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The "SURVIVAL Movement" is flawed. It is corrupted. Going in bad direction.

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  • The "SURVIVAL Movement" is flawed. It is corrupted. Going in bad direction.

    Lets talk about the "WHOLE" survival box of knowledge. The assumptions, the illusions, the delusions, where it started, where it went wrong.........and what can't be done to fix it.

    This whole thing is full of flawed assumptions. And deeply flawed, "Common knowledge" that gets thrown around like empirical truths. We have been seduced, we have been snookered, we have been conned, you we like it, and we are loathed to look honestly at it, we will fight like hell to convince ourselves that we are doing right, that we are on the correct track, bla-bla-bla-bla.

    Warning: This is not a discussion for sissies.

  • #2
    Care to elaborate or provide specifics on what you see or believe is flawed or a lie? I'm assuming you have something specific in mind that is the impetus of your post.
    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!


    • #3
      I have been troubled about this for many years. And the more I have reflected on the issue, the more I have come to see that nearly all of the current Prepping/Survival planning and concepts are bad.

      The basic theory was birthed by an architect Don Stephens, and was written about and modified by: Mel Tappan and Bradford Angier and Col. Townsend Whelen and later put forth by Jeff Cooper, and many others.

      I feel that the original thinking, the original theory, the original concept was a good one. But the current thinking is really not good, and simply not workable. It has been over and over and over and over bastardized to appeal the everyone. It is now nearly totally about seducing people into feeling comfortable, that they have made some small effort.

      That was not the original idea. I say, I think nearly everything is now destined to widespread failure.

      If you made a complete list of what a person would need to do, to have a 90% chance of survival. Nearly everyone would reject it, as too hard, to expensive, to unpleasant, bla bla bla bla.

      People are interested in doing just a little........and banking on HOPE.

      That is not a plan, the is seducing oneself into feeling ok.......while knowing that they are not ok, but that is all the effort, time, money, etc. they are willing to commit to their survival.

      What many years ago was about planning and prepping for survival (if you research the original info.) Has now turned into war with everyone. And I do mean WAR with everyone. Now the first step is, "Man I got'a get me one of those AR-15 thingies".

      Back in Mel Tappans day a "Survival Gun" was first and mostly for food procurement. Now a "Survival Gun" is for self defense.

      People are perpping for neighborhood WAR........and HOPE. I say the odds are they will loose both.

      Now........I don't want to change peoples thinking on this, and there is truly zero chance of changing peoples thinking.

      What people want is something "EASY" and Cheap........they just want to feel like they made a effort, that they tried, that they are slightly better prepared then their neighbors...........I say that is not taking Survival seriously. I say people are unwilling to do what they need to do. And that is going to SUCK for them and everyone near them. Many people (even preppers) think this whole prepping is silly, many think it is just plain stupid.

      When you really make a list of peoples Plans........I simple fail to see why they even bother.........Really most of this stuff has less then zero chance of working.

      I can't see how it could end in anything short of "Horrific". But people are hopelessly attached to their flawed plan, and will fight verbally to near death defending it.

      That's enough for now.


      • #4
        wth makes people "think' that in the lower 48 states, people will starve rather than kill them and take their stuff? No place in the lower 48 is more than a night's motorcycle ride and a night's' walk (nvd goggles) from millions of people. Of COURSE shtf will mean combat. Mel Tappan said he'd rather have a 308 auto and 5000 rds of ammo for it than anything else. That's complete bs. No one man is going to survive needing to fire even 50 rds of un-suppressed centerfire rifle ammo. He talked about full auto, pellet guns, xbows, for quiet foraging, but in his entire book, not ONE WORD about silencers!

        If you expect to survive needing to hit even 50 people with a bullet, you'd better be able to brain 40 of them with subsonic .22lr ammo, from a silencer and a braced position and from ambush.

        within a couple of months of shtf, the game will all be gone, eaten by starving dogs, cats and people. Then the dogs, cats, fish and known edible wild plants will be gone in another month and the cannibalism will be commonplace. Dont kid yourself. Shtf will be hell on earth. Most will go insane, or suicide at that point. 10% are already nuts or completely incapable of fending for themselves and I mean the adults.
        Last edited by smelt; 05-18-2018, 11:18 PM.


