When some people hears the word “survivalist”, instantaneously a portrait of a gun-toting, camouflaged burly man may come to mind. This is not surprising since Hollywood has painted these unique breeds of humans in a somewhat negative light. For instance, the 1990 movie Tremors, included in its list of characters Burt and Heather Gummer, a fanatical survivalist couple who had a basement stockpiled full of weaponry and other survival gear. In addition, there have been others since. However, what exactly is a survivalist and what benefits are there to being one?
What is a survivalist?
A survivalist is defined as a person who has survival of self and/or family as a chief goal during times of natural disaster, wartime, and/or complete breakdown of society. A survivalist can also be described as a person who “lives off the land” as some have the custom to call it.
A Survivalist during a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters are commonplace in the world we live in. Some of the most frequently occurring natural disasters are hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires. When advance warning is given, the typical survivalist will be ready. He would have already had his emergency pack, or “Go Bag” as FEMA calls it, ready to take with him when he is called to evacuate. His advance planning would have made him a prime candidate for survival.
A Survivalist during Wartime
This is a time that can be most crucial. In wartime, people lose the human tendency to take care of one another. The attitude, which pervades is self-preservation. Survivalists prepare well in advance for times like these. Since 9-11, more people have become survival-conscious in light of the realization of how vulnerable we really are. When war strikes, the survivalist takes care to preserve his integrity and the integrity of his family. During wartime, and in most areas, taking up arms may be necessary to ensure survival.
A Survivalist during a Breakdown of Society
We see this happening all over the world in the African nations as well as the Central and South American nations. A total breakdown of society will cause a complete crash of its infrastructure and administration. When this happens, you should expect not to have any electricity, water, fuel/gas, or a supply of food. Being prepared for this is what will help the survivalist to achieve his goal of survival.
In the above-mentioned situations, although different in nature, the issue that remains constant is the inability to gain access to the utilities we now take for granted. During natural disasters, wartime, and societal breakdown, there will not be any clean water to drink, food to eat, electricity to light, or gas to burn! Survivalists are well aware of this fact so they take advantage and store up drinking water, non-perishable foods, canned fuel, and candles. Advanced preparation is the key to survival.
Although survivalists sometimes receive a bad rap, they truly are a unique breed of humans. Survivalists may be misunderstood, but as the saying goes: “Knowledge is power” and in the case of being a survivalist, knowing how to survive empowers the will to survive.
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