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The Last Guide You'll Ever Need
April 14, 2009 9:01 PM   Subscribe

If society fell apart this afternoon I’d be willing to bet you’d die. You’ve spent your life learning how to ‘cut and paste’ or how to master E. Honda’s Hundred Handslap in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but when the world comes crashing down and you’re hungry, you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes. Lets face it. You’d die. This blog is to help those plan for their escape from the collapsing rubble of our society." Survive the Apocalypse.
posted by netbros (60 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait... you're saying you want to survive the Apocalypse? Wotta sucker!!
posted by not_on_display at 9:04 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something I should have read before Y2K?
posted by Balisong at 9:09 PM on April 14, 2009


you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes.

Ramen, yuck.
posted by Brian B. at 9:12 PM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


x-post, cf. Time travel back to 1000 A.D.: Survival tips
posted by kliuless at 9:15 PM on April 14, 2009


I see nothing in here about fashioning goblets from your neighbor's skull. This is a lame Apocalypse!
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 PM on April 14, 2009


Lets face it. You’d die.
Nah, I read The Foxfire series when I was kid. It didn't take that long to master the hundred handslap, and I had some extra time.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:32 PM on April 14, 2009


Signs of the coming apocalypse are all over the blogosphere. For instance, Charles Johnson is now the voice of reason among right wing bloggers. If that doesn't have you peeing in your ramen, nothing will.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:34 PM on April 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Site's like this are wrong. If society fell apart, we - the people would build a new one. Most people are good at their core, and when we see things that are wrong we work to fix them together. People help people, that's just who we are. Humanity wouldn't be as wonderful as it is if we didn't have this quality. The world would be a horrible, horrible mess if we weren't good. Sure there is nothing wrong with preparing for natural disasters or the like, but these kind of alarmists are doing more harm than good by focusing their audience on themselves instead of their community. If you really want to survive in such a situation, make friends with your neighbors, get involved with your community - because we will rebuild our lives, our communities, from horrible circumstances we always will. It's ironic, that site's like this assume most people are bad and out to get them, but the very act that they are doing, preparing people for bad situations is altruistic.
posted by bigmusic at 9:46 PM on April 14, 2009 [13 favorites]


If society fell apart, we - the people would build a new one.

Totally. Those of us who've watched Deadwood know that there's nothing to fear. The need for order and society is built in.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:55 PM on April 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes.

I think everyone here has had someone pee in their morning cornflakes, so it can't be that much of a mystery.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:05 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Site's like this are wrong. If society fell apart, we - the people would build a new one.

Yep. I love reading ideas by anarchists about how life will be after "the fall". Those punks are dead wrong. The strong and will find other strong people and band together to protect their families and property, give that a year or less and BAM you have a regimented society, if only local, complete with laws and enforcement.

As for the link. It's pretty weak on everything. Real instruction, references to legitimate sources, etc.

Fuck that. I just browsed through a dozen or so pages and fuck that website. Fuck it. MetaFilter regularly gets links to survivalist sites and routinely mocks them. I'm OK with that. We aren't at a point where you need to dig a bunker and stockpile ammunition as most of the links demand. However, we also aren't at a point, no society ever is, where a person should sit back and expect everything to get better for ever.

Observe, investigate, plan, and prepare. That usually means carry on as usual, but it might mean stocking food and supplies, maybe even weapons. Observe, investigate, plan, prepare.

But don't write shitty websites purporting to supply information you don't have.
posted by Science! at 10:08 PM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes

See, the smart ones among us survivors will be eating chewy, pee-flavored Ramen, while your noisy, crunchy chewing sounds attract zombie hordes who will accordingly snack on your brains. There's even a section at the back of the Boy Scout Handbook about all of this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 PM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, guess what—Society isn't very likely to collapse anytime soon. So any time I spend learning how to deal with your surviva-porn is less time I spend doing things that will make me money or entertain me, like mastering Office or the hundred-hand slap. So, sure, you know what parts of coon anus are good eatin', but I'm gonna fuckin' pwn you this weekend, bitch. Now put another quarter up and stop your paranoid whining.
posted by klangklangston at 10:12 PM on April 14, 2009


Speaking of poseur hipsters, remember Urban Scout? Looks like he's still preparing for the end by blogging in a loincloth. Rock on!
posted by mattdidthat at 10:13 PM on April 14, 2009


you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes

I'll have you know my pee is exquisite.

