New moniker

We don’t really think of ourselves as wilderness adventurers although, to some extent, each day seems to end up being one.  And we sure as hell don’t think of ourselves as dooms-dayers or survivalists.  We are too happy for that kind of pessimism and not sufficiently well-armed or togged out for that kind of apocalyptic dystopia.

Mad, perhaps, but not Mad Max.

I suppose I do accept the moniker of off-the-gridder.  Pretty hard to deny that description given the title of the blog.  But, honestly, with the exception of lacking a dishwasher, a microwave and ‘shopping convenience’, we are pretty comfortable and definitely living a relatively modern lifestyle.  We got Netflix, fer Gawd’s sake! Picked up a smart-phone even!

No, really, we’re really pretty normal.  Mind you, I have slowly adjusted to thinking of myself as semi-rural. That is a significant adjustment.  I admit that.  That reclassification was somewhat prompted by feeling a bit out of place in the new urban environment but I can still think, speak English and drive a car so it is not like the city has become an alien landscape.  We fit in.  Kinda.  OK, the car is pretty old and battered and I don’t own a suit or tie anymore…………….but I can fit in the city on casual Fridays at the very least….OK, in the bad part of town.

I mention all this because Jim Cobb has just authored a new book titled Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide (Food, shelter, security, off-the-grid-power and more life-saving strategies for self-sufficient living).  He’s an expert, it seems.  And Jim has pretty much categorized people like us as ‘Preppers’.  Seems we are preparing for the end of the world as we know it – acronym: TEOTWAWKI.

I suppose he is right, in a way.  Although we are NOT really preparing for the end of the world, but we are preparing to live in a manner that is different than we KNEW IT.  I wasn’t all that keen on life in the cul-de-sac and I am much more interested in this way of living so Jim is right – to that extent.  We ended the life as we knew it.

But he is a bit extreme.  He envisions a world (society) that has collapsed in an apocalyptic heap and that we are all forced to live locally, frightened and completely deprived.  And he may be right.

But I see it differently.  I believe the world will continue to do as it has done and that is bad enough.  It means more people, more rules, more controls, more pollution, more work, more stress and the gradual elimination of the natural joys in life.  I see further erosion of families and communities.  Greater environmental degradation.  Stronger and sicker corporate psychopathy.  I see an increase in BIG Government and the quasi-security, control-state.  I see people essentially confined to cities and basically being programmed to live Matrix-like lives where their level of personal skills have diminished to the point that they can’t live without their systems.  And don’t want to.

Admittedly that view is not unique.  George Orwell and a number of other famous writers have had the same vision but, for the most part, there have been outliers in their prophetic visions, people who swam against the current, broke away, went off-the-radar and, of course, also went off the grid. To that extent, we are those people.  We are Preppers.

But so long as I do a bi-annual shop at Costco, use Craigslist and buy most of our food from Save-ON, we are really just Prepper-wannabes, prepping to prep…preppies, if you will.  I just don’t think we are THAT far out there.  I think we are aspiring to normal healthy living despite being forced into a somewhat extreme minority category by doing so.



12 thoughts on “New moniker

  1. Your lifestyle is great. Off the grid but not too far off. Seclusion without the hermits’ beard

    I shake my head at the apocalyptic doomsters that seem to hope for the downfall of society. Apparently they havent thought out what will happen when they eventually run out of 3 years worth of beans and toiletpaper…….
    I would recommend the movie ‘The Road” for a truely depressing vision of a world with no rules, morals or empathy.
    Some friends of mine were staying at a hotel/condo in Miami when one of the Big hurricanes hit. Guests and other were asked to shelter in the fitness center where the building was best protected. Once everyone realized that they were stranded for a few days with no power, food, water etc. Within hours the people broke up into 2 groups.
    Families with children waiting for some sort of direction and thugs.
    The thugs smashed the vending machines that had candy and water and took it all for themselves. Screw anyone else.
    That was with the police and army still at a functioning level. They were busy with prioritizing, rebuilding, etc. and the storm was still winding down.
    I cant imagine what would happen if all that was gone and they was no law, no order and no chance for a resumption of law…….
    As Robert Oppenheimer once answered when asked about the ‘survivability ” of a nuclear war, ” The living will envy the dead”.
    “Surviving” in Post apocalyptic world…….we have no idea of the realities but living on an island is probably a very good start.


    • I don’t think there is much doubt that obnoxious and even criminal behaviour would rise in any kind of disruption of the ‘normal’. I get a bit grouchy myself. Equally as frequently, I think, people would rise to cooperate. Those behaviours are in the nature of disaster experiences. Seems the tragic case of Haiti testifies to that – even more criminal behaviour amidst even more community efforts. Humans are beasts and some are more peaceful than others. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in several cities taught me that. But the other thing it taught me was that preparation was almost pointless. Not quite, but almost. Accidents, disasters and earth-shattering calamities happen and no amount of preparation will stop them. Mitigate them, maybe. A bit. But earthquakes wait for no man. I can prepare to defend my castle against one or two or even half a dozen thugs (maybe) but a mere dozen would be unstoppable. I can build to withstand an earthquake of say, 7.5 but would collapse in a heap at 8.0. Survival is a crapshoot. It’s a fact. No matter where you are, luck plays a role in whether you live or die.
      And the teachings of the Buddha confirm this….in so many words.


