Hot and humid. Hit 114F in part sun. Hit 106F in the shade. More of the same today, I think. It was so hot, I sat in the shade and in the house talking with my fisherman buddy.
At some point he saw a squirrel in the yard and pointed it out. There is a guy up here that hates squirrels and shoots them, which my buddy hates. As he put it, that is food for when things get really tough. That led me to bring up season 9 of “Alone” which I’ve mentioned here recently. They were shooting and snaring squirrels, pretty successfully, and still starving slowly. At 250 calories per squirrel, there isn’t much food on them. I pointed that out, and that everyone up here would be hunting the same squirrel, deer, and piggies if it drops in the pot. He was convinced he’d be getting plenty of game, so I played along. Who’s watching the wife and grandkids while he’s hunting? More extended family.
Oh, so now you’re feeding 20 people on squirrel and other game, same as everyone else up here. Yeah, but we aren’t JUST eating that… OK, what else are you eating? We’ll be eating from the garden. Which garden? We’ll plant one, we’ve got seeds stored up. OK, what do you eat for the months you are waiting for the harvest? Got six months of food stored? Hmmm. No. Ok, got six weeks? Hmmm. No.
So how do you feed the guards? What about all the other folks who show up looking for food? We’ll tell them “no”. What if they insist? They can try, we’ll shoot them. And what about the next ones? Shoot them too. And if they are hungry kids? Hmmm. OK, now you are the bad guy, and everyone decides you don’t deserve to have your food and stuff so they burn you out and take it.
There has been a lot of what Bruce Schneier calls “movie plot” thinking going on up here. One response, but no thought for second or third order effects.
I still think this is a lot better place to ride out any trouble, but some people haven’t given it enough thought, or considered the reactions and actions of other people. Hopefully he’ll do just that now that I’ve planted a seed.
Today if I get a chance I’ll ask him for a rough census of the deer and piggy population. That should get him thinking about how viable living off the land might actually be. He does know the area intimately, and the people that he knows he knows well. He didn’t know there was an outlaw biker clubhouse only 12 miles away though. And there are lots of places out in the country to do bad things without anyone noticing. I’m betting that at least some of the “abandoned” buildings have occupants, or users that you wouldn’t want to meet, or know what they are up to.
If I can get him to think beyond “I’ll hunt and so I’ll have food” to the idea EVERYONE will be hunting for that same food, maybe we can make some better plans.
The problem is bigger than here and what to do here. The wuflu panic had people in cities buying any piece of land in the country they could get, especially if it was near an amenity like a lake. Everyone that knows anyone in the country will be looking to head there if they can. Everyone who has been to a boy scout or girl scout, or church retreat camp will think it might be a better place to be than a burning city. But the countryside, by and large, doesn’t have the resources for a massive influx of people.
And the folks already here won’t be super happy to share. Which brings me neatly around to the idea that IF you think you might end up wanting to ‘head for the hills’ you better do it NOW and start getting yourself established. At least get your foot in the door, so you aren’t part of a wave of refugees. You’ll still be the new guy, but if you work for it, when they circle the wagons, you might be inside the circle, instead of outside.
I’m trying hard to be in the circle, and I think it’s paying off. Get busy working a plan. And stack, so you don’t show up empty handed.