There. I don't see how that comment will ever come back to haunt me.
posted by gc at 10:25 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


If society fell apart this afternoon you didn't have health insurance I’d be willing to bet you’d die.
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson at 10:30 PM on April 14, 2009


I would just hunt my own food and survive off of that. Because, in a crisis, I would simply decided that all of you, every single one, are now my food.

Doesn't even need to be that big a crisis. If I'm feeling peckish, my watch battery running out my be enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 PM on April 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


The 'how to hotwire a car' thing is bloody useless. Explains the easy bit, then says "oh look, if the steering lock engages, you're stuffed". Whoop-de-doo... anyone who's been preparing for the apocalypse by watching crap tv can get that far.

Oh, right.
posted by pompomtom at 10:44 PM on April 14, 2009


Yeah, weak.
Plus - "Learn From Dick Proenneke" is stupid. I could go through every special forces training camp in the world six times, win every gold medal in the olympics, build a rocket powered chainsaw motorcycle and lead the Hell's Angels into battle against giant mutated flies from beyond Saturn, beat the crap out of Bill Brasky while in a standing 69 with his wife, out drink Scotland, knock out ninja bears with my balls and stomp Chuck Norris' ass into a mud puddle and I wouldn't be anywhere near 1/10th the man Dick Proenneke is, and I can already survive well enough to the point I can get fat living in the wilderness.

Learn from Proenneke? Hell, Proenneke wouldn't *notice* the apocalypse. Like telling me to learn to sing from Ray Charles or land on the moon from Armstrong, except Proenneke could whittle his own space program with an axe and some hand tools.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 PM on April 14, 2009 [16 favorites]


Squirrel Melts!
posted by mikw at 11:09 PM on April 14, 2009


The War Nerd discussed apocalyptic fantasy a few weeks back, noting the improbability of a true reign of chaos -- and of most armchair survivalists living through any real systemic failure.
posted by blackberet at 11:10 PM on April 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


If society fell apart this afternoon I’d be willing to bet you’d die.... you’ll be eating crunchy Ramen noodles and wondering how your own pee tastes

Actually, emergency preparedness, wilderness survival, and DIY primitive technologies are hobbies of mine (as opposed to obsessions), so you can save your high horse for all those cold, lonely nights you've been fantasizing about. Enough people still have the basic skills to keep each other alive that there's no reason to assume everything will go to hell, and history doesn't really support the theory that anarchy is the inevitable outcome of disaster.

On the other hand, I probably would die if society fell apart, because my life depends on modern medicines of which I only have a three month supply. I could probably up those odds by a few years if I wanted to bet on the apocalypse, but death can always find you, no matter how well prepared you think you are. Knowing how to keep safe and alive during emergencies (and to prevent emergencies) is always a good idea. But convincing yourself that you can guess the form of The Destructor and profit from your foresight is a fool's game. Not much point in fighting tooth and nail to extend a life that's withering away from paranoia to begin with.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:32 PM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Field guide to the Apocalypse is a better resource because not only does it tell you how to drink pee, it also tells you how to fight off mutant zombies. Or so I believe.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:32 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyway, violent videogames are already preparing kids for the Apocalypse.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:36 AM on April 15, 2009


Ayn Rand reincarnated as Vishnu the Destroyer.

