The swelling class of weekend paranoiacs....

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Yard Dart, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator


    President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea.” Another hurricane lashes out. A second monster earthquake jolts Mexico. Terrorists strike in London. And that’s just this past week or so.

    Yes, the world is clearly coming to an end. But is there anything you can do to prepare?

    That is not a philosophical question, or a theological one. And if it is a question that seems to beg any explication, you may stop reading now.

    But if you are among the swelling class of weekend paranoiacs of affluent means who are starting to mull fantasies of urban escape following the endless headlines about disasters, both natural and manufactured, you may be starting to see a different image in your mind when think “survivalist.” You may no longer see the wild-eyed cave dweller in camouflage fatigues, hoarding canned goods. You may even see one in the mirror.

    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.

    1. Satchels for Survival
    A bugout bag is essential for survivals. Credit Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
    The power grid has collapsed. Supermarkets are looted. With the city teetering on the brink of collapse, the first thing you want to reach for — after the Xanax — is a well-stocked “bug out” bag.

    These suddenly chic survival satchels, also known as go bags, are typically lightweight military-grade backpacks stocked with provisions for at least 72 hours. Ready-made bug-out bags containing staples like water purification tablets, a 20-hour body warmer and a multifunction shovel are available on Amazon for under $200.

    Hard-core preppers, however, would never leave their survival up to a mouse click, which is why some sites suggest endless creative tweaks to the standard equipment. Graywolf Survival recommends a chain-saw blade stashed in an Altoids tin to harvest firewood. Survival Life touts feminine hygiene products, even for men, to soak up blood from wounds.

    “As long as the gear gets the job done, that’s what matters,” said Andrew Pontius, a marketing consultant and disaster preparedness instructor in Kansas City, Mo., who helps run a site called Bug Out Bag Academy.

    2. Go for the Silver
    Two years ago, Greece was forced to shutter banks and limit A.T.M. withdrawals to 60 euros a day during a debt crisis that threatened to shatter Europe’s currency union. In the United States, prominent authors like James Rickards, a hedge fund veteran, and David Stockman, once the budget director for the Reagan administration, insist that an even bigger crisis will soon tank Wall Street and torpedo the dollar.

    No wonder so many preppers, some of them wearing pinstriped suits, consider gold and silver to be a crucial hedge against a crisis.

    While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make news, many preppers are quietly packing their bug-out bags with rolls of pre-1965 American dimes, quarters or half-dollars, which are 90 percent silver and available from coin dealers and precious-metals websites (silver is currently about $17 an ounce). “My preferred form of precious metal post-financial collapse, that is, besides high-speed lead,” wrote one prepper on

    Unlike gold, which is hovering around $1,300 an ounce, these old silver coins come in small enough denominations to barter for a loaf of bread or a socket wrench in an economic “Mad Max” scenario. Even so, some survivalists remain silver skeptics. “For $100, let’s say you get five silver coins,” said an urban preparedness expert who goes by the nom de guerre Selco. “Why not buy 100 cans of soup?”

    3. Alt-Currencies for the Apocalypse
    Imagine a true economic apocalypse, one that makes the German hyperinflation of the 1920s, with its wheelbarrows of near-worthless paper currency, look like a hiccup. To prepare for the worst worst-case scenario, some doomers prefer daily staples like tampons, vegetable seeds and cigarettes (that timeless prison medium of exchange) to silver or gold as an alt-currency.

    Liquor, too — particularly in easy-to-swap airline bottles — would likely prove a hot commodity, since it not only deadens the pain of surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but, as a blogger named Survival Mom points out, also provides useful off-label functions as a disinfectant or an ingredient in herbal remedy tinctures.

    Visions of a barter economy are not necessarily the stuff of doomer fever dreams, said Xavier Thomas, who runs the British site with his wife, Elise.

    “If we look at examples of systematic social breakdowns, like Argentina in 2001, or the war in the Balkans, goods that people understood on an intrinsic level clearly carried the most value when trading — cans of food, gas, batteries, cheap Bic lighters,” he said. “A good rule of thumb: If you’d find it useful in an emergency, you’ll be able to find someone who will trade for it in an emergency.”

    4. Beyond “Duck and Cover”
    When President Trump issued his threat to North Korea at the United Nations, many preppers had an almost Pavlovian response: to check their nuclear survival kit. Ever since the backyard bomb shelter went the way of tail fins, survival in the face of mushroom clouds has seemed highly relative.

