Nomadic living and survival

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  • So I've always been extremely interested within survival and prepping amongst off grid living, self sufficiency and van life! I was wondering what you guy's think of the topic and if you also think that van living goes hand in hand with self sufficiency. I do a lot of reading, research and watch an awful lot of videos and documentaries on the subjects but don't go all out and practice them all but when it comes around to it. the majority of 'preppers' or survival prepared folk have bug out vehicles.
    the majority of vehicles i have seen, read about and heard of on sites such as ukhippy, youtube or many vehicles i have seen on the roads and at festivals are all apart from the fuel pretty much self sufficient having wood burning stoves solar panels and battery blocks with the ability to cook stay warm and travel where ever in the country you need to go!
    So apart from any fuel crisis that would disable any van dwellers without spare fuel we are in theory preppers and/or survivalists to an extent possibly without thinking it!

    I know that these things are far fetched and a lot of people call them conspiracy theorists, tin foil hat nut jobs and the rest of the terms but when you look at things happening throughout the world when it comes to natural disasters I don't think we're far off with the possibility of something major happening in england.
    we already have the odd bad storms, floods, riots that shut down whole cities and shops. we've got people already on food stamps throughout the country, we have had years where banks are on the brink of bankruptcy and there is a whole lot more that could possibly happen or go wrong.

    so do you think living in a van does help, do we already have the mind set to survive such emergency's and disasters as we have to adapt to simple living, watching what we use, when we use it and rationing food goods, fuels and water!

    what's your opinion on the topic? do you think something could happen? do you also think we are already prepared just because of our lifestyle or would it be something that you may now think about now it has been mentioned?

  • You'd be screwed in the UK if you needed to "bug out" and stay mobile, plus most of the vans and trucks on here would be very difficult to get right out into the country with, roads are small and easily blocked, very few have 4x4 or even locking diffs, decent tyres or sufficient ground clearance to get round obstacles on the paved roads.

    If the shit hit the van in the UK you'd be better off with a tractor and a trailer than a truck or bus I think but really if you were mobile where would you go? The UK is not very big and you can't really get that far away from the towns and cities so you'd really only need to get out to a farm in the countryside maybe.

    I wouldnt stay in a live in truck in the UK, if i was truly prepping for the worst I'd have sea worthy boat and have it in secure moorings and stocked up with enough supplies to get me somewhere with more space and more forgiving climate.

    Oh, and a dirt bike to get to the boat through the road chaos.

  • Honestly I wouldn't worry about "prepping". It's kind of a "thing" in America because they have such a huge land mass and firearms are legal. Meaning you can reasonably defend your "food stash" in the event of a nuclear war and total collapse. In the UK though? There's 24 people on average in every square kilometre. If it all goes Pete Tong you haven't a chance in hell. Besides even if you could do all that - a minor cut/flu/illness could kill you reasonably easy with lack of access to anti biotics. Plus if it goes really Pete Tong and nuclear missiles are being fired left, right and centre then the world will experience a nuclear winter in which the whole world dies.. Soooo even those folk in the US holed up in a desolate area the size of England in Alaska won't survive that. I like the self sustainable stuff though

  • I think that if the poo really hit the fan then the ensuing chaos would probably start and finish on the UK road network! the idea of being mobile and able to escape society should it all go wrong perhaps is more applicable at the moment in the climate of today.
    I think people are rushing round, consuming, trying to conform, working hard to stand still so using a van to escape and live outside society is a good option.
    If a crisis were to happen, then joe public would rush to jump in their vehicles and head to the fuel pumps and then clog up the roads. Now this is where the intelligent Van Living hippy (or you and i and the ukh followers) cleverly step back from the herd, park up our vehicles and practice living of the land in our immediate areas....
    Once again, by doing precisely the opposite of the general public, our sustainable culture will allow us to exist and thrive.

  • great input on the topic guys so far,
    I do agree that if anything was to go majorly wrong in the uk then yeah you are very correct, the amount of people in the uk would make it absolutely hectic on a survival bases due to not having the same isolation factor of more vast country's such as america.
    We are a very small island when you think about it and i do agree, something on a big scale it would be chaos to the point where there's too much people on the roads and everyone heading in one direction.

