A New Kind of Survivalism

We're all familiar with the survivalist stereotype -- a bearded guy with an underground bunker, with a stockpile of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, and enough canned and dehydrated food to last through the apocalypse. This does not appeal to me.

I'm interested in a different kind of survivalism -- one where instead of endless preparations for a doomsday that may never come, I make changes to my life that improve my quality of life right now, and have the side effect of making my family more adaptable to changes of various kinds. For instance, planting a vegetable garden and raising chickens or pigs instead of getting crates of unappetizing MREs from military surplus stores.

I've seen this described as "Resilient Communities", a term coined by John Robb, who described them as able "to enjoy the fruits of globalization without being completely vulnerable to its excesses."

This is mostly theory and planning for me now, although I'm going to be implementing parts of this sooner than others. My long-term plans include moving my family outside Los Angeles, but my current situation precludes that. I'm taking care of two aging parents, don't want to leave them in Los Angeles, and don't think it's feasible at the moment to take them with me.

However, there's parts of this that I can implement right now, and some that I've already implemented. I've switched to bottled-water delivery, and am stockpiling a supply of water by having slightly more water delivered each month than we can consume in a month. (And now our drinking water tastes much better.)

I'd like to plant my first vegetable garden this summer, and I'm considering (like half the hipsters in the country, apparently) raising chickens for eggs and meat.

I'm also building up my skills. I have taken a shotgun and pistol course here (with the truly excellent ITTS, highly, highly recommended) and plan to take more. This fits with my general philosophy, because I enjoyed taking the classes, and I enjoy going to the range to practice. I'd like to learn auto repair and machining, both of which I would enjoy doing more of.

Ultimately I'd like to build a house in a beautiful, quiet place with a good year-round water supply, and implement there the lessons I've learned here in Los Angeles. I'll keep writing as I flesh out my plans, and as I learn more, build up my skills, and try new things.