“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crossing the Desert in the snow.

My brother R is on his way from Boise, Idaho to his place in the Sierras.  Unfortunately for him, it's snowing along the way and up in the mountains to boot.  He and his dogs will make it through, they have a good vehicle.   He sent me some nice pictures of the desert. I lived in New Mexico for four years while I was in the reserves going to college. We chose the mountains to live in when I got out of the service, but I've always wanted to live down one of those long, straight dirt roads going nowhere you see out there.











R makes this  trip between the Sierra's and Boise pretty frequently.  His girl friend lives in Boise and he spends about a third of his time there.  He's been a survivalist  (not a prepper) for about twenty years. Because he has significantly greater financial resources than I do,  he's been able to cover multiple bases while I concentrate primarily on my place in the Smokies and on my kids.  One thing he has done is to establish caches along this route. They contain food, fuel, and other necessities .  He has them marked with GPS coordinates.  While these might be nice to have if he got caught in an ice or snow storm and was stranded along the way, his real purpose was to ensure he could get to Boise, get his lady friend, and get back to the Sierras in the event of a collapse. He leaves nothing to chance.  The guy made a lot of money after he left the Marine Corps through his capability to anticipate trends and take advantage of them. He applies those skills to his survival preparations as well.  While I always think in terms of a fixed base, he plans to get from whatever point he's at, to whichever of his safe locations he thinks will be best depending on the situation. He is far more flexible than I am.

Left to right,  my brother T's son,  brother T,  brother R.

24 comments:

  1. "He's been a survivalist (not a prepper)"

    Hmm...I'd like to know your distinctions between the two, if you don't mind.

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  2. Sure. A prepper is someone who makes sure they have enough cheese powder in the larder to ensure a ready supply of quiche after the collapse. Or someone who has enough money to run out and buy all the trappings but doesn't think any further than that. A hobbyist.

    A survivalist is someone who was doing this before it became trendy and cool. With a survivalist, self sufficiency is not a game but a life style. I know a lot of people use the terms interchangeably. I make a distinction in my own mind. A lot of people who are really survivalists label themselves preppers. But you don't see it the other way around, because people still think of survivalist as the Unibomber or the guy who kidnaps young women and runs off into the mountains with them. When the media gets down on self sufficient people, they always label them "survivalists". I never saw an article on dangerous preppers.

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  3. Thats interesting. I agree that there is definitely a difference between the two, its just that it seems like there isnt any universal agreement about what that distinction is. To me, preppers are less gun heavy, less 'lifestyle oriented', and have less 'skin in the game' than survivalists. On the other hand, 'survivalist' almost always seems to conjure up images of the camo-clad misanthrope living in the woods driving a camouflaged pickup truck and always talking about black helicopters.

    I sort of sidestep the issue most of the time and just say I'm "into preparedness" rather than have to do a coin toss between prepper/survivalist. But, to my way of thinking, I'm a 'survialist' and from what I've seen on your blog you most definitely are as well.

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    1. I usually say "self sufficiency mindset" to bridge the same gap. It's semantics. Words mean different things to people depending on their age group, gender, background and just plain current usage of the phrase or word in question.

      I didn't actually have such a visceral distaste for the prepper word until the media got hold of it and started using it to distinguish between "good people" who were preppers and "bad people" who were survivalists. Not two days ago I read a news article about a new FBI program which is supposed to identify "active shooters" before they go off, and among the characteristics they were looking for were " survivalist philosophy" "hoarding ammo" and "abusing animals." I started to do a post on it, and decided no, that it was so inane and pathetic it didn't merit the space. But it's relevant to the question of how the words are used.

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  4. Myself I always think survivalist are those who focus more on isolated or extreme conditions while preppers are more convinced that their will be pockets of some kind of civilized life left. Survivalist could feed themselves and even others and may stockpile stuff but they are not geared towards post collapse production like a propper would be.

    Basically the difference between hunter gathers and ancient farmers and there would be a lot of overlap.

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    1. That's a good thought and is a significant distinction that has validity. Perhaps "preppers" are more suburban, socially oriented people while the average survivalist is rural and not as apt to be part of a cooperative group. Then there are the militia guys, I don't know where they would fit in but maybe that's a special category.

