Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Typical Prepper versus Gypsy Survivalist...

By Timothy Gamble (October 23, 2016)

What the Gypsy Survival Strategy Might Actually Look Like

In my recent article, Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy, I introduced an idea I've been thinking about for a number of years. It is a prepper strategy based on disconnecting from the system and extreme mobility, rather than stockpiling or homesteading. In  this article, I want to consider what the Gypsy Survival Strategy might actually look like by comparing it to typical prepper ideas on several points. 

Typical Prepper: Home is your physical address. Perhaps an apartment or house. Maybe a homestead or farm. Probably have a mortgage and property taxes. Costs money, time, and effort to maintain. Still, it is yours (at least until the government or bank decides otherwise). Requires furniture and other stuff, which costs money/time/effort to buy and maintain.

Gypsy Survivalist: Home is wherever you are with family and friends. Not a physical address, which would only be temporary anyway. Most likely sleep in a tent, camper, trailer, RV, or mobile home of some sort. All your stuff fits inside your vehicle and/or mobile home. Little, probably no, furniture or large other items.

Typical Prepper: Bugging-in at your current location, or bugging-out to a prearranged location, such as a retreat that would then likely become your permanent location if you could not return to the original location. 

Gypsy Survivalist: No permanent location or home. Constantly moving away from danger or towards opportunity as conditions warrant. 

Typical Prepper: Probably have "roots" where you live. Friends & family that permanently live nearby. A particular church you attend. A job/career/employer for which you feel some loyalty or responsibility. Organizations that you are a part of... Things that may make you reluctant/slow to leave a location if things suddenly go bad. 

Gypsy Survivalist: No roots in the local community, thus nothing holding you back. Your roots are with the community of like-minded family & friends you travel with... (Interestingly, Roma and other "gypsies" never marry, date, or even have strong friendships with non-Roma; all that is done within the larger Roma/Gypsy community.)

Typical Prepper: Unless they are making money homesteading, farming, or from their own small business, most preppers have regular jobs/careers working for someone else. Could be anything from blue collar workers to professionals. The need for such employment is a limiting factor for many preppers (including me).

Gypsy Survivalist: Typically self-employed or take temporary/part-time work for which they feel no loyalty towards employer. Easy to just leave whenever. Traditionally, gypsies tend to be entertainers of some sort (singers, musicians, actors, storytellers, fortune tellers, etc.). Think vaudeville. This seems to hold true today, although to a somewhat lesser extent. Other common gypsy employment is as animal trainers, artisans, craftsmen, tinkers, handymen, and similar professions. Gypsies can be professionals, and some are, but their lifestyle often makes for a difficult career path in terms of advancement, though their is always some need for temporary nurses, accountants, etc.

Typical Prepper: Stockpiling food, water,  and supplies in quantity. Lots of redundancy. This requires space to store, money to buy, time to organize/maintain. Decreases mobility.

Gypsy Survivalist: Goods and other stuff kept on-hand would have to be minimal. A few days to a couple of weeks worth of food & supplies at most. Emphasis would have to be on collecting & providing as needed, rather than storing. Example: Instead of storing lots of water in jugs or tanks, the Gypsy Survivalist would depend on their ability to collect/treat water using tools like the Lifestraw Family Water Filter or Lifestraw Go Bottles. Food is obtained by buying or trading with locals, by hunting, fishing, & collecting wild edibles, and possibly by having small gardens when camped at a suitable location for a period of time. I've also heard tale of some gypsies traveling with a few goats or chickens.

Typical Prepper: Lots of tools and other gear. Lots of redundancy. Requires money to buy, room to store, time/effort to maintain. Probably lots of big tools, especially if homesteading is part of the plan. Again, cost & need for room to store are factors.

Gypsy Survivalist: Minimal tools and gear with little redundancy. Would have to emphasize quality, usefulness, and practicality, over quantity. Would require a certain amount of ingenuity and creative thinking. Get the most "bang for your buck," so to speak. No need to have yard or garden tools (other than maybe a shovel). No need for power tools (maybe a gas-powered chain saw?). Would have at least a good set of basic tools and skill to use them, and a few tools of the trade for tinkers/metalworkers, handymen types.

Typical Prepper: Large library of books on prepping, homesteading, gardening, country skills, survival medicine, and a variety of other potentially useful topics. I've seen preppers/survivalists brag about their libraries of thousands of books. My own is in the hundreds. Again, cost and room to store are issues. Besides, in reality most of those books will go unread.

Gypsy Survivalist: No room for a large library. Maybe one or two 3-foot shelves worth of books. Will force you to be choosy about what books you keep on-hand. Only the most important, useful, and often-used will make the cut. Again, quality over quantity.
Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.  

Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy

By Timothy Gamble (October 7, 2016)

Many survival strategies involve hunkering down in place, homesteading, rural retreats and survival communities, or "bugging out" to those locations, where, through a combination of self-reliance and stockpiles of food & supplies, any future hard times can be survived. But I've long been intrigued by another possibility, which I call Gypsy Survival.

Gypsy Survival is a strategy that is loosely based on current and historical groups of highly nomadic peoples often referred to as "gypsies." This includes the Romani people, the Sinti, Irish Travellers, Scottish Tinkers, and Indigenous Norwegian Travellers, as well as other groups. In addition to these real-life examples, the concept of gypsies has been heavily fictionalized over the years. The Gypsy Survival Strategy I present here is a conglomeration of lessons and ideas from all these groups, as well as some of my own thoughts. My use of the term "gypsy" throughout this article refers to this conglomeration of ideas, not any one particular group, and is intended in a completely non-pejorative way.

Three Distinctive Features

I see three distinctive features of the gypsy lifestyle that could be adapted into a very successful survival strategy.

1) Gypsies lead a highly nomadic, very mobile lifestyle. Gypsies don't set down roots in any specific location. Home is not a place, but rather is being with family.  Where the "being with" actually takes place is irrelevant. Community, too, isn't a particular place, such as a neighborhood or town, but rather is the larger group of fellow gypsies.

Survival Advantage: Because there is nothing to hold them to a particular place, such as property owned or personal ties to local people, gypsies have the ability to quickly pack up and flee from danger. Or to quickly move to where there is more opportunity. This ability is more than just bugging out. Gypsies, because they have no roots and few possessions, can immediately leave one location and set up home in a new location, without any reluctance to leave or "stuff" holding them back.

