It’s crazy to think that Rottweilers and Poodles are in the same family of animals. Or for that matter, Great Danes and Toy Chihuahuas. They are as different as they come. One is 200 pounds, the other is 2.
In much the same way, have you ever realized how many different breeds of people fall under the “survival” umbrella (this is the smooth transition to topic)? In case you haven’t, there are tons. And each type of “survivalist” is unique in their own weird ways. Recently, I’ve been reminded again, of just how funny it actually is. Walk with me:
Food Storage Moms – these are the sweet middle aged moms who equate the idea of survival with having a basement full of canned foods (some of which they probably canned themselves). Probably also soccer moms. They know the importance of stocking those cupboards full!
Apocalyptists – swear that someday soon just about everybody is going to be torched in a giant nuclear explosion, drowned in a flood, frozen to death in another ice age, or abducted by aliens. These guys are the converts of Independence day, I Am Legend, and all the other wonderful Hollywood portrayals.
Tactical Hoo-Rahs – these are the guys that treat everything like it’s the battlefield. They borrow all the acronyms, abbreviations and terminology from their military days. These guys are all about stockpiling firepower, blowing things up, and beating the bad guys.
Primitive Skills – the hippies of the group. These are the folks that farmers markets are made of. They love to make their own clothes, build their own homes, grow their own food, and in all other possible ways be “at one” with our mother earth. These guys often have learned a tremendous amount about living off the land.
Camping & Hunting Nuts – LOVE spending time in the outdoors. They can’t get enough of hunting, tracking, animal calls, hiding in bushes, and analyzing poop. They like the adventure of making do and doing without, so they do it for fun. To these guys, the concept of “survival” is being alone in the wilderness.
Medical Mavens – pride themselves on being able to perform CPR, first aid, emergency surgeries, treat and dress wounds, triage the victims of mass destruction, and anything else medical. To them, the apex of “survival” is being able to put people back together.
Right Wing Extremists – swear that the government is slowly taking away our freedoms, and that people are being led down the path of “following the system” without questioning. Everything is a conspiracy, nothing should be trusted–especially if it’s the Feds. The less government there is, the better.
Boy Scouts – are a close relative of the camping/hunting nuts. Their brand of survival is also largely “wilderness survival.” They become more “prepared” by passing off merit badges dealing with the safe and proper way of: building a fire, using a knife, making camp, disposing of waste (paper and otherwise), splitting wood, navigating by map, and more.
Doomsday Economists – these guys prophesy of the times when paper money will be completely worthless, and burnt to keep warm. They put their faith in stockpiling raw goods and precious metals. They invest in foreign markets, and keep their wealth spread around, so that it can’t be lost all at once.
I’m sure there are more, but this is just a small cross-section of some of the more prominent survival subsets that I’ve noticed. I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with people from all groups, via Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, and in face to face conversations.
It’s eye opening because it really does illustrate how different people choose to deal with problems (or potential problems). And it’s comical. It could easily be a t-shirt.
Am I A Rottweiler, Poodle, or Mutt?
The more I rub shoulders with different mindsets, the more I realize that I borrow from them all. But that’s such a safe answer. Everybody would say that crap. To make myself be more specific, I would say I’m a mutt of roughly:
- 2 parts Right Wing Extremist–I love the idea of opportunity and I hate the idea of homogeneity, and I think our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they had any idea that nation they raised had flip-flopped.
- 1 part Camping Nut–Nothing is more fun, relaxing and just plain liberating to me than being outdoors, and away from the bustle. Although I’m really not much of a hunter or gamesman, it’s just fun to step into the natural world.
- 1 part Primitive Skills–Tame the land. Learning to use all my natural surroundings for a purpose has always struck a chord within me. Some of my most prized possessions are homemade. High on quality, high on satisfaction, low on cost.
But I’m constantly learning and evolving. We all are. Next year I could largely be a “food storage mom” maybe, who knows? But no matter what brand of survival we are or may call ourselves, it’s important to realize that there truly are practical and absurd things about each.
You can’t save a kids life with CPR if all you’ve been doing is collecting guns and blowing stuff up. And by the same token, you can have the Merck medical book memorized and still starve to death without a little food storage. Rather, learn from them all, realize the limitations and craziness inherent to each, and contribute where you can. To sum it up–be real about the journey you are on. Because after all, it will be real soon enough some day.