Why should we bother making Survival Skills Checklist?!
Being a survivor is about luck and preparation in varying measures. While it’s not possible to ensure luck when it comes to not being the victim or an apocalypse, it is possible to prepare in case of suck luck. Or, best case scenario, it’s possible to prepare to a point where the proportion of luck required for survival is significantly reduced.
Movies, TV, Books, Comic Books, and Video Games show a number of characters who display what seems to be an unreasonable skill set in the most necessary of situations. How can an actual, non-designed human who lives, in reality, reduce the amount of luck required and increase their added value in almost any situation? Make a plan and prepare.
Based on (very little) experience, reviewing copious materials (watching Netflix and playing Video Games), and surveying experts (Google search for “list of skills”) here is a Survival Skills Checklist that shouldn’t take a lifetime to learn and the logic to motivate exploring them.
This Survival Skills Checklist will be updated as posts specific to each skill are posted to expand on each topic with resources, insights, and more.
We’ve said before that you aren’t going to be able to spend the whole apocalypse hiding away in a basement. You’re going to need to get out there, seize the wastes with both grimy hands. Scavenge strange new foods, barricade a whole new part of town. But there are going to be people out there who want to stop you from doing that. They want to hurt you. So you are going to have to murder them.
Now, now. Stop shaking. Definitely don’t call the police. I’m not saying you should kill someone before society collapses into an anarchic hellhole where joy and hope are far from your grasp. Wait till after. No murder now, got it? No murder. And I’m not saying it’s a good thing to do, either. Just that if it’s you or them, you should choose you.
First, try to seperate out your guilt. You are a good person, which is why the resistance to the whole murder thing. But this person will kill you, and probably hurt you very badly before they’re done. It’s survival, pure and simple. Forget the emotions in the midst of the act.
Second, go for their vulnerabilities. No matter how big or scary they are, all people have weaknesses, and all people can be killed. Most of the time they’ll be relying on fear to keep you in check, because they know as well as you what you can do.
You have nothing to lose. Really, nothing. You are in horrible trouble right now. If you don’t try to kill them, they will murder you – or worse. If you do and fail, they’ll still kill you, but at least it’ll be quick. And if you try and succeed, you’re out of the situation.
Don’t forget – despite what Hollywood tells you it is pretty easy to murder someone. You can do it by accident, even. The human body is pretty fragile. Push someone, they hit their head and their brains are on the floor. It’s going to be much easier to do if you have a weapon. It’s unlikely to be the physically difficult thing that TV shows you.
Emotionally? Not gonna lie. If you have even a trace of decency left in you, you are going to hate yourself after the murder. That’s good. That’s a good thing. It means you aren’t like that monster you just killed, who would have raped, tortured and murdered you with no guilt. You are still a good person. Feel those feelings. Just don’t let them make you self-destructive.
If they have friends around, they are going to go looking. If they find the body, they may be able to track you down. Hide or bury the body, then get out of there, sharpish.
Depending on how you do it, you are going to need to clean yourself off. Don’t worry about the waste of water, it’s more important that you feel safe and comfortable right now. You’ve just breached a major rule and done a dreadful thing. You had to do it, and it the modern world they’d give you a short sentence, because it was self-defense. Do whatever you need to do to get yourself back in line with the person you are, to reconnect with your basic good-person-ness.
If you can’t do any of these things and you know it, I’d suggest not scavenging alone. Instead hire a loyal sociopath (or marry one) who will attach to you utterly and murder people for you. They’re really useful. Just stay on their good side!
And of course, this is all hypothetical. I must reiterate that I have never murdered anyone, nor do I have plans to, though if you break into my house and try and hurt me all bets are off.
Does being a cannibal have to mean rudeness?
At some point in your post-apocalyptic future, you may be required to resort to cannabalism. Please be aware, there is no shame in this choice. You did what you had to do to ensure the survival of yourself and your community. You are still a good person, even if you’re a cannibal. Let go of the guilt.
It’ll probably help with the guilt if you at least display some basic ettiquette about the situation. Just because you’re chowing down on your friends leg is no reason to be rude about it.
But isn’t eating a person inherently rude? No! Not necessarily. I will be your guide to the complex and distrubing world of Cannibal Ettiquette. Continue reading “Cannibal Ettiquette”
So, I think wasps are going to cause the apocalypse. Not even the kind with the weird parasite that turns them into zombies, just – regular wasps. It’s probably because I’m a wasp bigot – I hate them more than any living thing aside from mosquitos – but I think they’re more of a risk than zombies or asteroids or even fucking sentient badgers.
I say this because I am increasingly convinced we have a wasps nest in our house. Somewhere, in my home (i think in the chimney) these nasty, malevolent, alien-minded hive creatures have taken up residence. And GOD they’re awful. Monstrous, evil things armed with poison machine-guns, only kept in check by environmental pressures. They die in the cold, and that’s good.
If those environmental pressures are removed, I forsee a world over-run by wasps. A world where we hide in the few places left on eart that these vicious insects can’t get into. A world where the wasps rule us, not through intelligent evil but just through unthinking malice, because it’s their nature to breed and nest and sting. They will feast on the rotting produce of our fruit trees and nest in our homes, and we will eventually run out of poison to do the job of killing them.
Beware of the wasps, because they could drive us out of our lives without changing a single thing about themselves. We can’t reason with them or beat them, because all it needs is for one to survive. You kill the nest by killing the queen, but just one larvae needs to survive. They may even be intelligent – like ants their hive works like a brain – but if they are it’s a sort of intelligence we will never understand or comprehend. The nsture of an individual will be uncomprehedable to them. The concept of said individual having rights will be even more bizarre – after all, they sacrifice their own for the nest, and we don;t give a shit for our fallen skin cells.
