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Elise

For the preppers: What made you first get involved in prepping?

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I think I had kind of a "naive" start - Grew up in NYC and was in 5th-6th grade during the "Cuban Missile Crisis".

I filled up 5 or 6 of my dad's old cardboard cigar boxes with my penknife, fishing gear from my dad's fishing box, tools, general "kid stuff" and wrapped them in a couple old oilskin raincoats, assuming I could hide out in the old basement coal-storage area if we got hit by nukes, and then wear the raincoats and go fish in the East or Harlem rivers nearby for food and be safe from fallout.

Learned better over the years, but never really stopped trying to make sure I was covered if TSHTF :)

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I think I had kind of a "naive" start - Grew up in NYC and was in 5th-6th grade during the "Cuban Missile Crisis".

I filled up 5 or 6 of my dad's old cardboard cigar boxes with my penknife, fishing gear from my dad's fishing box, tools, general "kid stuff" and wrapped them in a couple old oilskin raincoats, assuming I could hide out in the old basement coal-storage area if we got hit by nukes, and then wear the raincoats and go fish in the East or Harlem rivers nearby for food and be safe from fallout.

Learned better over the years, but never really stopped trying to make sure I was covered if TSHTF :)

That time would change a person. Scary. The doom's day clock reached 2min to midnight. Many old bunkers still litter the land from those scary times. It might not have happened but it was no crappy Y2K.

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I think I had kind of a "naive" start - Grew up in NYC and was in 5th-6th grade during the "Cuban Missile Crisis".

I filled up 5 or 6 of my dad's old cardboard cigar boxes with my penknife, fishing gear from my dad's fishing box, tools, general "kid stuff" and wrapped them in a couple old oilskin raincoats, assuming I could hide out in the old basement coal-storage area if we got hit by nukes, and then wear the raincoats and go fish in the East or Harlem rivers nearby for food and be safe from fallout.

Learned better over the years, but never really stopped trying to make sure I was covered if TSHTF :)

Omg cute. Prepper kids are the absolute most adorable, haha.

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Omg cute. Prepper kids are the absolute most adorable, haha.

LOL - one of my proudest moments was a few years ago, when my daughter, and a bunch of her friends, borrowed a bunch of camping and fishing gear for a long weekend.

When they returned the gear, her BF (at the time) sidled up to me and said "Dude, she kicked my butt this weekend, She can catch and clean fish, light campfires and cook on 'em, and she has all this survival stuff in her car trunk.."   :)

Sometimes, kids listen :)

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LOL - one of my proudest moments was a few years ago, when my daughter, and a bunch of her friends, borrowed a bunch of camping and fishing gear for a long weekend.

When they returned the gear, her BF (at the time) sidled up to me and said "Dude, she kicked my butt this weekend, She can catch and clean fish, light campfires and cook on 'em, and she has all this survival stuff in her car trunk.."   :)

Sometimes, kids listen :)

Yeah I think you've told this story on here before. If I were her parent I would've absolutely melted. Could not be prouder of a kid like that :)

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LOL - I'm an old guy and sometimes forget what I said before .

Now, where the hell did I leave my reading glasses ?.....   :)

Please, old or young doesn't matter. I've literally looked for my phone for a solid 10 minutes before, only to realize I was holding it my left hand.

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 Seems like I've always have just lived this way ... the whole plan for a rainy day thing - common sense it seems. I feel like there is a divide between generations , maybe not a divide but a line .... Some of us I am sure can remember when there was no internet?.... not a computer in every house or any house for that matter.... No cable .... We knew what the weather was without the weather channel and if we didn't we quickly learned to be prepared for any weather. Technology has made things easy - well easier anyways ... don't get me wrong I love it hahaha A LOT  but there is a difference in mentality I think between people who didn't have it and then did ( us older farts ) and younger people like my kids ( 19 and 24 ) who never really knew a world without it. Anyways - I got sidetracked there a bit - it seems like,and I think its because of the times I grew up in , that I have always had this mindset. Take the term bushcraft ... that was most of my childhood after school and weekends ... my friends and I would just disappear into the woods and build shelters and snares and all that. So all this just seems natural to me.

