Words or action?
Which do you prefer, words or action?
When you’re nosing around on the Emergency Plan Guide website, you’ll find pretty equal doses of what I’ll label “narrative” – things like personal stories and descriptions of new survival gear – and “calls to action” — the suggestions for putting that info and that gear to work.
That’s because I believe that after learning something, unless we take action – we’ve wasted our time!
That being said, this week’s Advisory leans heavily toward the “words” side of the equation.
In fact, this is the fifth Advisory we’ve done on . . .
Common words associated with prepping, survival and preparedness!
Disclaimer. You don’t have to actually SAY any of these words. Or write them. But at least you won’t feel like a dummy if you hear someone else using them!
The essentials: “Prepper” vs. “Survivalist”
These two terms used to be distinct, but seem to be overlapping more each day. At least after today you’ll know the difference.
Prepper – Clearly, this word comes from the verb “to prepare.” It refers to a person who thinks an emergency or disaster – man-made or natural — is likely to occur in the future and who makes active preparations for it. Typically, preparing includes stockpiling food, tools and other supplies (which could include firearms and ammunition).
If you are reading this Advisory, you are probably a prepper.
(I must admit I am not particularly fond of this word, however, given its linkage to both “Doomsday Prepper” — which has become totally trite – and also to words where “-er” is added to an otherwise innocent noun to create something problematic, like “Truther” or “Birther.”)
Survivalist – So now the question. If you are a prepper, are you also a survivalist?
This word has been around a lot longer than prepper, and while it has much the same meaning, the survivalist’s preparations run to learning and practicing outdoor survival skills, typically for use in a forest or wilderness setting.
The survivalist stores supplies, too, but also anticipates “living off the land” by hunting, fishing or trapping (not to mention picking and eating berries, plants, etc.) Survivalists are hardcore. Not many of us are survivalists. (Heck, some of us haven’t even been camping for years!)
Good to distinguish between these two!
Want more than the usual article in Popular Mechanics? Here’s a book from Amazon that will keep you busy for a few weeks! The author, Dave Canterbury, also has a book just on trapping, gathering and cooking! Either one makes a great gift. Just click on this link or on the image to get to Amazon so you can order. (That last sentence is a classic example of a call to action.)
OK, now on to a few more expressions that crop up in nearly every online forum or survival blog.
How about these common prepper vocabulary terms?
EDC – One of my favorite resources is a blog that regularly features a photograph of a pile of small items (always very neatly laid out) that the author carries in her purse or pocket. Usually, there are keys, a wallet, an expensive pocket knife, an LED flashlight, maybe a small very clever multi-tool. These are some of what are called “Every Day Carry” items — stuff to have with you all the time.
Try dumping out your own pockets, or your briefcase. Any useful prepper items there?
BOB – What you have in your pockets won’t be enough to keep you alive for the 72 hours that a Bug Out Bag is designed for. Sometimes called a GoBag, or a Get Out of Dodge Bag, or a simple Survival Kit, this is meant to provide the basics — food, warmth, water, communications — for those first three critical days. In real life the “basics” usually translates to a whole collection of stuff including blankets, paracord, a multi-tool, dried food, first aid kit, emergency radio, extra underwear, etc.
The thing about the BOB is that you have to be able to CARRY it, so you’ll continually have to pare down what you think you need.
Variations on the bug-out theme include the BOV, or Bug Out Vehicle, which is designed to get you to the BOL, or Bug Out Location. (Remember, roads may be impassible.)
MOLLE – A month or so ago I came across a new word when I was researching BOBs! It referred to a particularly small and efficient backpack with a web arrangement that makes it easy to add additional equipment or pouches. (Here’s a link to that Advisory on BOBs.) Molle, pronounced “Molly,” stands for: Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. (Anything Molle is also likely to carry the word “tactical.” Both expressions are related to the military.)
Of course, when we mention “military” we must add to our vocabulary list (and probably to our BOB) these classics:
MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat. You probably already know that these are packaged meals designed for the military. They come in a durable pouch, and you eat right out of it. For those of us who would get tired of eating cold MREs, there are also MRE s that come with a water-activated chemical heater!
While eating out of pouch would probably get pretty tiresome after the first day or two, it would be better than having nothing to eat. MREs belong in a BOB, but probably shouldn’t be major part of the long-term food supply for Bugging In, or sheltering-in-place.
While you can buy individual packets, it’s more sensible to buy MREs by the dozen. After all, you need at least two meals a day to give you enough calories. (Two meals X three days = 6 meals in your BOB, alone.) Here’s the link to Amazon, where you’ll find this two-box package.
P.S. to this section: Veterans seem to have their favorite flavors/menus. Check with a veteran if you have to make a decision. (The box in the image comes with 12 – all different! – so you can’t go wrong!)
P.P.S. to this section: MREs are packed securely to repel insects, withstand rough handling, etc. That means you aren’t going to be able to open them with bare fingers. Your BOB has a knife or multi-tool, I’m assuming.
Before we leave the BOB, there’s another set of guidelines that will help you as you pack up your kit.
The Rule of Three describes how humans can live only 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Lately, the Rule of Three has been expanded to add another “rule” – and that is, in extreme weather conditions humans can live only 3 hours without shelter.
We mentioned Mylar space blankets, right? As shown in the clickable image, they typically come in packs of 4 or more.
Now for some random prepper acronyms.
OTG — Off the Grid – or OTGE – Off the Grid Event. A lot of preparedness deals with functioning when “the grid” goes down. The grid refers to the electrical system for the country. The grid provides us not only with electricity, but also drives communications, water, food distribution systems, etc.
Some self-sufficient people have already chosen to live off the electrical grid. But in a situation where ALL systems are down – electrical, social, legal, etc. it may take a long time for civilization to recover.
The concept of a total societal breakdown brings us to the last two acronyms for today:
WROL– without Rule of Law, a situation where law enforcement is ineffective or non-existent. In WROL, this acronym may apply:
YOYO – You’re on your own!
Feel like you know more now? What are your plans for putting some of this new-found knowledge into action?!
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
If you’re tempted to use some of these acronyms in a game of Scrabble, they won’t be allowed unless they are considered common usage or if they are found in the official dictionary you have chosen to accompany your game. Pick your team and your dictionary well!
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