2) Gypsies are NOT part of the worldly system, and have no desire to "fit in" or conform to the standards of modern society.  Rather than being swayed by the world around them, and the opinions of others, gypsies hold firm to their own language, culture, beliefs, and traditions. They have no need to "Get Out of Babylon," because they are already mostly out of the worldly system.

Survival Advantage: By being less dependent on the worldly system, gypsies have a considerable amount of flexibility in responding to threats and danger. They are not dependent on government or the established social order. Nor are they dependent on their employers or careers. They also make less compromises in maintaining their way of life, including religious beliefs, traditions, and other aspects of their culture that are very important to them.

3) Gypsies are loyal to the family/clan/tribe, NOT to a place (country, state, community), a government, or even to a company, career, or job. Privacy is of high importance. What happens within the gypsy community stays within their community. Disputes are handled internally, without bringing in any outside authorities. The preservation of their way of life, culture, beliefs, and traditions is of utmost importance.

Survival Advantage: Loyalty within families, and even within the larger gypsy community, means that they are there for each other. Gypsies help and protect their own. They are also better able to maintain their way of life and culture without compromising with the outside world. 

Possible Disadvantages

There are, of course, disadvantages to the gypsy lifestyle. Lack of property means that they typically cannot produce their own food. Instead, they must depend on what they can hunt, gather, and buy or trade for with outsiders. 

The gypsy refusal to assimilate into the outside world, and to conform with outside societal norms, means that they are typically the object of suspicion and distrust. This often leads to official discrimination, persecution, and even attempts at genocide against them. 

Other Hallmarks of the Gypsy Survival Strategy

Gypsies have developed the ability to vanish into the background. Did you know that there are over a million gypsies estimated to be living in the United States? Chances are that there are some living near you, and you don't even know it. This ability to go unnoticed, and to quickly vanish in the face of trouble, serves them quite well.

Gypsies prefer to avoid trouble rather than face it head on. As the saying goes, the surest way to survive a fight is to not get in a fight in the first place. They flee first, and only fight when it is unavoidable. Yes, gypsies will defend themselves when necessary, but they prefer to avoid danger if at all possible.

Gypsies typically don't own real estate. The days of living in their horse-drawn wagons (called vardos by some) are long gone, of course. Today most gypsies live in campers, trailers, or mobile homes. Occasionally, some my rent or lease apartments or houses, but even this is uncommon. This means that leaving an area is relatively a simple, and quick, driving away, with little packing up required. 

Gypsies live simple lifestyles, with relatively few possessions. This saves them time, space, and money. It also enables them to pack up and flee quickly when necessary. Unlike possessions, knowledge and skills cannot be lost, stolen, or broken

Gypsies work for themselves. Sometimes this means being self-employed (examples: artisans, craftsmen, animal trainers, entertainers, etc.)  Sometimes this means hiring themselves out to do part-time or temporary work. Gypsies can and do work in almost every career field imaginable. The point is that they don't tie themselves down to a particular company or career field.

Privacy is of utmost importance. What happens within the gypsy community stays within the gypsy community. Disputes are handled internally. They hold their language, rules, customs, and traditions closely, rarely sharing them with outsiders. Outsiders are rarely, if ever, brought into the gypsy community, and marriages with outsiders are highly discouraged. When dealing with outsiders, gypsies are notoriously vague in giving names and other bits of personal information, and never give specifics about the larger gypsy community. 

Check out the follow-up to this article, "Typical Prepper versus Gypsy Survivalist...  What the Gypsy Survival Strategy Might Actually Look Like."

Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.  

Monday, December 30, 2019

Results of a "Grayman" Training Exercise

By Timothy Gamble (September 6, 2016)

On his You Tube channel, Joe Fox (Viking Preparedness) recently suggested a grayman training exercise (I'll link to his video below). I thought it was a good idea, so on Monday (Labor Day) I went to a local shopping mall and followed his training exercise advice. I definitely learned some things.

The Training Exercise (or What I did)

I went to my local shopping mall on Monday (Joe had suggested an airport as the best location, but said a shopping mall would work, too). I spent a couple of hours just sitting around and observing people, noticing who stood out and who didn't, and why. I also tried to do this exercise from a "bad guy" point of view, looking for easy targets. Here is what I learned (and I plan on doing this a few more times).

