On the Grid
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see what I’m currently working on by following me on Instagram: @pmccarthy10.