On the Grid

RECOIL OFFGRID - - Contents - By Pa­trick McCarthy

Stay­ing Plugged-In

Sur­vival isn’t easy, but it’s cer­tainly eas­ier to­day than it was in cen­turies past. Some of this can be at­trib­uted to modern medicine, which helps doc­tors save lives that might oth­er­wise be lost to ill­ness or in­jury. It’s also a re­sult of the global econ­omy, which gives us ac­cess to a greater se­lec­tion of af­ford­able tools and pro­vi­sions. But per­haps the great­est sur­vival ad­van­tage we have to­day is tech­nol­ogy.

Now, be­fore you re­mind us that a ma­jor dis­as­ter could crip­ple the power grid and ren­der elec­tron­ics pow­er­less, hear us out. Th­ese de­vices are tools, and like any other tools, you should be ready and able to sur­vive with­out them. How­ever, in the mean­time, you’d be fool­ish not to make the most of them.

For ex­am­ple, we wouldn’t head out into the woods with­out a lighter sim­ply be­cause there’s a chance it could mal­func­tion or run out of fuel — but if it does, we’d have sev­eral backup meth­ods of start­ing a fire. Sim­i­larly, we wouldn’t leave a smart­phone be­hind in a bug-out sit­u­a­tion, since it pro­vides a con­ve­nient means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and nav­i­ga­tion, among many other things. But if the de­vice breaks, sig­nal drops to zero, or a cat­a­strophic event per­ma­nently wipes out the power grid, we’d go to plan B. This is the dif­fer­ence be­tween pre­pared­ness and de­pen­dence.

Even out­side of SHTF sit­u­a­tions, tech­nol­ogy can be an in­cred­i­bly valu­able tool for im­prov­ing your sur­vival skills. The in­ter­net pro­vides ac­cess to the an­swers to ques­tions you’ve never even thought to ask and a near-end­less source of use­ful tips, guides, and step-by-step tu­to­ri­als — many are avail­able on OF­F­GRID­web.com. Thanks to per­sonal elec­tron­ics and the In­ter­net, you can start learn­ing vir­tu­ally any sur­vival skill with­out set­ting foot out­side your home. You just need time, pa­tience, and real-world prac­tice to prove its ef­fec­tive­ness.

Our an­ces­tors would be in­cred­i­bly jealous.

Those of you who read this col­umn last is­sue will re­call our em­pha­sis on the value of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a com­mu­nity of sur­vival­ists. This, too, is made eas­ier thanks to tech­nol­ogy. While so­cial me­dia is of­ten used for post­ing cat pic­tures and ar­gu­ing about pol­i­tics, it’s also a great way to stay in touch with like­minded peo­ple around the world. If you’re look­ing to con­nect with prep­pers in your area, you shouldn’t have trou­ble find­ing them with a quick search of lo­cal Face­book groups — it sure beats the past al­ter­na­tives of plac­ing a wanted ad in the news­pa­per or nail­ing a no­tice to the bul­letin board in front of city hall. While you’re at it, you can fol­low our of­fi­cial so­cial me­dia ac­counts at Face­book.com/OFF GRID mag and @recoil off grid mag­a­zine on In­sta­gram for news, event cov­er­age, and use­ful ar­ti­cles.

So, how does 21st cen­tury tech fac­tor into your prepa­ra­tion strat­egy, and what sort of elec­tron­ics (if any) are present in your sur­vival kits? Let me know by email­ing me at pm­c­carthy­of­f­grid@gmail.com. You can also see what I’m cur­rently work­ing on by fol­low­ing me on In­sta­gram: @pm­c­carthy10.

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