Tuesday, January 11, 2011

E-Mail Call

I recently received an e-mail from a reader that I would like to share, as well as my response: 

     Hey, my name is Mike and your blog really is informative. I spent extended periods of time in college in Georgia without a residence pretty much camping after I lost both my jobs. I picked up a lot of useful skills, got into farming and other activities. I do not consider myself an expert, but I have traveled throughout central america. In the rural areas, those people are not phased by the collapse of society, they have been on their own for generations. The outside world has only brought them destruction and oppression.

It is somewhat reassuring to see that someone else shares my sentiments on survival. I wonder, are there any survivalist meetings? Even informal get togethers.


P.S. Here's another tip, in Peru and Bolivia, they eat papa seca (dry potato). Using an ancient freeze drying process, they dehydrate the potatoes. They can last for many many years. They wiped out famine in the incan empire using this technique. Best of all, it is super light, to cook, you merely add water.

     Thanks for reading Mike, I appreciate it.  As you explain in your letter, nothing beats good experience.  Doing what you had to do and giving up many creature comforts to get yourself through college is very commendable, and you have my respect.  You humbly mention that you are no expert, and we both share that belief about ourselves.  There really are no true ‘experts’ when it comes to survivalism/self-reliance, or most things people claim to be experts at, there is passion.  We share a passion, and are not alone I promise, for the ideas and beliefs of self-reliance.  We feel it is only natural to be responsible for our actions and ourselves, and would never want to rely on others unless we had no other choice.  Beyond that, I feel (and judging by your letter you do as well) extremely comfortable, and at home while in the bush.

     I have not been able to travel to South America yet, but have a close connection as a few of my family members are from there, and a few still live there.  I have to agree with you that most of the South American countries suffer due to poor politics and because of the world’s government’s greed.  The people there take it in stride, and are somewhat used to the corruption as it has been happening for generations.  I do much of my research about economic downfall effects in major cities from websites and books about places like Argentina.  They suffered a total economic collapse in 2001, and are still feeling the effects.  Sites like this can give some good insight into living through it, and what might happen in America if we suffer a similar fate.  

     Survivalist meetings are available, but most suffer because of the fundamental belief system we all share.  The problem is we believe in self-reliance, and have lost trust in those around and above us.  So like any relationship, if it is not bound together by trust, it will be shaky from the get-go.  At this point, my personal group is comprised of close friends and family members.  The pro is that my relationships are strong and established.  The con is that they are not exactly a battled hardened military company.  Most believe in survivalism, but don’t share my passion.  The way I handle this, is to do my best to be prepared for those around me, whom I love and trust.  You can find groups out there or you can start your own.  Here is a link to a site that can help you with that.  Ultimately I believe that instead of looking for survivalist groups, you should look for like minded individuals in your daily life.  Then you can try naturally building a relationship through similar interests and passions.  As you prove with this e-mail, the internet is a great way to share ideas and interests with like minded people, and can be an invaluable tool.

     Thanks for sharing your tip by the way.  I love stuff like that from other cultures.  We need to keep the knowledge of the past alive because it may be needed to save us once again in the future.  What I really like about that tip is we can use it in our everyday world.  I will be doing a post soon on food I suggest for backpacking trips and B.O.B.’s, and that tip ties right into it.  I am a big fan of stock piling freeze dried foods in our small NYC apartments because they are lightweight, and take up very little space.  With these supplies I can make many nutritious meals and snacks that only require water to prepare.  Food that is dehydrated, or freeze dried still retain most of their nutritional value, while shrinking in volume, allowing you to carry large quantities of food.  Not to mention that the freeze drying process can up the shelf life of some products by 30 years!

     Thanks again for taking the time to touch base, feel free to send more tips and experiences you have gone through in your journey thus far.

Be well, 
JV “The NYCSurvivalist”


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