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    2. excellent analogy! thanks.
      djh

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  5. Harry - i personally don't like either term! here is our situation - we came from the city where we made more money than is holy. we found a few websites that spoke to us about being prepared for whatever is coming, we watched the news, we watched the world and we have read our bibles (we have read many different versions of the bible!). then we buy a piece of land in the middle of nowhere...move here and are grudgingly accepted by the natives....they have to accept us! we are smart, friendly and will help anyone with anything...poor jambaloney has had to sell home-made crocheted blankets to elderly ladies at our bake sales. we took a chunk of land that enthusiastically only grew weeds and turned it into a 250ft raised bed garden. we save seeds. i was a marksman in the military and jambaloney can shoot accurately with a ben pearson cougar re-curve from the left and the right. and he's the best fisherman i have ever met and this island is filled with fishermen that gasp at his ability! we are upfront and willing to take in anyone who can make it here and will work with our community.

    with all of that said, i don't know if we are preppers or survivalists. i think i'll just hang on to the term "naked hippies" - bahahahahah! i love your posts buddy!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, that's the point Commander Zero made. People who follow this life style include a wide spectrum of beliefs, and just the two words "survivalist" and "prepper" don't begin to cover everybody. You and J have the hard skills of survivalists, but you have the social skills of preppers. If you want to be naked hippies it's ok with me, though I never knew any hippies (and remember, I was a teen in the sixties) that had your positive attributes.

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    2. Hey Kimber,


      (captaincrunch)

      I would move up there but the 'Mounted Canadian Mounties' would not let me bring my toys.
      Alas' if I did move up there, I would start a hockey team called the "Canadian Cannibals"
      (ever see the movie 'Slap Shot" with Paul Newman from the 1970's. My team would be worse)

      Really Kimber, I think you guys are doing great and I admire and envy what you and Jambaloney are doing.

      I would call myself a "surfing survivalist'

      If you guys came down here where there are no icebergs and polar bears, I would teach you'all how to surf Texas style.
      We got lots of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, but our Texas Sharks are very friendly:)

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    3. captain crunch - i most certainly saw that movie and i bet you could make the Canadian Cannibals the most "fierce" hockey team ever - bahahahah! thanks so much for the compliments captain...means a lot coming from you! me and jam would love nothing more than to come down there and have you teach us how to surf Texas style...we both love the water and we both love friendly sharks - bahahahah!

      hey buddy - when are you gonna start up your own blog??? much love buddy!

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  6. Harry, This is where I am at and I love the high desert now after growing up in the pine.
    There is no prettier perfume than the smell of sage and fresh cut hay. I know it's not for everyone but the high desert has a beauty all it's own.

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    1. Some years back, I went on a camping trip with my son and my brother R, to a place called Three Gorges on the Snake river .That's high desert country and it was magnificent. I saw the most spectacular lightning display I have ever seen one of the nights we were camping there. By then, I was too rooted here in the Blue Ridge Mountains to move, and at the time I was still working for the oil and gas company. Otherwise, I think I would have packed up and taken us all out there.

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  7. Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    If you recall from a previous e-mail discussion on your other blog years ago, I used to live in Las Cruces, many man years ago. I know what the snow is like and how dry and cold the air can get. I really miss the desert. I will always have one foot in the desert of West Texas, and one in the Gulf of Mexico.

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  8. Las Cruces is nice, if you can handle the dust. The wind always seems to blow there and the dust filters into everything. I've got an old college friend that lives there now, ever so often we touch base. There was a blog by a couple living out in the West Texas desert, in a trailer. It was interesting, and they did well, but one day the blog just disappeared. Never did learn why.

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  9. One of my coworkers will be traveling to see a show in Reno Nevada in early January. He had no clue that Reno was that far (he thought it was near Vegas, lol) and will be driving from south Texas to that locale. He thinks with the six drivers, they can make it in a day.

    (Sound of snorting coffee through nose laughing)

    No my friend, I don't think so. This time of year, the desert southwest is not often dry, its often wet and very cold and those mountain passes you are thinking of driving through could be snowed in for the duration or otherwise impassable. Do your homework is all I'm saying . . .