What stood out as highly noticeable as a potential target, or as very memorable/identifiable:
  • Bright, flashy clothing - When I stepped onto the food court after arriving at the mall, the very first person I noticed was an older man (early 60s?) with a bread wearing a bright orange shirt and red, white & blue flag shorts. He looked like quite the character, which made him very noticeable and memorable, and easy to identify.
  • Dressed in all black (the "goth" look) - One of several goths that I noticed was a young, skinny man (early 20s) wearing black tennis shoes, black jeans, an all-black tee shirt (no logo), and an all-black ball cap (no logo). Except for a little bit of white on his tennis shoes, he was wearing no other color except black, which made him stand out in the crowded mall.
  • Graphic shirts (superheros, sports teams, funny quotes, etc) - Lots of folks were wearing graphic tees of one sort or another. I noticed them all. The guy wearing the shirt with the Superman logo, the young lady in a Star Wars t-shirt, the Dallas Cowboys fan, the patriotic guy with the American flag and bald eagle on his shirt. These graphic shirts made folks noticeable and very identifiable.
  • Revealing clothing (too tight clothes showing off curves, exposed cleavage or midriff, short-shorts or mini skirts, etc.) - I'll try to keep this G-rated and just say that it was surprising how many young women, some waaay too young, who were dressed like they were headed to an audition with Playboy magazine. Defiantly attention attracting, especially the wrong kind of attention.
  • Tattoos & facial piercings - No value judgments here, but tattoos have become very popular in recent years, and it seems that many folks just can't get enough. I saw a number of folks, male and female, with multiple tattoos - arms, legs, hands, neck, feet, even face... They were very noticeable, and because tattoos tend to be highly individualistic, they can make you easily identifiable. True, some folks may be able to cover up their tattoos with long sleeves and pants, but many folks have so may tattoos these days, they would have to wear a hijab to cover them all up. Just something to think about.
  • Odd hair colors (blue, purple, pink, etc) - Odd hair colors are very popular these days, especially with high school and college age girls, but also with some older women and even some effeminate men. Some of the young ladies do look cute, I suppose, with odd hair, but the odd hair definitely draws notice. 
  • Completely shaved heads - Heads shaved completely bald (like mine, I admit) definitely stand out in a crowd. On the other hand, naturally balding guys who still have some hair are less noticeable, and tend to blend in to the crowd more easily, then us completely bald guys.
  • Obvious weaknesses (seriously overweight, using canes or walkers, or otherwise having mobility issues) - I saw a number of folks with obvious weaknesses that would mark them as potentially easy targets. One older lady in particular stood out as especially vulnerable. She must have been pushing 80, and was walking alone at a very slow and unsteady pace, just shuffling along really, carrying a handbag with one hand. She would have been a very easy mark for a purse snatcher or mugger.
  • Folks not paying attention - I saw a lot of folks simply not paying any attention to their surroundings, mostly with their eyes glued to their phones. And this was NOT just young folks, but many adults in their 30s, 40s, & 50s. This eliminates any situational awareness, and marks the distracted person as an easy target.
  • Flimsy footwear (high heels, clogs, flip-flops, sandals) - One very well dressed middle-aged woman was wearing what I can only call platform high-heels. I sure they have a name, but I don't know what exactly to call them. Here's the problem: she would not be able to run in those shoes at all, and it would be ridiculously easy for a bad guy to knock her down.  Those shoes, though quite fashionable I'm sure, mark her as an easy victim from a bad guys point of view. I was also surprised by the number of men in their 40s and 50s who were wearing flip-flops, crocs, or various types of man-sandals. These offer no real protection, and are very difficult to run in or even walk in for long distances.
  • Moms with a gaggle of kids - At different times, I saw two moms each with four or five young kids in tow. In both cases it was just the one adult plus multiple young kids. This immediately struck me as a potentially confusing and chaotic situation for the mother. Potentially easy pickings for a bad guy. 
  • Uniforms - The mall's security guards immediately stood out because of their uniforms. Likewise did a guy in his EMT uniform - very noticeable. I'm sure other uniforms (military, police, etc.) would have been immediately noticeable, too.
What didn't stand out, or was very forgettable:
  • Ordinary, regular clothes and shoes
  • Neutral earth-tones or dark colors (except for all-black) 
  • Nothing easy to describe or remember (no character tees, sports jerseys, bright colors or flashy patterns, uniforms, etc.)
  • Not overly sexy or revealing clothing (nothing to gawk at, or attention grabbing)
  • No visible tattoos, facial piercings, or weird hair (again, nothing to describe or remember)
  • No facial hair (again, nothing to describe or remember)
  • No obvious weaknesses (nothing to make a bad guy think "easy target")
  • Not distracted (but also not obviously checking the place out or paying too close attention to surroundings)

Other Lessons Learned:

The Camouflage Trend Is Over. I live in a semi-rural area of the South, where there are a lot of hunters. Because of that, it was not uncommon to see people wearing camo even before Duck Dynasty made it trendy. Add on the camo craze sparked by Duck Dynasty, and I dismissed the suggestions of many to avoid camo clothing. I figured I would draw no more attention to myself for wearing camo then the dozens of other folks also wearing camo around here.

I was surprised to see almost no camo clothing during this exercise. In fact, I only saw one person wearing camo - a teenage boy wearing baggy shorts with a digital camo print. The camo craze seems to have peaked in 2013/2014 and has now mostly died out. Because of this, I have removed several pieces of camo (mostly shirts and a ball cap) from my everyday clothing rotation.

I also have several Star Wars T-shirts that I am now taking out of my everyday clothing rotation.

It is extremely important to not appear weak, vulnerable, or distracted. During this exercise, I intentionally looked at the situation from a bad-guys point of view, as if I was a mugger, pick-pocket, purse-snatcher, or kidnapper.  Doing so, I was noticing people who weren't paying attention, or who would have made an easy target: That woman is distracted by the five young kids with her: it would be easy to walk off with one of her shopping bags when she was dealing with one of the kids. That old lady would be easy to knock down. That guy wouldn't be able to chase me wearing those flip-flops. That other guy is paying so much attention to his phone, that he wouldn't notice his wallet being lifted.

Bad guys prefer easy targets. Don't be one.

Joe Fox (VikingPreparedness) video: Becoming the "Greyman" (or woman) - a training exercise

Ad: Survivalist Family: Prepared Americans for a Strong America, by Pastor Joe Fox (Viking Preparedness), is a great guide to beginner and intermediate preparedness and survival. Highly recommended. 


*** Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival by clicking here to join the email list and by following me on social media (see list near top of right-hand column of this website). Thank you!


A Prepper's Prayer

 "The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it." -- Proverbs 22:3 

A Prepper's Prayer (by Timothy Gamble, December 20, 2017)

Heavenly Father, You are our refuge, our fortress. [1] In You we find the courage and strength [2] and wisdom [3] we need to live and thrive and do your will in all things [4]. You call us to live lives set apart from the worldly system of the Evil One. Have mercy on us and help us as we seek to live according to Your ways and Your Will.

In Proverbs [5], Solomon teaches us that a wise man, a prudent man, foresees danger and prepares for it, while a worldly man, a foolish man, ignores danger and suffers the consequences. O Lord, help us to be wise, not worldly. Help us be prudent, not foolish.

All wisdom flows from You, Father, so help us with our most important preparation for dangerous times: building a deep and abiding relationship with You. Give us a love for Your laws. Give us Your wisdom. Make the words of the Psalmist [6] ring true for us: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.

Paul teaches us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. [7] Help us to care for your temple properly, to keep it healthy and fit, both spiritually and physically. Help us to make wise moves financially, for Solomon teaches us that the borrower is slave to the lender, [8] therefore let us be enslaved to no one, so that we can live our lives for You unimpeded.

Help us, Lord, to not be lazy or indulgent, but rather to be industrious and thrifty. Help us to save and store up food and other necessities for difficult times, for we are commanded to provide for ourselves and our family at all times. [9]

Help us, Lord, to be able to defend ourselves, our families, and those who cannot defend themselves, for You have given us the right of self-defense against those who would do us harm. [10]

Lord, You have also taught us the value of Charity, [11] to be a help to those who cannot help themselves - orphans, widows, the elderly, the disabled, and others in need. Help us to live wisely, so that in times of great need we are not in need ourselves, but therefore are able to provide generously to those who are in need.

