Preparedness as a SHTF Survival Hobby

Let’s face it, there are a whole pile of reasons that the average American should prepare for uncertain times and natural disasters. Maybe you live in a hurricane/earthquake prone area, maybe you’re worried an EMP will strike, maybe deadly pandemics concern you or maybe it’s oil shortages. There are plenty of reasons to take reasonable, rational levels steps toward self-reliance and preparedness; but eventually, when you’re opening your wallet or writing a check for bulk food, water storage containers or general survival equipment, if you’re like me, you’ll end up asking yourself the question again – why?

Perhaps it’s not even money that prompts the question. Maybe it’s a neighbor, friend or family member that looks at your buckets of hard wheat and says, “Dude … why?” You can deliver all of the reasons, explain society’s dependence on just-in-time delivery, or talk about peak oil, but you still might get that skeptical stare.

“Everyone needs a hobby” is how the saying goes. Tell them prepping is yours.

Tell them you could collect stamps, baseball cards or whittle wood, but that’s not for you. Tell them you could spend your time sitting in front of the boob tube letting your mind melt or you could be tinkering with survival gear and reading preparedness books. Tell them you could lose your spare change playing poker every week or you could use the money to stock up on wool blankets or to buy a pressure cooker. Tell them you could spend your internet time surfing survival sites like SHTF Blog or you could spend your time surfing … other sites …

Then ask them what their hobby is.

Prepping is also a hobby that begets hobbies. What other hobby is going to put you outside in the summer and turn gardening into a hobby? What other hobby will get you to the shooting range and turn target practice into a hobby? Hunting as a hobby. Hiking as a hobby. Animal handling as a hobby.

Got a hobby? Everyone needs a hobby. Get a survival hobby.

– Ranger Man

BTW: On the subject of oil shortages, here’s a fresh article: Former oil exec predicts $5 a gallon gasoline and energy shortages.

5 comments… add one
  • Spook45 December 28, 2010, 11:49 am

    I guess if you live in inner city environments or sub urban terrain, then hobby might be the right word but if you live in Rural areas, it is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. We hunt all season long, Im a little miffedthis year between work and holidays I have only got to hunt ONCE! That is UNACCEPTABLE, I did however, kill a ten pointer on that one day. Where I live hunting is more of a mainstay. People still feed themselves with wild game. When times are tough and work is hard to find, a lot of these folks would starve were it not for the hunting and fishing. Shooting(practical practice) is just an end to a means where that is concerned. Also, even though there is a greater concntration of people around town, our county is spread out and if you live way out, self defense is crucial. If you dial 911 from the far ends of the county, on a bust night it could take as much as 20 minutes for an Officer to get to you. During a home invasion, 20 mins is an eternity! During the big ice storm in the early 90s, we were without electricity for about 10 days and I live inside the city limits so you could imagine if you lived way out you could have been without power for up to 3 wks! We cooked on a wood stove for 10 days and also heated water to bathe and warmed the house. So, in many repects, prepping, is a lifestyle dictated by your environment and abilities. Tha other side of that coin is people that want to develop those skills are going to have to make other arrangements(I mean ,you know, your neighbors would probly NOT be happy if you kill the squirrels in thier yard and EAT THEM) to be able to hunt and fish and do those things to a point where you can do them “at will”. I say it that way because there is a difference between what people today call hunting and what hunting really is. In todays world hunting is seen as a “sport” not a need. When you NEED to hunt as in for food, then there is no sport, you kill the first FOOD you see or you go hungry(which in some survival situations means certain death) The way we hunt, I can go almost at any time and find game. It may not be boone n crocket but it will feed you for a wk. Same goes with fishing I can ALWAYS catch “A” fish or two, it may not be a wall hanger but when you need protien, any size, flavor or animal will do. These things being what they are, I think it is a lifestyle not an endevor or a hobby. Thats just my thought on the idea.

    • Ranger Man December 29, 2010, 7:23 pm

      What state do you live in, Spook?

      • Spook45 December 30, 2010, 1:15 pm

        Without giving up too much, I am in hte South, very near the HOME of the RANGER, hooah…

  • NoMEPreppy December 28, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Great point. Those of us who have “hobbies” such as gardening, hunting, fishing, woodworking (not just with power tools, which are too much of a hassle if you only have a limited amount of electricity post SHTF), etc, all have skills that are valuable in a small group/community survival situation. If you know how to garden and work with wood and metal, but your neighbor across the street knows how to hunt and fish, a symbiotic relationship can be formed (granted this is only good if you trust each other).

    If you live in a small community where each person has a unique skill set, and the group as a whole has a variety of skills, the “hobbies” are just as valuable, if not more so.

  • ChefBear58 December 29, 2010, 1:29 am

    Everyone has their reasons for “prepping”, all of which are (more than likely) a good one to that individual. Spook45 makes a good point, some of us have the skills and mindset needed for survival as a necessity. My immediate family (my mother, father, brother and myself) have not been through as hard financial times as others, but both my mother and my fathers families were pretty poor when they were children. Therefore they needed to learn skills such as gardening, hunting, fishing, firewood collection/production and food preservation, these were important to their daily survival. They passed down their skills to my brother and myself, because of the “tough times” they lived through. However I have to say the main reason for my focus on honing my skills and developing a “stockpile” of supplies, is to protect the people I care about. If there is the slightest possibility that my “hobbies” can someday provide for my family and ensure that they survive and thrive through events that will be difficult or near impossible for others, then I fell they are important to develop/maintain.

    Plus who in their right mind will argue that gardening (while stressful at times) can be relaxing? Who will argue that fishing is a great way to spend time with kids/friends/family, and can be relaxing/rewarding? Who will argue that hunting is a good way to get out of the house/office and see some of the best of gods creation, whether or not you come home with dinner? Maybe it can be boiled down to simple “human greed”, but I want to see everything and anything in this world. Hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are ways for me to accomplish this. Through my back-country camping/backpacking in the Shenandoah and other parts of VA, NC, SC, FL, GA, TN, MD, PA, and MI, I have been able to experience things others might only get to through books or TV. I dare anyone to hike up to Signal Knob, look at the view of the valley and tell me that my “hobby” of hiking/backpacking is a waste of time! There are places and things that you cannot experience without physically being there. How do you adequately describe the beach, or a secluded waterfall deep in the woods that only a few people have seen to someone and do it ANY justice?!

    These experiences also come back to skills, anyone can read an article about whittlin’ and think they “get it”. Putting it into practice is quite another matter! Personally I retain about 85% of what I read, but I don’t REALLY get it, unless I can dive in and get “my hands dirty”.

    NoMEPreppy, makes a good point as well about the “symbiotic relationship”, however it might be an even better idea to form the relationship and ask them to teach you the skills they posses, having more than one person in your group such as carpenters/blacksmiths/ect. will allow the group to keep performing the tasks of that particular individual would do, if anything should happen to the person (i.e. illness, injury, missing or heaven forbid dead). The military does this, look at Special Operations groups, they “cross train” the team members to “pick-up-the-slack” if something happens to say the medic/radio man.

    Good post Ranger Man, I found the cartoon and caption to be particularly hilarious! Kinda reminds me of a couple of my buddies!


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