Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Five Stages of Survivalism

Today's entry is from my friend and Brother in Christ - Rob. He also has a blog you can check out at Survival Report Blog. He first posted this at Frugal's and you can find both sites linked over there on the right. The reason I asked Rob to let me post this here is because it is good and I agree with it. I hope you enjoy it also.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a bug out plan but it seems like EVERYONE is planning on bugging out, even the ones in ideal locations.

And they are all heading for one of the following:
1. The hills to live off the land
2. A state park, because there is lots of game
3. A friend's house (never mind that friend also has other friends and family he has told that to)
4. The family farm. Actually a good plan - probably.

First off, let's define "EVERYONE". Who is that?

If you assume that ALL survivalists plan to bug out, I think you're mistaken. Quite the contrary. Read the posts here where folks living in or right near major cities think they will be o.k. because they are in the suburbs.

I honestly think these are the STAGES most survivalists go through - everyone can kinda see where they are in this. There's a reason I put this up, you'll see in a minute.

1. Early awareness - This usually entails only the very basic preps. Food is usually less than a month's worth. May have a high emphasis on weapons. Plan is to bug out - most however, don't know to where. This is the "I know there's a problem but really haven't thought it through yet" phase.

2. Stocking up - Here is where most get serious. For some the seriousness might just mean stocking bullets and beans. For others this means learning skills necessary for survival, planning for the eventual purchase of a retreat, etc. Food storage usually moves to the six month period. At this point in time the person that is preparing may even be alone in this. This is where you see the "how do I convince my wife" type posts. Most of these "I have to ASK her if I can buy some extra toilet paper" types never make it to stage 3.

3. Well rounded - This is where the individual strives to maintain balance between his preps and skills development. Stocking up goes well beyond the usual "bullets and beans" and covers other territory such as medical supplies, NBC protection equipment, commo gear, food production, etc. This is usually the point in time that the realization comes that the individual has too many supplies to truly make a last minute "bug out." Therefore, home becomes the refuge. This is where most people discuss "buggin in." It's important to note that the location of the home may or may not be in a survivable area. Usually there is no room to make necessary long term preps such as food production, NBC shelter or larger storage areas. Due to location, there's usually nothing that can be done for serious improvement in defense. In the burbs all the individual can do is rely on concealment which is next to impossible. With the amount of supplies an individual usually amasses by this pointup with crazy ideas like using an 18-wheeler to get out, large panel vans, etc. This would cause more problems than it would solve in most instances. Most survivalists never pass this stage.

4. Exodus - The reality sets in at some point that, despite having 10 years of grains, 15 AR's and 1 million rounds of ammo, being near to masses of system-dependent people is disastrous to your survival plans. In this stage the individual moves away from the city. In doing this, he has probably exponentially increased his chances of survival. This is the toughest move to make, buying things is relatively easy, incredibly changing your lifestyle and living habits is not.

5. Exodus plus 1 - Eventually the idea graduates from being simply a repository of supplies (a warehouse if you will) to also being able to produce some of what you need to live and survive (a factory if you will). Some "homesteaders" start off at this point (land, food production capability, etc.) but without the necessary stocks of food they are going to be SOL if they have a bad harvest. Also, most true homesteaders lack the ability to truly defend their land and supplies. In this stage the individual/family moves toward developing food sources - orchards, ponds, raising animals, raising grains, etc. In addition, they must concentrate on the fact that these things must be defended - so it's important to keep those preps in mind also.

For some folks this level also includes getting off grid and being independent of outside energy sources.

Being that most survivalists never make it past stage 3 and that it would be hard for anyone to ditch tons of food, gear etc. that they have spent hard earned money on, I would have to assume that most will NOT be bugging out. Some will realize they should have, but it will be too late by then.

Just my thoughts on this.

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
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Prepared Americans for a Strong America