Another week, and another article in the news about Prepping.
This one isn’t as full of insane prophesies as some articles (I am thinking of that terrible one Triple J Hack did a couple of years ago) and it does mention some interesting information. It talks about Nick Sais, who, the article says, apparently wrote Australia’s “biggest and best informed survival guide”. Although, interesting point from the article, apparently, the term “Preppers”, started in America. Everyone who reads here knows my view on that.
While Nick does attempt to distance himself from the crazy side of prepping, he is still shown by the journalist as a little “out there”. This is just another of the usual articles you expect from the lazy media, who roll out these “Prepper” stories every couple of months.
As an aside, I am not saying that I want to be interviewed… I have turned down several requests over the years as I don’t trust the interviewer to present the information honestly. I do get very frustrated with people in the Prepper community being out for the money… doing whatever they can for cash. I suspect that Nick Sais is one of those people.
I have seen Nick Sais mentioned previously on the web… I am sure I know this name from somewhere, yet I can’t recall. Anyway, after reading the news article (which is the usual superficial garbage) I was really looking forward to seeing his website, after all, as the article claimed, he is the author of Australia’s best informed Survival Guide.
I checked his Instagram first… he has 11 posts. Most are just for his book or the “Survival Bracelets” he sells. I then checked his Facebook… while there are over 2000 followers, the articles are basically memes and links to terrible articles on FEMA camps. This is not a good sign.
Regardless, he had a couple of interesting things to say in the article, so I was expecting a well presented website. It is a little confusing as to why the journalist would select a Prepper whose website was created 3 years ago, and contains 10 articles. Almost all the articles Nick has written are a paragraph long, basically pointing you to another website. The call to action on the site is to get you to buy his book, ‘2014 Beginners Field Guide’ (or the 2015 version). I am not opposed to people selling a book… I might do the same thing eventually. I do have a problem with a website created to hock a regurgitated product for $49… although you can get it for free by sharing links to the site.
So, I downloaded his book, 2014 Beginners Field Guide, and to save you the trouble, here is a review.
Nick is about preparing for the end of the world. His view, which he lists on his website and in his book, is that when you are prepared for the end of the world, you are prepared for the little things too. You prepare for pandemic, or war, and when you have a flat tire you can deal with that. I can not fault his logic, I simply approach prepping from the other angle… prepare for the little things and you will be better prepared for the big things. So by preparing for a power outage, you are partly prepared for the large events.
Nick provides a very vague line graph, which doesn’t really show anything (As Randell, of XKCD recently mentioned, “The worst are graphs with qualitative, vaguely-labeled axes and very little actual data.”). According to Nick, the graph shows that if you have no threat to your life, you need no level of preparedness… and if you have a level 100 level of preparedness (whatever that is), you are able to stop 100 threats to life. The attached graph image shows this poorly formed concept.
Next, Nick has the obligatory “Rule of threes” in his book and uses the asinine view that “You can survive… 3 seconds without hope”. Here is his in-depth explanation of the rules of threes.
Prepping Foundation – Rule of 3
Often in emergencies people focus on securing food and water first, but humans
are not great at surviving without SHELTER. The list below is a simple list to
remember and generally holds true, especially in survival situations.
You can survive…
- 3 seconds without hope
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
That is all he will say on the subject. I suspect that either Nick doesn’t understand the Rule of Three, or he is holding the real information from us. Nick then goes on to use a Bell curve graph to explain that Preppers need to be at the front side of the Bell Curve. He uses an example of being on a plane and needing to use the toilet after the inflight meal. Apparently a Prepper would have gone before the meal, or brought their own healthy food. I suspect that he is saying that Preppers take care of things before they are needed. I understand he may be attempting to use a simplistic example of preparedness, although I think he has missed a good opportunity to provide a more relevant, thought-provoking example for readers interested in prepping.
He also attempts to use Maslows’ Hierarchy of needs to show why you should prepare… yet he doesn’t appear to actually understand the hierarchy (his use of a Wikipedia quote should be enough to prove that).
The majority of the books is Nick discussing the way to prepare for the end of the world… that society has crumbled and you must hold out against the hoard. I do not agree with this doctrine for prepping, yet I should point out that his discussions on Bugging out or in are interesting (although not containing anything new). While Nick describes how to bug out to the bush, he also strongly suggests that this be reconsidered as a bug out location. This point is in contradiction to his News interview… where he seemed to be advocating all Preppers go bush. This could be down to lazy journalism.
Despite the huge amount of useless and poorly constructed information, there are still a couple of gems within the document. In my mind, it is not worth the time or trouble of downloading. There are other, much better written, books on Prepping for those with a genuine interest. One great thing I can say about having read the article, and exploring Nick’s site, is that it has inspired me to complete my own books! If this piece of dross can be considered Australia’s “biggest and best informed survival guide”, imagine how mine will be received!