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April 24, 2010

Survivalism A-Z

A guide to crossing your fingers and hoping against hope.

The best basic survival advice we’ve heard came from Bruce Beach, whom I visited a while back at his massive Ark Two fallout shelter in Ontario. His “top three rules” for preparing to survive a nuclear war hold true for most other WTSHTF scenarios, too:

Rule 1: Get out of the cities.
Rule 2: Get out of the cities.
Rule 3: Get out of the cities.

I think about this sort of thing from time to time and have decided to mutate with the flow and eat my neighbours instead. Plenty of good eating in the cities.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 24, 2010 08:54 AM


The article is correct, you need a rifle and a handgun. Also correct you need a rifle in 7.62mm calibre, which is exactly the same as .308 Winchester. For a handgun, get a 9mm as this is also a military calibre. And yes, get out of the cities; among other things, police will never be able to control 'flash mobs' once they figure out they can dominate any public space (like a mall). Enjoy your day.

Posted by: Frank Hilliard [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2010 10:30 AM

All due respect to survivalists, but I have always preceived a whiff of defeatism about the whole project. Like preparing for the destruction of the British fleet at Trafalgar, or the repelling of the Allied amphibious assault at Normandy.

Cities are civilisation's crowning achievement. They permit a concentration of mass and effort that can not be replicated elsewhere. This allows us to have extreme specialisation permitting things like neurosurgeons, as opposed to barbers who also dabble in agriculture, chesmistry, meteorology, metallurgy, et cetera.

Everything we have worth having, including a lot of the staples survivalists tend to rely upon, such as canned/preserved foods, prefrabicated surgical dressings and medical kits, rifles, cartridge ammunition—were all developed by men living and working in cities.

Survivalists may indeed "survive", but civilisations without significant urbanisation do not advance rapidly nor do they flourish.

Even in Christian echatology, a post-Armageddon earth will be blessed with a New Jerusalem, as opposed to a New Judean Mountains or non-urban resting place of the saints.

So I'd rather live and work in the city, for it represents all that I hold dear about human achievement. And if one cannot prevent any urban apocalypse, it is better to die having ascended the peak, than to have never sought after it in the first place.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2010 12:51 PM