BEST. BAND NAME. EVER.

posted by Minus215Cee at 12:41 AM on April 15, 2009


Damn. Ya'll mothafuckahs be funny.
posted by willibro at 12:56 AM on April 15, 2009


None of these websites ever tell me what I want to know, i.e. if I have a life and hobbies which already occupy much of my time, and don't have much storage space, what kinds of emergency storage equipment is it worth my while to keep? What are the rock-bottom skills I should prioritize and learn? That kind of thing.

I mean, I suppose I could stockpile three months' worth of nonperishable food and sealed water canisters (or however you're supposed to keep water potable for long periods of time), but then I wouldn't have room for the food I'm eating now, so it'd be a bit futile.

The problem with survivalist websites is the ones I've read always turn survivalism into a way of life, not a means to life.
posted by bettafish at 3:12 AM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I already know how I would handle the apocalypse thanks to Metafilter's server problems over the years. I'd just keep hitting refresh until society finally loaded.
posted by srboisvert at 3:21 AM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


I have a friend who teaches survival to the army and he swears the secret is eating porcupines.
posted by unSane at 3:55 AM on April 15, 2009


I have a friend who teaches survival to the army and he swears the secret is eating porcupines.

nah...the secret is cannabalism

First and foremost, you have to decide if there is anything more important to you then your own life. If not, then the decision is easy, cannibalism is for you
posted by aetg at 4:10 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to ask...is this sort of "It's not a question of 'if', but 'when', so you better learn how to live in the stoneage" apocalyptic mindset unique to the US, or is it a common theme worldwide?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:39 AM on April 15, 2009


I would just hunt my own food and survive off of that. Because, in a crisis, I would simply decided that all of you, every single one, are now my food.

Doesn't even need to be that big a crisis. If I'm feeling peckish, my watch battery running out my be enough.

Your honor, I am not an experienced cannibal...

posted by heathkit at 5:05 AM on April 15, 2009


Survivalists are people who are so into "I told you so" they made a lifestyle of it.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:35 AM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure who that site is pitched at. Anyone really interested this stuff wants the results of gelatin ballistics tests - not LOLZ.

Still, any haters in this thread who say this isn't cool are lying.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:41 AM on April 15, 2009


I think everyone here has had someone pee in their morning cornflakes.

No, we're just assholes.
posted by rokusan at 6:03 AM on April 15, 2009


But convincing yourself that you can guess the form of The Destructor

Presumably, not that of a giant sloar, because that already happened.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:04 AM on April 15, 2009


Those of us who've watched Deadwood "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" know that there's nothing to fear. The need for order and society is built in.

FTFY.
posted by rusty at 6:23 AM on April 15, 2009


Most people are good at their core, and when we see things that are wrong we work to fix them together. People help people, that's just who we are.

Don't read the controversial political threads here on MeFi much, do ya?
posted by jock@law at 6:37 AM on April 15, 2009


Most people are good at their core

Especially roasted.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:06 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


bettafish, that sounded like an honest question so I'm going to try to give you an honest answer. I'm assuming you're not trying to prepare for Thunderdome, you're just looking to be prepared for a 'Normal Emergency', i.e. the kind where somebody will be around to help in a week or two at the outside. These are only suggestions and are far from exhaustive, of course.

For food, start by whenever you go food shopping buying two of anything you normally eat that will keep in your cupboard. Once you have two weeks to a month's worth built up, go back to shopping normally but put the new one on the back of the shelf and use the oldest one out of your back stock.

As far as water, 2.5 gallon 'fridge packs' are sold in most grocery stores. One of those is more-or-less enough for survival rations for two people for one day. The containers don't last longer than a few months though, so you have to make sure to use the water up and keep them rotated.

You'll need a way to make heat for cooking as well as comfort. If you have a fireplace, a cast-iron dutch oven, and enough room to keep several dozen cubic feet of firewood around, problem solved. If not, you'll have to come up with something else, e.g. an outdoor LP grill for cooking, an indoor safe LP heater to keep you warm, and a spare tank or two of LP gas.