        • #5
          Many motorcycles get 40 mpg on the road, and some get 80 mpg if they have a full fairing and a smaller rear sprocket. There's 8 million motorcycles in the US and many can move at 100 mph, getting around stalled cars, etc.with ease. It's quite easy to mount 6 of the 5-gallon jerry cans of gas on a bike, and still have room for your BOB. One on each fender, one on each side of the buddy rest, 2 in the saddlebag position. Such a setup can easily move you 1000 miles without acquiring any more gas. Just the gas in a weedeater, trash blower,lawnmower and rototiller will move a bike 50 miles or more. He can get 500 miles out of a car's gas tank full, easily and 1000 miles from that in a van, truck or tractor.

          the US has been crossed, all 3200 miles of it, in 8 days on a BICYCLE, folks. No place in the lower 48 states is "remote. All of your favorite hunting/fishing/camping spots are known to 100's of people. The cities will run out of water in just 2-3 days and the townies will be headed out to the farms, ranches and camping sites, first to get water, then food and shelter.


          • #6
            even with just 10^% of the active adult public hunting or fishing, they have to SEVERELY limit the length of the seasons, put in bag limits, etc, to keep the game from being wiped out. When everyone is using night vision, traps, fish poison, nets, trotlines, silenced autorifles with luminous sights, bait, dogs, etc, the fish and game is going to be gone in very short order, like a month. The stored grain, foods, and livestock will be gone in a couple of weeks. Dog packs and cats will hunt down all the livestock, and then all the game. cats easily catch and kill rabbits and ground dwelling birds. I've had a dog that caught a spawning carb bigger than she was! :-)


            • #7
              This is a subject that I hope we can really get into. I have had thus bad feeling for a long time about the general subject of Survival and Prepping. It was only about three years ago I first breached this concern. I have made this same observation public on several forums.......and it always ends in total failure, and maximum frustration and pissed-off'ness by everyone.

              So the good news is this subject is not about your theories, or my theories, or best or wrong way to prepare or study/train/practice/build/etc.

              It is much bigger then that, much bigger. It is about the whole concept "Prepping and/or Survival" and the direction it is going and the massive shift from it's original goal.

              It is about the vary foundation of prepping, not one small part, but the whole concept of prepping and survival. What if the whole thing is wrong, what if it is at the very least deeply flawed....???

              Are we going in the right direction, is there a better direction, either better by just a little, or better by a huge amount.

              I think the whole thing is deeply and maybe totally flawed, possible fatally flawed. The times that I have broached this in the past, I learned a lot, a lot that I did not realize even existed.

              Warning: I don't have an answer.......This is about an examination. It is about a deep look into the very validity of Prepping and Survival, both at the level of concept and execution.

              Here is how I would invite this investigation to proceed:

              1.) What was the original theory as set-forth by architect Don Stephens, and was written about and modified by: Mel Tappan and Bradford Angier and Col. Townsend Whelen and later put forth by Jeff Cooper, and many others.

              2.) Was it valid or was it flawed, if flawed how was it flawed.

              3.) Whether it was or was not flawed.......for sure and undeniably at some point a huge shift transpired, toward the direction of what we currently grasp as Prepping and Survival. Identify that shift, and evaluate the prudence of the current course.

              4.) Is there a reason to return to the original concept.......??? Is there a more prudent course we should explore......???


              • #8
                OK I'll start this thread out. You have many many complaints but very few answers. I'm retired but have survived many disasters where survival skills were needed. How many 78 as of last month including volcano eruptions to ice storms to hurricanes to chemical spills. You cannot carry everything you need in a bug-out that is why it is set for 72-96 hours. This amount you can carry. (Walking)

                I have watched the hi-way become parking lots or trying to drive in a white out, or with ash so heavy your wipers don't work.

                What you need most of all is COMMON SENSE


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RICHFL View Post
                  OK I'll start this thread out. You have many many complaints but very few answers.
                  They are NOT complaints.......And yes, you are correct I have no answers. But the lack of answers is a non-issue. Gunkid could likely come up with 73 thousand answers. The "Prepping and Survival" forums and blogs, and you-tube and books all have thousands of answers. We have no shortage of answers.

                  Back in the 40's and 50's we had Civil Defense shelters (with cases of C-Rations) and civil defense drills. And now we do not, now we have 73 thousand answers that people can argue over which is best.

