Home Forums Welcome Hello! Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

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  • #158272
    Avatar of qoheleth
    qoheleth
    Member

    Any Survivalists here? Anyone know any good links for Survivalists? I’ve decluttered truckloads over the last couple of years and I’m working to become mobile and self-sufficient… which is hard with a family.

    Survivalists focus on self-sustainability and extreme minimalism. Camping gear, solar power systems, food stockpiles, and home defense are common among survivalists.

    Survivalists flirt with paranoia and are drawn to extremism, but I’m certain there are several subscribing to unclutterer. The numbers of survivalists is continuously growing, although as a hobby its not quite as politic to discuss in public as feng shui.

  • #161168
    Avatar of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    I have a basic survival pack in a small backpack. It is very minimal. I also have a Big Berkey, because the water is so bad here. I’m not very happy with it, because the faucet and other fixtures are plastic and not very lasting. The water filtration part is good.

    I can’t afford to stockpile food or anything else. That wouldn’t be very minimal. I had seeds in my backpack, but they got bad. I have a hunting knife,some fishing line, matches, an all-in-one tool, a book on survival, and a couple of those tiny, thin blankets that retain body heat. I also have a tiny flashlight. The only things I think I need are a first aid kit, a water purifying kit, a mess kit, and a water container.

    I used to have links to several sites, but I changed computers and no longer have them.

  • #161170
    Avatar of opadit
    opadit
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    -Raises hand-

    I joke among my friends that I’m a “millenialist/survivalist/eschatologist.” Uncluttering is one strategy among many for me to use when it comes to planning my household with emergency preparedness in mind — how can I light candles in a blackout if I don’t know where they are? If I find some, how do I know how many I can burn before I run out of them, if I can’t see immediately how many I have on hand? The same line of thinking applies to planning my pantry, wardrobe, toiletries, household effects, etc.

    Myself I’ve found that paper books and reference materials are more useful than online resources for survivalist topics. I’m not a Mormon, but I found that “Passport to Survival” by Rita Bingham (easy to find via google) was very helpful. While I don’t keep the Mormon “year’s supply” for logistical reasons, and while I’m not on the same page as the authors regarding imminent religious end-times, I dig the secular message of being financially and materially prepared for emergencies.

  • #161191
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    i don’t know if i will ever be able to pare down enough to live that minimalist, i do like the idea of pretty much being prepared for anything. i was thinking a while ago if our apartment ever caught fire how screwed i would be. i had so much random paper clutter i could never find anything. so i got rid of most of it and now keep all my important stuff in a binder(birth certificate, car title, W2′s and a few other things) and i plan on getting a water proof fire safe to store those in and maybe a few other things, a CD back up of photos and music maybe. i also need a home inventory, but have put if off b/c i still have to much stuff and don’t want to have to go through everything till i get rid of more.

  • #172204
    Avatar of Patch
    Patch
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    I’m not there yet, but my eventual decluttering goal is “everything I own in the car” — with it just being me and 3 cats there is no real reason why I shouldn’t live like this. I already have my “grab in case of fire” list, and it all fits in one suitcase.

    I don’t know how much longer it will take to get there (feels like “never”) since I’ve been decluttering for 8 years now, but once the furniture and papers are gone it will be close.

    For now though, I still have to find new homes for approx one roomful of small household items (CDs, DVDs, last of the books, unused kitchen things, small appliances, etc). These are my most expensive items and I have already donated $1000s of dollars worth of merchandise and books in my first rounds of decluttering, so I’d like to try and recupe a little.

    Most of my clothes, however, I don’t like and will eventually donate ALL of them to the women’s shelter and replace with a FEW pieces I DO like and that serve me better)…

    Hehe, yeah if not for all the stuff that still owns me I’m almost a minimalist. The concept really does intrigue me though, as do those who live in small houses. I like the idea of seeing just how much I can truly live without, how far I can pare down, how much I can compact and consolidate what few possessions I own. Just to see if I can do it.

  • #172207
    Avatar of Sky
    Sky
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Very interesting subject. Just when I thought I was decluttered….