If you had all that plus climate-appropriate clothing and outerwear, a decent first aid kit, extra of any medicine you need, copies of all your important legal documents tucked away, and a little cash, you'd be much better prepared than most people for any common emergency.

If you're looking for comprehensive suggestions instead, and you're willing to put up with limited amounts of Mormonism, you could do worse than the LDS Preparedness Manual and the LDS Preparedness and Food Storage section at about.com.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:13 AM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd be curious to know exactly what the website's author believes would usher in the collapse of society in a single afternoon (without at the same time killing everyone such as would be the case of a nuclear apocalypse).
posted by Pollomacho at 7:17 AM on April 15, 2009


Continuing the response to bettafish by ab1quixote above, there was a thread on AskMe last year about starting a self-sufficient survival farm. Lots of great info.
posted by netbros at 7:51 AM on April 15, 2009


In the event of the Apocalypse, I plan to stand around whining about how I can't recharge my iPod and wander from computer to computer trying to check my mail. Then I'll die.
posted by jokeefe at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


You’ve spent your life learning... how to master E. Honda’s Hundred Handslap in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Little does this sucker know that in the dark days after the fall, all fights in Bartertown will be settled before the dim light of a Street Fighter 2 Turbo cabinet. One quarter each.

"M Bison runs Bartertown!"
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:58 AM on April 15, 2009


Ever since the Y2K Armageddon, I've been surviving pretty well. It was rough at first; trying to find the basic necessities, but I was pleased to see how well the people in what was left of my community came together. Just the other day, I was able to make my way to what once was the grocery store, and by bartering some old currency, I was able to get some milk and meat.

Surviving the aftermath isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, some people won't let go, and continue going to where their old jobs used to be, wearing the tattered remains of their suits and ties, and when they see me in my hand sewn animal skin clothes with my pack of supplies and my guns and spears, they wince, because I'm an unfriendly reminder that some of us are surviving and not just existing.

But some simple tools, and a willingness to do things that you wouldn't have before the fall means that you can continue to live one day into the next.

As I sit here, typing this on a vintage machine, I can only hope that whatever holy majics are left powering it, that they take my message of hope to others. We are out here in the wastelands, we may be hard to see through all the automotive traffic and buildings going up, but there are survivors here, make no mistake!
posted by quin at 10:05 AM on April 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


That was fucking awesome, quin!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2009


Yeah, quin, that'd be a great short comic/story/film.
posted by COBRA! at 10:26 AM on April 15, 2009


I suppose I could stockpile three months' worth of nonperishable food and sealed water canisters (or however you're supposed to keep water potable for long periods of time)

Presumably you're still on planet Earth, not the vacuum of space, so finding water isn't going to be a problem. Finding drinkable water might be, however, so in terms of efficiency & practicality, a large box of iodine tablets or bleach will last a heck of a lot longer than pre-purified water. You'll also need some really, really good maps.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:41 AM on April 15, 2009


I have a running thought experiment with a friend about The End Of the World. In order to have the kind of fantasy-Apocalypse scenario, you need everyone to die pretty quickly. As said before "Like in a single afternoon". Anything else has too many other factors to take into account.

So, say it's like The Stand. People feel sick, they get a fever, they die. Within a week the world's population is reduced to some miserable percentage, like 4%. That's still 240,000,000 souls. Unlike The Stand, assume the survivors choose to stay in population centers like the Apocalypse-favorite Manhattan. Putting aside the the fact that Everyone You Ever Knew Just Died (okay it's a big thing to put aside, that and the cities-full-of-rotting corpses-thing but bear with me.) wouldn't be completely bizarre to suddenly have so much stuff? Assume a stable survivor population of a few thousand in mid-town alone. Clothing wouldn't be an issue, housing wouldn't be issue, books wouldn't be an issue, to some extent food and water would be there for the taking. A single high-rise could sustain survivors for quite a while, and you can have all the useless jewelry and designer sofas you want.

