Fear Not the Unknown
To paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt, don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. You probably know someone who’s oblivious, rarely considering potential threats in times of peace, but the first to panic when the smallest problem arises. Conversely, there’s a good chance you’re reading this magazine because you want to dispel any fears by absorbing a healthy dose of survival information. That difference is what separates a proactive survivor from a reactive victim.
I was reminded of this dichotomy recently when a wildfire threatened to destroy my neighborhood.
That day, thick smoke billowed high into the sky as helicopters circled overhead. The blaze seemed unnervingly close to my house, and the growing wail of fire engine sirens told me it was only growing. But I didn’t let fear take hold. Instead, I took action. Thanks to some preplanning, I had vital documents, my go-bag, and my dogs in the car and ready to go within three minutes. We evacuated without incident.
Unfortunately, the inferno destroyed two dozen homes, damaged 55 other structures, and burned more than 9,200 acres.
Many panicked people didn’t have a plan. Broadcast reports showed them scrambling at the last minute to gather clothes, pets, photos, and documents. The fear in their eyes was evident. If they had prepped a bug-out bag and had a response plan, they could have taken action long before the firefighters initiated mandatory evacuations, as I had done.
It’s not that I’m smarter or better than some of my neighbors. It’s just that I’ve benefited from the knowledge shared by many subject-matter experts who have contributed to RECOIL OFFGRID over the years.
Take for example this issue. We have the privilege of featuring Mykel Hawke and his wife, Ruth England, on the cover. From 2010 to 2012, the couple partnered onscreen in Man, Woman, Wild, a Discovery Channel reality TV show that focused on Hawke, a former Army Special Forces captain and survival expert, showing England how to thrive together with limited supplies in the most inhospitable locales on Earth. In this edition, Hawke and his wife share how families can increase their survivalist I.Q. together.
We have other knowledgeable contributors with real-word experience, too. Check out wilderness survival expert Kevin Estela’s feature on how to build your own “predator pack” so you could feed yourself no matter if you’re stranded on land or near water. Meanwhile, Andy Schrader, a structural engineer who specializes in search-and-rescue consulting, explains how you can master ropes to save someone who’s trapped or fallen. And knife expert Michael Janich shows you how to sharpen a dull blade if you can’t find a conventional sharpener in a post-SHTF world.
I’ve always felt tremendous pride in the fact that we continue to attract the industry’s top talents to contribute to or be interviewed in our publication. So that’s why it’s with such a heavy heart that I announce I’ve resigned to spend more time with my family. This is my last issue as the head editor of RECOIL OFFGRID. And I’m grateful to have learned a lot along the way, from our expert contributors, fellow staffers, and most importantly from all of you, our loyal readers. So, thank you! I’d love to stay in touch and see how you’ve incorporated info and gear from RECOIL OFFGRID stories into your own preps over the years. So hit me up on Instagram: @calmbatives.
Ultimately, I don’t see my departure as bugging out. Instead, I’m taking Roosevelt’s advice. I’m not afraid of the fear of the unknown. I’m viewing this as an adventure along an unfamiliar path … one that I’m ready for thanks to RECOIL OFFGRID.