  • #172222
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    My mind was much relieved when I subscribed to an online backup service. It connects to your computer daily and saves, offsite, all your data. If my house were to burn down, I could recover all my files. My writing, financial data, thousands of ebooks, etc.

    I still need to make a record of all my software purchases, and passwords, so that I can redownload them if necessary. Probably should also scan important papers, so that they’re securely offsite.

    This would be of little use in a grand catastrophe, such as survivalists expect — no internet then. But if you experience a smaller catastrophe, from a house fire to a hurricane or earthquake, you’re covered.

  • #172224
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Y’all might also be interested in assembling a jump kit (go bag). Something you keep by the door and grab if you’re forced to make an emergency evacuation. An online acquaintance of mine, who is an EMT (emergency medical technician) put up a web page on jump kits.

    http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/emerg_kit.htm

  • #172234
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    I think there are HUGE differences between “minimalist” and “survivalist.” The most telling being that “survivalist” types tend to congregate in ideologically-defined groups; tend to hoard supplies, which may or may not have any use in the event of an ecological or political catastrophe, and the various categories of which are dictated more by dogma than by logic; tend to hunker down and be immovable.

    Minimalism is more about NOT being tied down by possessions. Much closer to the topics discussed on this site.

  • #172247
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    i think with survivalism there is a real tendency to start hoarding stuff against the day of armageddon.
    except survivalists always have very good reasons for why they need four petrol generators and two shipping containers filled with canned food and three hand cranked radios and eleventy hundred guns and a hand bearing compass that glows in the dark and can be read underwater and a solar powered laptop and nine million metres of barbed wire and sets and sets of tools and and and.

    i don’t care, it just all looks like clutter to me :)

  • #172271
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Exactly. And it’s not really about survival, it’s about a siege mentality. “Us” against “Them.”

  • #172331
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    I think there are some crossover elements between survivalism and minimalism. Elements of the latter may make you more effective at the former for example.

    I don’t pretend to subscribe to either camp, but here’s a real life example.

    My mother in law, whose house is tidy and clean but filled to the brim with trinkets and decorations… a woman who keeps everything “just in case”… her earthquake kit consists of a whole plastic garbage can. Mine consists of a small backpack. Will we both be able to live for three days? you betcha. will she be more comfortable? I’m sure. Will I be mobile in case the roads go down, the gas lines to the house blow, and there is widespread civil unrest (yes, a real possibility in my city, I’m not paranoid, it happens here for real) yes I will!

    She’ll be wondering how to get to her 50 lb. garbage can. And if she does, how to transport it.

    Just an idea of how the two worlds might cross over sometimes.

  • #172340
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Interesting. I’d like to read about survivalists who do actually make it ‘work’ and aren’t just nutters with aforementioned ‘siege mentality’. You can’t live that way.

    And I think the kind of ‘survival’ we are looking at can function in various ways.

    We’re kind of doing it at the moment: we’re putting in solar power and a veggie garden as a defence against the ever-rising costs of both. Most of what we have is invested in our actual home and particularly the land – it’s not worth much at the moment – most of it is a bare paddock – but I figure, no matter how hard the economy crashes, we still have that paddock. We can keep livestock if we need to. And it will always be worth something.

    We have loads of camping gear. At the moment it would be pretty hard to load up and bail, but that’s something I should definitely be thinking about before bushfire season.

    Things like keeping your privacy and being able to communicate without being monitored- that’s increasingly an impossibility for the vast majority of the population.

  • #172348
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Yes, so much comes down to semantics–what we call things.

    I would make a further distinction between survivalists (agree with chacha1 and bandicoot as to how I would define survivalism) and self-sufficiency.

    I am a big proponent of self-sufficiency when it makes sense. In an urban flat, it is not possible to have a garden, but simply gardening and putting up preserves, being able tó use solar power, conserve rainwater, composting, etc are great ways to develop it.

