We all want to be sitting pretty at the end of the world, but there are some rather important things that we need to remember. These facts are often neglected or have things said about them that don’t seem to be preparing people correctly. For example, you may know that drinking water is important but might not know the options that are becoming available for purification. There are also facts that will most likely help people already following this advice. If you are storing honey, you may not know all of the benefits that it will do for you, and after you find out, you might want to store a bit more. Some of the advice is so practical that people often overlook it. It is the same thing that happens with standardhome security. The scariest outcome often seems like it is the most likely to happen. By refocusing on the mundane, you may live long enough to use some of the skills you have learned. My hope is that everyone who reads this article will live a long healthy life no matter what happens to the state of the world. Enjoy!
1. You need to be prepared for your climate to change
What is your plan for sunscreen? Are you growing aloe vera plants? If you are not, then you are in for a surprise. Even if you think that man is not creating climate change, it is happening (regardless of the cause). Also, we have yet to see the worst of it. As most people know, it takes water longer than air, to heat up. Go out and dive into your pool on a hot day. Not very warm. The Pacific Ocean, pretty cold no matter the temperature. We have yet to see the warming of our oceans from the damage we have already done to the planet. Whenever things do balance out, the ocean will still take a while to find its hotter resting temperature. But that will raise the global temperature even more. That means more heat. How long are you planning to live once the world falls apart? Are you going to start a new society? Then you better make sure that they are ready for hot days. You do not want you, your family, and loved ones dying of skin cancer because you didn’t think to grow a patch of succulents. It is easy to pack jackets and plan for the cold, but too much heat without air conditioning or even shelter is something that most people overlook.
2. Humans need happiness
A lot of people don’t consider the role that happiness plays in survival. Life is pretty good right now. It could always be better, but we do live in one of the best countries in the world. I don’t really know if there is a better place out there. Still, even though we are doing well right now, and even those doing poorly are still doing better than they will on doomsday, people are killing themselves in droves. Suicide is the 5th largest cause of death with one happening every 15 minutes in the United States. In addition to that, there are anywhere from 8 to 25 suicide attempts for every death. If so many people are unhappy now, you need to imagine the sheer amount of “opting out” that will take place when the world is ending. The biggest concern for you is most likely how this will save your life. Chances are if you are preparing, then you will be fine. You need to be more concerned about the people around you. Beyond the risk of suicide, dissatisfaction can lead to mutiny. If the group is not working well together then everyone is at risk (think Lord of the Flies). Your supplies may be targeted by members of your group, or they could attempt to harm you physically. Morale is important to survive. Try not to forget to have some fun and unwind, it will save your life.
3. Clean drinking water will be the largest struggle
50% of the diseases that exist in our world currently are caused by contaminated drinking water. What do you think that number is going to become on doomsday? Water that you have access to may become polluted in a multitude of ways. Right now there are more than a billion people on the planet that struggle to find clean water. When it is not coming out of anyone’s tap, that number is going extend to almost every living person. There is almost no filtration method that will take care of all possible problems with water. Each method is meant for a very specific issue. Some remove harmful bacteria, some remove sediment and harmful metals, and some are simply too complicated and large to use on a manageable scale. Distillation is the best process by far because it turns water into vapor and then condenses it, which will remove all toxins. The problem is that this process takes too much time and energy. What you need is the Slingshot water purifier. With less power than it takes to run a toaster oven, or even half the power it takes to run a hair dryer, you can have pure clean drinking water. Is this device ready for the mass market? No, but it does exist, and people are already improving on it.
4. You need lots of shoes and socks
Can you make shoes? Can you fix shoes? If you cannot do both, you better be buying a lot of shoes. Shoes are expensive, and you are going to need to buy pretty much every size, and a lot of them. Unless you are planning on being the last person on Earth with no children, every generation is going to need shoes. You don’t know what size they will be when they stop growing, and you will need every size in between the first and last pair. The upside is that you do not need to buy women’s and men’s shoes. The world, having fallen to pieces, will now be about practicality, so boots and sneakers are the best investment. You would then have to store them properly and make sure nothing corrodes the materials. A good pair of shoes will allow you to travel greater distances and on harder terrain. They will keep you from getting cuts, which may lead to infection, and at the least will limit your ability to move. Socks are easier to get because they are cheap and they are pretty universal in their sizes. Socks will keep your feet warm, and can improve the life of your shoes by keeping all of the sweat off of them.
