COVID-19 Global Pandemic – preparing for the worst by focusing on self-reliance

It is always good to hope for the best but prepare for the worst by cultivating your own self-reliance.  The dominoes have begun to fall with global efforts to control the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, and we don’t know when they will stop.  Here are some suggestions to help increase your self-reliance to aid in decision making and action taking in preparing for the worst during this global pandemic.  The seriousness of the situation offers an opportunity to establish a new paradigm for yourself that will serve you now as well as in the future.  You are responsible for yourself and the results you get in life.  This experience is being forced on us but is also an opportunity to learn and right-size our lifestyle in many ways.  As we monitor the developing situation, keeping these recommendations in mind will assist in determining needed assets vs. assets that may prevent flexible deployment.

This is a good opportunity to practice

But first, let’s consider the good.  The pandemic is an opportunity allowing for personal reflection and goal formation on how you want to live your life as an individual as well as being an example of how you would like the planet to be. In other words, you can be the change that you would like to see in the world and express yourself in a fulfilling way.  As Cody Lundin states “You benefit from acting on these principles whether Armageddon happens or not.”  At a relatively low cost, you can be prepared, flexible, adaptable, and agile. So now we have an opportunity. You can also do the planet a favor by consuming on a smaller scale. Living small is one of the most responsible things you can do and ultimately makes life better as practicing minimalists say.   A happy and successful life is more of a subtraction process than adding things.  Rightsize on the right things, and stop clinging to ineffective concepts and practices.   The world is different now, we need a new way to see.  Some people update their mental models better than others, they are called survivors.” – Laurence Gonzales.  Shoring up these principles in your life will help you now and when it passes.  The information presented here are simple, core understandings that build a foundation of a paradigm that will serve you your entire lifetime.

The world is complex and is very hard to understand.  Mental maps are hard to create.  It is hard, if not impossible to fully understand.  The complexity of our world will not fit onto our mental stage at one time.  By focusing on our own self-reliance, we can learn and understand these principles, deploy these principles now during the pandemic, and keep our resources aligned for the next crisis which will inevitably come again one day.  Building in flexible, nimble, agile, adaptable, and general principles is a smart way to deal with an uncertain future.

Principles of simplicity  (borrowing from Cody Lundin and other sources)

Complexity breeds waste and you have no resources to waste. Conservation of resources and energy is paramount.  A spiritual collapse will occur if you overextend yourself.  Simplicity needs to rule.  Strive for simplicity in all things.  Good old common sense. The easiest and cheapest way to reduce the variables in your life or survival plan is to keep things simple.  Even simple systems behave in very complex ways and can lead to disaster.  When you begin to outfit your home with self-reliant goodies, simply purchase more of the same stuff that you packed with your portable disaster kit.

Principles of survival

Here is an interpretation of the Survival Rule of 3’s.  This is a great outline of survival principles upon which you can maintain countermeasures to prevent death.  These are basic and fundamental.

  • Immediate survival
    • In 3 seconds, you can die from panic
    • In 3 minutes, you will die without air
  • Short term survival
    • In 3 hours, you can die from exposure (lack of thermo-regulation)
    • In 3 days, you can die without water
  • Long term survival
    • In 3 weeks, you can die without food

A typical survival rescue scenario lasts between 1 and 5 days but averages 3 days / 72 hours.  Therefore, during normal societal conditions, it is good to inform someone of your outing plan prior to leaving.  If you don’t show up on time, a rescue will be triggered to find you and it may take up to 5 days.  You will not die of starvation, but you may die from a lack of water.  If we get into trouble, it is good to S.T.O.P (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan) which prevents a negative spiral of actions as panic sets in.  A panicked mind is a useless mind and can kill you. It’s good to know this for priorities, but also keep in mind that if you are not in-taking food and water on a regular basis, your energy level tanks resulting in poor mental and physical performance.

Countermeasures for the Rule of 3’s:  know your needs

  • Immediate survival
    • In 3 seconds, you can die from panic
      • Things which help you maintain composure.
      • “Thrashing does not save a drowning victim, but is natural.  Those who float quietly have a better chance at survival.” – Laurence Gonzales:  Deep Survival
    • In 3 minutes, you will die without air
      • Avoid situations such as drowning in water, suffocating from an avalanche, respiratory infections
  • Short term survival
    • In 3 hours, you can die from exposure (lack of thermo-regulation)
      • shelter
        • houses, buildings, vehicles, tents, tarps, primitive shelters
      • clothing / insulation
        • sleeping bags, blankets, coats, long underwear, hats, gloves, boots.
      • fire
        • matches, lighters, ferrocerium rods, flint and steel, friction fires.
      • In 3 days, you can die without water
        • Water containers and treatment methods
  • Long term survival
    • In 3 weeks, you can die without food
      • food supplies on hand with the ability to mobilize if you need to

Note that these survival needs can be met in many ways.  In normal house living, everything is in place and possibly not necessarily obvious to duplicate.  Should we have to go mobile for some reason, we will need appropriate countermeasures in having the right gear.  In a mobile situation, these needs can be met in a different way using different items.  The Survival Rule of 3’s gives us an outline of what can kill us and how to combat that risk.