    A young friend here lived through a war in Bosnia in her early teens. It was eye-opening to find out how life was managed. When power would be briefly restored randomly, there was a frantic “what should we do first? wash dishes? ourselves? clothes?”
    water needs to be pumped, pumps require power sources.

  • #172350
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    I know it sounds kinda gross, but when I saw the TV footage of families in carts heading for the hills, babies cradled in a blanket, I wondered how mothers managed things like nappies and women’s hygiene. It was the middle of winter, too.

  • #172353
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    klutzgrrl, i ALWAYS wonder about that sprt of stuff.
    i am totally practical and i wanna know the nitty gritty details.

    djk i once lived here for a week with no electricity, in a post-cyclone situation (ie horrible weather).
    we had a generator that worked briefly and we were exactly the same…pump water? charge phones? hook up computer? watch a movie? cook something that isn’t blech or blech?
    if it had been random, i don’t know how i would have coped.

  • #172602
    Avatar of gnutbeam
    gnutbeam
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    There’s a branch of “survivalism” called Bushcraft. I think it has more in common with uncluttering that the stereotypical survivalist. It’s about using the minimal amount of kit to survive (comfortably) and replacing kit with know how. Most items bushcrafters use have more than one purpose too. I think it’s a mentality shared with unclutterers. The minimal amount of stuff to get through life comfortably. Search Youtube for “Ray Mears” and “bushcraft”, and “Cody Lundin” to get an idea. Cody Lundin is a “survivalist” who also lives a uncluttered minimalist lifestyle, while teaching survival and primitive skills.

  • #172604
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    gnutbeam, that sounds a lot less paranoid & militaristic than the stereotypical American survivalist. :-)

  • #172619

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Gnutbeam, I think that’s what we all know and recognize as survivalism. Some people don’t understand or want to make it something it’s not, but anyone who’s read much fiction, played a modern video game, or turned on a tv recently SHOULD know that to be survivalism.

    I use to live in a car with camping supplies in the trunk. No solar laptop or any other of the items joked about here. I can’t tell you how many times my magnesium firestarter came in handy… for lighting cigarettes. The good this about it was having a duffle bag in the trunk that I could easily carry and not needing to go to the store or ask someone for help for months on end.

  • #172699
    Avatar of suzjazz
    suzjazz
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Surviving a natural disaster like a hurricane, blizzard, or flood is different from surviving some kind of nuclear or chemical weapons attack holocaust. It’s smart to be prepared for the former (flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, lighters, extra bottles of water, canned food, first aid kit, etc.) but there is really no way to prepare for surviving the latter. Radioactive fallout would contaminate everything and render water purification tablets useless. If the tragic aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is any indication of what could happen, the survivors might very well envy the dead, as someone said. Leukemia and thyroid cancer killed most of the people who survived the blast and the fires. And germ warfare or chemical warfare with deadly poisons like ricin will leave few if any survivors.
    We should strive to prevent these catastrophes from occurring at all by working for global nuclear disarmament and the destruction of chemical/biological weapon stockpiles. This is unfortunately the opposite mentality from that of most survivalist groups, which tend toward irrational beliefs that they will survive anything if they have enough guns, ammo, food and water stockpiled. This is not the answer to survival on this planet and it is certainly not minimalist or uncluttered in any way whatsoever.

  • #223425
    Avatar of RudyB
    RudyB
    Member

    Extreme Minimalism: SURVIVALISTS

    Anyone wanting to look at “extreme minimalism” and “survival” would do well to visit the Primitive Way website. The important thing to keep in mind is the old adage that when it comes to survival, the more you know the less you need. I have been studying primitive survival skills for more than forty years and am comfortable going “camping” with absolutely nothing… except in the dead of winter. But, to play it safe, I normally carry a small knife, a metal water bottle, some cordage and a means to light a fire. Of course, circumstances play a big role. If after some natural or man-made disaster there were tens of thousands of other people attempting to survive in the outdoors in the same location, living off the land would become next to impossible. That’s where the “survivalist” sitting in his bunker with his guns and two years worth of MREs will have an advantage… although the lesson of the Alamo should never be forgotten!

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