The Hunter Gatherer verses the Survivalist.
Thinking about the basic philosophy of the survivalist.
They train to withstand the storm we all know is coming and how to survive afterwards.
That’s me, us, to a tee.
Hunter Gatherers are different.
They are mainly nomadic, occasionally traveling with their own livestock, looking for and taking what they need to survive.
Actually WW3 and the millions of other threats we “civilized lot” consider aren’t too much of a worry for them either BUT the passage of the seasons is.
Long term storage is also of minor importance and at best they are looking for stuff that can be easily and quickly dried, smoked or cured in such a manner that it is edible without extensive processing or that needs any form of refrigeration.
Sort of makes you think about your refrigerator and freezer doesn’t it?
I’m not really sure which is better having written that.
For example, I sometimes think that modern survivalists tend to concentrate on the short-term with a “dreamy” look at the future they think will occur. Mad Max and that post apocalyptic Hollywood rubbish.
Some are thinking and living long-term self sufficiency and sod the world.
Those people deliberately shun the trappings of modern world in the planned expectation that whatever happens the change to their way of life will be minimal.
What about me and mine?
One thing is certain, we have the planning mentality of the prepper BUT the actual execution will be one of survivalist.
Unable to stockpile past 60 days, living a sort of transient lifestyle, we are more thinking and planning for no money, no resources like electricity, fuel, food shopping, clean water, and social disruption.
Probably why my sole attention is on how to circumvent obstacles put in our way.
Those obstacles (Background)
The modern world is basically made up of farmers, townships and the cities.
A whole support structure divides the producers (farmers) from the consumers (townies) as raw material is mainly factory processed, packaged, transported, and supplied for money. (Spits on ground whilst thinking about fat cat bankers).
Powered by vast amounts of electrical power, computerization, and financial support, the whole supply chain is so very fragile.
A lot more fragile than the people (sheeple) appreciate.
An old story but the modern retail operation is one of last-minute ordering. It carries only enough stock to cover a couple of days at the most. Note I’m talking about FOOD distribution although the phrase “Not in stock but I can order it for you” is heard a lot nowadays for a wide range of products.
Now break that chain, what happens?
Often the breakdown is not with the raw material producers i.e. the farmers, but with the processors and logistics operation of getting the product to the shops. Without electricity that whole structure can break down in hours.
In the UK (untied kingdom and no that’s not a typo) the electricity generation capacity has reached a critical level. Mainly caused by underfunding, privatization, and the tree huggers desire to send us back to the dark ages by banning fossil fuel (coal-fired) power stations.
Add to that a dubious foreign policy and friction with the EU-SSR’s major energy supplier i.e. Russia, this winter is going to be a tipping point.
The obstacles (Real)
I’m hoping for a mild winter. A simple wish as we are living on a boat.
If it does turn aggressive, the nations electrical (national grid) power may be lost to all.
Where does that leave me?
FUEL, FUEL, FUEL.
I need it, it takes electricity to pump it and money to buy it.
Thus no electricity and access to money, and we’re instantly into survival mode.
Fuel procurement in that case will be one of scavenging.
Simple as that, can’t get by fair means. we’ll have to use foul.
Once fully off grid, curiously we see one of our other worries as refrigeration.
After all if you can’t keep fresh things cool, you have to resort to sourcing and consuming on the same day as storage of perishables for longer in the summer heat may lead to our demise. A tremendous cost overhead apart from anything else.
OK, you are probably thinking “but it’ll be winter” and you would be correct so a metal box outside is going to be one heck of a deep freeze.
Thought about that one see!
Yet winter doesn’t last for ever and until summer arrives, when we can use evaporation cooling effectively, the “in-between seasons” is a MAJOR problem in the temperate climate we live in.
True evaporation cooling only kicks in BIG TIME with heat and the “Third World” coolers (porous pot) often work at temperatures exceeding 30° Celsius not the 5° to 20° Celsius which is the norm in the UK. Long term, as the energy demands of winter pass we’re hoping normal electricity production will resume. Yet if it doesn’t, food safety issues will become our norm.
A side thought
Although the hunter gatherer MAY APPEAR to have a harder life with erratic food supply, it is actually the modern consumer who seems to have the greater problems simply because they don’t have to cope with uncertainty on a regular basis, have basically become LAZY, and thus go bug-eyed when ever there is a minor interruption in the food supply.
Thus the enlightened (aka preppers) stockpile.