    I do think that we would have the upper hand though as well as so called 'preppers' and 'survivalists' even if it isn't relevant or even very much help in the terms of something large happening and there not being enough space. I think if you were to look at small scale events such as food shortages, major riots, floods, petrol strikes etc etc then would be more likely to be in a better situation than your casual folk in brick and morter. it's all well saying they can jump in there cars and head to the hills but we already have things packed up, we have our homes already to go and quite possibly are already in them. I also do think that within living in a vehicle you to adapt to an almost survival like mode where as you do keep checks on certain things such as how much electric you use, what water you have and roughly the time it will last til you need to refill, the same going for food, gas, fuel and the rest in which the casual household never checks.
    It's absolutely astonishing what panic is created even if the electric has a power cut in, in a lot of homes they have no clue what to do due to relying on it so much. having electric lighting, cooking equipment, heating people go in to panic and if it's a big power cut where supermarkets and shops can't use there electronic tills, there freezers and fridges go down so they can't sell there perishables. mobile phone's can't be charged to access the internet for 'help' it cause's chaos in homes!
    So I think even if you're not suspecting major disasters, even if you think there is nothing you can do in the first place. even little things like saving the odd packs of emergency goods and having a stove is extremely reliable and handy!
    we just choose to live that lifestyle without really even taking in to consideration that we are doing so!
    or at least that's how I have always been, living in a vehicle though, just put's it up a notch for me! I like to be prepared, learn and be able to be sustainable without running water, being hooked to the electric and gas boards and knowing how to live without them if one day they were to go down for a period of time

  • wow - long-long threads here.. .. .. 4 D scum punks.. .. hmm.. .. Phelan - now i heard of you.. .. [eyes closed].. .. ..bloke? - compadre - fellow nooby - - - - wtf.. ..that if anything was to go majorly wrong in the uk then yeah you are very correct, the amount of people in the uk would make it absolutely hectic on a survival bases due to not having the same isolation factor of more vast country's such as america>>.
    4D rules .. .. imo.. ..
    if you also think that van living goes hand in hand with self sufficiency.>>
    phelan - about the small scale in the uk - wondered about a static raft - [land or sea - maybe as bridge] - like vehicles as the blocks + a binder or whatever.. .. ..] - perhaps seriously hectic, but pretty structurally good - rake off the wheels and you have - - - mooring points..O.. thanks - cheers for tha.. .. ..
    work ethic.. .. does van-living go hand in hand with self sufficiency.. .. and you think that an 'emergency' might arise in the uk.. .. - well my best advice would probably be do what ever you want out of the options that fit your situation.. .. and be cool with that.. ..x
    phelan - - that isolation factor - of vast countries.. .. we dont have it - here in th uk - ha - well the holiday-makers might move further south, ha har - over a few generations :D

  • I do think your spot on. I talk to the kids about what might happen if the national grid goes down, what would happen without electric. It's a fascinating discussion with them. Making them realise just how much runs on electric, about having no access to money, what would you use to trade etc?

    I do think van living does help hence when we chose a burner, we chose one with an oven! We know how to hunt, pretty good foraging and getting better. Mine have even practiced lighting a fire with a drill and bow saw method!

    Thankfully we are already in the countryside, no way would I want to be in a big town or city if it all went tits up. In this country I do think its more about survival techniques rather than prepping, we just dont have the disposable income to invest in mass storage of food etc.

  • Fuel would be gone in days if not hours, clean water would be the next thing to worry about and then a food supply, the trouble with living in a truck is all those things are heavy so you can't store much, you may be independent of the grid as far as power goes but you'll probably have less endurance before you have to forage than many people in houses.

    Just the water tank in the loft probably holds more water than most van dwellers carry, plus if they have any sense they'll fill the bath and any containers they can find before the water goes off.

    I also think you'd be far more vulnerable in a truck than you would in a house if society breaks down, anyone with a 4x4 or a motorbike will have more luck getting away from the towns than someone in a lorry or bus, I think unless you are already out in the sticks somewhere your no better off than anyone else I'm afraid. I there is widespread panic and looting ANY lorry or shop will become a target.

  • that's true popup but i don't mean just psychically better off, i mean mentally. I mean anyone in a van with solar panels knows they don't have unlimited access to power, nor water.. it both has to be produced or gathered and unlike people who do live in houses who can flick a switch at anytime and have heat, water, electric we know how to judge what we have and we understand more how to use it reasonably.
    I know the most likely big scenarios in the uk to happen on any large scale would be mass power outage, a collapse within the money system and fuel poverty/hikes/strikes. So I think having a van with solar panels and a wood stove is much better than having a house when it happens anytime of day. plus we know good parkups which will be away from hotspots for looting etc etc.

