Nothing against the scholars of the movement, but every time I read a piece on Lew Rockwell about "10 best things you can do to survive" they are a little ah....how shall we say....more Sunday reading than serious practical guides.
Like many of us less genteel folks, I grew up in the woods. When I wasn't in the woods practicing survival I was reading books about surviving in the woods. It was a culture. All those techniques work and they are still in books and all over the internet so I won't labor them here. And besides, the ladies probably won't be interested one bit.
They might suffer the occasional campout but the prospect of grubbing around in camo gear for any length of time just don't suit the missus. Or the masses of missuses.
So forget the grab-and-go kits, for the price of a really nice, new, high-tech expedition tent you can grab the most high-tech piece of used survival gear known to man: the camper.
What tent can compare with something with a suspended floor, 4 walls and a ceiling? They come fully furnished, carpet inclusive, you get a full kitchen and a bathroom with a potty and a real door. They carry their own fresh water supply, sometimes as much as 65 gallons. They can run lights and everything if you plug them into 110 volt "shore power" or they can run off on-board batteries. The fridge and stove burn propane and there's a furnace, a real furnace to keep you from freezing to death. And did I mention the hot water heater? usually 6-gallon capacity, you can get a quick warm shower in winter, do dishes, you can even do your laundry in the bath tub. Loads of them have air conditioners and swamp coolers when you are plugged into 110. You can have a blast rigging them for solar and all kinds of cool modifications. If you want to run your laptop, no problem, they have built-in 110 converters feeding the batteries. All you need from there is an inverter to take your 12 volt battery power back to 110 and viola! You are a big-ass UPS system. Let the lightning strike you and laugh. Plus, best of all, the freaking things are on wheels!
Yup, if you gotta go, it comes with you. Just fill it up with your favorite crap, hitch it up, jump in the Ford and get the frack outta Dodge. Park it in any number of inexpensive camp grounds all across the USA, park it on your escape property or your friend's property. They always love that. Park it on the side of the road, park it in a national forest, get a good night's sleep, wake up and make pancackes. Have a shower, the internal water pumps are battery powered. Anybody want to show me a tent that does all that?
Even worst case scenario, a major disaster causes mass, spontaneous evacuation of your urban center, panicked people fill the highways and you end up stuck in traffic. Hells man, roll out the awning, set up the lawn chairs and call yourself evacuated. Congratulations! You made it!
Now I know what you are thinking. You want one of those nice, new hotels on wheels they got these days and this is the perfect way to sell it to the wife. And man, if you haven't seen what they are building for campers these days you really should have a look. It's the Hilton Hotel in there. BUT that's not the one you want.
You really want to show up at the apocalypse wearing Gucci shoes? Nope. You basically want something about 10 years old. Something blendable. Something that says "getting by with dignity" rather than "we're having a paaaaaar-taaaaaay!"
You can expect to pay up to $5k on that but honestly, you can find a fully working rig for $1500 or less if you get lucky.
This is the route I wish people would take when they are getting foreclosed on. I don't know how it is people don't see this crucial step between happy suburbia and walking the streets. And it's not that bad a life. I been living in a camper on and off ever since I been fighting with my wife. Let me tell you, when I rate these things as survival equipment I know what I'm talking about. Heck boys when I move back into the house I keep the camper in the drive way, stocked up and ready to go with the hitch tongue pointed North should at any time I have to beat a hasty retreat and by Gods I've had the practice.
I got this thing so down pat that as soon as the dog sees me loading the camper he just goes ahead, grabs his dinner bowl in his mouth and jumps in the back of the pickemup truck. Like any good piece of survival equipment, it's only of use if you know how to use it like second nature. But if you learn to use it and use it well and keep it stocked up to where you can hitch up in a flash and tear like hell, one of these things might just save your life.
If you enjoyed this informative article, please let me know. I can do other pieces about camper survivalism. For now, I'll do an informal poll. Which of the following things do you probably NOT want in your camper and why:
5. toaster oven