5. Guns are not the only option
People invest in a lot of guns and ammunition. The old saying goes, “If you are not stockpiling guns, you are getting supplies for the people who are.” But what happens when the guns run out? What is your plan for gunsmithing?Making a gun is actually quite simple. Bullets, on the other hand, can get a little tricky. On top of being hard to sustain, firing a gun tells everyone that you have a gun. Because guns are the most simple and universally intimidating weapon this is bad and good. It is good because you may not need to keep firing a gun once attackers know you have it. On the flip side of that coin, once people know that you have a gun, you can become a target. The fact is that you need to be versatile with your self-defense. Guns can fail, or be misplaced when you need them, and you will need alternative methods of protection and hunting. Knives are good for protection if you know how to use them, but they don’t do much for hunting animals. I would recommend weapons like bows and crossbows. A crossbow will be good for a while, but you can make a bow much easier, and for that reason I would suggest the most primitive option for practice. Arrows will also be much easier to make than bullets. Still, you may wish to diversify by learning how to make snares, nets (for catching fish as well as other animals), and perhaps even Boleadoras (Bolas). Don’t get me wrong, you want a gun, and you want to know how to use it, but you need to think about more than that. The more versatile you are with your weapons knowledge and selection, the higher your chances are of survival.
6. The healthier you are, the longer you will live
PIt may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people forget something this simple. Are you waiting for the apocalypse to get you into shape? Better think again. The number one killer in America is not you when someone tries to take your stuff. The number one killer is heart disease. How long do you think you are going to last when the running doesn’t ever seem to stop, and there is no pharmacy to make you your medicine? If you depend on anything that you cannot make yourself out of the things around you, then you are not going to survive a doomsday scenario. If you need medication for Gout, you will be immobilized without it, and that places you in a bad situation. Diabetics will also have more issues than just finding insulin. Most of the time you are not going to be eating, and when you are, it is not going to be your delicacy of choice. Food allergies will also be restrictive. These have workarounds if you can find natural remedies that you can grow or stockpile, but limits to your health are limits to your survival in a doomsday scenario. Dependency does not even have to be medical. If you are addicted to drugs as severe as meth, cocaine, opiates, etc. this will increase your desperation, irritability, and harm your health as you inevitably have to go cold turkey. Seemingly innocuous drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and the like can be made, but a dependence on them issure to cause issues.
7. You don’t need to be a luddite
You do not have to live like a caveman just because it is the end of days. What are you going to do for light? Flashlights run on batteries, and those run on electricity. Most people turn to gas generators, but that relies on gasoline. Anything with fuel runs into the issue of running out of that fuel. I would recommend familiarizing yourself with solar technology. Purchasing batteries, and even learning how to make batteries will be helpful. The idea is that even though there is not always sunlight, the sun’s energy can be stored for later use. The sun is not going to run out of energy, in fact, it is going to outlast the Earth. The problem may be in maintaining your panels, so you may need to go for wind power, or even maybe a hand crank system that can be operated by a human or animal. It is just important that you can store the energy so that you can save yourself from constant exhaustion. Power is power, and you are going to want to be able to get it without slaving for it. If your methods are sustainable, you may also be able to trade your energy. You may also be able to use your power to aid in your transportation. This could be in the form of a lightweight go-kart or golf cart (modified of course).
8. You need to stay clean
Disease and germs spread when people live in filth. You need to make sure that you are clean, your clothing is clean, and that the surfaces that you are eating off are clean. If you are eating anything with your hands, it is important that you wash them first. This means that you will need to store soap, and make sure that your plans for water include putting aside a certain amount for washing and cleaning. Clean also goes beyond soap and water, you will also need to sterilize utensils and medical implements. Alcohol is very important for this use, and should preferably rubbing alcohol or something with a very high proof. Hygiene also includes toothpaste and floss. All kinds of gum and mouth diseases can kill you. If you are not maintaining your mouth, you may be limited in what you can eat, but beyond that, bacteria from your mouth can get into your bloodstream and kill you. The cleaner everything stays the higher chance you have of fending off a disease. If doomsday brings about some sort of pestilence, then cleanliness will need to be amplified. That may include the need for masks, clean suits, eye protection, etc. It is also important to isolate the sick as an illness that affects the entire group has a chance of creating too much vulnerability.
