Yes, the seasons have rolled back around to that time again. And while I *could* discuss the events in Georgia from earlier this week, that’s actually not where I’m headed with this. My wife found a post from another site, and suggested I talk about it.
The original post is entitled “Back to PREP School: 6 Subjects Preppers Should Be Learning”, and starts out with a couple of definitions (“what is a prepper?” and “who are preppers?”). The “prepper” definition as given, while not inaccurate, I don’t care for. It starts out okay, then heads off into stereotype land. It’s probably unintentional; while it does accurately describe things, most “average Joes” (non-preppers) are likely to associate everything there with the sensationalized “preppers” they’ve seen on TV. The second definition tries to correct this, and seems a bit more grounded to me. (The short version–we all prep to a certain extent; some of us merely prep more than others!)
The remainder of the article, however, recommends areas that we, as preppers, might want to learn a little more. The ‘top level’ of the list reads as follows:
- Emergency Preparedness
- Survival Skills
- Food & Water Storage
- Medical & Dental
- Hunting & Fishing
This, dear readers, shows why I spend so much time picking apart other published lists. I find that they come in one of two categories: either a) hopelessly vague, or b) excessively focused on pin-point detail. This one seems to fall into the former.
Before I get jumped on by angry mobs, shouting, “That’s not what the article is about!”, let me state that I understand they’re merely making suggestions for existing preppers, not giving guidelines on how to become preppers. I also get that, particularly for this type of thing, “going vague” is more often better than giving specifics (I seem to have a fair number of readers in the Southwest, while I live in the Mid-Atlantic; our preps are necessarily going to be very different). And while I certainly think that everything listed under the given categories is worth at least thinking about, I’m not certain that I’d either a) divide up prep skills like that, or b) put things in the categories they did.
(Yes, I’m quibbling more over style than substance, when it comes down to it… I’ll talk a bit about the substance later.)
For instance, “gardening” is listed under “Survival Skills,” where I would probably have moved it down to “Food & Water” (I’d have dropped “storage,” leaving that as a sub-category). Likewise, the entire “Hunting & Fishing” category. I’d probably have moved the “Sanitation” category into “Medical & Dental,” either as a sub-section, or just combining the two categories in general.
As mentioned, all of that is merely stylistic. Where the rubber meets the road, though, is the substance. Unfortunately, that post seems to lack any. Sure, we may want to learn more about a given skill, but they give no suggestions as to where we can do so. (Here, even vague answers are good enough.) Granted, with the advent of the internet, you can find just about anything you might want. (It even caters to all different types of learners. Do you learn visually? Check YouTube. By reading? A Google search will bring up reams of information. By doing? Hit Google again, looking for places local to you that will teach whatever topic…)
Now, I haven’t yet gone through the rest of the site; it’s entirely probable that most of these issues are dealt with individually in separate posts. I’ll reserve overall judgement until I’ve had more time to read what else they’ve got.
Next week, I intend to go over five more points from the “other” list we’re going through; sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’d also like to discuss my “Get-Home Bag” and my 72-hour kits–less from the “here’s what you should have” standpoint (too specific, remember?) and more from the “here’s why you want one, and what to consider when assembling it” standpoint.