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I first got interested in the idea that civilisation as we know it was going to end in my lifetime when I was nine years old. My Dad explained how the oil was going to run out in the first part of the next century (i.e. this century, the 2000s). At the time, it didn't seem that much a worry, since he brushed it off with, "But it will be fine, because you can learn to survive in the bush".
Since then my life has been extremely varied, with some time devoted to prepping and survival, and some time completely forgetting about it. I've had a lot of health problems over the years, many of them as a result of a massive drinking problem (which is now fully resolved). With the health problems there have been many times when I didn't think there was much point in prepping or learning about survival. Then there were other times when I thought I'd just learn these things anyway. So at least I can teach them, to the extent that I can do them (which is often not that much). Then there were other times when I was relatively fit and healthy.
This site and my other site www.survival.org.au describe my journey in learning the self sufficiency, sustainable living, wilderness survival skills and other ways of living that people knew in ancient times â€” before we became dependent on modern fossil-fuel-based technology.
One thing I've always loved is to spend time outdoors, in unspoiled, natural settings. This came quite naturally to me as a child. My childhood home backed onto bushland, and a lot of my time was spent exploring this green world. Almost every rock and every tree had a name or some significance.
I've started up a YouTube channel recently. To be more precise, I had another channel around 2010 which I deleted. Then I made this one, but it's sat dormant until now (20 July 2019). Australians are born survivors. It's in our genes. Our ancestors were either members of the world's oldest culture â€” or hardy enough to travel across thousands of miles of ocean, and begin a whole new life far away from their homelands.
I became a Christian around 2008. Many people who aren't Christians are offput by this, however in reality it's a very positive thing. For one, had I not become a Christian, it's highly unlikely that I'd be doing any of this online prepping and survival stuff at all.
There are a few reasons for this. One is how the Bible explains that Jesus did not choose the high and mighty and impressive and talented for his disciples, and to do most of his work on this Earth. He chose the lowly, the weak — the meek, those who were rejected and outcast and inadequate. This idea has helped me massively in overcoming my feelings of "what is even the point in trying" to learn and practice prepping and survival with my compromised physical health.
I think the same idea may well come in handy when the it really does come to the crunch in terms of modern life as we know it going down the toilet. Or, as they say, "The sh*t hits the fan". (In the prepping world this is often abbreviated to SHTF). In some way the idea of expecting to die early (even though I may not, it does seem likely), and already having got used to that idea — and still not giving up — is I suspect a massive advantage over people who are used to succeeding at most things they do.
Get Less of Success
These lowly, weak, "lowest of the low" groups of people, (the sinners, tax collectors, orphans, and widows, etc.), who Jesus befriended, were social outcasts. Social. Sometimes I feel like a social outcast. I used to feel like one almost all the time. This in many ways is an advantage in the world of prepping and survival. Especially to the extent that you can get used to it, and overcome the feeling that you are worth less just because you may not rank highly in the various flavours of popularity or impressiveness in the eyes of most other ordinary modern people.
Christianity has massively helped me with this idea — because it's one of the core teachings of Jesus. Everything about his worldly life was low. He was born out of wedlock (a shocking thing back then), in a dirty room full of animals. He was mocked, ridiculed, betrayed, and eventually he was crucified — one of the most shameful (not to mention painful) of all deaths.
Now, I remind myself that if I feel like I don't know how to say the right things, or don't have the right look, or just don't feel like I'm the kind of person that other people like and approve of — Jesus came here for everyone. And not only did he come here for everyone, but in the gospel stories in the Bible, the social outcasts are especially the people that Jesus came to minister to. And to love. And to devote himself to, and sacrifice himself for.
Not only that, but this idea has also helped me massively with the idea that to be a successful prepper you have to be some kind of superhero survivalist. With an array of skills that rivals John Rambo, James Bond, elite military personnel like Green Berets or Navy Seals, native people of your local area, and a huge array of celebrity survival experts.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul gives us the same message, that God does not require us to be impressive by the standards of the world — and even prefers it if we are not:
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.
For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise.
God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are: that no flesh should boast before God.
But of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."
Christianity also gives me hope in a life after this one — which takes a lot of the pressure off in terms of having to survive everything. It becomes less of a massive stressful thing and more of an ordinary thing that you just do because it needs to be done.
My Life So Far
I've had a quite unusual life in many respects. Some good, and some not so good. Many of them have helped me with learning the kinds of things that I'll be putting online in the coming future. I'll describe some of them later on this page soon.
From age 4 to 13, when my Father died of cancer, he stayed at home. We ran a shop for a couple of years, and then he spent his time extending our small two bedroom $8,250 house (yes, that's how much we paid for our house and 1/4 acre block) to 2-3 times its original size over the next several years.
Growing up around tools and construction, I learned a lot of things that most kids don't get to learn — even compared to many of the kids with "tradie" parents. All Dad's work happened at home, so I got to see it and even do some of it. I was allowed to use many tools unsupervised (after instruction) from a young age (like 7-9), including the electric drill, jigsaw, and belt sander. Occasionally the wood lathe. But never the electric planer.
(Important safety warning: This should absolutely not be considered as general advice to give full size adult power tools to young children, and especially not unsupervised. Dad didn't have that many power tools, even to build a house with — and anything I did with them, like drilling, sawing, and sanding, I'd already spent a lot of time doing with hand tools).
Our home extensions were done almost entirely with second hand building materials. When you buy new bricks they come on pallets, nicely stacked in rows. Our bricks were dumped by large dump trucks in a huge messy pile, still stuck together by the cement from their original building in whatever arrangement the wrecking ball had left them. They had to be broken apart, and then the remaining cement was cleaned from each brick. One by one. Using hand tools. It was very labour-intensive.
The tray of the wheelbarrow above came from the local hardware store. I think it cost $10. The wheel was probably lying around the garden somewhere. A lot of things were lying around the garden. The rest of it, Dad made himself. I remember him proudly showing me the contouring he put into the wooden handle grips — which looked quite professional.
I got used to using tools. I could mow the lawn with a full size adult lawn mower from about age eight. My first paid job was when I was nine, mowing the lawn and raking up leaves, etc., for a nice old lady down the road. If I remember correctly, I got $5 for the afternoon.
Also when I was nine, Dad explained that the oil was going to run out in the first part of the next century, and society would collapse — but it would be okay because I could learn to survive in the bush. I loved the bush, and already spent a lot of time wandering around the local bush, either alone or with friends. So this seemed like an okay idea to me. I especially liked the idea of everyone living in "tree houses" that didn't take most of your life to build.
This page will be updated more when I have more time (like most of the other pages...)
The cover photo of this page was taken next to a wax figure of Mad Max at Madame Tussauds in Sydney, in 2016.
Here's a selection of books to help to quit drinking, or to slow down on drinking. I'll write up better explanations as I get time... The first one is the one that helped me the...
Since I have enough experience (and success) with this topic to easily write a whole book about it, or even a series of books, this first web page about how to quit drinking is going...