Today we sit down on our latest installment of ask-a-prepper and speak with Zack of the blog Urban Survival Skills.
How long have you been prepping for?
Must be at least 15 years now and still learning every day. The more I find out the more I realize how little I really know. It’s a learning curve and an addiction.
Any reason why you began prepping?
I ended up becoming involved in prepping backwards. I read “Emergency” by Neil Strauss every few months and his learning curve was the direct reverse of mine. I was into bushcraft and became disabled, became hooked on the internet when I became more house bound recovering from hospitalizations.
Reading Schwert from Outdoors Magazine http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article179&var_recherche=nessmuk&var_recherche=nessmuk inspired me to start and write and try to pass onto others what I had learned. I already had a fairly comprehensive skill set and started to develop my horticulture, bushcraft and security skills into an urban setting. It became a hobby for me and hopefully a business eventually teaching.
A specific event?
More a series of events that made me realize that the government couldn’t help anyone in a major crisis as I worked in those areas of security and search and rescue. I’d seen too much. As long as a large scale disaster happened in only one state within Australia the other states could back each other up, but if all were affected at the same time we would be over whelmed here. A simple measles outbreak here will close down an Emergency Department.
Do you live in an Urban setting or a rural one?
If the time comes are you bugging out or in?
Primarily bugging in but have alternative plans for bugging out to various locations. Gradually plan to become a resident of the road and permanently on the move. I had lived in a bus for 3 years and would like to eventually get back into that lifestyle.
Has prepping changed your lifestyle?
Not really, it’s always been a part of it. Even when not a prepper, just by being involved with emergency services.
Do your preps include an underground shelter or bunker?
No, never seen the need for one. Although would like large scale underground cache containers. Mainly as a way to store equipment against bushfire damage. Bunkers make you a target.
If times ever got tough would you work solo or with a support group?
Partially solo but am always increasing my network of contacts and friendships. It’s impossible to work alone 24/7. Everyone has different skill sets to contribute. No one can do it all. I have friends in each state, all into prepping. We back each other up.
If you could give a new prepper some advice based on your past mistakes, what would they be?
Get the skills and experience over hardware first and research every purchase so as not to waste time and money.
Did your significant other have a problem with your prepping?
Single, but always looking for that special someone to help survive the zombie apocalypse. haha.
Did he/she back you?
Kids. If you have any are they incorporated?
If so how?
Kids adapt easier than adults.
It all comes down to how you introduce a person to prepping. Start off slow and make it more about camping for example and always fun.
Can you share any tips for the elderly or low income families who wish to prep but are unsure of how to start based on said age or income level?
I’m low income and disabled. I don’t let anything hold me back. It’s become a lifestyle for me. There’s more information on youtube about starting out than I could ever write here.
Doomsday Preppers. Has the show hurt or helped the prepping community?
Probably both. There’s always something to learn, even from others mistakes (especially from others mistakes). The show had mostly mistakes and seemed more designed for ratings but did reach more people than a serious show would have.
Does your extended family or friends give you slack about prepping?
I’ve stopped associating with sheeple. They give me a headache.
If nothing happens in your lifetime or children’s lifetime for that matter, would you feel that you wasted your time and money?
Not at all. It hasn’t been about surviving a global catastrophe but about being prepared for local fallout. Being able to support myself in an emergency and not have to rely on others and have the skills to do that.
Want to give some advice to a new prepper?
Read, research and learn. There’s lots of information out there especially on youtube. Some of its crap and others are a gold mind. Learn to disseminate which is which.
Here is a fun question. If you had to pick one item to aid you on a deserted island… what would it be?
Either a good blade, my Jeff Crowner 3V golok or an Aurora fire starter. Depending on the climate and my ability to start a fire in that area. I can build just about anything with a good chopping blade.
Last words or thoughts you wish to share?
You don’t have to be a survivalist nut to be a prepper. Prepping can also be a way of backing up simpler problems of losing a job, sickness. You don’t have to be paranoid about an apocalypse occurring. There’s nothing to be scared of, a lot of advice and bug out bags seem designed to make people feel safe rather than be practical. It’s about the skills you develop and what you carry in your head and not on your back. The aim is to be self-sufficient in life and the ability to deal with the problems that can occur during that process.
If you the reader feel inclined, please visit Zack’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/urbansurvivalskills.