    cuckoo I think you do right with your kids, I don't think children and most adults think about how reliant we are on electric, gas and tapped water and it's definitely a no brainer when it comes to talking to them about what would happen if it did go down! even if it were only for a week. I think the effects could be pretty chaotic and devastating. even if it were just the electric grid. imagine no internet connections these days, that in itself would be a huge shock to the system on how reliant people are.

    as for hunting and foraging, who on this thread does do a bit of it? I'm vegan so i don't hunt, i used to with my dad when i was very young but have since changed my views! I think it would have to change no matter what if something huge did go down though! it'd be very hard getting tofu from a forest haha
    I do a lot of foraging when i get the chance and i'm pretty well read up about everything that comes hand in hand with surviving. you're right on the prepping side in england though, foraging would be the only goal and way forwards.
    I do agree with having the odd meal's that can be made just in case. but some of these preppers are ridiculous having year's worth of food, It makes me wonder how much they waste. because the only way to go about responsibly stock piling that amount is by eating and replacing as yo go through the year else when it's over and that year is up.. that's one hell of a lot of produce hitting landfill

  • I do think your spot on. I talk to the kids about what might happen if the national grid goes down, what would happen without electric. It's a fascinating discussion with them. Making them realise just how much runs on electric, about having no access to money, what would you use to trade etc?

    I do think van living does help hence when we chose a burner, we chose one with an oven! We know how to hunt, pretty good foraging and getting better. Mine have even practiced lighting a fire with a drill and bow saw method!

    Thankfully we are already in the countryside, no way would I want to be in a big town or city if it all went tits up. In this country I do think its more about survival techniques rather than prepping, we just dont have the disposable income to invest in mass storage of food etc.

    hear hear - prepp can equal the same as accumulating.. .. sometimes.. ..x

  • I have heard people quote that we are only ever 24 hours from food riots. Food shops now having to operate a 'just-in-time' re-stocking policy means they are no longer a giant store cupboard there for our convenience. This fact seems to be reinforced by the speed with which supermarket shelves empty as people stockpile when really bad weather is forecast, and with increasing unrest about the national and unelected European government riding roughshod over the wishes of the indigenous populations here and in other European countries it is now very definitely not a case of 'if' but 'when'. I doubt it isn't by design anyway since a budding dictatorship needs a good excuse to impose emergency laws that totally restrict freedom and cause absolute dependence on 'the state'.
    The question is, do you want to be in congested urban areas when the SHTF or away from civilisation? And what will you need to get you through a couple of weeks until (hopefully) normality is restored?
    I haven't gone to the extent of building a bug-out shelter or setting up a secret camp somewhere, but I do keep a couple of weeks supply of lightweight dried food in my van, and I try not to let the water run down too far because when the taps eventually go dry the trouble will be about 30 minutes away. Most folk don't have a tank of water in the loft due to combi instantaneous hot water boilers fed straight from the mains water. Therefore how much water have YOU got in your house right this minute? How long will you last for?
    I keep a small hatchet, machete, knives and firelighter stick on board, enough fuel in my tank to go 150 miles or so, and a small battery/wind-up radio in readiness, and I think these precautions are worthwhile taking if you can.
    Last time the fuel tanker drivers went on strike there were plenty of people saying "I wish I'd prepared for this" as the roads became as deserted as the supermarket shelves. Sincere good luck to anyone who thinks they don't need to do a little bit of preparation. I truly hope you'll be ok and that my fears are groundless.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Water is a key issue. thankfully I'm close to a natural spring but finding safe water can be tricky, water purification tablets are a good idea to keep on board too. This country rains alot, so water collection is a good idea aswell.

    When we chose our live in vehicle, we chose and older model for simple mechanics - didn't want onboard computers scarmbled by a EMP :tinfoil:

    The thing is, if the electric goes without warning (this is my major issue but zombie apocalypse has been mentioned lol) there will be no chance to run to shops to stock up legally with electric, no tills, no card machines, unless you have cash and shop is open & willing - which then will lead to mass looting....

    I could go on forever on this, but will stop rambling, yes I think people who live more simply, including van dwellers, off grid, in touch with the land type people...will get on better than most.