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I can definitely relate to what you are saying there Emerson..

A generation ago i hiked the river trails here after a bunch of years raising kids, 

and they were all overgrown and  life had returned after the heavy pressure we put on it.

Youngsters just did not go down those trails anymore..

I once heard a saying that said 'Depression is the inability to construct a Future".

This generation now cannot see the Future of the World without the 'Net'

Boy would they be 'End of the World' depressed if it went down..

 

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10 hours ago, Emerson said:

I feel like there is a divide between generations , maybe not a divide but a lin

I feel like you're spot on with this. I do feel like previous generations had a much more serious understanding of how difficult life can be, one that my generation and those younger than me just don't get to the same degree. Maybe it's just how easy it is to access technology and the internet these days, or maybe it's something to do with our having been told so many times by society that as long as we did the whole school thing, went to uni, and then got a good job that we'd be fine and taken care of... basically people my age and younger seem to be really unprepared, like they almost don't realize bad things have happened and really can happen again.

10 hours ago, Dan Seven said:

This generation now cannot see the Future of the World without the 'Net'

Boy would they be 'End of the World' depressed if it went down..

And this is 100% true, but hell, I'm into survival, prepping, the outdoors and stuff and STILL my world world pretty much end if the net went down for good. Can you imagine? Your access to others and so much information would completely vanish.. The net has brought us so much good, the way I see it.

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I think we are talking industrialized countries for sure. 3rd world countries will live the same even if technology somehow crashed. Sadly they are "surviving" every single day. How I would love to sit down with a few and learn some of their ways. But we have gotten soft in those terms. But those that care, can use that same lazy, yet awesome technology to learn skills with hot words and not have to read a whole book. Just right to the point. But a lot of 3rd world tech isn't yet on the web. Hopefully it isn't lost as they creep into the industrial age.

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6 hours ago, Mike Ash said:

I think we are talking industrialized countries for sure. 3rd world countries will live the same even if technology somehow crashed. Sadly they are "surviving" every single day. How I would love to sit down with a few and learn some of their ways. But we have gotten soft in those terms. But those that care, can use that same lazy, yet awesome technology to learn skills with hot words and not have to read a whole book. Just right to the point. But a lot of 3rd world tech isn't yet on the web. Hopefully it isn't lost as they creep into the industrial age.

Yes, definitely talking about industrialized countries, and most certainly do hope that 3rd world countries don't lose their specific technologies and skills as they enter the industrial age. I doubt whole societies will keep these types of skills as they develop, but it'd be lovely to have a few who remember the old ways share with the world what those old ways were before their traditions disappear forever.

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I agree. Sadly we have lost so much ancient history and technology from the ancient world. Greek, Roman, Egyptian just to mention a few of the larger ones we have lost knowledge from and they all even had written language. Books were lost, burned, or never written. We will never know. Wouldn't it be awesome to know how Genghis Khan set up camp or how they trapped or hunting techniques. We will never know in depth. Sorry just rambling. 

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2 minutes ago, Mike Ash said:

I agree. Sadly we have lost so much ancient history and technology from the ancient world. Greek, Roman, Egyptian just to mention a few of the larger ones we have lost knowledge from and they all even had written language. Books were lost, burned, or never written. We will never know. Wouldn't it be awesome to know how Genghis Khan set up camp or how they trapped or hunting techniques. We will never know in depth. Sorry just rambling. 

No need to apologize. It is a damn shame. I don't have much faith in our ability to piece together the puzzle either, especially from what happened with the pyramids...

http://news.discovery.com/history/ancient-egypt/how-the-ancient-egyptians-really-built-the-pyramids-140502.htm

 

There was literally a wall painting the ancient Egyptians made of them hauling a giant statue with ropes attached to a sledge, and there's a person in front of the sledge pouring water over the sand. Scientists & archaeologists all thought the water pouring was just a ceremonial act.

