The Beach - Your Best Friend in a SHTF Situation?
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This page (like the rest of the website) will improve over time, but for now I'll list a few things about the beach that make it a really useful thing for both before and after a collapse of society.
First of all, there's available food. The world's ocean fish populations have been declining, and a collapse of modern society should help them to recover (assuming nothing too disastrous happens on a planetary scale). So, unlike almost every other source of wild food, it will be hard for the ocean to be completely fished out by survivors of an economic collapse. When you consider the scale of commercial/industrial fishing, it seems very unlikely that beach or other coastal fishing by individuals could come anywhere close to the rate of numbers of fish caught.
This is in stark contrast to the predictions based on modern society continuing to prosper and grow, which estimate that the oceans will be fished out by about the year 2050, and after that there will be essentially no more ocean fish for anyone. Since it's highly unlikely that modern society will still exist by 2050, that means there will still be fish in the sea at the time the supermarkets close.
Also there are usually other types of food available like shellfish and seaweed. Generally speaking it's easier to find food at the seashore than at a random inland location.
Another thing there's plenty of at the beach (or anywhere on the coast, assuming you can get to the water level and there aren't impassable cliffs) is water. It's salt water which you can't drink as it is, but if you have enough firewood (or other power source) you can distill it and then drink it. Or make a solar still if you have some plastic sheeting or other suitable materials.
Before the Collapse
There's a lot you can do at the beach before the collapse of society. One is just to get outside and relax and enjoy it. Many people who are used to modern life find this easier to do at a beach than at other outdoor places like the bush or the middle of a desert. If you're wanting to engage the interest and participation of non-preppers you can probably do that at the beach easier than most other outdoor locations.
Many of the activities you can do at a beach are excellent for developing and maintaining fitness. You're also getting used to sun exposure. For people with fitness or body image issues, there are still plenty of activities like walking on the sand, the rocks, fishing, etc.
Which leads naturally into the next thing you can do at a beach (or at other coastal locations), which is practice fishing. Also you can look into other types of food gathering, even digging sandworms for bait (such as with a bait pump, or perhaps by a more basic method of digging) is practicing gathering wild food.
And the big thing you can do at a beach more easily than almost any other type of location anywhere in the world, is learn tracking skills. One thing that most (perhaps all) ancient societies that were renowned for their tracking ability is that they lived in places with lots of sand. The beach obviously has a lot of sand, and it also has a nice transition between wet sand and dry sand, which is quite useful in that you can examine how the moisture level affects tracks. And you can study tracks at varying levels of difficulty – tracks in deep, loose, completely dry sand are much harder to interpret than those in sticky wet sand. The other obvious habitat with lots of sand is the sandy desert, but the beach has an ever-present and continuous transition from wet sand to dry sand that runs its entire length.
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