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


 Bible Verses used:
1 - Psalm 91:2
2 - Joshua 1:9
3 - Proverbs 2:6
4 - Philippians 4:13
5 - Proverbs 22:3
6 - Psalm 119:97-98
7- 1 Corinthians 6:19
8 - Proverbs 22:7
9 - 1 Timothy 5:8
10 - Exodus 22:2 & Luke 22:35-36 among many other passages
11 - Matthew 5:3-12, Matthew 25:35, Acts 11:27-30, Et. al.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Building Community - Evaluating Potential Members

By Timothy Gamble (August 21, 2015)

Many preppers, survivalists, and religious folks are looking to build community - be it an informal network of like-minded friends and neighbors, or a more formal arrangement where folks have a defined role within a group of people living and working together towards a common goal. If you are looking to build a community, you probably have some questions. Who should be in your group? Who shouldn't be in your group? How do you evaluate potential members?

Evaluating Potential Members for Your Community

0- The Basics  I am assuming the the person you are considering to join your group shares your goals for the community, and is of similar religious background and political views If not, why would you even be considering them for your group? 

If your group is a religious-based one, and person X is an atheist, then his inclusion in the group will not work, even if he is your cousin and a medical doctor. If you are forming a group over concerns about America's leftward lurch towards socialism, including your hippie socialist sister in the group will be a huge mistake. Sorry, but that is the harsh reality. Some people need to be excluded from the very start.

But is sharing common goals, religious backgrounds, and political views really enough? I've been talking to many current and former members of such groups, and the resounding answer is NO, it is not enough. Here are some additional considerations:

1- Stability   Look for signs of stability, or the lack of it, in their lives.  If they are holding a job – its a good sign.  If they bounce in and out of work often or spend large stretches of time unemployed  - it may be a bad sign. Same goes for other areas of their lives – friendships, relationships, living arrangements…  Do they have long-term relationships (spouse, friends, etc.), or do they bounce in and out of relationships often? Does their life seem full of drama where things seem to constantly go wrong and they always seem to have problems of one sort or another? Or does their life seem mostly drama free.  Of course context matters, so use common sense.  However, generally speaking, signs of stability in their lives are good, and signs of a lack of stability are warning flags.  Look for trends within their life, not one time events.

2- Friendship  If you cannot be close friends with someone, it doesn't make sense to include them in your group, no matter what skill sets they bring with them. You will be living and working closely together, depending on each other on a daily basis in very difficult and stressful times. This will create a more intimate relationship than just being a typical co-worker or neighbor. If there is  something about their personality that annoys you, it will only get worse in any collapse scenario.  If you don't like them, don't expect to be able to "put up with" them over the long-term, especially during stressful times. It will go wrong at some point. Some questions to consider: Do you enjoy being around that person?  Can you have a good time together? Are you both comfortable around each other?

3- Trust   Do you trust that person?  Do you feel you can tell them anything without them judging you, telling others, or spreading gossip?  Do you trust them to always tell you the truth? Do you trust them enough to always tell them the truth? Can you trust them to not put themselves above the group in a crisis? Can you trust them to take care of tools and other things belonging to the group, every bit as well as they take care of their own personal property? Can you trust them to make the same commitment of time, effort , and finances to the group that you are willing to make?

4- Reciprocity   By this category, I mean How do they treat other people? Is your relationship with them reciprocal (involving give and take on both sides)?  Do you get as much out of it as they do?  Are they a good host AND a good guest?  Are they a giver, taker or balanced?  (Taker is bad, balanced is best, giver may be okay as long as you or others don’t take advantage). How do they treat you and other people? Do they try to live by the golden rule, treating others  in the same way they want to be treated? As you get to know each other, do they seem willing to sacrifice (time, money, effort) as much for the group as you are? 

Warning Signs

1- Addictions   Addictions of any kind – drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, TV, etc – are a MAJOR warning sign.  Does their addiction control them?  Does it create chaos in their life, or hold them back? Avoid anyone with any form of addiction. Pray for them. Offer to help them find assistance in overcoming their addiction. But do not make them a part of your group until they have successfully and completely overcome their addiction.

2- Nuts/Crazies   There are lots of nuts and crazies in the world.  I'm not referring to people who are unusual or marching to a different drummer, but those who have actual serious mental problems.  Avoid them. Remember, at some point in a crisis, their meds will run out.Besides, the stress and chaos of a crisis will likely make their illness even more serious. This might seem heartless, but including them in the group will put everyone else in the group at risk. Besides, you can help people without making them part of your group. Pray for them. Help them find assistance and treatment for their illness before a crisis hits. Even check on them during a crisis if you can, providing food or other assistance if needed. But, don't being them into the group. 

3- Bizarre or Unusual Requests Early On   If you are just getting to know someone and they hit you with a bizarre or very unusual request, tread carefully. Bizarre requests might be to borrow a significant sum of money, or to quickly make a serious commitment, or to do something illegal or unethical.

4- Dishonesty  Its one thing to be guarded with personal information, and concerned with maintaining privacy. Its something else entirely to outright lie, especially about major issues. Don't expect someone to completely open up to you and tell you everything about their life, especially early on. But you should expect them to be honest in what they do tell you.

Skill Sets

It is a good idea to include a wide variety of skill sets in your group, and that is the area I most often see discussed when folks talk about building community. However, I suggest that skill sets should be at the bottom of your list of things to consider when building community. Having a wide variety of skills sets will be of little value to a group that falls apart because of other more basic problems. A group that splinters over personality clashes is no longer a group. All the skills in the world won't change that fact. 

Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.  

Survivalist Myth? The Golden Horde

By Timothy Gamble (February 17, 2016)
Its a nightmare many survivalists and preppers have: masses of people fleeing the big cities and descending on rural areas after some sort of collapse of our society's economic system, power grid, and/or just-in-time food distribution system. Folks already living in those rural areas would have to contend with refugees that are totally unprepared, many of which would turn to looting and violence to take the rapidly dwindling food and other resources.