So that interests me, an entire population living off the reminds of a previously much, much bigger one and having such an excess of *stuff* that they can comfortably persist in a small space and maybe don't get onto the whole "planning for the future when things run out" thing until it's too late. What about when you've taken everything up to the 5th floor and burned all the bodies and fought back the rats (my god, the rat/roach problem would become a nightmare) and you're making a killing trading found prozac and Viagra and cigarettes and then you can't find anymore? Or you have to go higher and higher to find things? When things start to rot really bad and the only guy who grows pot dies cause he can't get his exact heart medication?
posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on April 15, 2009


Why would I want to survive the Crapocalypse?
posted by QIbHom at 11:51 AM on April 15, 2009


So that interests me, an entire population living off the reminds of a previously much, much bigger one and having such an excess of *stuff* that they can comfortably persist in a small space and maybe don't get onto the whole "planning for the future when things run out" thing until it's too late. What about when you've taken everything up to the 5th floor and burned all the bodies and fought back the rats (my god, the rat/roach problem would become a nightmare) and you're making a killing trading found prozac and Viagra and cigarettes and then you can't find anymore? Or you have to go higher and higher to find things? When things start to rot really bad and the only guy who grows pot dies cause he can't get his exact heart medication?

Not to mention what you do if you break your glasses.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:54 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bookmarked. If the Apocalypse comes, I'll read it then.

...then again, there probably won't be any power...or internet...so, ramen noodles it is.
posted by Ct314 at 12:13 PM on April 15, 2009


In the event of the Apocalypse, I plan to stand around whining about how I can't recharge my iPod and wander from computer to computer trying to check my mail. Then I'll die.

Luckily I won't have to worry about that because I have a blackberry. I will always get E-mail.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on April 15, 2009


So according to this guy, guns and a collapsible saw are more important than a first aid kit. For 'surviving', which apparantly means 'avoid all human contact'.

Um, bub, if you're avoiding other people, you really, really need to think about first aid care. Not just for being shot at or something ridiculous like that, but for falls, trips, scrapes, and burns (frost, fire, whatever).

I know I'm gonna be just fine. I have lots of friends, many of whom can sew and knit and produce tangible goods. I can cook. Not fancy, but good solid stuff. So there will be trading invovled. My survival strategy is being near people, not avoiding them.
posted by sandraregina at 12:49 PM on April 15, 2009


Not to mention what you do if you break your glasses.

I'm extremely nearsighted. Last year I broke my glasses so bad I couldn't fix them and had no spare pair. I had to yell for my wife who then drove me around all day to get a prescription and new glasses. LensCrafters had my high-power lenses through sheer luck - normally it takes a week or two to get them.

The whole time I was thinking that without my glasses I can't even freaking get myself new glasses and that if there was an apocalypse, I'd be fucked. Thanks for reminding me ...
posted by freecellwizard at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2009


Yeah, we survivalist types all got PRK laser eye surgery.

I'm not a survivalist. Also, I wear glasses.
posted by box at 4:16 PM on April 15, 2009


I fully intend to carefully scrutinize this link at a later date when I need it. We'll still have internet access after the apocalypse, right?
posted by bigskyguy at 6:10 PM on April 15, 2009


Funny you mention that because I know someone who's a survivalist and he just got PRK. It started out funny ha-ha but now it's kinda funny maybe-I-should-sit-further-away-from-this-guy-at-work.
posted by breath at 7:01 PM on April 15, 2009


I'd be curious to know exactly what the website's author believes would usher in the collapse of society in a single afternoon

My money is on something to do with a black president selling us out to terrorists or the New World Order or whatever.
posted by Amanojaku at 7:42 PM on April 15, 2009


LOLAPOCALYPSISTS

Seriously though that hundred-hand slap is pretty tricky.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:56 PM on April 16, 2009


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