Considering that I am now feeling motivated, and it is almost half way through 2013, I felt that it was time to make some more progress on completing my 13 Skills. Another of my targets in 13 Skills was to establish a network and work on my networking skills. This is a bit of a nebulous skill to gain as it has so many aspects and causes me to ask myself “when should I consider my skill complete?” I already have good social skills, developed through years of socialising, having a high level of empathy and being forced to learn these skills to fit into society. Working in an office has caused me to build skills to co-exist with people from different backgrounds and diverse cultures. Coming from this position I can see how important having Networking skills can be and how common it is to encounter people who don’t even have the basic level of social skills.
I have decided that to develop and complete this skill I will reach out to other Preppers and non-Preppers to develop an informal network… a group of people with whom I can discuss, educate and from who I can learn. My initial contact was with a colleague who, in an email mentioned “SHTF”. I immediately identified this as the Survivalist term “Shit Hit The Fan”. I immediately asked if he was into Survivalism, to which he answered that he had a great interest in this. This has led to many great conversations to the creation of a good friendship as well as to this friend intending to move down to Tasmania. Through this experience I learned that it might pay to drop certain words that only people in the Prepper field may notice. I recently met some people at the Nubeena hotel that were into Prepping, although they did not confirm this. During our conversation they recognised some Prepper terms that I dropped, such as B.O.B (Bug out Bag), and B.O.L (Bug Out Location), among a few others, yet when I directly questioned them about Prepping and Survivalism, they did not want to acknowledge that they were fellow Preppers… possibly due to Operational Security.
I have also used the National Geographic series “Doomsday Preppers” as a way to meet other people with the same interests as my family. I watched the first season last year and I despite the extreme views or beliefs some participants had, I enjoyed the show and learnt a couple of interesting things from watching. I also liked watching the more nutty participants… those who claimed they had practiced certain skills (such as the family day at the firing range in “Back to the Stone Age”), yet when the camera was on them it was obvious they had never done a test run before. The second season is another matter. The show has turned into a “Freak of the Week” format, with some of the most extreme and crazy people in the survival field. The show seems to have attempted to ramp up the drama, with seemingly contrived situations that test the participants. An example I would point to is the family with the cinder block castle in “No Such Thing As a Fair Fight” … where the father was choosing the heir to the estate by having his children run through weird training day.
Regardless of the absurdity of it all, my usual conversation begins with telling them that I have seen the program and ask if they have seen it. Those with an interest in Prepping usually get very excited and want to discuss the show and their favorite episodes or the absurdity of it all. Those not into Prepping either have never heard of the show, or begin to ridicule the people shown on the series. In this way I have established contact with several Preppers close to my home, people so low key in their prepping that you wouldn’t know that they had an interest in the subject.
Finally. this blog is proving to be an excellent means of developing a network. I have previously been very low key at my work about my Prepping, yet when I began this blog I decided that I would “come out” with my lifestyle and use the blog as a means to communicate with my friends and colleagues. Currently I have only succeeded in showing people that Prepping isn’t about the end of the world… it is about securing your families future. This definition of Prepping has great resonance with people I meet and they often want to learn more, especially those people with young families. I also encounter many people who are already doing this and are surprised that there is a term for their actions.