James Wesley, Rawles, in his book How to Survive the End of the World as we Know It (an excellent book, by the way), describes this mass exodus as "The Golden Horde." Its a term he got from his father, who was comparing the potential mass exodus from the big cities to the Mongol horde of the 13th century. Here is how Rawles describes it on page six of his book:
"Because of the urbanization of the US population, if the entire eastern or western power grid goes down for more than a week, the cities will rapidly become unlivable. I foresee that there could be an almost unstoppable chain of events:

     Power failures, followed by
     Municipal water supply failures, followed by
     Collapse of law and order, followed by
     Fires and full-scale looting, followed by
     Massive "Golden Horde" out-migration from major cities

As the comfort levels in the cities drops to nil, there will be a massive outpouring from the big cities and suburbs into the hinterboonies."
Is The Golden Horde scenario realistic, or a myth?

At one point in our nations history, the Golden Horde probably would have happened in a long-term grid-down event. But those days are long past, as the concept of self-reliance has been intentionally erased from the American people. Let me explain with some recent real-life examples.

Remember New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Remember all those people standing around in knee-deep water waiting for the government or someone else to help them? They had several days warning that a major hurricane was on the way, yet they did nothing. Even after Katrina hit flooding large sections of the city and collapsing its infrastructure, they did nothing to get themselves out of the situation. Instead they stood around in knee-deep water until authorities were able to round them up and ship them to the horrible and dangerous conditions of the Superdome.

That is called "learned helplessness," a behavioral term for when an organism (animal or human) has been taught through external stimuli to NOT help themselves, but to depend on outside factors. In the case of those people in New Orleans, generations of public education and government dependence left much of the population unable to help themselves. For most, it didn't even occur to them to try to get out of that situation on their own. And, if it did, they simply didn't know how to even start to help themselves.

Interestingly, the term "learned helplessness" appears in declassified CIA documents. The CIA defines learned helplessness as a type of instilled "apathy" which it is very difficult or even impossible to overcome.

Rawles mentions "municipal water supply failures" in his list of events leading to a Golden Horde. Well, in Flint, Michigan, the munipal water supply failed in 2014, and remains very dangerously tainted almost two years later. Despite knowing this, most folks living in the affected area are still living there, still drinking the tainted water, still waitng for government to fix it.

In certain areas of Chicago and Detriot, collapse of law and order has already occurred. Those areas are effectively without rule of law (WROL), and have been for years. People living in those areas are being slaughtered by gangs and criminals. Yet, there have been no mass exodus from those areas. Sure, the folks living there want to be safe, but they only know to wait for government to take care of it rather than to get themsleves out of those situations.

Golden Hordes might have been a possibility in the 1940s, 50s, and even 60s, but generations of learned helplessness means it is highly unlikely today. Of course, a few folks today will try to escape the big cities, but most won't even try. Instead of fleeing masses, the masses are much more likely to sttay in the cities waiting for help that will never arrive. The suffering and death will be extraordinary.

Despite using Rawles' Golden Horde idea as an example, I have a lot of respect for him and do recommend his books and website.

Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.  

God, the Old Man, and the River - A Story of Awareness

By Timothy Gamble  (January 15, 2016)

I've heard the following story many times over the years, with slight variations each time. The message always holds true. I present it here, followed by a few comments:

God, the Old Man, and the River

There was an old man who lived in a small town near a river. The old man was a Christian. He went to church every Sunday, and he prayed and read the Bible everyday. He was a good man, and well liked in his community.

It had been a particularly wet winter, and the spring was no different. The river that ran by the small town that the old man lived in was quite full. In fact, the only reason the river had not yet flooded was the presence of a large dam a hundred miles up river from the small town. The dam was successfully regulating the river for now, but was finally at full capacity.

The old man was watching TV one evening when he heard the bad news. The dam was beginning to fail. If the rain didn't stop soon, the small town where the old man lived was sure to flood. The weatherman came on and said that the forecast was for more heavy storms. The old man prayed "Lord, keep this town and me safe. I place my trust in you to handle this situation."

The rains were heavy the next morning when the old man woke up. He turned on the radio to listen to his favorite Christian music station. The radio announcer was giving a dire warning. The dam had failed. The river was flooding. People in the small town were being told to evacuate immediately. The old man prayed "Lord, keep this town and me safe. I place my trust in you to handle this situation."

The river began to rise. Streets in sections of the small town nearest the river were flooded. People were leaving as fast as they could. A knock came on the old man's front door. It was his neighbor checking up on the old man and asking him if he needed a ride out of town. The old man said "no." After his neighbor left, the old man prayed "Lord, keep this town and me safe. I place my trust in you to handle this situation."

Later that afternoon, the flood waters reached the old man's neighborhood. It quickly flooded the streets, and eventually became high enough to flood out the first floor of the old man's house. The old man retreated to the second floor of his house. He heard a commotion outside. It was some rescue workers in a boat searching for people who were trapped by the rising flood. They waved at him and brought the boat near the old man's bedroom window. They shouted at him to open the window, and they would get him into the boat and to safety. The old man simply shook his head. He would place his trust in the Lord. If it was His will, He would save him.

Finally, the boat had to move away from the old man's house. Soon after, the house, damaged by the flood, collapsed. The old man drowned.

The old man went to heaven. He was happy, but something concerned him. He asked the Lord, "Why did you not save me when I placed my trust in you?"

The Lord smiled patiently at the old man. "I sent you the news report to warn you the day before the flood. I sent you the radio announcement that you should flee to higher ground on the morning of the flood. I sent your neighbor to offer you a ride out of town when it was still possible to drive to safety. I sent the boat of rescue workers to save you minutes before your house would collapse."

My Comments

Pay attention to the news and you will hear many warnings - economic troubles, job losses, massive and rising government debt, loss of economic and individual freedoms, a moving away from the Constitution and Bill of Rights, a watering down of Freedom of Religion into mere freedom of worship, a growing hostility towards anyone with a traditional worldview, especially traditional Christians and Jews, an invasion of Europe by millions of Muslims insisting that Europe change itself to fit the Muslim worldview, Christians in the Middle East being burnt alive, beheaded, raped, or forced into sex-slavery... And the list keeps going on... The world is growing ever more unstable, unsustainable, and dangerous, especially for Christians and Jews holding firm to our traditional values and beliefs.

