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Friday, 28 September 2018

Bushcraft and Survival in the News; September 2018

Brexit is a big topic in the news here in the UK at the moment and recently there have been some news articles that link brexit with prepping and survival, while that normally isn't the topic of this blog dedicated to bushcraft and education we do have a dedicated section on prepping and survival given the popularity of those topics and their close ties to bushcraft skills.

The Short List published an article recently about people who are preparing for 'doomsday' as a potential result of botched Brexit negotiations or other major world events which they feel might impact the normal functioning of society.

Robin shoots with sir Guy by Louis Rhead 1912.png
By Louis Rhead - Rhead, Louis. "Bold Robin Hood and His Outlaw Band: Their Famous Exploits in Sherwood Forest". New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1912., Public Domain, Link

They share the story of  a South Wales resident going by the name of 'Robin Hood' who keeps a cross bow under his bed and has made some preparations for  emergencies in the form of tinned and dried foods and a 'few five gallon water containers' other than being woefully under-prepared for any major emergency his attitude is perhaps one of anarchism instead of true preparedness.

He seems more concerned with the idea of the police taking away his 'weapon' than with the true implications of a potential food shortage or major national emergency. He and several of the other 'preppers' interviewed for this piece seem to have a fairly fatalistic view and have accepted that the world will end due to a combination of war and climate change.

Several of their interviewees also mention the dangers of a no-deal Brexit and the potential this has for disrupting services and supplies of food and medicines. The British Government has mentioned stockpiling food as a potential preparation for the disruption that might be caused by Brexit but this has been criticised as impractical by the supermarket industry as the Government also admitted that they didn't have the resources to stockpile this food, the implication being that retailers would have to do it to maintain their business.

FEMA - 2720 - Photograph by FEMA News Photo.jpg
By FEMA News Photo - This image is from the FEMA Photo Library., Public Domain, Link

Not only have preppers in the UK taken to preparing for Brexit but there is an ever increasing demand for bunkers in case of major armed conflict, nuclear war and even asteroid collisions.
These bunkers are only really available to the ultra rich as pointed out in a daily mail article from the sixth of September. The attraction of these bunker facilities is understandable when the President of The United States tweets things like this;

Many of these bunkers are far more luxurious than you might imagine would be possible in a post apocalyptic scenario, like this converted nuclear missile silo;

Some people have already taken to living in 'bug out' locations in case of imminent catastrophe; as reported by the Daily Star on the 15th of September. The article refers to a recent BBC documentary called 'Face to Face with Armageddon', the documentary follows families living largely off grid in bunker complexes and wilderness retreats.

Almost as far fetched as some of the opinions held by the most extreme of preppers is the idea presented in a Newsround article from the 20th of September regarding plans to bring Woolly Mammoths back from extinction by cloning from well preserved cells in ancient remains found in Russia. It sounds like something out of a Jurassic Park film but from the perspective of experimental archaeology and the study of primitive skills wouldn't it be fantastic? Perhaps not realistic but a fantastic thought and absolutely ground breaking if it was successful, think of all the other extinct species that could be brought back.

Wooly Mammoth-RBC.jpg
By Tracy O - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Given the fact that more and more people are hiding in bunkers though are extinct wildlife going to have a place to live even if we bring them back?

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