Science channel Saturday morning of July 30, 2011 had a program on about Kublai Khan, and his doomed fleet that tried to invade Japan.
During excavations of the ocean floor, scientist discovered that most of the ships in the fleet were flat bottom river boats. River boats do not have a keel like what ocean going ships have. The keel helps ocean going ships weather large waves, while flat bottom boats will capsize.
It appears that Kublai Khan was in a hurry to invade Japan, so he ill equipped his navy with the wrong type of ship. This short sight meant the fleet was lost in a storm.
How does the example of Kublai Khan apply to survivalism?
Those that do not take the time to properly prepare are doomed to fail. The key word there is “properly” prepare. Kublai Khan had his army, weapons, armor, supplies, ships,,,,,. But the ships were the wrong type of ship, they were not ship designed for oceans, they were designed for rivers.
In the survivalist community, there are a lot of people that plan on grabbing their bug out bag, bugging out to the wilderness and living off the land. There are lots of problems with that situation, such as being able to find enough food, diseases, illness, vitamin and mineral decencies,,, only to name a few.
Back in November and December of 2010, a buddy of mine and I spent 3 days on the Angelina river camping and trying to live off the land. During those 3 days I did not see a single wild hog or whitetail deer. Some deer came close to the camp site at night, but I did not see anything during the day. We caught a few catfish, but not enough to feed a group of people with. In order to catch enough fish to live off of, we would have had to have people fishing all day long.
One of the biggest issues are the people who fail to prepare at all for a disaster. These are the people that keep very little food at home, no bottled water, no fuel for camp stoves, little first aid supplies,,,,,. If there is some kind of disaster (like a hurricane), people rush to the nearest store and buy as many supplies as they can afford.
There are lots of issues with panic buying:
- There is only X amount of food that people buy at one time. Usually its a partial shopping basket, or they can only spend X amount of money
- Little thought is given to nutrition
- When the shelves are empty, people may buy what they do not normally eat
- Important items are often overlooked
If things start to get too bad (riots, natural disasters), stores will close and barricade the doors. When a hurricane makes landfall, stores will stack bails of cardboard in front of the doors to protect the store from looters.
This video was taken right before Hurricane Ike made landfall.
Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF survival situation happens, whether its long lasting civil unrest, outbreak of some kind of new disease,,,, panic buying is a short term solution to a long term problem. People go into the store thinking they need enough food for 3 or 4 days, and by the time they run out of food everything should have returned to normal.
In my opinion, there are about 4 levels of Survivalist:
Short term survivalist – these are the people that buy enough food for a couple of weeks. they may keep a months worth of canned goods, rice and beans on hand.
Medium term survivalist – these are the people that might keep 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled. They may be stockpiling mountain house foods, storing rice, beans and oatmeal in mylar bags.
Long term survivalist – these are the people that store food in every closet, basement, closet and corner of their house. Long term survivalist try to keep around 1 year of food and water stockpiled.
Top tier survivalist – these are the ones that have planned food production past one year, have access to a farm, have prepared a secure Bug Out Location, have land to garden and places to hunt and fish. A top tier survivalist would rely on stockpiled food in the short term, or until they can get their livestock and garden production up to sustainable levels.
Can a panic buyer also be a top tier survivalist? Sure they can, why not?
Lets say that John and Jane Doe live in an apartment, they have no room or money to stockpile several months of food. But, John has a good friend or relative that owns a small farm in a rural area. Lets call the owner of the farm Jack Doe. John and Jack work out a plan that if some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, John and Jane can stay at the farm and help work the land. Whether its providing security, cooking, cleaning, pulling weeds out of the garden, keeping animals like deer and rabbits out of the garden,,,, there should be plenty of work to go around.
The thing is, all of these plans need to be worked out ahead of time. When your family runs out of food, don’t plan on just showing up at the door of your friends house asking for a handout. It does not work that way.
It is impossible to plan for every SHTF situation. Somethings are beyond our control, such as nuclear war, natural disasters and climate change for example.
Lets move past the food debate and talk about firearms. In the survivalist community there is a group of people who plan on using a 22 rifle for just about everything. Those people justify their decisions because 22 long rifle ammo is cheap, and it has a low report. With the low report, survivalist can keep a low profile while hunting, you do not want raiders and looters knowing your location.
The problem is, 22 long rifle is not adequate for anything larger then rabbit and squirrel sized game. Those people that are planning on using 22 long rifle for deer and hog sized game are doomed for failure. There are a lot of people that will argue that the 22 long rifle is the perfect survival rifle, but its not perfect for all size animals. When hunting, as with everything else in life, use the right tool for the job.
Take the time to assemble your survival gear and make solid plans. Just like in the case of Kublai Khan and his navy to invade Japan, hastily assembled and ill equipped survival plans are a plan for failure.