A muse on the difference in survival mindsets – urban vs rural

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easter 2007First things first.  Today is Easter and so I would like to  wish those of you that celebrate a very wonderful day.

For many years, Survival Husband and I were the Easter Bunny and Easter Fairy here on our little island in Washington State.  S.H. would entertain and do photo ops with over 200 children while I would pass out the candy.  It was fun.  These days we sit back and enjoy and let someone else do all the work!

Today I would like to comment on some perceived differences in the mindsets of urban (big city) dwellers and the the more rural folks I pal around with here on San Juan Island in Washington State.  Let me qualify by saying that my observations are personal and recent and may not reflect the country or the world at large.  And yet the difference I see in the survival mindset is quite striking.

By now your are scratching you head and saying “What the heck is SurvivalWoman talking about?”  Yah, I know I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes.

I may have mentioned that I was recently in Seattle to attend a funeral for a family member.  Much to my delight, I learned that quite of few of my friends, relatives and acquaintances were frequent visitors to Backdoor Survival.   Coolness. That meant that the message of self-reliance and independence was making some headway even in my old stomping ground.

But wait.

Did I hear someone say that this was “Gaye’s little survival thing”?  Did I also hear that “Gaye is really into this getting prepared stuff?”  And did I hear that “Gaye was on this survival kick?”.  Did this mean I was well on my way to being considered a bit of a nut job?

Now don’t get me wrong.  I have no problem marching to a different beat or even being the laughing stock or daily source of amusing internet banter.  But not taking self reliance and preparedness seriously?  And considering “that survival thing” frivolous or perhaps even eccentric?  Now that is tough to swallow.

I will contrast these citified comments with the thirst for knowledge expressed by the folks here in our rural community.  I get calls and emails from neighbors and friends offering me tips to expand my own preparedness knowledge as well as requests to share what I do know with others in the community.  There is a general mindset that knowledge is king and while there have been some healthy discussions of the right and wrong way to store food, disinfect  water, and defend our homestead, the conversations have always been done in the positive spirit of learning.  In the spirit of becoming better prepared.  And in the spirit of sharing.

And so I ask my readers:  do your urban cohorts consider you an amusing aberration?  Or do they thirst for the knowledge and inspiration to take steps to become better prepared for a crisis or emergency (man made or otherwise) that may never happen?

It is quite sobering to think that there are entire communities out there that laugh at us now but will be knocking on our doors later with their hands out asking for help.  And me?  Yes I will there to help out but I will have to bite my tongue and not remind them that “I told you so”.

Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!


Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day:  Looking for a non-toxic way to get rid of those pesky grasses and weeds that pop up between the stones on your patio or walkway?  Last summer, with a new puppy in the house, I wanted to use something that would not be harmful if ingested.  The solution was a salt water!  Mix up some salt and plain old H2O in a spray bottle.  Wait for a sunny day and go for it.  It takes about a week for the weeds to shrivel and dry.

From the Bargain Bin:  Ever tried to cook with Cast Iron?  Well, I just started to learn since after all, if the SHTF I would need to cook in something sturdy that will withstand the abuses – as well as the heat – of an open flame/fire.  I have been experimenting with a small 8” skillet but needed something bigger.

I found a bargain at Amazon. Less than $20 with free shipping:  Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet.  Watch for a review soon!

Be prepared with emergency supplies from Emergency Essentials®.  You do have plenty of water, don’t you?


A muse on the difference in survival mindsets – urban vs rural — 5 Comments

  1. I have a set of cast iron skillets which are around 150 years old, an prefer cooking in them to just about anything else… They will spread heat evenly, and if you keep them seasoned with a little oil, will last for generations.
    Yes, I have been working on preparations for the day SHTF… and have found a source for 55 gal water storage drums, (ordering a few of those this week)… We do a garden, and I am working on my stock of herbal medicines for the year as well.
    We keep 6 mos a head on all meat sources… buy 1/2 beef and 1/2 pig every year for the freezer… We have started keeping chickens for the eggs, and have a nice pond stocked with catfish.
    The urban folk will be the ones you’ll be shooting at, since they know you have food and supplies, and are too lazy to have done the prep work for themselves… Your “friends” will not be above showing up at your door, not with hands outstretched, but with hands filled with a weapon to steal you food…
    Howzat for a jaded attitude?

