Originally Posted By: Bingley
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
I think it's folly to expect to survive the End of the World. Hell, I'm not even sure I'd want to. While I love the wilderness and have tons of wild lands in my back yard (I'm in Montana), I am a human. Humans are social animals, and outside of the context of living as part of a social group what meaning does life have?

I regularly go for months with very little human contact, partly because of my work. That can be pretty hard if you still want the usual human things, and most people in my situation do, at least in the beginning. That can cause behavioral changes that are not good for you and not good for social interaction when you do come across people. If you aren't prepared for isolation and you suddenly find yourself alone in an End of the World situation, you probably will do rather poorly.

Years of meditation, though, has enabled me to be able to handle isolation far better. It has also taught me to see the world and oneself in a completely different way. Yes, there is meaning beyond living as part of a social group. Now I can sort of see how Indian yogis are able to spend decades isolated in a cave somewhere.

If this is a concern, I would recommend studying this before you actually face prolonged isolation. You develop skills faster if you have teachers and classmates, and these may be in short supply at the End of the World.

I have much lower need of social contact than anyone I know IRL. But that's not the point, really. A man in an Antarctic research station or the ISS may be very isolated but he knows "home" is there, waiting for him. There's a sense of being a part of something even while being temporarily distant from it. In a true EOTWAWKI situation there's nothing to go back to, no way to go "home." Individuals may live on as animals and maybe in twenty generations something of a civilization may emerge from the chaos. You may be interested in toughing it out so that some future society can exist; if that's you, great! That is noble. I've been through enough in my life that I'm probably not selfless enough to scratch out an existence for a couple decades in the hope of leaving the embers a little better off.

But I'll also say that I calculate the odds of this type of event within my lifetime as being pretty small. Not zero of course, but not worth devoting a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth to. My preparations are primarily focused on the likely things that have affected me in the past and/or probably will in the future. It's common to face weather events (eg blizzards here, hurricanes in some places), Earthquakes, financial reverses due to employment or health issues and disasters like fires and floods. On an even more mundane level preps include things like spare tires, bandaids, things to get through minor issues. Lastly, my preps include firearms, rifle-rated body armor, ammo and other security related items.

In short, my preps are based around the things that seem relevant to me and my life.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman