In a world where the bombproof bunker has replaced the Tesla as the hot status symbol for young Silicon Valley plutocrats, everyone, it seems, is a “prepper,” even if the “prep” in question just means he is stashing a well-stocked “bug-out bag” alongside his Louis Vuitton luggage in a Range Rover pointed toward Litchfield County, Conn. Here is a checklist for the neo-survivalist preparing for the apocalypse.
So what is a defenseless, law-abiding survivalist to do? Prepper bibles like “100 Deadly Skills,” by Clint Emerson, a former Navy SEAL, are filled with improvised alternative weapons, like a collapsible umbrella lined with wrenches, which is “not illegal to possess,” a New York City Police Department spokesman said, but “would be considered a weapon if you used it on someone.”
The SOS Parachute (about $2,400) is compact enough to store in a cubicle, opens in about two seconds and is designed to work for the 11th floor and higher. Granted, the parachute is exactly not 82nd Airborne-grade, and a 200-pound man might find the landing a little rough. “You may twist an ankle,” said Nicolas Havett, a company executive. But in a situation serious enough to warrant a parachute, that’s a deal that many would take.
But don't make the mistake of thinking that being in a survival situation would be fun. Wilderness Survival is not a game, there is no reward challenges, and there is no immunity. How do you think you would fare in a survival situation? Could you build a shelter? Could you light a fire without matches? Could you forage for food and purify water? In real life you don't have luxury items, you don't get tarps and matches and camping supplies. In real life you may not have any tools except your own two hands. If you were stranded in the wilderness would you end up a survivor?
Consider reading some novels about the apocalypse, as well, but don't rely on these for accurate advice since you won't necessarily know how much effort the author put into research. Examples of books to read include: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, Stephen King's The Stand, and The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham are all great places to start (even if the apocalypse doesn't end up coming anytime soon). You've already read The Hunger Games, right?
Imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city, maybe you ride the subway or take a bus to work everyday. You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth story. If a disaster strikes how are you going to get out? I mean literally. If there is an earthquake, or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home? Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I sure don’t.
If it’s the middle of winter and all available building supplies are frozen or buried under snow, remember that snow will have the same insulating effect as a stick-built shelter. For more cold weather survival tips, CLICK HERE. Additionally, always seek out shelter where the ground is dry. If it is raining, waterways may overflow their banks and ravines, and washes may form.