Cityscapes filled with ash and rubble, fires in the distance, the quiet looming silence usually filled with urban sounds. Rural areas, now overgrown, houses with boarded windows, overtaken by nature, dusty paths and cracked stonework. Impending news alerts, sirens, natural disaster, civil war. Threats lurking around the corner, somewhere in our peripheral vision- that this world, as we experience it today, could be gone tomorrow.
It feels like something from a movie, some dystopian concept designed only in apocalyptic fiction. For apocalypse preppers, survival enthusiasts, it’s a lifetime concern, a daily passion: to be ultimately prepared for disaster if it struck tomorrow. Most of us have heard of apocalypse prepping, but many of us don’t realise how big of a community it really is, or where prepping meets a strange combination of hoarding and self-sustaining.
Apocalypse prepping might conjure images of panic-room basements, stacked with preserve jars and canned goods to last months, even years, on end. Weapons, from hunting knives to rifles, hardy clothing for all weathers, and a go-bag ready in case hitting the road becomes the safest option. Prepping seems somewhat niche, to those of us not in the community, but inside is a vast collective of people who all exist with one great thing in common. It’s not that every prepper is equally ready for the end of life as we know it, not everyone in the community has a great hoarding stash, arsenal of weapons, or a plan for how to leave the city when the meteors strike. But prepper has one ultimate similarity: fear.
What’s so bad about that? After all, if something is to happen, to change the way we all live, it’s surely best to be prepared, right? To understand how to preserve foods, and filter water, to hunt, to look after a family in difficult times, is an admirable skill set. When it becomes dangerous is when it becomes solely based on fear. To be a survivalist is one thing, to make sustainable long-term choices which ensure a healthy quality of life in the present moment. But to place focus entirely on what could be around the corner, just beyond the horizon of another day, is to live somewhere other than the present.
For some, perhaps survival planning is simply a way to add a factor of control into their life, but for many people, it seems that apocalypse prepping is another way of avoiding life in the present, by fixating on a possible future outcome.
How do you stay present while being mindful of the future? What’s your view on apocalypse preparation?
Featured image: Pratik Gupta via Unsplash.