That you even need refrigeration at all in the modern world is something I REALLY HATE. Basically because they all work using electricity or gas i.e. energy.
Conventional fridge workings contain an electrically powered compressor to work a fluid to make it change state from a gas to a liquid and back again. This change produces refrigeration i.e. as fluids expand into gas they get cold, but back again they get hot.
It isn’t limited to electrical motors though and the change from liquids to gas can also be achieved using flame (usually gas) to heat pipework thus encouraging fluid convection round the refrigerator as opposed to “pumping” fluids with a compressor.
High tech systems include Peltier mats which is a solid state “electronic” plate that usefully allows cooling and heating by just reversing the polarity of wires. Except that needs electrical POWER and a lot of it.
So gas and electricity.
Come TEOTWAWKI, or just the prices for electricity and bottled gas going potty, gas will be hard to get after a while. As for electricity, no fuel (fossil or not) = no electricity. So simple even a politician should be able ot understand that.
Yet, regarding a gas-powered fridge in a temperate climate (i.e. the UK), I’ve had a 13 kg cylinder last for in excess of 6 months running a small “caravan” type refrigerator. Impressive eh?
A conventional domestic compressor driven fridge is different. HUGELY different.
Domestic mains or low voltage (battery) systems can be expensive regarding their energy usage. For example my domestic fridge used 230 watts of power when active, 80 watts on standby.
Now take my little boat fridge.
When the compressor/fan is running, it uses 4 amps of current (nominally 50 watts). Yet on standby, 0.6 amps (7 watts nominal)
A cost overhead in fuel, battery power, and of course money.
So the discussion in the boat has been “Do we really need a fridge?”
After all we survived VERY WELL in a tent for six months without one.
Economically if you have a fridge it is the cheapest way to live as fresh comes with a cost overhead. Seems daft doesn’t it that buying processed foodstuff (canned, dried, or as a ready meal) is cheaper than buying say a kilo of minced beef.
The last of the problems.
A sort of wide-ranging list a lot of which is only applicable to us.
Modern society and their licensing, utility and other costs, laws, and regulations.
No banks, no work, no barter all equal no money, vicious isn’t it?
Yet the fat cats will still demand their pound of flesh as will the law regarding licenses, etc.
Life ruled by the almighty pound aka dollar. Kinda screwed up isn’t it?
As for the law itself?
The law is an ass and doesn’t take into account little things like the country has ground to a halt! There again they may be too busy to worry about little old me.
Problem is they will catch up eventually and that may have a cost overhead way in excess of paying the bills somehow.
Luckily all our meds are easily stored, those on specialist drugs may need refrigeration. BOTH WILL NEED MONEY to purchase what is needed. Thus if the electricity system collapses, the production of medicines and medical appliances may stop, there is a real risk to health for some.
Surrounded by it sounds great but to convert water in all it’s forms into potable aka drinkable water needs power or chemicals and equipment. Power to boil, chem’s to clarify, filter materials to stop the “big bits” from swimming in your mug.
A curious thing this. No power and the easy “push button” world of the powered lock gates goes. Not a problem for the experienced boaters YET some river control is almost totally electrically powered and controlled by computers. Thus flooding may occur.
In a boat is that a worry? You bet your life it is on a river or canal system but of minimal impact on the sea.
Thus it may be to our advantage to make it out to a sheltered estuary or coastal mooring. Interesting that is going to be as most canal (narrow) boats aren’t exactly sea going vessels.
That’s going to be the one time in my mind that SIZE MATTERS!
Having said that, we were in a sea harbor not long ago and they were lamenting the absence of narrow boats on their waters. Useful Intel that, others have been there before.
A double-edged sword this one.
No electricity and it definitely helps me when scavenging.
No rule of law (the usual consequence of no electricity and social disorder) on the first glance makes us safer.
After all not many riots happen on rivers as a lot of people can’t swim.
The problem is staying on the water.
You tie up and WROL can bring out the worst in people.
Personal security is going to be of paramount importance.
Discussing Ebola with another I happily stated that there are 1000’s of miles of coastline and rivers let alone canals for me to hide in. The authorities may try to blockade places and stop you passing but it is unlikely to succeed. Sheer lack of numbers due to “Austerity” and government cutbacks gives me a “fluffy bunny” feeling about that occurring.
A discussion at home on having a fridge inspired this post yet it has drawn in some different thoughts. The basic “TILT” will be electricity at the end of the day and once that goes the lack of money soon after will escalate the problems into all facets of our life.