    Some preppers place their faith in unproven home remedies, like bedsheets dusted with baby powder, which they hope will block X-rays, or generous helpings of turmeric mixed with black pepper, to inhibit tumor formation. Others turn to basics, like Geiger counters, wallet-size RAD badges, potassium iodide tablets or a Seychelle radiological family water pitcher, which the manufacturer claims will filter out “99.99 percent of the major contaminants that can be found after a nuclear event.”

    Or people may just want to stock up on Snuggies, chocolate Easter bunnies, Hummel figurines or vintage Backstreet Boys paraphernalia, which will do about as much good in the event of a direct strike.

    5. The Other Bug-Out Bag
    In the event of apocalypse, bring condoms. This may sound like a slogan from a fraternity party T-shirt, but survivalists absolutely adore condoms. Featherweight, ultracompact and durable, condoms (nonlubricated, please) can be used as a makeshift canteen to store water, a fire starter or as elastic bands for an improvised slingshot to hunt small game, according to Creek Stewart, a survival instructor and television host.
    When inflated, they can also be used as fishing bobbers or signaling devices for semaphore, according to SensiblePrepper. Oh, and they’re also great for the obvious use, too.

    6. Armed to the Teeth, but With What?
    Should law and order on the streets break down after, say, a massive hurricane or nuclear-reactor meltdown, that condom slingshot might come in handy in New York, where possession of the most fundamental survivalist self-defense staple — the gun — is highly restricted by law. (The same goes for brass knuckles, nunchucks, ninja stars, switchblade knives, wrist-brace slingshots and, that D.I.Y. prepper favorite, a paint ball pistol loaded with ghost-chili-powder balls.)

    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.”

    Sure, you could master jiu-jitsu. “But if it’s really on, hand-to-hand self-defense will only take you so far,” said Jason Charles, a firefighter and organizer of the New York City Prepper’s Network. To balance legality with lethality in a bug-out bag, he said, “you have to go simpler — hammers, hatchets, certain heavy tools.” That roll of old silver quarters might come in handy, too.

    7. Paddling to Safety
    Manhattanites face challenges unknown to their Western counterparts hunkering in remote desert bunkers. Their home turf, after all, is not only a prime target, but an island. In the event of a cataclysmic emergency, bridges and tunnels may be closed, or choked off by marauding mobs, forcing survivors to consider waterborne escape.

    A lightweight, folding kayak like the Oru Beach LT is a savvy, albeit expensive option ($1,299), since it weighs 30 pounds (easy enough to tote to the Hudson River if Lyft is offline) and collapses to the size of a suitcase — perfect for those tiny Upper West Side closets.

    Sure, kayak pros counsel against newbies attempting a Hudson crossing. “There are strong tidal currents, few places to safely launch or land, and an abundance of commercial and ferry transit traffic,” said Randall Henriksen of the New York Kayak Company. But if the choice is armed mobs or choppy waters, many New Yorkers may reach for a paddle.

    8. Deliverance From Above
    Since the Sept. 11 attacks, many cubicle dwellers have been haunted by fears of being stuck in a skyscraper when disaster strikes. In fact, tragic images from the World Trade Center inspired a micro-industry of high-rise-escape options. There are now escape chutes (basically, giant collapsible fabric tubes for shinnying down) and small parachutes.

    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.

    9. Who Are You Calling “Rocket Man”?
    They were a science-fiction fantasy in the Bond movie “Thunderball,” a space-age gag in “Gilligan’s Island.” But a half-century later, jet packs actually exist. A California company called JetPack Aviation unveiled a functioning turbojet version two years ago, capable of staying aloft for 10 minutes, traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Current models are available only to the military, but David Mayman, the company’s founder, said he plans to introduce a commercial version within 18 months.

    Hard-core doomers need not drain their airplane-liquor-bottle stash to envision the potential: Imagine New York after, say, an electromagnetic pulse attack that wipes out the power grid (like the kind North Korea recently threatened). The bridges and streets resemble a scene from the old John Carpenter movie “Escape From New York,” but the privileged few can soar across the Hudson to safety (or at least New Jersey). “From the time you push the button, you could be in the air in less than 30 seconds,” Mr. Mayman said.

    Sure, there is the cost — about $250,000, which the company is hoping to bring down “to the price of a luxury car.” For now, just think of it as the survivalists’ Maybach.