Think like a backpacker

In When All Hell Breaks Loose, Cody Lundin recommends thinking like a backpacker.  This is a great idea for investing in survival gear.  A backpacking stove works out of a backpack, in a car situation, and in a building situation.  A house stove is limited to a house.  Thinking like a backpacker helps you to accumulate backpackable survival assets.  Add a vehicle to have more of those some assets.  Add a house to have even more assets.  I like to think of this as a telescoping system.  My backpacking gear is in my vehicle, which is in my garage.  I can leave my house, drive as far as possible if needed, then project out on foot should the need arise.  You can live out of a house, a vehicle, or a backpack or any combination you desire or are forced into.  Modern gear and technologies allow you to be independent regardless of the environment.

Bushcraft and primitive living

Bushcraft and primitive living skills enable you to meet the needs of the human body from the landscape.  Bushcraft teachings leverage the use of the knife, axe, and saw to interact with nature.  In primitive living, all of your gear comes from nature.  In these realms, there is a lifetime worth of learning to become proficient.  I try to practice and study in these areas and they are critically important.  Backpacking concepts are a stable, modern gear platform to become proficient in.  We have consumed so much of the planet’s resources and your chances of surviving off of the land are quite low, even if you know what you are doing.   As I mentioned, there is a lifetimes worth of knowledge and skills to acquire to be proficient here.  Backpacking skills work in any environment.  Bushcraft and primitive living skills are important, but difficult to learn and change with geography.

Bugging out

As Cody Lundin points out in When All Hell Breaks Loose, an emergency can quickly leave you homeless and backpacks make good bug out kits. He recommends we consider building bug out kits before outfitting your home. Backpacking forces a minimalist mindset which forces you do differentiate between needs and wants. Simply purchase more of the same stuff that you packed in your bug out kit to outfit your vehicle and home.

Prepped and Frosty planning for COVID-19

With this information in mind, here is our Prepped and Frosty COVID-19 preparedness and action plan that we are using to structure our thinking and actions and maintain composure.  A reminder from Laurence Gonzales in Deep Survival, there are 4 poisons of the mind:

  1. Fear:  > overcome fear with spirit and intellect, panic can kill you quickly
  2. Confusion: > get the information in the 40 to 70% range and then go with your gut
  3. Hesitation: > act decisively and with confidence
  4. Surprise: > plan for the worst-case scenario, then you will not be surprised by anything

We are striving to have all of these plans ready for deployment at the drop of a hat. The Survival Rule of 3 countermeasures can be met in many ways; substitute as required and keep them in mind when you make a move. Cody Lundin advises: having all of your eggs in one basket has been a bad idea since the beginning.  Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, here is our telescoping plan:

  • Plan A: shelter in home
    • Following recommended guidelines per the federal and local leadership structure, plus a tad more to be able to help others who have their head up their ass and need help.
      • Social distancing, 1 month supply, plus some more to help others,  not hoarding
      • Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty
  • Plan B: vehicle deployment
    • Should our local environment become non-viable, we will deploy in our vehicle to a better area. We do not think this will happen, but we are preparing for it.
    • If triggered, naturally all available resources will be loaded into the vehicle rapidly.
    • I have lived in my van for numerous years and have seen many people who have fallen out of society and are forced to their vehicles.  You can survive in your vehicle relatively easy.  The key is mental optimism.  Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty.
  • Plan C: backpacking focus
    • Should our vehicle break down or gas becomes insufficient, we have our backpack systems packed and inside the vehicle for foot deployment. The collapse of world energy markets is a possibility discussed on various radio shows.
    • Get your backpacking gear ready to carry everything on your back if necessary
      • If you have no backpack, here are some alternatives
        • Blanket rolled up with gear inside and tied
        • Travel luggage of all types
        • Plastic contractor bags
    • With backpacking gear, you can live well. I recently lived out of my tent for 5 months traveling down the Missouri River. A lot of homeless people live in alternative shelters every day.  Always keep your chin up, be Radiant, Prepped and Frosty.

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One thought on “COVID-19 Global Pandemic – preparing for the worst by focusing on self-reliance”

  1. Great advise Scott and Margie. Very adaptable to an individual needs and meets all the potential situations that may arise in tis crazy situation the world is finding itself in. Thank you


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