                  Hardly any preppers today ever heard of: Don Stephens, and was written about and modified by: Mel Tappan and Bradford Angier and Col. Townsend Whelen.

                  Everyone wants answers.........they want the answers to be easy, require little or no physical exertion, they want to be able to purchase it, they would like it to be cheap, they want to be able to brag about the pretty things in their Bug'Out Baggie, etc.....but mostly they want to feel they made some effort, and it did not interfere with TV time. When it is all boiled down, most Preps are talking about prepping, and down-loading information and neat'O ideas from internet forums.
                  Last edited by Sourdough; 05-21-2018, 12:44 AM.


                  • #10
                    I'm really not sure I know how to respond. I don't necessarily disagree with the premise " The Survival Movement is Flawed ", but I also don't see it as a bad thing. Since I have been prepping we have gone through at least 2 fad stages where prepping was brought to the forefront; Y2K, and December 12, 2012. There have been others on a smaller scale. These apocalyptic predictions were first and foremost in everybody's minds. a lot of people probably raced to the front to make money from the momentary panic. When the fad passed uneventfully it was over, and everybody forgot about it. It still made people aware that they should be prepared.

                    I think we are in one of those post-fad phases now. If you are truly into prepping it is a way of life. You don't stop because the fad is over. You assess your reasons for prepping, and your needs, and you do what is best for your situation. IMHO Doomsday Prepping is a little unrealistic. If that is what you want to do it is your time and your money. There is nothing wrong with it. You will be prepared. It is just highly unlikely that those events will occur i e a Yellowstone eruption, or a meteor strike.

                    I view a lot on line. I read, and try to stay current with new technology. I will admit that I have manuals from the 70's that are still pretty useful today. You listen, and make your own choices. You find people you respect, and follow their advice. If someone is a charlatan you recognize it and avoid them. I think this a very honest forum. People are free to offer their opinions and expertise. We respectfully disagree with each other on occasion. I'm not sure where the whole movement is flawed.

                    Sourdough: Maybe you can give some specific examples, and we can discuss.
                    The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.


                    • #11
                      This is just my opinion and I'm not looking for an argument. With that said, I believe it is the "Titles" that create so much confrontation and divisiveness amongst people now. The media named us preppers and survivalist before that but why are we titled for doing the same thing boyscouts used to be taught. Be prepared! How is someone's choice of wanting to keep there family and loved ones safe now any different than it was 200 years ago. The basic rights that allowed people to move into the wilderness areas of our young country and build there life as they saw fit are the same rights we cling to now so we can control our lives and not depend on others, whether organization, governments or individuals. I don't consider myself as a prepper as I do just someone prepared. I don't think of my grandparents as preppers
                      They just knew how to live and care for large families (12 maternal, 14 paternal) in hard times. So really, what's in a title?

                      Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.


                      • #12
                        Seems like people plan for, and talk about a zombie-apocalypse type scenario--where there's a complete breakdown of law and order, the grid is down and no food/etc. is coming in from outside.

                        But their plans are sometimes about a box of MREs and a case or two of bottled water. Also, of course, ways to defend vs. marauding gangs and such.

                        I'm thinking of the many 'Lights Out' type books and Walking Dead type of TV/movie content.

                        There are a lot of people who have that sort of extreme, 'level 10', TEOTWAWKI scenario in mind, but their preps are for 36 hrs.

                        Sourdough, what you're saying sounds to me like it's seeing the mis-match between how extreme the scenario is, and the level of prepping.

                        For my part of the country, barring an EMP attack or some other extreme event, it's about weather: blizzards and tornados and thunderstorms. Power outages are the sort of things we've had and are likely to have. Other places might need to factor in a big earthquake, or an industrial accident. Or their version of a storm could be a level 5 hurricane, and/or flooding. But for me, here, the longest people are without power is usually a day or two. 3 to 5 days in extreme cases. I'd give that sort of storm/power outage scenario a level 3 or 4, to 5 or 6 rating: 3 to 4 if it's decent weather, 5 or 6 if it's the dead of winter with roads closed by ice and snow.

                        Even in the worst version of such, there's been help coming in from outside the affected area.

                        Puerto Rico's hurricane damage seems like a worst-case scenario as far as how bad they were hit, and the difficulty of getting aid in from outside, but most places aren't as isolated, and according to news stories, the grid there was in really bad shape.

