How Survival Rule Number One Started
I don't know about you, but I saw the movie Fight Club years ago. I liked how it did the primary principle of fight club is you keep quite about it. I know that's not the actual line, but it's close enough. It was this inspiration that had me create this hopefully humorous T-Shirt.
There it is. I still find it funny. If you also think it's funny and like it, you can get it here (though quantities and sizes are currently limited).
The main thinking behind it, and you can probably tell from the picture, is that if you tell everyone what you have, they will know where to go to try to get something in a pinch. If they don't know what you have, then you stand a better chance of holding on to what you have. When you prepare, if you prepare, you probably have a reasonable amount of supplies for you and yours. You probably don't have much, if any, allocated to give out to others. So, you can probably see the logic and wisdom of this rule and message.
However, when I started talking to others about it, I found that there are some other strong contenders for survival rule number one.
Two other possibilities are as follows:
Rule No. 1 of Survival Prep. You can't do everything alone. So, be nice to your neighbors, get to know some of them, and build community.
Rule No. 1 of Survival Prep. You can't do much if you aren't fit enough. So get up, get active, and start preparing.
I think that this one could have a double meaning. Getting active can definitely talk about y our physical fitness, which is important for survival when crap hits the fan. But it can also talk about taking action, too.
I'm going to ask something of you all. After I describe the two alternate options in greater details, I will as you to take a poll of which one you think fits best to potentially replace the current one on the T-shirt. It would be greatly appreciated.
The First Survival Rule Alternate Possibility
Well, this one seems fairly obvious to me. No matter how smart or capable you are, you can't do everything alone. Sure, you may have the ability to survive, but that is at least partly dependent upon your proximity to other people. If crap hits the fan, people tend to panic. If you are nearish to a major metropolitan area, even if you live in a rural area, people might eventually come that way if they exhaust what the city has. This one makes me think of why we even form civilizations in the first place.
People are stronger together than apart. That's often why you'll get people ganging up in tense situations, or forming a mob. There can be significant safety in numbers. If you have a group of people familiar with each other, and who have a variety of useful skills, much can be accomplished. See, when you get to the point of survival, which is beyond just stocking up on things, you need to be thinking of how to produce the things you need. There are going to be people who have skill with metal working, chemistry, engineering, farming, and other things to help ensure that the essentials like food, clean water, and energy are accounted for for the community.
So, I definitely think this is a strong candidate for being the true survival rule number 1. I think it fosters a positive sense of community to know that others have your back, and you have theirs. But, it can take significant effort in doing this. If you don't make the effort to speak to your neighbors, get to know them a bit, and be on amicable terms with them, then you are just strangers to each other. In that case, the person you may have to face first as an adversary might be your neighbor. Plant the seeds of community, friendship, and positivity where you can and while you can.
The Second Survival Rule Alternate Possibility
I think this one is practical, but not as intensive as the first possibility. I was inspired a little by Zombieland. One of the rules in it, I believe, was something about cardio. I figure if you get fast zombies, you better be able to run for a while. Otherwise, your chances of making it go down sharply. That said, we don't have to deal with zombies, thankfully.
If you look at all you have, and cut out the stuff that you don't have to have to survive, you are probably left with these things.
Safe, usable water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning
Energy for heating, cooling, and cooking
You might be able to get some electrical energy for the electronics you have, as well.
Soap for bathing and cleaning
A place to deal with various waste products
Some of you may be able to think of some other things to add to this list. But I do think that, for the most part, these most of the essentials. Now, where I see a bigger list being made is in the ways you have to meet these needs. They often will take a significant amount of physical effort to do, especially the growing or hunting of food. If you hunt, there can be a lot of walking and carrying of heavy things (like the prey you hunted). You need to be reasonably fit for that. You may have to travel long distances on foot if you don't know how to make your own fuel.
Things like extensive gardening or small scale farming also can be quite physically demanding. If we look at water, depending on the circumstances, you may have to walk a significant distance to get water if it's a crap hitting the fan scenario. Lastly, but certainly not least, is that if you catch wind of looters coming your way, and it's just you, you may need to book it fast. You'll get more distance if you are in better shape.
But then there's the second part. Regardless of your physical fitness, if you don't take action to prepare for hard times, you could be up the creek without a boat. Actively looking at what types of disasters are "routine" for your area, and preparing accordingly, can protect your life and wellbeing. If you are lazy, and don't do what you can, you will be at the mercy of the disaster and the good will of others. Remember that sometimes people die in emergencies such as the Texas freeze of 2021 or in massive flooding in the southern and coastal areas of the US when hurricanes come in. With all that said, I don't see this alternative survival rule to be as fundamental as the one on the T-shirt or the first one I mentioned.
What are Your Thoughts on the Matter?
Now is the time where we get to the poll I mentioned. I'd like to ask you for which one of the 3 you think is best served for being survival rule number one for a new T-shirt. So, without further ado, here is the poll.