything else is inconceivable.

The “Someone Else Will Take Care of It” group knows that something can and may go awry, but they are not going to bear the burden of carrying the extra gear because, well because they know they are going with some of us who are prepared. Though this mindset would be easier on my back and legs, I have known too many people who were out alone. Besides, I cling to my independence.

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All around, I see others completely disconnected.

Disconnected to food they put in their bodies and where it originates.

Disconnected with their waste and where it is disposed.

Disconnected with where they get their water.

Disconnected to where their money is kept and who has control over it.

Disconnected to government policies and how these policies directly  affect them.

Disconnected to their local and state government finances and what that means to them.

I attribute this global disconnect to the magical “It Won’t Happen to Me” thinkers.

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A significant change in the global psyche is on the horizon. Some of these disconnects will be illuminated. Cultural change is historically met with a great deal of friction. How that will play out in our society remains to be seen.

My days as a farming princess have been traded for a corporate title and high power meetings. But if and when the rubber meets the road – I still remember how to dress a deer and pick up a hoe.

My Dad gave up farming for other endeavors ….. but he still owns the land.

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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21 comments

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  1. recolonizing the urban jungle .. heh.  I read and watch everything I can get ahold of about that.

    Never tested, though.

  2. means you have to maintain your shit.  When the global assholes make that illegal/impractical/impossible to do war like conflicts result.  My family lost the farm I long for now.  I seek a place in which the ones I love most might have a chance of surviving in only to find that place well beyond all of our combined financials if said place even exists.

  3. I’m pretty good at seeing what’s in front of me, but that doesn’t mean I’m always aware of it. Sometimes I rush ahead into a dead end before learning that a longer, slower route would have been much better. And sometimes my boots leak.

  4. that I may have offended, I just want to point out that I am also vegetarian.

    Not because I don’t think animals should be eaten, but because I understand commercial farming.

    Those beautiful rib-eyes don’t just magically appear on your grocers shelf.

    Support local farmers. Know how your food has been chemically treated.

    • RiaD on November 23, 2010 at 5:57 am

    be pleased if you’d consider cross-posting this to my wee-tiny blog

    i kinda hate to ask because i’ll hardly be around for the next few days, what with the holiday & all….

    but, others will be there. all are ver friendly.

    & this is good. what we need to be focusing on, imo.

    becoming more self-sustainable.

    • banger on November 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I’ve learned to trust in my instincts–when I don’t that’s when I get into trouble. Those of us who have lived with very little and have had to survive by our wits before will adapt quicker than the people who have lived a comfortable existence all their lives. Personally, I think the best survival tactic is to team up with others that exponentionally increases your likelihood of survival. People are wired for cooperation when it comes down to shit hitting the fan–trust that, it’ll be your best bet.  

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