9. You can escape the city
Everyone likes to talk about bugging out, and leaving their immediate area. It is a popular idea because people are mainly worried about other people. Everyone wants to go somewhere remote so that they do not have to worry about theft or harm from other human beings. It is definitely some sound logic, it is just not an option for everyone. In most cases, in order to be able to escape from an area during a doomsday scenario you need to already be somewhere, that is relatively remote. A lot of preppers will tell you that if you are in a city, you are not going anywhere, but that is not necessarily true. There are most certainly ways to leave large cities, as long as you have the means to travel by air or water. The farther you are away from all of these vehicles the more at risk you are to getting stuck. For example, if you have a plane at an airport, good luck trying to get to it when the world is falling apart. Similarly, if you have to travel very far to get to your boat, then it becomes less practical. Consider that every minute that you are not on your boat, plane, helicopter, jet ski, etc., other people are making a move to steal them and escape themselves. There is a real possibility that your escape vehicle will not be there when you get to it. With that being said, if you can secure it, then you can escape.
10. It pays to have more than you need
Having more than you will need of an item is ideal. There are all kinds of things that we cannot account for, and it is impossible to plan for. Some sort of moisture leak can ruin food, paper products, weapons, etc. The things you have can be even be stolen. You may want to always carry supplies on your person, that way everything you have is not always in one place. This is also good if you are forced to leave your location. Excess also means that you have things to trade. More than what you will use means that you can get things you need. Also, when you can lose some things and still have something left, it makes it easier to live to fight another day. You need to have things secure, and you need supplies that are mobile and accessible. The best way to deal with this is to have two stockpiles. Rather than riding the line between security and accessibility just take one of each.
11. Honey may save your life
You may want to take up beekeeping after you hear some of the amazing properties of honey. It has been found out that honey can boost endurance for physical exercise, which is perfect for a stress filled scouting excursion or supply run. It is also an antiseptic and antibacterial solution. It improves blood flow, which is good for lowering the chance of heart disease (as you might know from the Honey Nut Cheerios commercial). Honey is very famously good for sore throats, and it will strengthen your colon as well. If there is ever an issue with water or food, you may find that you have been stricken with a parasite. Mix Honey with some water and vinegar and you will kill that bug. Honey also contains hydrogen peroxide, which can heal skin from burns as well as cuts. So what is the catch? No catch. In fact, it gets better. Honey does not spoil. It is the only food product that is known not to spoil. Obviously, there are exceptions that will spoil them. For example, storage that allows for moisture to accumulate may cause the honey to spoil. If you do not keep it warm, then the honey may also crystallize, which does not ruin it, but you may want to avoid it due to personal preference. The last thing is to keep honey away from children under one year of age. The spores that could potentially be in honey are harmless to adults and children, but infants can develop infant botulism.
12. Knowledge and ability make you a resource
There is very little incentive to take your stuff if you are one of the few people with the knowledge to use it. Whether it is making bullets or making batteries, the person that has the knowledge has the power. You need to turn yourself into a valuable asset. Learn skills like farming, gunsmithing, plumbing, etc. Your highest goal in life should be to have the practical knowledge of the Professor from Gilligan’s Island. A vast amount of knowledge is going to help you. For that reason, I would even suggest storing some books on mechanics, knot making, woodworking, agriculture, animal life, pharmacology, or anything else that you don’t yet know about. No one is going to have the internet to Google their problems, so if you can be the resource you can keep yourself protected. People might want their children to learn from you, which will be an easy barter trade as you can just go about your tasks as a child shadows you. With enough knowledge, you may be able to elevate your status to a leadership role, but at the very least you will be irreplaceable. No one is going to leave the person behind who is keeping society together, and most will often defend you as if you were a resource like food or medicine.
Number 12 really seems like the most overlooked to me, because it is the hardest thing to do. It requires more than the ease of buying extra stuff and is much less fun than practicing your aim. I don’t think the importance of education can be stressed enough. People will always need individuals that can render practical services. How do you think there are still plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and even locksmiths? I am very excited about the discovery of honey’s hydrogen peroxide content. Truth be told I looked that up based on the Snapple cap fact that says, “Honey is the only food that does not spoil”. Who would have know that not only is that true, but it also can help you survive an apocalypse? I hope that all of this has given you some food for thought, and increased your chances of surviving doomsday. I also wish that if we see each other out there in the fallout that we can share a few laughs over some clean water and honey. Remember to stay safe in this world while you are waiting for it all to fall to pieces. I will see you all at the end of the world!
Written by Ralph Goodman