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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guest Post: GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT, By Northern Raider


From a British viewpoint
© 2011Northern Raider from http://britishpreppers.freeforums.org/         

Back in the 1960s and 1970s pioneer Survivalists like Mel Tappan led the way in getting the message out that Survivalism was a growing phenomenon in the USA. Mel wrote in Guns N Ammo and other magazines that caused a wave of interest across the states, it soon spread north of the border into Canada as well. Mel went on to write the book Tappan on Survival which became a sort of defacto bible for survivalists like me way back then. (Yes I am that old)

Mel’s work was matched by the equally pioneering work of the likes of Ragnar Benson whose multiple noted books on Survival Retreats, Survival Nursing, Modern Survival etc help thousands of people make plans to survive during the long darkness of the Cold War era.

About this time environmentalism and environmental awareness was becoming more important in peoples lives, this saw organisations such as the LIVE FREE ORGANISATION start producing their now treasured news sheets which in time led to an international organisation which embraced survivalism, preparedness and self reliance as part of its core values right through the 80s and early 90s. I still have some of the early LF newsletters they sent out.

We owe much to these pioneers whose campaigning has done much to change the world in which we live.

By the time of the mid 1990s and the advent of the World Wide Web survivalists and preppers found that through this new media they could reach out and touch other survivalists not only in their own communities but also across the world. It soon became clear that Survivalism was now out of the bag and reached places like Britain, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, South Africa, and Eire followed soon after the fall of the Iron Curtain by Russia, Ukraine and Poland, with lesser numbers of advocates cropping up in most other EU nations.

Suddenly instead of being limited to exchanging messages in the small ads section of Guns n Ammo, Combat and Survival, American Survival Guide, Australian Survivalist etc and hoping some kind editor would print your letter in the next month’s edition; we found that some bright spark had invented ONLINE NEWS GROUPS. We got instant messaging across the world available between contributors on different continents compared with the previous 2 month wait to see if a reply was posted in a magazine, what a difference.

TNG

Thanks to the new techniques available the next generation of survivalist elder statesmen like the crazy Canadian “Bax” and American “Rourke” we gained Miscellaneous Survivalism Moderated and Retreat Survival and Secure Home to play with, within a few brief years they both passed the 3000 membership mark each and still thrive today. Their huge input changed the world of survivalism beyond recognition and without their 2nd generation work huge numbers of preppers would still be struggling to communicate. The Survivalist magazines provided news but the forums provided CONTACT.

In Britain, Ireland and Australia other early day’s pioneers were also fighting to get the word out and build connections between survivalists, bush crafters and latterly preppers.
Iconic people like Ferfal served South America, In Britain Nick Norwood’s (aka Nemesis) creation of the Widening Gyre website led much of the way for UK based survivalism, and backed up Steve Day’s UKSG which also was hosted for a while on Nick’s website. Steve organised the first Survivalist Conference weekend in Birmingham in the mid 1990s before focusing on writing articles and campaigning for the survivalist and prepper community in the UK. 

Meanwhile the Wilderness Survival, Bush-Craft and Traditional skills world followers in the UK found they were suddenly very well served by the hard work and graft by Dave D who set up and ran the still flourishing very high quality Ludlow Survivors Group. (LSG) the work done by the LSG team has in this author’s opinion done far more to forward and develop wilderness survival skills in the UK than all the glossy mags and TV shows put together.

American based forums and news groups like Alt Survival, Misc Survivalism which served well in the early days started to lag behind because of the very unmoderated and openness that once made them great. These open unmoderated forums sadly became dominated by spammers, flamers, trolls, bigots, and extremists, yet even so they still retain a hard core of ardent supports.
However our community is now also served by the huge and massively popular Survivalist Boards which is truly amazing and international http://www.survivalistboards.com/

The opposite can be said of some British forums where excessive moderation, harsh membership requirements, inner cliques and sadly a degree of nepotism slowed down the growth of the somewhat more conservative version of prepping and survivalism in the UK.
Yet undeniably these forums also find their membership growing steadily so they must be doing something right, and their efforts must also be applauded.
And today British and Irish Prepping is flourishing and very well served on forums like British Preppers.org. and Irish Preppers.com. British Preppers is probably the least moderated forum at the moment and places few constraints on members.


Coming right up to date our second generation pioneers like Bax and Rourke still work tirelessly to build bridges, share information and help people plan and prepare for the very uncertain future we now face. Whilst in Europe forums like British Preppers grow and grow the primary focus for serious preppers in the US is now focussed on running BLOGS providing daily news and information as well as opinion to the now very large global prepping community.

Bax is running the Daily Survival http://daily-survival.blogspot.com/ like an online newspaper and is well worth a visit as Bax searches the whole web to find only best best stuff for folks to read.  Now we find we are getting PODCASTS produced by the latest generation of survivalist broadcasters getting the message out using the latest technology.

Links

British Preppers                  http://britishpreppers.freeforums.org/         
Irish Preppers                      http://www.irishpreppers.com/
Daily Survival Blog            http://daily-survival.blogspot.com/
Ludlow SG                          http://www.ludlowsurvivors.co.uk/forum/
Survivalist Boards               http://www.survivalistboards.com/
Ferfal                                   http://ferfal.blogspot.com/
Survivalist Podcast              http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/

MSM , RS & SH                 Can be found on Yahoo Forums
Other British based forums can be found either as stand alone forums like P2S and UKP or and sub sections on international forum, all are very much worth joining.
UKP                                      http://www.uk-preppers.co.uk/forum/
P2S                                       http://www.p2s.uk6.net/