The freaking key to how the pyramids were built was staring us right in the face for ages and we were just like, "Naw guys, it's probably just a ceremonial act."

 

If there's a nuclear apocalypse tomorrow I firmly believe archaeologists a few thousand years from now will think McDonalds is a place of worship. I mean they're everywhere. We must be really obsessed with this McDonald god (idea appropriated from the short story By the Waters of Babylon, where a futuristic priest assumes that the Washington statue was made in dedication to a god).

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LOL-  when I was in college, back in the Dark Ages, one of the campus art museums at Cornell sponsored an exhibition call "The Civilization of Llhuros" (?sp)  - it was completely a spoof/art installation. 50 to 100 year old every day items, artificially aged, museum-mounted  and put into the context of a completely-fictitious "pre-Minoan" civilization, complete with fake maps.

99/100 people "bought it" completely.Even in the early 70's, most had never seen things like the "key" for lifting the eyes on an old wood stove, artificially aged and labelled "Llhurosian Votive Object" :)  

We are all way too ready to say "those old people were too ignorant to do..<whatever>..must be ceremonial" and ignore obvious evidence. There are obvious "pivot pole" holes all over the Egyptian sites, just like at every "modern" Egyptian port-site for ad-hoc lifting cranes, but "nahhhh.. they couldn't have done that "  :(

600 or so years ago, Baghdad was the scientific/technical/literary "capital of the world" (The Greek/Roman texts had not been destroyed, and innovation was still encouraged.)  There are STILL windmills/waterlift /irrigation systems that were described in still-extant texts 500 years ago that are 300+years old (with repairs) and STILL WORKING everyday.

When I worked as a subcontractor to IBM, many years ago, we subcontractors called it "NIH-Syndrome" (Not Invented Here - couldn't possibly be right, evidence notwithstanding).

Keep an open mind - OLD stuff still works.

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21 hours ago, Wyzyrd said:

Keep an open mind - OLD stuff still works.

I know right. And don't just assume we know everything that they did. Some science really has been lost over the years because it hasn't been documented or we just don't know how to read/interpret that documentation.

Sometimes I get the sense that we just want to feel like our society is so much smarter/better than the previous ones that we put down the rest without even intending to. Like give them some credit... they built some amazing things back then!

19 hours ago, Mike Ash said:

The old stuff definitely worked, I'm just afraid no one might document it and archive it as we become cyborgs. 

I think with the internet we maybe have too much documentation from these past couple'a generations, haha. The issue will be sifting through all the crap to get to the good stuff in the future. Though hey, I'm sure there will be plenty of amazing computer programs to do even that.

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There are some strange historical reasons for "lost knowledge" in this current age. 

A big one is xenophobic /" 19th Century Colonial"- "THOSE PEOPLE" couldn't possibly have anything to teach US - we're too cool for that!

So, there are probably still untranslated Arabic copies of the Greek and Roman texts rotting in boxes around the world, from sheer lack if interest. There is ONE translation of the 1206 Turkish illustrated textbook "The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices"  by Ismail al-Jazari (and a paper copy is outrageously expensive). I bet Leonardo da Vinci would have traded a functional limb for a copy of this book when he was alive.

A big reason for perhaps the greatest tragedy in the history of Science, the burning of the Library of Alexandria (after Julius Caesar and Aurelian started the damage), in 391,  was that various Zealots were offended that it's last Chief Librarian was well-educated, a Pagan and *shudder* a WOMAN!  Her name was Hypatia, and she holds a fond spot in my heart for the (probably wholly-apocryphal) defense of the books.

It reminds me of "Ancient Astronaut Theorists" - The Egyptians/Mayans/Whoever couldn't possibly have built those monuments - must be aliens or Atlanteans..... yeah, right...

Maybe they were just as smart and inventive as we are, had knowledge of fundamental math and engineering principles (without as much additional information, obviously) and just worked their butts off to build what they wanted to build. We need to have a little respect for our distant ancestors.