We are being warned, each and every day, of dangers and bad times coming. We can choose to listen and prepare - both spiritually and physically. Or we can choose to ignore the warnings. The choice is ours.
Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Mega-List of FREE Resources for Preppers, Survivalists & Homesteaders

By Timothy Gamble

The following is a huge list of free resources available to preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders. Many of these are websites and other web-based materials. Others are available in real life from the government and other organizations. All links were checked and working as of Dec. 28, 2019. If you find a dead link, please leave it in the comments section below and I'll try to correct it as soon as possible.

1) The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (link opens as a ,pdf). The 1978 classic by Sir John Glubb explains why all empires eventually fall. Recommended reading for those concerned with the fate of the American empire.  

2) FEMA - Are You Ready (opens as a .pdf) - This 204-page book by FEMA is a treasure trove of information on preparedness for many disasters - natural and man-made.

3) The Art of Manliness (website) - Traditional masculinity has been under serious assault for generations now, leading to the rise of metrosexuals and pajama boys lacking in the skills of self-reliance. This website takes a fun and humorous approach to the lost art of manliness, and has lots of articles on self-reliance, traditional manly skills, and other items useful to preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders, be they male or female. 

4) The CIA World Factbook - This is a very informative resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. A good aid when trying to understand world events.

5) Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny - The 1987 edition of this classic nuclear survival guide is available for free download as a .pdf file or .html documents. 

6) Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation (link opens as a .pdf) - This 135 page report by the National Security Staff (a whole bunch of government alphabet departments + the American Red Cross) came out in 2010.

7) Backwoods Home Magazine - Many  articles from back issues of this self-reliant living magazine are available online for free in their archive. 

8)  Prager University (Dennis Prager) - A great resource for homeschoolers or those just wanting to better understand the world. Contains hundreds of five-minute videos explaining topics ranging from history and economics to politics and science, without the "progressive" ideological spin found in most schools and universities today. Pro-Capitalism. Pro-Traditional Values. Pro-Western Civilization. So refreshing. 

9) Gardening and Seed Saving How-Tos - Seed Savers Exchange has a section on their website devoted to teaching folks how to save seeds and grow food. 

10) A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency - This article is available for free on the Mother Earth News website. You can find other free articles on self-reliance, organic gardening, renewable energy and other topics by browsing the website.

11) LDS Preparedness Manual (you'll have to give them an email address to download) - The Mormons have taught/required preparedness and self-reliance of their members for generations, and have accumulated much practical knowledge on the subject, much of which is presented here.The link is to the current edition, but if you don't want to give them your email address, you can get the  2011 edition at this link (link opens a .pdf).


12) The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency (link opens a .pdf) by John Seymour. I found the link to the 1976 book edition of the book on the City Farmer News website, so check them out. 

13) Veteran's Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255   Website: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ 

14) The Complete Outdoorsman's Handbook   A guide to outdoor living and wilderness survival by Jerome J. Knap. Available for free download in several formats.

15) Back To Eden Organic Gardening Film  "Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!"  You may have to give them an email address to watch it for free. A DVD is also available for purchase.

16) Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees (link opens a .pdf) - a publication of the US Forest Service. Bees are, of course, very important to the pollination process, and our gardens depend on them. Its important to understand their role, and how to protect them.

17) Plans For a Complete Beekeeping System (several downloading options available) - Again, bees are important for your garden and fruit trees. Besides, I love honey. 

18) Where There is No Doctor - A Village health Care Handbook (link opens as a large .pdf, so it may take a minute or so depending on your connection) - "The manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems.

19) Military Medicine - This website has over 20 different military field manuals for first aid and medicine available for free download in .pdf format. 

20) Basic Physical Health with Limited Resources (.pdf automatically downloads) - an LDS publication. Maintaining good health before, during, and after a SHTF event is extremely important.  

21) Surviving The New World Order (several downloading options available) by B.A. Brooks. I'm typically not one to buy into grand conspiracies, but this 20-page booklet has a lot of really usefully prepper and survivalist information.

22) LDS Nutrition and Diet Manual
(link opens a .pdf) - another LDS publication dealing with health and nutrition.

23) The Alpha Strategy: The Ultimate Plan for Financial Self-Defense for the Small Investor
(link opens a .pdf) - a famous, but now out-of-print, book from 1980. The Alpha Strategy presents a plan to protect your assets from both high inflation and depression, as well as high taxation and political manipulation.

24) The Xerces Society is an insect conservation group which provides a variety of fact sheets and plant lists for promoting native bee and butterfly populations, which are VITAL to gardening and agriculture.

25) Permaculture - Sustainable Farming, Ranching, Living - by Designing Ecosystems that Imitate Nature (link opens as a .pdf) is a excellent six-page introduction to the concept of permaculture.

26) Popular Mechanics has both DIY Projects and Home How To sections on their website, with lots of greats ideas, projects, and information.

27) Countryside and Small Stock Journal has a free online library of articles (well over 200) relating to gardening, homesteading, livestock, poultry, and self-reliance. They also have a series of free guides to topics including vegetable gardening, beekeeping, dairy goats, raising ducks, and so forth. To get the free guides, click on the "Free Guides" tab on their menu. You may have to register (for free) with them to get access to the free guides. 

28) Article Archive of The Backwoods Home Magazine -  100s of free articles on homesteading, gardening, raising food, self-reliance, and other topics of interest to preppers and survivalists.

29) Local Parks and Greenways offer lots of opportunities for free exercise, recreation, and family time. My local parks have walking/jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, and even a lake for fishing at one one of the parks. Some offer free programs on weekends or during the summer. Hiking greenways is great exercise. Bring along some nature identification guides and turn it into a learning experience.

30) The Public Library - Use your library card. Libraries are a great source of free entertainment and free information. You can check out a wide range of books on gardening, country skills, food preservation & canning, sewing, health & first aid, home improvement, auto repair, small engine repair, fishing, hunting, nature field guides, edible wild plants, wilderness survival, personal finance, and so forth. Entertainment, too, can be had for free at your local library, and not just books to read. Many libraries today have movie DVDs, music CDs, board games, puzzles, and other types of entertainment that you can check out for free, as well as story times for kids and lectures for adults.

31) Cooperative Extension Offices are an agency of the US Agriculture Department, with local offices in every county in the United States. They are a great resource of free information, and free or low-cost services. Local offices can provide garden planting times specific to your area, soil testing, canning classes, and other information and services. Visit https://extension.org/ to find your local office and contact them to learn of the specific services offered in your county. They can also help you get into touch with 4-H clubs, gardening clubs, bee keeper associations, and other related organizations in your area.

