Now just as a disclaimer: I don’t really believe there’s going to be some sort of drastic collapse or disaster any time soon. Sure, I know full well that the modern Western lifestyle is unsustainable, but I think that any sort of collapse related to it would be due beyond our lifespans, perhaps 100 to 300 years from now. And I think it will probably occur so slowly that people will switch to other (almost certainly still unsustainable, just more efficient) methods in the process and no one will realise that their lifestyle is the cause. Infact, I think this has already happened in several areas and most people don’t seem to realise the effects on them. Fishing is a prime example, stocks were over fished to such an extent that they had to advance more efficient techniques to catch more fish causing the wild stocks to plummet even further, now no one would ever be able to compete using historical methods, but the demand for fish never really decreased, and dispite perhaps the occassional rise in price no one really lacks access to fish. And now they’re switching over to farmed fish, but from a consumer’s perspective the supply hasn’t really changed and the switch has been smooth. People don’t notice the collapse going on around them because their lifestyle hasn’t changed as a result of it. That doesn’t mean I think the way most people live is OK, but I simply don’t agree with the survivalist mindset.
Seed saving is a prime example of the sorts of faults I see in survivalism. You can’t really set asside a box of seeds and then expect that when the apocolypse comes you’ll be all set to grow your own food. Seeds don’t work that way, for one. Seeds are living things, they are only dormant, and they can’t survive that way forever. Germination rate for most seeds drops fairly quickly, and while there are some seeds like nubian date palms that have been successfully sprouted after centuries, the majourity can’t even put up with a decade. Spores on the other hand, are not alive. You can keep a spore however long as you want in the right conditions, and then have it come to life when it ‘s put in the right environment. That’s just one of the reasons why I believe if anyone were to do this mushrooms ought to be their first priority. But those “50 year garden-in-a-cans” that prepper companies sell? You’re not going to get anywhere near a garden out of it, you may get a a handful of sprouts total. I get a feeling that the whole ‘buy enough stuff to last a year or two and you’ll be fine’ attitude of advertisers is more to take advantage of people who don’t know what their doing than a serious position anyone who knows what they’re talking about takes.
The people who will be in the best position in such a scenario will be those whose lives change least. If you expect that when some disaster happens suddenly you and your friends or family will be able to go all militia and eat rations from your stocks and acquire all your own food and start using candles for light and walking miles to get everywhere and all this other stuff you’re not used to, all your plans will fall apart fast. Think you’ll be fine because you know how to hunt? Do you realise how many deer it would take to support a family for a year? Can you supply one without fail every couple of days, including when you have competition from everyone else who’s backup plan is ‘I can hunt.’?