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    1. People think of the desert as always being hot and dry, but you're right, in winter time it can be very different. At the very least, icy roads slow you way down. Having to travel with chains is even worse.

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  10. Hi Harry - Greetings from the nut house.

    I'm catching up with everyones blogs. I have just finished my temp job for Christmas. I can sigh with relief.

    so on with the comment. Neither word Prepper nor Survivalist is used here much. People are much more in to self sufficiency such as growing their own food and keeping animals. With the stupid people around here I am glad we don't have guns so readily available. Take this news paper report about a supermarket.... apparently people take gulf clubs to the supermarket to bash people out of the way to get to the food that has been reduced in price...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2526191/Fight-breaks-cut-price-fruit-veg-Tesco-forced-lay-extra-security-staff-deal-bargain-hunters.html

    I seed save, grow most of my veg other than the period between January and april when nothing seems to grow here. try and save money where I can. and I am looking to move to a small house with a nice large plot of land to grow more food and have a few animals. I also stock pile food (and toiletries etc), for lean times, where we aren't earning due to contracts falling through.

    What am I?

    lol if the zombies from the walking dead come to my house, I will use arrows and my recurve out the top floor windows. lol ala daryl from the tv show

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    1. Sol, I think you are like most of my Canadian , English, South African and Australian friends. There seems to be more of a concern with things like growing and preserving food and much less concern with social aspects of life. Here politics and culture intrude themselves into everything, and especially into life style considerations. People who are survivalists tend to be very much opposed to government intrusion into their lives. Preppers have a more pacific attitude, or so it seems to me. Actually, though, I think it's hard to stick a label on people in this respect.

      If somebody tried to hit me with a golf club in a grocery store, I'd shoot them in the kneecap. I'm a considerate person in that respect.

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  11. OMG Harry....Darryl from the Walking Dead is commenting on your blog!!! wow...just wow - bahahahahah! great comment Sol!

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    1. Kymber,

      Harry,

      (captaincrunch)


      Yeah' Darryl from the Walking Dead is one of my favorites. A white trailer trash biker dude' Kinda like the "Black Widows" from Clint Eastwoods' Every Which Way but Loose (I think that's the title) Yeah' The Black Widows were a force to be reconed with with there 1970's 'Bo Dereck' look with the braided hair.

      Kimber' yeah' I tried the blogging thing if you recall awhile back and it was boring.
      I prefer to surf other peoples blogs so I can learn more stuff and get other opinions on things.

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    2. captain - Darryl is one of my faves too! but you sound like you are a true surfer...on the water and on the web. i know that you tried the blogging thing...i just wish you would try it again. i love your comments here and on SeeSea's (Mayberry)...and i would love to learn more about your crazy surfing. not sure if you know, but my island, cape breton island, is well-known by australian surfers. they come up here in droves in the off-season and they say it is the coldest, hardest surfing they have ever known. i hate to brag...but i am pretty good at boogie-boarding! much love to you captain!

      Harry - sorry to hog your comment section to talk to the captain...but the captain ain't very good with email....bahahahahah!

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    3. Kimber,

      (captaincrunch)

      Cape Breton, Nova Scotia!!!

      I'd have to use a 12 mil, wetsuit to surf there! Maybe I can cut to the chase and borrow a spacesuit from Nasa with a heating system an attach an outboard motor to my surfboard (oh' and I would need something in front of my surfboard to break the ice, like an what what an artic icebreaker has on the bow, what steel plate)

      Kimber, the Texas Gulf Coast is like living in a steel hut in the jungles of Borneo (like the one actor Alex Guinness lived in, guess the movie) surrounded by salt water with a briney smell of decaying biomass from the nearby Laguna Madre (salt water lagoon) We got mosquitoes the size of Polar Bears and crabs the size of shoeboxes that wander into our garages at night (blue crab and fiddler crabs) looking for possums to eat.
      Down here the final end of the food chain is where a Texan smears barbecue sauce all over whatever was shot earlier in the day and eats it

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    4. Kymber, I'm glad you and Captain Crunch are hitting it off, and I enjoy your conversations. Like listening to two HAM operators talking with me listening on a receiver set. You can use this place to chat any time.

      By the way, I never heard of the Daryl guy. Must have been something I missed.

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