The Independent Daily
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An Online Journal of Independent Views & Discussion
June 7, 2013
Name, Website, All Contents copyright 2011-13, Warren-Hill Productions
Published in Northern Arizona, USAhttp://www.TheIndependentDaily.commailto:editor@TheIndependentDaily.comshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1

After the Fall:

Survivalists  - Not just ‘Arizona Crazies’ anymore

de la Luna

Editor’s Note: Alone (meaning just the two of them) de la Luna and wife built a small village where once there was nothing, with minimal impact to the remote woodland in the mountains of northern Arizona. The main home, outbuildings, guest cabin, off-grid systems, water supply, were all constructed or assembled without outside assistance, with two exceptions - Septic System and Well Drilling. All routine maintenance and repairs are done without outside assistance. Wildlife abounds; Neighbors, apparently do not: Their nearest is more than 2 miles off.

Are we nearing collapse? If we aren’t then why the hell are so many people considering the possibility? And, it’s not just the “Arizona Crazies” either: it’s the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy Average Joes who are, in the recesses of their thoughts, sketching out their plans of action.

For the wealthy, it’s easy, or so it seems: carried a brief article describing multimillion dollar hideaways for the US’s affluent survivalist: secure “Bug Outs” within the abandoned underground structures of America’s defunct ICBM silos long-ago made superfluous by technology. Selling for $1.5 million or more per housing unit, they’re a surefire hit amongst the Jet Setter crowd. A way to survive into the near future following collapse – but only into the near future: Beyond that, no amount of “wealth” in either currency or mineral will secure your tomorrow. Skills, fortitude and the ability to do what would seem to most, unthinkable, are the assets of the survivalist.

So, what is a true survivalist?

I suppose that in some way we might include in that classification the many affluent who have bought into the above project, but I don’t give them good odds for longer-term survival. In fact, I probably give much better odds to those who live as we do: Off-grid with the capacity to fabricate, kill, grow, improvise, or repair.

They are people who are undaunted by the wilderness. Who can cut, split and stack firewood. Who can shovel, rake and hoe. Who do not find a warm evening too ponderous; A freezing morning too painful to build a fire. Who can live quietly and in-tune with their surroundings without dragging to the Wilds everything that makes life in the cities painful, including their ideas about how other people ought to interact with them.

A Survivalist, therefore, is someone who can exist and who takes solace in that existence.

Fixing everything that breaks?

It’s not that difficult, and it’s not that involved. It only takes a willingness to experiment, to make a few mistakes (Our actual motto: There’s always time to do it right the second time), and to overcome the mental block most people have regarding the ability to do something for which they have not been formally schooled. Of course, we have the advantage over the younger generations today who have been steeped in the idea that we are all specialized and have no business doing someone else’s specialized job. We don’t know any better.

To be successful as a “Survivalist” you too shouldn’t know any better. (Pun intended.)

“Survivalist” carries with it too many clichés, so, alternatively from this point on we’ll use, “Pragmaticam Vivus” or Latin for Pragmatic Living: That’s much loftier and doesn’t conjure images of bearded, camo-wearing white men running through the woods with assault rifles remarking about “how pretty” your mouth is.

“Pragvivs” for short, are those of us who lead pragmatic lives able to cope with the least and the most formidable of challenges: Power grid failure? If our power grid fails then I have failed to perform adequate Preventative Maintenance: the lifeblood of Pragvivs.

Civil Unrest? Living a casually-defensible existence day-to-day is not stress inducing. It doesn’t turn otherwise amiable people into standoffish cretins who eye the approaching stranger with trepidation. It just means being aware…and probably armed, particularly when 911 help is several hours off. (Of course, in the event of actual Civil Unrest, there is no 911.) It’s the same reason we keep a fire truck on the ranch: Firefighting services are at least two hours away yet in only a few minutes everything could be gone…Pragmaticam Vivus. The same rule applies to Food Shortages: A time to kill…a time to grow: It’s all very Biblical (either Ecclesiastes or the Byrds – take your pick).

Is a remote existence for you?

We didn’t buy, build, and move here to escape the coming apocalypse. And in all honesty I don’t think that day will come in our lifetimes, albeit an inevitability, historically speaking. We moved here to find peace, quiet, and the ability to walk around freely without the omnipresence of government and people. We share Einstein’s love of Humanity, but dislike for individuals. Let’s face it, in small doses human beings are fine, but day-in and day-out as we age people become, generally, tedious: spreading flu viruses, gossip, misinformation, and competing for space.

The solitude here promotes creative thought, expansive reading, and invigorates the intellect. We haven’t had television for ten years now, and that may contribute to this sense of liberation, as well. Life is not all Thoreau-esque, however: We do have a very energy-efficient 40 inch LCD monitor, Blu-Ray player, numerous computers (all Apple nowadays), and most of the other trappings of modern society.

“Don’t you want to kill your spouse?”

No. That thought has never crossed my mind. Do we disagree? Rarely, and if we do the minimum conflict it presents is usually over very quickly. I will admonish those who are considering a remote type of existence to consider otherwise, though, if you and your spouse or “S.O.” don’t have a highly compatible relationship. There is no room for an unforgiving mind in the wilderness. Cooperation is the key to sustaining life and growth.

“Do I need to change how I live?”

In our next article we’ll talk more about some of the key changes you’ll need to make if you’re considering a remote, sustainable, survivable existence, including the most obvious for those who first set on the idea: “How big a home do I need?” More later, but consider this in the interim: Small is easier to heat, if heat is a necessity to life where you are thinking about living.

If you’d like to read more on this subject, please let our Editor know by emailing him at Thanks for reading…RDL.