Enough stings from wasps will kill even the hardiest of humans. people like me will die in a matter of half a dozen or a dozen. And what a painful way to go that will be.
Wasps. Motherfucking wasps.
Destroy them where you see them, because they could be our doom.
If you want to win a copy of This is the New Plan by John Xero, there’s still enough time. Just pop yourself over to the contest details and enter.
By now you probably know that we like to talk about the odd stuff. The things that other survivalists ignore, or don’t think of, the weird concepts our strange little brains come up with in the bath or at the supermarket.
Yesterday, I thought about blisters.
Yes, blisters. The annoying, painful, fluid filled sacks you get when you have irritated, injured skin. You get them when you burn yourself or when your shoes rub. Wait, when your shoes rub? What are you going to be doing post-apocalypse? A hell of a lot of walking. Which means what? Your shoes will rub.
Blisters can make it hard to walk or run and slow you down. So, what to do?
You should, by now, have a pair of apocalypse ready shoes or boots. They should not be brand new and unworn, because that’s jsut asking for blistery-type problems. In fact, you should be wearing them as much as possible for two reasons. You’re going to need to wear the boots in – and get yourself used to wearing them. By doing that, you reduce your chances of blisters.
Invest in some hiking socks. Soft, thick and supported, hiking socks can reduce your chances of developing blisters, and keep your feet warm if the world ends in winter. Whatever you do, don;t think you can go without socks, no matter the emergency. You’ll be crippled with blisters all over your feet within hours. Keep a pair in your boots, and the rest in your pack.
If you do develop blisters, DON’T BURST THEM. The fluid acts as protection for the injured skin underneath. Bursting them before their time will lead to more damage to your feet. However, walking with blisters (especially on the soles of your feet, ouch) can be painful, so invest in some of those special blister plasters with the gel – it forms a protective barrier and reduces pressure pain.
If you have no access to plasters and the like, having not done your research pre-apocalypse (I don’t know how you’re reading this. Perhaps you have some kind of magic smart-phone that can still access the internet? If so, hello! Please tell us what finally finished us off. Was it badgers? I bet it was badgers) you still shouldn’t pierce your blisters. Instead, keep an eye out for a book on natural remedies and herbalism (loot bookstores) and follow their advice. Honey is a good way to heal injuries – it’s mildly antiseptic and soothing – but it’s pretty sticky, so it’s probably best to apply it at night. Similarly, try to keep your feet clean. It may be tricky, but the last thing you want is an infection setting in. So loot yourself some cleasning wipes and use them when you camp at night. And I want to wish good luck to my hypothetical post-apocalypse survivors currently reading this. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
Blisters aren’t the only foot injury you can face from lots of walking – sometimes the friction bypasses the fluid-filled stage and goes straight to the ouch-i’m-bleeding stage. If you are bleeding from your feet, don’t panic. Blood always looks more dramatic than the injury actually is. Simply use some of your first aid supplies to cleanse and cover the wound and try to mentally bypass the pain. The next day will be the worst, but survival is more important than the ragged, bleeding mess that used to be your heel. A sufficiently padded wound covering will stop it getting worse, and will reduce pain and prevent infection.
And rest assured that after the first two weeks of constant walking, your feet will harden up. No more blisters for you, so if you can just make it through those first two weeks…
Any time you want to discuss anything post-apocalyptic with people, the first thing they do is shout in your face “But it’s not going to happen!”. To be fair, it’s probably not. But that’s not the point.
The fact that something’s probably not going to happen is no reason not to be prepared for it, is it? This book I’m writing probably isn’t going to nab me my dream agent and get me a three book deal with Tor, but I’m sure as hell prepared in case it does. I’d rather be ready and never need it, than need to be ready and not be.
I also think those people miss the point of this website just a tad. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we are not a serious survivalist kind of place. There’s plenty of them on the internet, and you don’t need any more. And whiile we hope we sometimes give you good advice that might keep you alive, we’re more about the odder stuff that could happen to you in a post-apocalyptic world. After all, I once discussed the possibility of sentient badgers. We’re more informed by pop-culture than religion, more concerned with how to do our hair and what unrealistic beauty standards we’ll be held to than how many guns we should have. I’m a Brit. I’ve only ever seen a real life gun once.
We don’t think it’ll only be a specific breed of hyper-prepared evangalist who’ll make it. We don’t think ‘traditional gender roles’ will be necessary or desirable. We think the new world will be pretty crapsack, but will have some good bits. We think worldwide starvation or economic collapse is more likely than Dragon infestation, but we think Dragon infestation would be cooler.
And most importantly, we know our history. We know that humanity has survived dozens of apocalyptic events, from plagues and wars to country wide, year long floods. We know that no matter how much the media shrieks, this is nothing new. We know that we are descended from people that made it, and that we can make it too. We know that we are no more likely than anyone in our ancestry to have our short, dull lives intruded on by a disaster – but we’re no more likely to avoid it, either. This is down to luck. We believe in taking risks and going after your dreams, because our research suggests that, based on humanitys history, we have a reasonable chance of not making it.
OK, an example of all these apocalyptic events humanity has made it through. As a European with Irish ancestry, in order for me to exist my ancestors had to: Survive a plague. Survive a year where it never stopped raining. Survive two world wars. Survive the Potato Famine. Survive a Civil War.
And those are just the ones I could rememberoff the top of my head, and there were probably more before history started being written down.
It probably won’t happen. But if it does, we think we can make it, and we think that we can help you make it too.
Alright, so this is actually a post about us, because we are awesome.
In March, ICoS will have been going for a year. A year! In that year, I have got to know Tavia and Char quite well, and I tell you this: if these girls lived in the UK I would move heaven and earth to ensure they were on my post-apocalypse team. Why? I’ll tell you why. Continue reading “Why you should try to stay on our good sides.”