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#216691 - 02/09/11 12:09 AM Rebuilding Society
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1973
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Several years ago I mentioned I am involved in role playing. For a while I was wanting to be involved in a structured role play which deals with survival because, while nothing will replace the real thing, the nature of a structured role play game has a way of pointing out things overlooked that all the planning in the world could never do.

Last year I joined such a role play game because it is a fun way to test what I have learned in theory and I expect it to point out things which I probably have overlooked. Though it started last year, I still have time to prep my player-character based on myself because she joins the story later and because some of the other players are dragging their feet.

The story takes place in 2050, a post apocalyptic world. The end of the world as we know it has already happened. People want to rebuild but the world is still chaotic and most people may still be in survival mode.

My player-character, Jeanette, is transported from 2010 to 2050. How that happened is not important. Jeanette, who is from our time, has been thrown into a long-term survival situation and will remain in a survival situation until society is rebuilt. Jeanette, however, has several things in her favor: Though forty-years-older, some of her family and other people she knows are still around. Her house is still in the family and her room has remained untouched. Anything of hers which can survive forty years is intact.

Since the plot involves the player characters on a trek, I wanted to give Jeanette every reasonable advantage since she would not have any foreknowledge of being transported to a post apocalyptic world. Jeanette is a Wilderness EMT getting ready for wilderness expedition when she suddenly finds herself in a survival situation. Since low-tech items (pots for boiling water, clothes, knife sharpeners, etcetera) will be available to her, my focus is for Jeanette to have gear she would most likely have on her and would give her the greatest advantage:

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Medic
Pocket Survival Pack (Other than the Pico Lite, Jeanette doesn't need anything from the Plus)
PICO Lite (Because replacement batteries will not be available, it makes sense to give her something small)
Bottled water, 500ml (This is a common size for a bottle of water, it is easy to hold and is easy to do the math)

Civil discussion is appreciated. Maybe some have done something like this before or even thought about doing something like this. As I said nothing will replace the real thing but this is better than all the planning in the world. It may help to point what I have overlooked before I am "tested." I am open to ideas for gear and things other than gear.

Note: I am not affiliated with Adventure Medical Kits or Sentry Solutions.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#216692 - 02/09/11 12:28 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3048
Loc: USA
Suggestions offered in order of priority.

A bushcraft class before time-tripping would probably be my topmost priority.

Outerwear and footwear are essential -- you mentioned clothes being available, but well-fitting and broken-in boots can easily be the difference between life and death. I tend towards waterproof boots. You'll want shelter, too, even if it's just a 2-person Heatsheet.

A larger knife would be a really good idea. Perhaps a Ritter Mk2.

A multitool. My favorite is the Leatherman Wave.

Another form of firemaking, such as a Bic or REI Storm Proof matches.

Is a handgun, or better yet, a rifle, out of the question? While a .22 makes a dandy survival rifle for many reasons, it would be my second-to-last choice (before harsh language) if I were to face hostile predators, 2- or 4-legged. Don't forget gun-cleaning tools and supplies if you have any sort of gun.

In the absence of replacement batteries, I'd likely pick a flashlight that would last longer. I'd probably pick a Quark 123^2 (I have, um, three of them).

Wiseman's _SAS Survival Handbook_ would be the book I would bring, if I could only bring one book.

A backpack? One with a hydration bladder?

#216697 - 02/09/11 01:56 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2738
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Hmm, a brave new world indeed.

Okay, my $0.02:

Your heroine is about to suffer one hell of a systemic shock, right down through her very core. This cannot be understated: she has been transported to an alien planet. She will not enjoy the change.

Hardware is irrelevant. Social skills are priceless. Psychological resiliency is the difference between life and death. Related skills, perhaps, include a range of flexibility in what is morally palatable.

I hope she has had all her shots. Even so, she is utterly naked and helpless from an immunological view. She is a helpless infant, needing mother's milk.

Rebuilding civilization is a tricky prospect. Post-apocalyptic worlds, even though they may languish and regress by our standards, translate into new societies in a generation or three. Resistance to change from the 'known' is enormous; do not expect a welcome to her voice from the long-dead past; violent resistance is practically guaranteed. (See social skills, psychological resiliency, moral flex, above.)

We can only speculate about the range of technical and environmental/chemical surprises that will be part of the air, water, animals, plants, and people. Technical skills and savvy will have a large place, though discretion may keep her from being burned as a sorcerer.

None of this sounds terribly encouraging. Sorry. For training and conditioning, I suggest you drop your heroine somewhere in the Congo, circa 2011.


#216698 - 02/09/11 01:59 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: chaosmagnet]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1973
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
These are good suggestions. Some, I believe, need to be discussed and weighed with an open mind.

My player-character is a Wilderness EMT and not just a regular EMT so she would have some wilderness training though she could use additional training. Of course my player-character is based on me and as I have said, this is intended to "test" what I theoretically know. I have considered taking some wilderness classes (I live in an urban environment) but I have not done so yet.

Once again my player-character is a Wilderness EMT so she would be in appropriate clothing. One reason that Jeanette is getting additional clothing in this setting is to better blend in. The emergency blanket you mentioned is included in the medical kit I am considering.

The Mk2 may be bigger than what I may be comfortable with. The Mk3 is a better slicer and slightly less noticeable than the Mk2.

I have given a lot of thought to a multi tool but given the other tools I already have, the RSK Mk3 and the EMT sheers in the medical kit, do I need additional tools? If so, I need to find a way to determine which is the best multi tool for this situation.

