It’s hard for me to account for all of the time I spend online reading about emergency preparedness. I can’t even really remember where this came from, except that it was around my trip to Utah two years ago, and even then, I have a feeling that it goes further back in time. 

Life skills and my supposed resiliency have always been points of pride for me. (I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was eight). But I don’t have any expertise, I couldn’t even change my own car oil. In grade school I always felt like I had to distinguish myself academically at the expense of getting a CNA or taking carpentry, automotive, or even graphic design classes. What a fool I was. Can you imagine being in high school and knowing how to build a house??? My school offered these kinds of programs.

When I got to college I felt special because I knew how to do basic things like laundry or scrub a shower stall. After college, I felt like I had let my life skills atrophy in some way; learning to cope with every day life in the developed world was anti-climactic. I also have felt less and less resilient lately. Living abroad (again) has made me think that maybe I’m not that adaptable to new situations. Maybe I don’t want to deal with any more challenges than necessary. Have I spent all of my grit too soon? 

I’ve become really preoccupied with the idea that reliance on anything–other people, employment, electricity, grocery stores, etc. is a sort of weakness. It’s a sick paradox I’m getting myself into, in which I don’t want to need anything, except you know, to have a full years supply of food in my house “just in case”. 

Even if I never make the perfect survival home for myself, or learn how to live in the forest with only a knife, learning about this has opened my mind to all of things I don’t know how to deal with, should my life’s infrastructure disintegrate suddenly. I don’t think that survivalists are necessarily crazy or partisan or afraid. I don’t think that fear makes you not want to take your lifestyle for-granted. And I think it’s really smart to care about things like your food supply. 

Here is a list of resources you can get into, in order of my aspirations: 

Sooner > Later

Get a kit and learn–


Slate’s guide to survival guides

Build up supplies- dehydrate, smoke food

Immerse yourself, gain survival skills


Seeds for future food

Change your life