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The library at Alexandria burned like 6 times over its history. An absolute travesty and testament to the greatness of war.

Let's not forget the lost cultural knowledge of the Inca, Aztec, Mayan, among others. Wherein Vatican backed Conquistadors burned entire histories because they were not deemed worthy or congruent with Christian theology of the times.

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On 12/10/2015 at 2:16 PM, Mike Ash said:

You seem to have it all figured out. That is good. But stay diligent and have goals and always work towards them. Slow but steady. I love the stories of your home down there. A little scary but cool. Is your political system stable? Do you fear mass violence or is all peaceful? Just wondering because I'm not sure of your region. 

During the 19+ years I have been here there has been eight different presidents. Five of them were toppled, usually violently.

There has also been general strikes where the whole country has been stopped on its tracks, few times already. The roads have been closed, people have fought against police and army. There has been indigenous uprisings, student uprisings, general uprisings and house-wife uprisings (where women went to street sweeping the streets to get the corrupt president out and the second time (with another president) clanging pots and lids together). The indigenous ones are the most dangerous where people actually get hurt. Usually Ecuadorians are nice and polite, even in the middle of a strike or an uprising.

I have some very fond memories of the strikes and upheavals. Running on the streets to hide from the police, then pretending I was just a stupid tourist walking in the wrong place (the police was really nice every time). But I have friends who have been shot at and even tortured in prison. I know people who are in prison for terrorism (because they belonged to a labor union) and who have been in jail because of participating in demonstration during this government.

I've also been in martial law situation where local people attacked an oil bombing station and took it from the multinational company. Then the police and army attacked them. The army was camping in the soccer field next to my house. One of my friends was hurt. The police shot him on his leg when they took the bombing station back.

On the other hand, as I said before, hubby is in the Air Force here. Which doesn't always mean they follow the current president. The armed forces have participated most of the times a president has been toppled.

Once I had to drive through a police manifestation where they were burning tires on the street and then illegally on a one way street. The police was in upheaval against the current president. They even got him as a hostage and people died to get him free. And meanwhile my son was at Air Force school and people were throwing tear gas there. A grenade broke a window in his classroom and the school had to be evacuated.

I got to him and took him home in time. We hunkered at home meanwhile I watched everything live on TV. Including when the journalists that were reporting on scene were shot. Everything happened just twenty minutes from our home. And hubby was at the Air Force base next to my son's school, in the middle of an upheaval.

That is what I really don't enjoy, him always being there, in the middle of the danger.

The current president has been on power for a long time, since 2007. Some people, me included, are worried it's been too long already. And he doesn't seem to enjoy the idea of relinquishing the power. And it worries me because I know the indigenous people are really unhappy about the situation. My very good friend is the president of indigenous women in Ecuador and she's been in jail couple of times already (as I mentioned before). And they are not giving up. And neither are the labor union people. Or the right wing.

And I really wouldn't like Ecuador to become the next Venezuela.

On the other hand, this is a wonderful country. The people are really nice and friendly. They just don't like to be lead by a corrupt and bad government.

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On 12/15/2015 at 4:55 PM, Elise said:

Omg cute. Prepper kids are the absolute most adorable, haha.

I'm so proud of my son. He's into zombies but I use all the motivation I can get :)
It's so wonderful to know that he wants to learn how to survive. And is working to get that knowledge and the skills to use it.

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A few things but first, your one tough ass woman. Anyone that says that they have fond memories of running and hiding from police during an upheaval gets just 2 words from me: bad ass!

It seems so obvious to me now but you using zombie apocalypse as a prepping scenario to help get kids on board with prepping is smart and awesome. Great tactic that can be fun for all. I love it.

Your political upheavals give me a whole new perspective on just how good I have it here. Not to say one shouldn't prepare for all eventualities. Just saying that you live in, what "I" would consider chaos. And you do it with a smile. Thank you for answering my questions. And you stay safe and keep having fun teaching your kid how to survive. 