    10. No Place Like Dome
    Sandy was not the first hurricane to devastate entire sections of New York. In 1893, a hurricane blew through the city with such force that it wiped an entire island — Hog Island, a glittering resort near the Rockaways — off the map. In the event of a megadisaster that leaves parts of the city uninhabitable, survivors might require cheap, stormproof shelter to start a new life.

    In the best of times, prefabricated dome shelters receive high marks from environmentalists and penny pinchers alike because of their low cost and minimal environmental impact.

    A company called Intershelter sells igloo-shape pleasure domes that call to mind Luke Skywalker’s old pad on Tatooine, but cost only $12,000 for one big enough to include a kitchen; it can be thrown together in a few hours, to make an instant hunting or fishing lodge. But in the worst of times, this dome, “built to sustain hurricane strength winds or earthquakes,” makes great relief housing for disaster victims and, in theory, would make great bug-out bunkers for urbanites looking to build a survivalist compound on the fly.

    The dome houses are so rugged, according the company’s founder, Don Kubley, “you could buy one today and your grandkids will be playing in it.” One can only hope.

    Should disaster not strike? They make a great man cave or backyard cabana.

    11. Pets or Meat
    In the event of a breakdown of the food supply that leaves the shelves of Fairway bare and Le Coucou a ghost town on a Saturday night, you will still have to eat. Often.

    That is why many survivalists are placing their hopes of sustenance in rabbit, a high-protein, low-fat meat that is also being embraced as “the new chicken” by sustainable food types including Michael Pollan. “Raising meat rabbits is one of the most space-efficient means of growing livestock for meat,” according to the site Survivalist 101.

    By livestock standards, rabbits are relatively clean and quiet, too. They can survive on table-scrap vegetables or even grass, and as a bonus, yield valuable fur for improvised winter clothing. And boy do they breed. A doe can produce up to 50 kits a year, yielding 250 pounds of meat, according to researchers at the Penn State Extension.

    12. Beyond Medieval Times
    To master archery and broadsword combat; to learn to manufacture fabric, bread, ceramic cookware and wood furniture by hand; to perfect the preindustrial arts of iron craft and tanning: Yes, there are worse things to carry into a post-apocalyptic world than a membership card to the Society for Creative Anachronism.

    In normal times, this international historical-re-enactment organization seems like little more than a harmless bunch of Renaissance Faire types playing dress up on weekends and celebrating the arts, skills and costumes of pre-17th-century Europe.

    But should Armageddon arrive — say, in the form of a limited nuclear exchange, global pandemic or cyber mega-attack — these hobbies could mean your survival. In other words, chivalry may not be dead after all.

    13. The Final Frontier
    There is bugging out, and then there is really bugging out. In a scorched-earth scenario where even a jet pack is not enough to escape harm’s way, preppers with deep pockets and a taste for Arthur C. Clarke might consider the ultimate escape: launching their DNA into space.

    Celestis, a company specializing in “memorial spaceflights” (sending cremated remains into space), recently introduced “genetic spaceflight.” For $12,500, for example, the cosmologically minded can send their DNA (a mouth swab or hair sample) into space on a “true mission of exploration,” aboard a spacecraft on a “permanent celestial journey well beyond the moon.”

    Who knows — some ultra-intelligent alien being may discover it in the future, and use your genetic code to reanimate a race of humans on a distant planet. Let’s just hope those humans don’t choose to blow themselves up.

    How to Survive the Apocalypse

    New Yorker style survival preparedness...... :rolleyes:
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    And the NRA's rebuttal......

    If there are any ironclad rules for those hoping to survive the collapse of society, one would surely be to avoid densely populated cities, especially if they’re easily cut-off from the mainland via a handful of bridges or tunnels. The second, after this week, would be to avoid the survival advice of the New York Times, a newspaper published in just such a city, and one easily cut-off from the common sense of the more down-to-earth parts of America. On Sunday, the Times published an article on “How to Survive the Apocalypse.” In its cosmopolitan view, New York City’s strict gun control should survive even the end of the world.

    It may well be that the article was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. Particularly with the New York Times, it’s increasingly difficult to separate satire from journalism. This is especially so, given that the mainstream media uses both genres solely to attack their political enemies and to push their political agenda. Whatever the case, the newspaper devoted considerable space to the survival topic, demonstrating both breadth and detail in its ignorance.

    The article is aimed – by its own admission – at the “swelling class of weekend paranoiacs of affluent means.” This is the sort of person, the article continues, who is “stashing a well-stocked ‘bug-out bag’ alongside his Louis Vuitton luggage in a Range Rover pointed toward Litchfield County, Conn.”