                        Level 10, TEOTWAWKI scenarios aren't impossible, but for my money and time, they're not likely enough to worry about. I am comfortable with plans for a week without power. I don't quite know how it fits in to a 'level' system (does one already exist or am I making it up here?), but I also like the idea of being able to give moderate first aid help to accident victims, etc.

                        But if I talk about my pretty minimal and somewhat scatter-shot preps as if they're going to get me through a level 10 event, that's going to sound ridiculous.

                        People need to be realistic about what their preps would actually allow them to do.

                        Where I sometimes get unrealistic is--after seeing a movie, or reading a book or article--I get an urge to do something that's above my level 3-5 scenario preps, like building a faraday cage. I haven't gone there yet, but I might. It would give me peace of mind, and wouldn't be too expensive, and I'd have a clear place to store some portable radios/walkie talkies/flashlights with LEDs, etc.

                        I'm sort of caught between what's realistic and faraday cage stuff that is pretty low probability.

                        But the occasional 'faraday cage' version of a prep will probably be handy even if an EMP doesn't hit: if the power goes out, I'll know where my flashlights and radios are. Maybe I'll do better at keeping fresh batteries for them, too, if they're all together in one spot. And if I actually have a faraday cage, I'll probably think more about what kinds of electronics to squirrel away, too--so I'll have some portable solar panels, a battery powered thermometer or two, and such.

                        It's the mis-match between people's preps and what they THINK they're prepared to face, that comes through from Sourdough's statements. But even when there's an unrealistic bit of prepping, it can be good in unanticipated ways.

                        Don't know if that's what you actually had in mind, SD, but there ya go.
                        Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.


                        • #13


                          No doubt you propose a deep dive into a topic that I truly don't know has a definite beginning or a specific “father”. Admittedly I'm "young" and a relative newcomer in some ways to whatever it is we call what we do. I firmly believe that there is no one way or only way to do things though I definitely believe there are a load of wrong ways. The gentlemen you mentioned, I’ve heard of Mel Tappan and I’ve read some of Bradford Angier and used to read Col Coopers articles in the gun mags. The other gents I'm not familiar with but it sounds like I need to add them to my reading list. So I can’t really speak to the path you outline in your items 1-4.

                          I thought it might be interesting to put in society’s definitions of some words. So a few definitions from Websters and Google

                          Survival -
                          • the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing
                          • the continuation of life or existence
                          • the state or act of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.

                          Survivalisim -
                          • an attitude, policy, or practice based on the primacy of survivalas a value
                          • the policy of trying to ensure one's own survival or that of one's social or national group.

                          Survivalist -
                          • a person who advocates or practices survivalism; especially : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society
                          • a person who practices outdoor survival skills as a sport or hobby.
                          • a person who tries to ensure their own survival or that of their social or national group

                          Preparedness -
                          • a state of readiness, especially for war.
                          • the quality or state of being prepared; especially : a state of adequate preparation in case of war

                          Prepping -
                          • the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something
                          • (North American) the practice of making active preparations for a possible catastrophic disaster or emergency, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.

                          Prepper -
                          • a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
                          • Webster’s doesn’t even list the word

                          First I think survival is at the very core of being human. I mean that is what the entire fight or flight instinct is all about. It owes back to our prehistoric ancestors. Admittedly nowadays most all of humanity is far removed from our caveman ancestors and their other developed "senses". I’m talking about the 6th or 7th sense, when you just know something is happening or about to happen. You don’t know how or why but you do. 10,000 years ago that’s what kept you from becoming sabertooth lunch.

                          I think we have always survived and had the intuition to keep on as a species. As we’ve evolved, industrialized and modernized many have lost that sense of purpose and as you elude to, we’ve gotten lazy and soft. In some it stays strong. Personally I don’t think we can point to one person or group or one time and say “yep, that was the starting point”. Think about the pioneers, would they have considered themselves “survivalists” or “preppers”. Highly doubt it, instead they would have said they are surviving. I mean the skills we now think of as survival used to be what you had to do in everyday life if you wanted to make it thru the day and wake up the next morning. Want to make it thru winter, better know preserving, how to cut firewood, how to build a warm shelter, etc...