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On 12/21/2015 at 4:55 AM, Mike Ash said:

A few things but first, your one tough ass woman. Anyone that says that they have fond memories of running and hiding from police during an upheaval gets just 2 words from me: bad ass!

It seems so obvious to me now but you using zombie apocalypse as a prepping scenario to help get kids on board with prepping is smart and awesome. Great tactic that can be fun for all. I love it.

Your political upheavals give me a whole new perspective on just how good I have it here. Not to say one shouldn't prepare for all eventualities. Just saying that you live in, what "I" would consider chaos. And you do it with a smile. Thank you for answering my questions. And you stay safe and keep having fun teaching your kid how to survive. 

Hmm... I'm not smart enough to edit my post. Maybe Elisa can delete that part for me?

And thank you for your kind words. I was still a kid when I came here, in my early twenties, so definitely a kid, lol. And all the upheavals and strikes and especially when the indigenous people marched around, just felt like a game. I remember how excited I got when I was first shot at (not happened many times luckily). Maybe I should change this and say that I was a stupid, adrenaline junkie kid at that time...

I still get that adrenaline high when there's an earthquake or volcano erupts close to us. One of the reasons why I love to live here. It's always exciting. But now I know that bullets kill and so do mudslides.

Using zombies for training is all thanks to my son. About three years ago he got a complete fixation on zombies (he was about nine then), it was all he thought about. And he wanted to talk to me all the time about what we should do when the zombie apocalypse came (he was certain it was coming and soon). At first I tried to calm him down but then I noticed that he wasn't scared but excited about the thought (it's those adrenaline junkie genes, he got them from his dad too) and he was going really smartly about it.

He was still small, only nine when he started but he was doing lists on everything we would need to survive. Thinking about safe places where to go. Techniques and tactics to fight back. It was really amazing and he made me proud. So we started to do the lists together and used all the driving time in planning where we would go and what we should do. It was also the perfect way to teach him to have his bug out bag ready.

Hubby was worried first, because my son has really active imagination and he had even told everyone in school that they should be ready because the zombies were coming. Which didn't go very well, as you can imagine. But we talked with the teacher, promised to control what he watches (we let him watch TV and movies with an adult) and told him not to talk about these things in school.

We actually made our contingency plans with him and went them through together. When hubby was certain my son knew the difference between real and imaginary, he got on too. He still gets a bit scared when we start to play with possible scenarios with my son. Hubby is more of a strict reality guy, volcanoes, earthquakes, mudslides, El Niño, political upheavals, dangerous criminals, deathly illness, global economical crisis, nuclear weapons or any other "real life scenario" is OK. Zombies are not :)   

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Your whole family seems awesome to me. I also agree mostly with your husband too. It is a serious thing but the end result is what really matters, not how you achieve it in most cases. Example. 

We had a big hubbub here in town years back when my kids were little. A local church group (I'm not talking religion here guys, just discussing an issue that just happened to be started by a religious group) got the whole town riled up over kids reading Harry Potter books. They tried to have it banned in school and the public library. Even the local video store stopped renting them. I found this odd, sad, and funny.  Because they still had a horror section with the most vile and evil movis (which I enjoy personally) but they went total sensorship on a few movies because they had kid witches and wizards in it. My philosophy on it all is in most cases if you find a gold nugget that gets, even kids that don't like to read, to start and have fun reading, then you better find a damn good reason to not let them read it. If you have issues with it then talk about that with your child, let them know that it isn't reality-based and remind them that they checked it out of the fiction section. And if you feel that it is totally against all you believe, then don't allow your child today read it, but don't impose your personal decision on a whole town. Sorry ranting there.

My point is that sometimes the ends outweigh the means. Especially with a child's imagination which is totally healthy and normal. You monitor it, just as you did. And talk to them like you did. That's the right way. The unshackled and unbridled imagination of a child is healthy, normal, and beautiful.  It is something that we serious adults lose mostly as we grow up. Sad really. So if you can use that to help motivate your child to learn serious lessons then more power to you. Bravo.

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