32) USGS Disease Maps tracks disease outbreaks and epidemics in the US on a county-by-county basis. 

33) ProMED-mail - the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases - is an Internet-based reporting system dedicated to rapid global dissemination of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and acute exposures to toxins that affect human health, including those in animals and in plants grown for food or animal feed. Electronic communications enable ProMED-mail to provide up-to-date and reliable news about threats to human, animal, and food plant health around the world, seven days a week.

34) RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information Service - provides maps and information on man-made and natural disasters worldwide. It tracks almost everything - droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, chemical spills, biological hazards, nuclear events, and more.

35) Exploit FREE blogs and You Tube channels on preparedness, survival, and homesteading. If you are reading this, you're on the Internet anyway. There are a lot of great blogs, websites and YouTube channels full of useful information for you to read or watch. This website, Dystopian Survival,  is full of prepping & survival information. Other blogs and You Tube channels I like include:
  • PrepperWebsite - Daily links to the best prepper, survivalist and homesteding articles on the web
  • SurvivalBlog.com - James Wesley Rawles' website is the "Granddaddy" of all prepper/survival websites
  • Survival Medicine - the website of Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton
  • Dr.Bones/NurseAmy - You Tube channel of Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton
  • PrepperRecon - The website of  Mark Goodwin, where you can get the new episodes of the Prepper Recon Podcast.  He no longer posts episodes to his You Tube channel, but you can still listen to his old shows there.
  • The Patriot Nurse - Great YouTube channel for medical preparedness
  • VikingPreparedness - You Tube channel of Pastor Joe Fox. He only posts there occasionally now that he has a Patreon channel, but there is still lots of his free videos on You Tube. 
  • SouthernPrepper1 - Great preparedness You Tube channel 
There are, of course, lots of other great blogs, websites and video channels. The above list is just a few of my favorites.

36) Spiritual Preparedness - Getting right with God costs nothing. I encourage everyone to pray, read the Bible, and attend the church of your choice. Don't have a Bible? Many translations are available for FREE online at BibleGateway.org (many audio versions are available, too). 

37) Whatfinger News is a fantastic news aggregate site similar to The Drudge Report, but without the anti-Trump bias that Drudge now exhibits regularly. Does a better job than Drudge in allowing independent journalists and alternative media a voice. They often link to my news-related articles.  

38) TimGamble.com is now the home of my independent journalism and news commentary. I focus on what I consider the Three Existential Threats to America and Western Civilization (Internal Elites, Islam, China), as well as on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

39) The Drudge Report is a constantly updated collection of links to news stories in the mainstream media and even some alternative news media. It has drifted more mainstream and anti-Trump over the last few years, but it is still an important source of news for what is going on in the world.

40) The Liberty Mill is a great source of alternative news headlines aggregated from over 35 alternative news outlets.

41) Mother Earth News - There are a large number of articles available for free on the website of Mother Earth News. 

42) #HistoryHub - a part of TimGamble.com, #HistoryHub has the texts of over 40 primary historical documents, and over a dozen secondary sources. Whether you homeschool or just want to understand real history (not the ideological propaganda taught in public schools), you should check it out.

43) Ways to Improve Your Health and Fitness for Free!  - Being healthy and fit doesn't have to cost money. This article lists a number of FREE ways you can improve your health and fitness today.
Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.   

Book Review: Countdown to Preparedness

By Timothy Gamble

http://amzn.to/1RKyVgxJim Cobb, in his Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness, outlines an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to prepping for disasters. There are lots of disaster preparedness books on the market, some really good, others not so much, but none break down the preparedness process into a "do this, then do this, then do this..." outline in as a complete and systematic way as Cobb does. Follow his steps one-by-one for the next year, and you will be better prepared than 98% of the population for disasters of any kind.

Another positive aspect of this outline is that you can control the time it takes you to prepare. Follow his outline a week at a time, and you'll be extremely prepared within a year. Want to get prepared quicker? Then just double up on the weeks, doing two at a time, and you'll be extremely prepared within six-months. Want to get ready still faster? It will take some dedication and sacrifice, but you could do three weeks (or even four) at a time and be extremely prepared in only four months (or even three).

Even if you've been "prepping" for years, this book makes a great review of your preparedness, as you can quickly read through each week and see how your preps stack up against Cobb's recommendations.

As the name of the book suggests, Cobb walks you through a year of preparedness one week at a time (so, 52 chapters + introductory and wrap-up sections). Each week, he gives you lessons and tasks for that week, a "prepper savings account" goal for that week, a water storage goal, and a food storage list for each week. Don't worry, the goals for each week are practical, not "pie-in-the-sky." He also includes many other lists throughout the book (basic supplies, tools, hygiene, first aid/medical supplies, get home bag contents, evacuation bag contents, etc.) meant as suggestions to get you started thinking about what you need for your circumstances.

Much of the goals and tasks are meant to be cumulative over all 52 weeks. By that I mean that each week adds up, so you're not doing all of your food storage, for example, in one week. Rather, you acquire your food storage a little bit each week, so that over time you end up with a good supply of stored food stuffs. 

The book is more than just lists of supplies to acquire. Examples of some of the tasks Cobb assigns each week includes decluttering your home, talking with your family about prepping, making extra money, planning and planting a garden, learning first aid skills, dealing with any medical and dental issues you may have, firearms training, networking with other preppers, and making bug-out plans, among many others.

You can find Jim Cobb's Countdown to Preparedness on Amazon. He also has several other books out. In addition to this book, I also own (and like) the Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide and the Prepper's Financial Guide. All are available through Amazon. By the way, ordering from Amazon through the links on this website helps support this website at no additional cost to you - so THANK YOU for using these links!
Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.   

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Unhealthy Modern Lifestyle

By Timothy Gamble 
(This article updates and expands an article I wrote in 2015.)

A 2015 medical study has revealed that as much as 90% of all cancer cases are lifestyle-related, rather than genetic or DNA-related. Many other diseases plaguing modern folks, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, also largely have lifestyle-related causes. This means that they are, in most cases, preventable. It is our unhealthy modern lifestyle that are driving these diseases to epidemic levels. And it is the rise of these diseases that have pushed medical and insurance costs sharply upwards in recent decades. If we are to get healthy, as individuals and as a society, we need to abandon the unhealthy modern lifestyle triggers for these preventable diseases.