Another fire making tool is something worth considering.

My friend Arik is playing a wester movie type gunslinger in the role play game, another player-character is a Tai Chi master (a form of martial art which can be lethal when practiced for many years) and there will be other player-characters who are armed whom Jeanette will be with.

Regarding the book, there is no reason for it to be on her since all of her positions would still be in her house, as mentioned in the initial post, and a book can survive sitting around for forty years.

The flashlight you suggested certainly lasts much longer. The PICO Lite is tiny, which is an advantage and, at $10, throwing it away is no big deal after its advertised fifteen-hour runtime.

A pack would depend on how far along she is in preparing for her scheduled trip which got interrupted. As for the hydration bladder, I don't believe it would be needed since the party Jeanette is with would have things like a pot for boiling water. The bottled water is to sustain her until Jeanette finds out where she is (she will be transported within in her city though it would look foreign to her) and those she knows which should not take long. After the bottle of water is empty, it can be used to hold water which has been purified.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#216701 - 02/09/11 02:34 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: dougwalkabout]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1973
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
None of this sounds terribly encouraging. Sorry.

Your post is very informative. I welcome suggestions on getting her psychologically prepared or defusing the bomb after the fact. Also, what is a bare minimal time span from the time she arrives and the time she is asked to go on a trek for the sake of her city? If it helps to know, two of her friends are also called on to go on this quest.

Though she will be transported in time, she will remain in the same place. Her sisters and some other family members are still alive, the house is still in the family and her bedroom untouched, some of her friends are still around, her youth pastor is now the senior pastor of the church and there are remnants of the city she knew.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#216702 - 02/09/11 02:52 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 857
Loc: Colorado
Just thinking about what 40 years does to stuff-

Any batteries will not function. They don't have shelf lives of even 20 years. Equipment that had alkalines in it has a good chance of having batteries leak during that time and ruin the battery contacts.

Her contact lens solution (if any) would have gone bad if opened. Maybe even unopened too.

Meds would be way past expired. Adhesives (like, say, band-aids) would be useless. Elastics will have lost elasticity (start with saggy underwear and think outwards)

Rubber stuff like jar lid gaskets and bicycle tires and tubes will have dried and crumbled.

Light oils and solvents (gun cleaning supplies) will have evaporated.

Gasoline will be long past useless if still present.

Likewise any opened paint/thinners and possible even unopened ones.

Many canned materials will have eaten or rusted thru the cans.

Many lubricants will have evaporated or solidified. The bicycle wheel bearings will hardly turn and the chain will be a sticky mess if not a rusty mess.

Les Stroud's book on Kindle won't work :-)

Guitar strings will have corroded to finger cutters and any wooden guitars will have dried and cracked badly.

That's about 5 minutes worth of engineer-thinking. (sorry!)

Edited by unimogbert (02/09/11 02:53 AM)

#216703 - 02/09/11 03:16 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Hey Jeanette, good to see you back here!

I have given a lot of thought to a multi tool but given the other tools I already have, the RSK Mk3 and the EMT sheers in the medical kit, do I need additional tools? If so, I need to find a way to determine which is the best multi tool for this situation.

The usefulness of a multitool becomes apparent when you need to disassemble something to scavenge parts to build something else, also using your multitool. The ability to remove a screw from one thing (a bookcase for instance) to build something else, say a solar oven, makes a multitool very useful. Add the ability to use the multitool's file to shape metal and you've just advanced thousands of years past cavemen. Add two crescent wrenches and suddenly you can pull the alternator from a car and build a generator.

The ability to make 1,000s of fires is also necessary. Matches or a lighter isn't enough. Get some sort of firesteel.

Now are actually trying to rebuild civilization or just go on a quest for some object? The two require much different tool sets. The best way to rebuild society is through agriculture...followed quickly by making alcohol. Some books on farming and animal care would be most welcome. The firefox books and Diary of an Early American Boy or other books of self sufficiency come to mind.

You might also want to download and read the free Steampunks Guide to the Apocalypse. It has all sorts of good ideas on making useful stuff out of the remains of our current civilization.

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#216704 - 02/09/11 03:18 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
The story takes place in 2050, a post apocalyptic world.

A good place to start - a movie from 1936 predicting the future of a post apocalyptic world.


Living in a part of the world where nothing changes very rapidly means 2050 won't be too much different from today (less cars, same street layout, more horse cr*p) just as 1970 wasn't to different. The waterfront development in my city has been scheduled to be completed (there is a sign in the town centre saying the work is due for completion by 2031) just before Everytown was rapidly constructed by 2036 in the film. smile

The local pub (been operating since 1870) I suspect will probably be under different management by 2050 though and the beer probably won't be as good by then.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (02/09/11 03:25 AM)

#216705 - 02/09/11 03:21 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: unimogbert]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1973
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Elastics will have lost elasticity (start with saggy underwear and think outwards)

That is the one relevant thing mentioned I have not considered.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#216706 - 02/09/11 03:38 AM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1384
There is documentary series on the History Channel named Life After People.

The purpose of each episode is to predict what happens to infrastructure 1 hour to millions of years into the future after people have disappeared in the very near to very far future.

Although this does not directly correlate to your scenario, this TV show still gives a sometimes fascinating insight through CGI effects and some historical real world events as to what to expect when there is no modern society left.

There are also some details on Wikipedia about this TV show.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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