There’s a big trend on the Glowing Tube of not just (a) reality shows, but (b) reality shows involving extreme people. And it doesn’t get more extreme than people devoting all their time and monies to preparing for the apocalypse.
This is fun stuff that actually poses interesting questions. It also lets us watch people prepare for doomsday by shooting their thumb off.
1) Are you ready for doomsday?
2) What version of the apocalypse is your favorite?
3) Are the doomsday preppers (a) admirable, self-reliant people with useful doomsday skills or (b) whackadoodles spending insane amounts of money on bomb shelters that will never get used?
Now, I believe these folks have good intentions and are doing a mix of smart things and insane things.
Being prepared is smart. Having a Bug-Out Bag in your car or bedroom is good for any kind of emergency, whether it’s a massive earthquake, a zombie invasion or getting a flat tire 60 miles west of Nowhere, Alaska.
However, let’s talk about three big prepping mistakes.
1) Fancy bomb shelters are nancypants
Spending tons of money on bomb shelters and whatnot, is WOMBAT – a Waste Of Money, Brains And Time.
These things cost as much as a house, with generators and enough fuel and water to keep things going, as if nothing happened, for six months. Pop quiz: once six months is over, what are you gonna do? No more water, food or fuel for the generator. You’ve got to leave the bomb shelter and run around the wasteland, looking for food, water and shelter after sitting around for six months. No.
If you’re serious, you don’t spend all your dough on bomb shelters and stockpiles of food and water. You build something sustainable, like a cabin in the mountains next to a stream (water!) with fish (food!).
Now, these guys are kinda crazy, building a giant ark and all, but a ship isn’t a bad idea. You can sail away from danger and toward safe places with food.
2) Six months of supplies is nuts
As these shows prove, stockpiling six months worth of food, water and fuel is a massive amount of work. Don’t do it. It only sets you up for failure when the six months is up anyway.
Focus on sustainability instead.
Spend $20 on a fishing pole and water purifying bottles and such. Instead of blowing $3,500 on a lifetime supply of .30-06 ammo, get a bunch of compound bows and learn how to make your own arrows. Even if you think the nuclear wasteland is coming and you can’t grow a vegetable, then learn how to grow mushrooms in your Mad Max cave.
3) Don’t prep for the wrong doomsday
A worldwide nuclear war is pretty dang unlikely. During the Cold War, sure, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were close to wiping out the planet. Today, not so much. Everybody is too dependent on international trade.
So what is a more likely doomsday?
Zombies are my favorite — and complete science fiction.
Global economic collapse, maybe after the world runs out of oil? Maybe.
A robot apocalypse, now, has the added advantages of being crazy fun AND crazy plausible. Watch and learn:
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.