The Unhealthy Modern Lifestyle:

1) Tobacco use in all its forms. Like it or not, various medical studies have proved that smoking and other uses of tobacco are directly responsible for about 22% of all cancer cases (not just lung cancer). Smoking and tobacco use are also responsible for a wide-range of other health problems.

What about second-hand smoke? Being occasionally exposed to second-hand smoke is unlikely to cause cancer. However, prolonged and consistent exposure to second-hand smoke, such as living with a smoker for years, can lead to cancer and other health problems. This is especially true for small children whose lungs and immune systems are still developing. Parents who smoke ARE putting their children's health and lives at risk. If that fact offends you, that's your problem (and, unfortunately, your child's problem).

2) Substance abuse. This unhealthy lifestyle category includes both the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of legal drugs and alcohol. And, yes, this includes the use of marijuana.

An occasional alcoholic drink won't cause health problems for most people, and in fact a daily glass of red wine may have health benefits. However, heavy alcohol consumption - certainly to the point of getting drunk on a regular basis - can cause serious problems over time, including liver disease and even several forms of cancer.

Marijuana currently enjoys a favorable status in modern society, and legalization is happening everywhere. Both sides of the marijuana debate are guilty of exaggeration in promoting their viewpoint. Marijuana use is neither as dangerous as its opponents claim, nor as safe and healthy as its supporters claim. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Occasionally smoking a single joint of marijuana is unlikely to cause serious health problems, but prolonged and consistent marijuana use can cause serious health problems, including lung disease and even the loss of IQ points.

3) Lack of physical activity. Modern society is very sedentary. Most folks get little physical activity on a regular basis. According to a 2012 study, "conclusive evidence exists that physical inactivity is one important cause of most chronic diseases. In addition, physical activity primarily prevents, or delays, chronic diseases, implying that chronic disease need not be an inevitable outcome during life."

Lack of physical activity is a major contributing factor to obesity, as well as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, joint problems, balance problems, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, several gallbladder diseases, and even erectile dysfunction, among many other problems.

4) Unhealthy diets. The modern diet is extremely unhealthy - overloaded with sugars, salt, unhealthy grains, and various substances such as preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals we were never meant to eat as food. Also, Americans typically eat huge serving sizes, consuming way to many calories for our sedentary lifestyles, leading to the current obesity epidemic. Fast foods, junk foods, and other heavily processed foods are very unhealthy. 

Too much sugar in our modern diets has many negative effects on the human body, including obesity, greater risk of type 2 diabetes, greater risk of some cancers, and may contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Too much sugar can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flus. Too much sugar can also cause insomnia and drain your energy levels.  

A major contributor to too much sugar in our diets is the fact that sugar is added in large amounts to a surprising number of foods - from condiments to canned veggies to frozen dinners. Even foods marketed as "healthy" can often have surprising amounts of added sugars. Read labels carefully.

5) Sunburns. Exposure to sunlight is not dangerous. In fact, we need it for vitamin D production. Don't be afraid of being out in the sun or of getting a healthy tan. However, even too much of a good thing can be bad. Repeated sunburns, especially to the point that it is painful and causes skin peeling, can lead to various problems such as skin cancer, premature aging, and other diseases.

6) Lack of quality sleep. (NOTE: The more I read about sleep, the more important it seems to be - this is the missing ingredient in many people's health regimen.) I know plenty of people who claim to get by on six hours of sleep a night or less. You might "get by" with less, but the research is overwhelming - adequate sleep is very important to good health. Lack of adequate sleep not only makes you tired, but according to research, impairs your concentration, memory, fine motor skills, and negatively impacts your mood. Not only that, but a long-term lack of adequate sleep compromises your immune system and plays a role in developing high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2  diabetes, and even several forms of cancer. 

Getting enough sleep on a consistent basis really is a must for your health. Your body's healing and repair system only works at peak efficiency when you are asleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, you are not giving your immune system the time it needs to heal your body.

7) Environmental toxins. The modern world is filled with any number of dangerous chemicals and other environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily baisis in concentrations much greater than normally found in nature.  These include air and water pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, PCBs, VOCs, phthalates, chlorine, and even heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, and lead. All these toxins can overwhelm your body and lead to a multitude of problems. 

8) Stress. The grinding, day-in and day-out, never-ending frustrations of dealing with traffic, long lines, stressful jobs, bad bosses, rude and toxic people, and a whole host of other things beyond our control, can cause many problems with our health. Prolonged stress can cause high blood pressure, increase stress hormones, lower testosterone, and negatively impact other hormone levels. In turn, each of those problems can contribute to additional health problems, in a cascading effect, similar to dominoes falling.

Beneficial Lifestyle Changes

What can you do to correct the unhealthy modern lifestyle? There are a number of beneficial changes you can make, including: 

1) Stop smoking and using tobacco in any form.
2) Stop using and/or abusing illegal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, and marijuana.
3) Greatly increase your physical activity.
4) Lean to eat healthy, and in moderation.
5) Reduce sugar intake as much as possible.
5) Don't avoid sunlight, but do avoid getting sunburns.
6) Make a habit of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night ("catching up" on the weekends doesn't count).
7) Find ways to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins.
8) Learn to manage stress. 

Websites, Books, and Other Resources

Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan (on the Mayo Clinic website)

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Pyramid (on Dr. Andrew Weil's website)

Traditional Asian Diet (on the Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology website)

The Paleo Manifesto (fascinating book by John Durant)

8 Weeks to Optimum Health (book by Dr. Andrew Weil)

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action Plans (book)

Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal (book) 

American Cancer Society (website) 

Quitting Smoking (on the American Cancer Society website) 

Eating for Good Health: Anti-Cancer Foods (article on this website)

Six Hacks to Supercharge Your Health and Healing (article on this website)
Please subscribe to Dystopian Survival using the Follow By Email field at the bottom of the right hand column.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @DystopianSurv - My account specifically for this website. 99% prepping, survivalist, and homesteading tweets. Few, if any, posts on politics.

Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.

GAB: @TimGamble - Mainly a back-up account for when Twitter bans me for being not being a leftist.