      • True very true.
        When Farley Mowat experienced and survived the “Italian Campaign” with the Canadian army during the 2nd WW…. he was disgusted with man and the leaders of men.
        In his book “And No Birds Sang” he describes the complete fluke luck, not skill, that allowed many many soldiers to survive serious injury or death.
        I once met Smokey Smith at a dinner in his honor. I was somewhat shocked at seeing him in person.
        A Victoria Cross winner for outstanding bravery.
        He was a tiny man. Didnt really take himeslf too seriously and seemed a tad embarrassed at the entire proceedings ( but he did enjoy the pretty girls who hugged him for pics).
        I asked him how he survived….” Luck! Pure Luck!”


  2. Where ever inequality exists violence lurks. I’m not much surprised that the thugs or the trolls of any stripe rise to seize an opportunity. At Woodstock 69 water was $4.00 per bottle or $25.48 in 2014 dollars. Trolls just seizing an opportunity. ‘Are we our brother’s keeper?’ Look what’s happening to those children crossing the border.


    • NOW you are reaching me where it feels sensitive………greed. There seems to be an acceptance these days (maybe for a long time, I don’t know) that ‘greed is good’. “Get what you can while the gettin’ is good”, they say as if it is gospel. “Hey, charge as much as you can.” And this is NOT coming from the cynical and mean-spirited; this is coming from the grannies at garage sales! Why? What is the point of gouging every last nickel from some poor sap? I don’t get it.
      Yes, I know that times are tough and money doesn’t grow on trees blah, blah, blah but does anyone really think that charging an extra few bucks for a used tire is going to pull them out of debt? The reality is that we should be helping each other out and moving along with our lives rather than hunkering in our little boxes and hoarding what we have.
      I know people who didn’t sell their houses for want of 1 or 2% because they ‘didn’t get their price’. Three years later they got their price (an extra 2%) but they lost the three years or 10% of their remaining time on the planet! Does that make any sense at all? My point: LIFE is a zero sum game. And we always lose. Time is the only currency and, like the sand in the glass, it is trickling away from us every day. Spend THAT currency wisely. The ‘money’ we think that counts is just play money.


      • I’ll take a guess at this greed thing and try to avoid the sacred cows, the ideological views about meritocracy and takers. In our society human worth is measured, for the most part, by how much money one has. Money equals merit. The gaining or the gaming of the wealth grants the most prestige, the most status and the greatest sense of entitlement to comment how a society ought to work for the benefit of entrepreneurs; thus regulation is bad, taxes are bad, living wages are bad, social programmes are bad and more(it’s a long list) that points the working poor and other grinding and grasping for every penny be it fair or foully. So when one can hardly scrap along one grinds ones fellow travellers. Why the system makes them do it,


        • I don’t deny that that is the way it is. But it ‘weirds’ me out. The older I get, the weirder it seems. No one can ‘take it’ with them so why idolize money? Why the status accrued to those who cheated their neighbours more successfully? I can understand a little jealousy or envy but that does not translate (for me) into respect or status. I do not attribute status to wealth however it was achieved. Nor do I ascribe ability. I know way too many rich people who ‘lucked out’ or inherited or were just plain crooked. I know few who were innovators, inventers or really hard workers. I am sure there are many and so I do not HATE rich people. I just don’t know too many that earned it. BUt don’t misunderstand me – if they have excess, I don’t care either. I really don’t think wealth brings happiness. Mind you, it seems to bring better health but it may have come at the cost of other’s health…so…I dunno.


  3. Like you I have no ax to grid with wealth whether it was earned or not but I do have an issue with the growing gap between rich and poor. Take care of the children. Currently schools feed children but the government does not fund the feeding. Kids arrive hungry and before learning starts for the day bowls of cereal, sandwiches, milk or snacks are served to the very needy children. Not all are in dire straights but too many are in that situation. British Columbia has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada! What are the priorities that place roads and bridges over the needs of children?


      • As community schools are closed for economic reasons I guess there will be more busing of children out of their home communities. A pity really.


        • Well, you likely did NOT hear it here first but OUR government is busy ‘privatizing’ schools. We have the necessary ‘strike’ from the institutionalized teachers to provide impetus, of course, but now they are offering $40.00 per child per day for ‘child care’ while the strike continues. Seems benign enough until you realize that they are subtly offering a subsidy for taking your kid out of public school and enrolling them in a private one. Hell, I had two kids – and that’s $80.00 a day or $400/week or almost $1800 per month. Cough up an other $2000 and my kid goes to a better school without drugs, gangs and ‘special needs’ students taking the teacher’s time. I would do it. And people will. And the public school system will get even worse and so it will go until the govt. has shed THAT responsibility, too.


          • $1800 dollars per month for two students or $900 per month for one eh! Hmmm well the BC government’s per pupil funding is only about $1200 per month per pupil considering that New York state spends $1,955 per month whereas Washington state is comparable to BC’s spending. Ontario spends $1,126 which less than BC but pays higher salaries than BC. It’s all in the priorities and in BC, bridges get the nod over children. Highest child poverty in Canada. Shame on us BCers!


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