Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Gypsy Survival Q & A - Exploring The Nomadic Lifestyle

By Tim Gamble

Gypsy Survival Q & A

Q.  Is a nomadic lifestyle really suitable for all preppers?

A.  No. I am merely proposing that it is an alternative that some folks might want to consider. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is best for you and your family depending on your own unique circumstances and personal concerns. There is no "only one correct way to prep" despite what some may think. I do believe there are aspects of the "gypsy lifestyle" that are intriguing from a survivalist standpoint, as I explained in my previous article

Q.  What does "home" look like for a Gypsy Survivalist?

A.  For the Gypsy Survivalist, home is wherever they are with family and tribe. It is not a physical address, which would only be temporary anyway. Most likely they sleep in a tent, camper, trailer, RV, or mobile home of some sort. Some may rent apartments or even houses, but they avoid accumulating a lot of stuff. Everything they own fits inside their vehicles and/or mobile home. They own little, probably no, furniture or other large items.

Q.  How would a Gypsy Survivalist "bug-out" if there is no gas?

A.  I guess the same way you would bug-out if there is no gas. Use the gas you do have in your vehicle (which is why everyone should keep their vehicles topped off), as well as any gas you have safely stored to get as far as possible, then walk.

Keep in mind that everyone, even country folks and those living in remote areas, may have to bug-out at some point. Think about a massive wildfire sweeping through your area for just one possibility forcing you to leave your retreat. 

Q.  Without "roots" in a community, aren't Gypsy Survivalists just lone wolves?

A.  Community isn't defined by geography. It isn't a neighborhood or town. A Gypsy Survivalist's roots are with the community of like-minded family and tribe they travel with and share life 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. I would argue that the unique lifestyle they share allow them to forge a stronger nomadic community than the geography-based community that most regular folks have. 

Q.  How do Gypsy Survivalists make a living? 

A.  Gypsy Survivalists are typically self-employed or take temporary or part-time work for which they feel no particular loyalty towards the employer. Easy to just leave whenever.

Traditionally, gypsies tended to be entertainers of some sort (singers, musicians, actors, storytellers, fortune tellers, etc.). Think vaudeville. This seems to hold true today, although to a lesser extent. Other common gypsy employment is as artisans, craftsmen, handymen, tinkers, construction workers, and similar professions. Retail and restaurant work also fits the gypsy lifestyle nicely. Gypsies can be professionals, and some are, but their lifestyle often makes for a difficult career path in terms of advancement, though there is always some need for temporary nurses and other professionals. 

Q.  But aren't all Gypsies thieves and prostitutes? 

A.  If your knowledge of gypsies comes mostly from Cher's song "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves" and other pop culture references, sure. But the reality is different. Yes, some gypsies do resort to crime and prostitution, just like some non-gypsies do. Crime is not unique to any group. 

But this does bring up one potential drawback to being a Gypsy Survivalist. Gypsies, past and present, tend to be regarded with great mistrust and suspicion by regular folks, often leading to harassment and even worse. This is due to the Gypsy refusal to assimilate into the outside world, and to conform with outside societal norms. Also, their lack of roots within the geographical community means they are forever seen as "strangers" and strangers are never to be trusted. 

Q.  How do Gypsy Survivalists stockpile food, water, and other supplies?

A.  This is one area where Gypsy Survival is very different than other survivalist strategies, and why some folks automatically reject the idea. Most "regular" survival strategies depend heavily on stockpiling food and supplies to ride out a disaster, or at least buy us time until we can provide for ourselves. Gypsy Survivalists have very little room for a deep larder,  lots of water storage, and a host of other supplies. 

A Gypsy Survivalist would have to keep their stockpiles minimal. Maybe a couple of weeks worth of food and supplies at most. Emphasis would have to be on collecting or acquiring as needed, rather than storing.

Examples: Instead of storing lots of water in jugs or tanks, the Gypsy Survivalist would depend on their ability to collect and 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, and gathering wild edibles, and possibly by having small gardens when camped at a suitable location for a period of time. 

Q.  Can Gypsy Survivalists really have gardens?

A.  Gypsies don't move around constantly. It is not uncommon for them to stay in one area for months, or more, at a time. I've seen documentaries where the gypsies grew small gardens, and had chickens, rabbits, and even a few goats. Some food production is possible by Gypsy Survivalists, although not on a scale that an established homestead can produce. 

Q.  But won't Gypsy Survivalists have to leave their garden behind when they have to bug-out?

A.  Yes. But so will you when you have to bug-out. In fact, it will probably be more difficult for you to decide to leave your well-established homestead, than it will be for them to leave their small garden. And in certain circumstances, delays can be deadly.

Q.  But being prepared requires lots of books, tools and other gear. Where will the Gypsy Survivalist store it all? 

A.  Does survival really require lots of gear, or have we fallen into a consumerist mind-trap? If you are not homesteading, your need for tools and gear drops dramatically

The Gypsy Survivalist will make do with minimal tools and gear with little redundancy. They will emphasize quality, usefulness and practicality, over quantity. This will require a certain amount of ingenuity and creative thinking. Strive to get the most "bang for your buck," so to speak. No need to have much in the way of yard or garden tools (I would recommend a shovel and an axe at least). Probably no need for power tools (except maybe a gas-powered chain saw?). They should a good set of basic tools and skill to use them, and a few tools of the trade for tinkers, metalworkers and handymen types. 

Same goes for books. Many preppers and survivalists, myself included, acquire lots and lots of books. The Gypsy Survivalist will have no room for a large library. Maybe one or two 3-foot shelves worth of books. This will force them to be choosy about what books they keep. Only the most important, useful, and often-used will make the cut. Again, quality over quantity.

***You can find Tim Gamble on social media! Follow at Gab (@TimGamble), Twitter (@TimGambleSpeaks), and TruthSocial (@TimGambleSpeaks)

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