Tag Archives: doomsday

Confessions of a Wanna-Be Doomsday Prepper

You wouldn’t think, to look at me, that I worry about disasters as much as I do. I seem normal enough, I don’t belong to any organizations (religious OR political) that believe The End is Near, I highly doubt there’s going to be a zombie apocalypse, and you wouldn’t catch me dead wearing survivalist gear. So what’s a nice girl like me doing flirting with doomsday prepper-dom?

I blame my amygdala, the warrior princess of the limbic system, which processes emotions, and doesn’t respond well to logical arguments. It’s complicated, and you can learn more about how it works in one of the many, many books we own on emotions and the brain, but basically, it boils down to this: you have to give your lizard brain something to do so it won’t hijack your logic center and ruin your day. In the case of my prepper tendencies, I’ve found that teaching myself a new skill makes my amygdala feel like it’s doing something to thwart apocalypse, and while it’s happily pre-occupied, I can go about the business of regular life!

Here are a few skills I’d like to learn in 2013, for science, and also, just in case…

Gardening. We moved into our house too late last year to do anything major with the back yard, but this year, the sky’s the limit. Tomatoes! Potatoes! Herbs in pots! Besides, having lots of plants back there will slow down any zombies that might come crashing through the fence (seconds can count in a zombie war).

Start with: The Virgin Gardener, Jonathan Edwards

virgin_gardener

Canning and Preserving. There’s something about the thought of neat little jars of tasty things, lined up in a row in the basement, that warms the cockles of my heart. Also, since I hate to waste food, the canning project dovetails nicely with the gardening project. Canning, experienced pros tell me, requires patience and attention to detail, also good skills to refine, impending doom or not.

Start with: Food in Jars, Marisa McClellan.

food_in_jars

Martial Arts. Wait, what? Although it may seem like quite a leap, learning a new physical skill is actually also a great way to train the mind, and become calmer in stressful situations. Who couldn’t use that, right? I’m actually drawn to aikido, with its emphasis on peaceful defense, and concern with the well-being of the attacker. But before I make a spectacle of myself in a public class, I think I will practice at home with some library books first.

Start with: First Steps in Aikido, Wendy Walker

first_steps

I feel so much better now that we’ve talked about this. What kinds of irrational things do you worry about, and how do you keep your fears at bay? What useful skills do you have that would make you the hero/ine in an emergency situation?

–Leigh Anne

mostly joking, but still irrationally afraid of zombies

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After the Fall

All the buzz about the world ending has put me in the mood to refresh my survival skills.  While the label of  “survivalist” is sometimes synonomous with “nutjob,”  you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t spend a little time planning and thinking about what you might need to do if things go completely pear-shaped. As usual, CLP can scratch that itch.

How to Think Like a Survivor by Tom Watson has a great deal of basic information, including some discussion about the psychological states one may find themselves in after an accident. Overcoming panic is the first step!

Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John McCann takes it a step further, guiding one through a plethora of options. Everybody could use a little emergency kit in the car or home. Heaps of advice and information are packed into this little book. One thing missing from the author’s recommendations is any sort of religious text. Personally, my ideal survival kit would include a copy of the Torah, Bible, and Quran. I imagine if my life is in jeopardy I would get religious. With all three books in hand my options would be open.

Wilderness Survival by Gregory J. Davenport is the book to have if you plan to get lost on your next camping trip. I love the simple drawings, the lean-to, the A-frame shelter, all survival classics.

Wild: Stories of Survival from the World’s Most Dangerous Places is an amazing anthology of adventure and survival. These tales make for thrilling reading and will steel the nerves and prepare us for our own challenges.

The above books will certainly arm us against misadventure. But if we need these skills because civilization has collapsed then I would recommend an additional title:
   

The Art of the Table by Suzanne Von Drachenfel is the go-to book for questions of etiquette, table setting, and menu selection at any meal or occasion. This information will be vital in avoiding something like we saw in Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome. Survival situations are by nature incredibly stressful. If you are in such a situation as part of a group then I imagine etiquette will be vital in maintaining harmony.

In addition to its use in staving off complete social anarchy, the book is a wild read. I like to periodically read things far outside my usual interests and this was a great choice. I had no idea the variety and purposes of different stemware. And flatware is placed on the setting in order of use, corresponding with the course. This arrangement ensures one always uses the right utensil. I had always wondered.

–Sky

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