  2. Gaye, I live in a fairly large city(Around 2.5 million) and I do find that the mindset is diffrent here in the city compared to the people that live in rural areas. The people that live in rural locations tend to be of the mindset that prepping and food storage is just a normal way of life for them. The urban folks here are of the mindset that the grocery store is just right around the corner and they have almost no back up food in their houses. Great post.

  3. I quit trying to warn people awhile back, because
    they refuse to even entertain the thought that anything
    bad could ever happen on U.S. soil. And yes I still have people
    I care deeply for who think I’m nuts., yes it tugs on my heart
    strings to know what’s coming and there Is nothing I can do
    to help them.
    I too have several, very old Cast Iron pans that
    were my grandmother’s. The older ones are a better
    quality than the newer ones, and some new ones need a heavy sanding
    before even thinking about seasoning. A Dutch Oven is my most used, especially
    during winter months, stewing a one dish meal on my wood stove. You can even
    bake on them if you have a defuser under it to keep the food
    from burning.
    At the present time, our freezer space is very limited. so we don’t
    have but about 3 months worth of meat, so I plan out all of for specific meals.
    Last year we dug a pond and this year will need to line it with some
    clay, to get it to hold more water. Our plan is to have 3 types of fish that will work well
    for feeding eachother, and keep the Mosquitos at bay. We also
    plan on starting some fruit and nut trees here as well. I pretty much have herbal remedy’s stocked up, although, nit enough to share with others.
    For some reason I feel a stronger urgency for getting things in order. Years ago I used to keep having the same dream, that I would wake
    up and America wasn’t America anymore. I’m starting to see the reasoning
    for that dream now. When it does happen, none of us will be prepared
    for how people will react. Just watching several movies over the years has given
    me just a taste of the things that could take place. If anyone wants a idea of what to
    expect, get the book “One Second After” I can’t remember the
    author’s name, but it is scary and eye opening to say the least, it would give
    you an idea at least. This book opened my eyes to really think about all those
    really cool modern conveniences that has taken over just about every
    aspect of our lives.
    Several years back we bought half a dozen food grade 55gal. water drums, we have 4 left, so with those being set up for water catchment, and the pond, and rationing, we should be good.
    Though I may be better prepared than those out there with their heads in the sand, I still have a long way to go. We are trying to figure alternatives to fuel, guess this year ee may just start living with out even more than we have
    already. Gaye, you hit the nail on the bulls eye, a mindset, we’ve been trying to
    have a total off grid mindset. We plan on getting Muskovee ducks, and chickens later this year, for mostly eggs, but also meat.
    Anyway, I also wish everyone a joyously happy Easter/Paasover

  4. Although I don’t official qualify as rural but also not totally urban (my humble home is out by the Carnation/Fall City area, I have subscribed for many years to being prepared the best that I can be given circumstances at any given time (i.e., being prepared living in an apartment is different than being prepared living in a developed community and even more different than living rural). One thing all these have in common – knowledge. The knowledge of what to do and how to do it should the need arise. My parents and grandparents immigrated here after WWII – they lost absolutely everything they had – everything – from their home and land to even their clothing. They arrived in this country with the clothes on their backs (which were provided by an American relief organization). I was raised with my grandmother telling me – “The amount of storables and valuables in one’s life will vary but one’s mind and the on-going accumulation of knowledge is something noone can ever take away from you. Know how to take care of yourself in every life’s situations.”

    Yes, friends and neighbors think I am a little ‘out there’ with my preparedness – these are the same friends and neighbors who, for example, have enough food to last them 2 days; stored water amounts to the 3 bottles of water in the frig; and no idea how to even build a campfire.

    Living in an area prone to earthquakes, floods, snow storms and power outages, not being prepared and knowing how to take care of one’s self (and their family and pets) for up to, at least, 3 weeks, is irresponsible. Many of my neighbors still believe that should ‘something’ happen, ‘someone’ will be there to help them.

  5. FYI to all, I bought 3 iron skillets (not pre-seasoned) from Harbor Freight this weekend for about $14 total. They are 8″, 10″, and 12″ if memory serves.

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