    The first priority, according to the Times, is the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax. The author seems to assume that most of his readers will already have this on hand. He also suggests hoarding cigarettes and miniature bottles of liquor to use as an alternative form of currency. You may need to barter for a socket wrench, he reasons, although he doesn’t explain why simply packing such a tool in the first place wouldn’t be a better option than packing post-apocalyptic currency to pay for it.

    About halfway through the article, the author finally broaches the subject of arms. The author swiftly reminds his readers that “possession of the most fundamental survivalist self-defense staple — the gun — is highly restricted by law in New York,” an odd observation for the type of “Mad Max scenario” he claims to be envisioning. Better options for the law-abiding survivalist, he suggests, are things like a “collapsible umbrella lined with wrenches,” heavy tools like hammers and hatchets, and even the old Charles Bronson standby, a roll of silver quarters.

    The article goes on to discuss even more fanciful topics, including $250,000 jetpacks and a company that promises to send its clients’ DNA into space, where “some ultra-intelligent alien being may discover it in the future, and use [their] genetic code to reanimate a race of humans on a distant planet.”

    It’s easy to chuckle at the intentional or unintentional folly of the advice the Times article presents, but what’s not so funny is that the prohibitive gun control laws it mentions are a very real liability to law-abiding New York residents in the here-and-now, not just in the event of an apocalyptic future. Wishful or magical thinking is not a good advice for surviving any crisis, and life-and-death situations can unfortunately arise even in a relatively well-functioning civilization.

    While it won’t solve every possible problem, a simple .38 special revolver or 9mm pistol – the sort of handguns New York City’s onerous regulations place beyond the reach of many law-abiding residents – is a far better option than improvising weapons from umbrellas. And if upstanding New Yorkers had better access to the means of real self-protection, maybe they’d have less need of their Xanax.
    NRA-ILA | New York Times on Surviving the Apocalypse: Firearms are Out
  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    All joking aside, the pitiful views from Puerto Rico and the long lines for water would seem to indicate that if at least some of them had bleach and a water filter, life would be much more survivable. The views of the military supplying fuel to farmers for their backhoes as a top priority as they need to retrieve their dead animals from the water and bury them to prevent farther contamination of the islands water is heart breaking. They don't think a single greenhouse on the island survived. Most of the crops were destroyed as well as the infrastructure needed to produce , process and distribute it For most individuals on the island, prepared or not, the SHTF has occurred and the best they can hope for is either leaving or massive aid.
  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I don't know about y'all but they can keep the folding spatula and the gummy bears but I've wanted the jet pack ever since Thunderball..
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The SHTF, quite literally, on PR. We would all do well to pay close attention to learn all that might apply to our AO.

    Food distribution hampered by lack of truck drivers. Well, that turns out to be a UNION dispute. I guess the UNIONS have taken a page form the DEMS to never let a good crisis go to waste.
    Lesson? Have at least 30 days worth of chow on hand and a means to collect and purify water for same.

    Damage to houses, most have lost their roofs.
    Lesson? This one is hard, I live in earthquake country. I have built an oversized shed that could be lived in for an extended period as the house is repaired, should that be needed.
    I suppose depending on the damage, leaving the area would be the only real option. Since at least 1/3 of the folks on PR are on welfare, I suppose this might be the preferred choice. FL has a significant PR population, I expect it will be growing....