                          I think what you speak to on a level is how did people turn this into a business and market. That is what those authors and instructors in the 60’s and 70’s did, the crossover with the back to the earth movement, homebrewing, and all those things. Like today, people saw it as a way to pay the bills and let them do what they enjoyed for a living. Also it was a different time in the world. I was little in the late 70’s and early 80’s but i remember the nightly news showing bombings and terrorist attacks not just in the middle east but the UK, Ireland; constant airplane hijackings; all the nuclear saber rattling; TMI and the protests against all things nuclear; TV shows like “The Day After”; the “duck and cover” drills at school, the gas lines, layoffs, people out of work, the protests over Vietnam and the fall out of that, along with the political protests. No wonder half sane people that had grown up being self-sufficient on the farm, putting up food, being ready for storms started to wax nostalgic and headed back to the comforts of what they knew and others saw the path to a simpler and safer life. When life gets crazy, people seek a way to put stability in it.

                          That’s enough for now but I’d also say that I don’t know if there is a right or a wrong to any of this. Everyone has different end goals and reasons - not wrong, just different. It comes down to the individual, their situation and 10,000 other things. Maybe I’m trying to make sure I have a few months of food on the shelf and a way to put more there via hunting, gardening, foraging, farming, etc Maybe I’m doing it because I’m worried about a job loss, a weather event, losing power, dropping dead and leaving my family alone or maybe it’s because i think the illuminati has conspired with little green space aliens from Mars to take over the planet. Don’t know if that makes me lazy anymore than the person with a big bank account that goes out and builds or buys into a huge bunker and stocks it with all the stuff he’s “heard” or been “told” is the best of the best so by jiminy that’s what he’s going to get. There is also a point of where you use common sense and don’t believe all the prepper “porn” fiction or numerous blogs and websites that everything will devolve into dogs and cats getting married and fish swimming upside down within 24 hours of their favorite “event” happening. I think it’s ludicrous and unrealistic to think that many people are alive today (in the 1st to 3rd world) that can go out and 100% survive off the land and environment from here to eternity. Are there a few people, yes but very few. I mean society has been heading away from that for the last 2000+ years. Think if you offered a wagon trail era pioneer his choice of an ax or a chainsaw after he saw the ease and speed that he’d turn it down when you offered. Hell no, it’s not about lazy, it’s about efficiency and conserving energy to do the tasks needed to wake up everyday.
                          I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!


                          • #14
                            Let me continue: I started reading magazine back in the mid 80's. I started to get some ideas of what they were talking about from my own experiences. Survival is not Prepping!!

                            Let me state that again Survival is not Prepping. To survival you are looking for safety minutes, to hours, to days. You use a bug-out bag and move to some where near your home that maybe 1000 others also have the same idea. Good Luck!!!!!

                            Prepping is done for the long term. I'm talking about 90 days plus to the rest of our lives. Prepping takes long term storage of food, tools, ammo & weapons, livestock & farming, to medical training., You have to decide that your group will need some place to retreat to; that you can maintain, and begin homesteading like they did in the 1890's.

                            My group now has a farm with over 1000 acres. It has taken over 20 years to get to that level. As people in our group retired they normally move to the farm and take up their skills for use on the retreat/farm.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Schneb View Post
                              Don't know if that's what you actually had in mind, SD, but there ya go.
                              You guys are doing good. Your describing how prepping as a "Concept" exists today and functions today. But what you each have been describing is different then how it was during WW-II and then it was different post WW-II. So I could just for giggles break it up like this.

                              Pre-WW2 (1918 to 1940)
                              During WW2 (1940 to 1945)
                              Immediately post WW2 (1946 to 1960)
                              (There should be something here, that we need to describe. maybe 60's period) (1960 to 1973)
                              70's and 80's Super Ultra High Inflation Prepping for Economic Collapse) (1972 to 1997)
                              The Y2K and the 9-11 and financial crash of 2008 (1998 to 2010'ish)
                              And lastly what we have now......which you guys have done a good job of describing. (Current)

                              I have just picked seven periods, and yes they overlap each other, sometimes a little, sometimes a huge amount. I have lived through five of the seven, and have shifted my prepping "Concept" to adjust for changes in each. I could (but will not) write a one page essay about my experience of prepping in those five I have lived through.

                              Now.......back to the start of the thread. I say things "DID" shift.......and I say they are not headed currently, nor have they been headed in a good direction.

                              Enough for be continued. Maybe.