Pondering Preppers

Been pondering preppers this morning. A prepper is defined as a group or individual that prepares for a change in normal, world-as-we-know-it, day-to-day circumstances. A prepper may be construed on a spectrum, perhaps ranging from someone who grows their own vegetables to someone who has built a bomb-proof bunker. Yes, I’m working with a very broad definition here. Often times preppers are called survivalists.

Not a bad idea

I guess in a real sense, anyone who tries to live a somewhat sustainable life can perhaps be called a prepper. My family is a couple of years into trying to live a more sustainable existence: we grow veggies, raise poultry for food, enjoy our own farm eggs, and have even pondered a contingency plan in case our water supply is disrupted (i.e., our neighbor’s well). One of these days we want to get a goat for daily milk. Other than those basic things, we’re just as oil-dependent as the next guy.

Just off the top of my head, I’ve thought of a few items it would be good to have, in case something bad happens. . . .

  • Bottled water
  • Canned foods (i.e. sardines)
  • A good knife
  • Matches (or the ability to start fires)
  • Hygiene items

That’s my list. I would imagine the above list would only allow someone to be good for a few days (for example, after an extreme weather event), but if there was a more permanent collapse in the basic structure of the world as we know it, the list would need to be a lot longer!

I’ll leave you all with this quick video on preppers:

Walking Sticks For Defense?

We get a few calls and emails every month where people are asking us about the efficacy of walking sticks for defense and survival. Honestly, when it comes to using hardwood for defense, we’re admittedly pretty naive. We don’t pretend to be fighters, and, truth be told, we don’t want to be. We value the Golden Rule, “Do as you would be done by” (as the Brits used to say it). So when we see a handcrafted walking stick, we think of a tool for step-by-step support, not for bonking someone on the head.

We are, however, sure that a walking stick — especially a nice stout one like a hickory — is an ideal “defense” against unfriendly animals. My wife and I live in a rural community, and we love to go for strolls through the neighborhood to watch the sun set over acres upon acres of green pasture. There’s always a danger, though, of vicious dogs (country people, for some reason, don’t like to lock their dogs up), so I always take a walking stick for protection. So far I haven’t had to use it, but my wife has indeed whacked a pit bull on the head once with a Brazos Walking Stick — the stick held up and the dog figured out who’s boss. (Now after all that, it’s time for a caveat: we don’t make walking sticks to serve as protection from animals. We make them to offer support while walking, but we’re very much aware of ancillary benefits.)

As far as a walking stick being used for survival, a good stick can most definitely be an essential tool in that regard. If by “survival,” one means warding off predators, a stick fits the bill. If by “survival,” one means a tool to help navigate tricky, unfriendly terrain, well then of course, that’s what walking sticks are designed for! The ideas are almost limitless: a support beam for a makeshift shelter, a probe, a bush-whacking tool, and even a pole to help keep your food cache out of harm’s way while you sleep. (By the way, Discovery has a useful Survival Zone are on their website, highlighting many survival tips.)

Now go forth, walk, and be happy.

Walking Sticks For Survival

We came across this interesting article on whether or not a walking stick should be part of someone’s survival gear.

Most of us don’t think about including a walking stick in survival preparations. But for some, a sturdy walking stick should be a key component in any emergency gear.

Older people might need the stick to serve as a balancing tool. With training, the stick can be a formidable weapon. The stick can serve as one support for a tarp shelter. If you have to cross a stream, a wading staff can keep you from going into the water.

If you brainstorm a bit, there are literally dozens of uses for walking sticks when out on trails. Like Clint Eastwood said, “There’s nothing like a good piece of hickory.” 🙂