    Other lessons seen you any of you?
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Well I have said it time and time again, but I ain't bugging out until my bunker disappears in a massive sink hole. That said, who said I ain't got 100 cans of soup, or 100 pounds of rice, or 50 pounds of various dry beans, or unlimited clean water and multiple ways to get it and store it, or 100 silver coins, .................. I am going to stop there cause it has all been said before. Yes there are holes in my preparedness plan. There always will be. But could I most likely survive with what I have and support a bunch of other folks as well. I damn sure think so. There is always more to learn and holes to fill. Good luck to all who have made an honest effort to prepare.
  7. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    South Florida cities are already making ready for the influx of refugees. Most are already on Welfare. They will arrive with nothing, and expect to be catered to. They will complain if housed in tents and given MREs to eat.
    Texans saw this with the Nawlins refugees after Katrina.
    That artical, obviously written by a Big City millenial, ignores the fact that gun laws are far less odious away from NYC and the other heaviliy libtarded parts. New York Staters do have guns. If the city geek gets stupid and uppity, he may get a look at them, down the muzzle.
  8. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Yes, shoot, shovel, and shut up can be an effective law enforcement tool if approved by the community and its law enforcement. I think we all have a good dose of Lynch in our genes if things get bad enough and one particular group seems to be rather superior in its armament at the present time. Old Swiss army answer to Germans about the German army being much larger, guess the Swiss troops would have to fire more than one time. I don't know about anyone else, but as far as preps go, fire, flood, and MZB's,military, government, or other, are my greatest fears and ones that I have no solution to other than bugging out no matter what the consequences will be. As far as life on this earth goes, dead is rather permanent.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm thinking we need a new forum called ElitePrepper with a $100/year membership fee to keep the riffraff like us out. That membership would get them a steep discount on "Certified Elite" products like the $9,000 gluten free Trump Industries free bug out bag for only $5,000 complete with shiny mylar blanket and Starbucks travel mug.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I just learned something today. Actually I knew it but I never thought of it. Would it work? I really am not sure but why not try and keep baby powder on hand because it will not hurt. For those of you that didn't follow the link this is the reason it may work. It is a different type of radiation but I do not know. Sort of makes sense.

  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    "As anyone that has taken a mammogram knows, X-rays can also be partially blocked by certain perfumes, baby powder, and deodorants, so you may want to saturate white bed sheets and other covering materials with these chemicals. Even if it doesn’t create a perfect shield against these radiations, it may just put the odds in your favor when combined with other shields."
    Interesting. Never heard of anything like that in my health physics days. Would love to read that source material.
    Yard Dart and Tully Mars like this.
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Talc is magnesium based and thus the metal has at least has some effect on radiation. A few feet might help, but a dusting sure won't. I hope they all believe it is effective as that would really help thin the herd if a real event occurred.
    Motomom34 and ghrit like this.
  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Make sure it's not talcum. It causes cervical cancer.
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Theoretically, magnesium could have some effect, however minor, on neutron radiation in a yards thick layer. It will have essentially no effect on gamma and very little on beta. A thin, but continuous layer, complete coverage, no thin spots, will stop alpha. Now, mammograms are medical strength x-rays, which are relatively low energy gamma, thus there's some very real doubt in my mind that talc, or any of those other items, would have any effect at all, AND if they did the result would be to require MORE not less, exposure to get the required film density and additionally might scatter radiation in unpredictable and detrimental directions.

    The herd that believes that idea will be thinned.
    Tully Mars and Seawolf1090 like this.
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Because you have never had a mammogram you would not know the rules. Always the instructions are- Do not wear deodorant, perfumes, powders or lotions. They say it when you book your appointment and when giving you a gown, advise that if you have used any of those things to use the wipes to clean the area. Not sure scientifically why it is but those are the instructions. Ask any female you know and I am sure they will back me up.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It is not necessary to know the "rules" for mammography to know radiation. The "rule" is apt to be there to limit contamination of the equipment or to prevent staff from having an allergic reaction to over scented females as are entirely too often encountered in grocery stores.

    Seems an easy question to ask next time.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  17. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I used to be an x-ray tech, though not medical. The things listed to avoid for the mammograms are more likely to cause "smearing" in the image making it harder for the radiologist to read it as opposed to blocking the x-rays. You still get the full exposure, just not as evenly. Some of the things listed are to protect the equipment as opposed to making the image more difficult to read. Lotions, for example, are one reason I can't have a steering wheel wrapped in leather anymore - Mrs. 3M's hand lotions ruin them after about a year of use.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I wonder how well a tightly woven fabric of lead would do in blocking radiation .
    I got lots of lead the could be made into yard and a loom for making fabrics .
    Trick is learning how to draw lead into thread .
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Lead is good for gamma and x-rays in particular, and is perfect for alpha and not bad at all for beta. (Essentially useless for neutrons in practical thicknesses.) Your dentist puts a lead wool apron over your parts and pieces for dental x-rays, quite effective for the energy of dental shots. I think that weaving lead into a fabric might be problematic due to it's low strength. Interesting idea, tho'. There are a couple other things that would have to be considered before you take a nap under a lead blanket ---
    Tully Mars likes this.
  20. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    Perhaps we have just witnessed what the non-military, affluent, cubical dwelling, swelling class of weekend paranoiacs, orchestrates to define thier abilities? By dismissing the meticulous as want to be's, have we created the future wave of misguided?
    Yard Dart likes this.
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