  • currently sharpening the pointy end of an old pool cue... next job is to glue an old skull (necklace) on the thick end ... then i'm ready ... bring on the zombies... or are they vamps....?..:rolleyes:..... damn gotta stop watching that " stakeland " movie on freeview..:panic::insane::ppp

  • Oh yeah if electricity went out for any lengthy period over two days it'd be chaos. cash machines down, freezers and fridges out, tills wouldn't work, electric cookers and heating, lighting, some water even runs off of electric these days, no internet to find out thing's, phones with limited usage.. hell some petrol pumps these day's are electric! the list is endless! a week with no electric and you'd see England start to crumble majorly.
    But yeah i'd much prefer to be in the countryside it's where i feel safest and where and what i know best.
    water is one thing that i need to keep on top of as soon as i get this new home. as well as investing in some sort of water filtering device, I know how to make gravity fed filters from bottles charcoal etc etc but I wouldn't mind a proper bottle filter for emergencies. also one thing any van dweller should invest in is a decent jerrycan with spare fuel, I know that's one thing that I want to make sure i have locked up.
    firelighter stick never leaves my side, same for a small pocket knife.
    I don't even think these things should be 'prepping' items I think this kind of thinking should be mandatory thinking and taught. especially thing's like foraging, shelter building and water collection. I know it's far fetched from major catastrophes within England but these are things we once knew as necessaries in order to live day to day life which we've sadly forgotten!

  • as just mentioned water collection is a major thing to think about no matter what situation you're in.
    and yeah, old vehicles are better. if you can learn the basics of your vehicle and a bit of mechanics it can save a whole lot of time and money.
    definitely is no chance of running to the shop though.. especially in the case of looting! but im glad you agree on the case and I think it's a good topic to think about for day to day life within communities like this! not as any fear of possible disasters but just the general thinking of day to day living

  • Imagine living with no power no broadband no mobile phone signal electricity going down,thats a weeks holiday or more if u can aford it on carna island loch sunart and the thing is ur only 1mile from civilisation :)

  • I wonder how we would feel not knowing how long the situation was going to last? Our country could possibly support five or ten million people if agriculture was properly organised, but what would happen to everyone else? If you simply don't know whether the situation is temporary or permanent at what point do you decide to start forming tribes to farm a piece of land? One person alone couldn't guard their crops, and pillaging would be rife, so the post-apocalypse type tv dramas have a fair point. I actually wonder if the quality of life might be slightly better?

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Imagine living with no power no broadband no mobile phone signal electricity going down,thats a weeks holiday or more if u can aford it on carna island loch sunart and the thing is ur only 1mile from civilisation :)

    Reminds me of the holidays we spent in my grandparents' caravan in the 1950s, and in other vans into the 1970s. No electricity, just calor gas for cooking and lighting. No heating, just hope it kept warm in summer.

  • Interesting discussion guys, well here's my two penneth, I'm currently converting a VWLuton van into a camper in the hope to go fully Off -Grid and as self sufficient as possible with food, energy and water, I dont know much about Van living at the moment but ive been into bushcraft,wild camping and foraging for a couple of years now and im hoping to combine what ive been learning from that with the style of life which il lead when i get my van 'off grid ready'. Il be using a wood burning stove, maybe a roof solar panel and carry hunting equipment in my van such as fishing rod cray fish traps and an air rife,so finding protein food for free should never be a problem, although carbohydrate foods are pretty harder to come by without going to the supermarket. I think nobody can possibly know what would happen how people would react and how life would be in the event of an apocolyspe, so to say this would happen or that would happen is pure personal opinion but i know one thing, bushcraft & survival, foraging,self sufficiency, permeculture etc should rank way up on the curriculum over maths,computers business studies religeous studies or whatever crap they are teaching in these brain washing institutions that they call schools. Anyway in my opinion the emphasis should be on transition not sudden change, people need to start readdressing their education and re learning the skills that have been lost over the millenia, the majority of folk these days have been reduced to mere trainee zombies, totally dependable on the grid for energy, the banks for economics, and the supermarkets for food and im still one of them but im trying to wake up, isnt it time that we reclaimed our minds and started using the intelligence which we all have, the intelligence thats been repressed by the powers who just want to dumb us down as farmers do to cattle. Its taken a whole lot of momentum to bring us where we are now and that's not just going to stop as it would be dangerous to do so but what we can do is slowly start moving in the right direction, i reckon a camper van/bug out vehicle is definately a step in the right direction as by living this way teaches people the value of resources especially water heat and electric, it's a way of reconnecting folk with the true reality of life and take them out of the bubble of illusion where everything is supplied on tap by a system that makes us dependable. Then in the event of a catastrophe then at least we will have some people that will have some kind of clue how to cope.

    Create Your Own Minority Cultures As The Majority Are Merely Sheep Meat For The Vultures!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by OffGridKid ().

  • One of the most valuable and useful things you can have is a useable skill. stuff like being able to weld or fix vans, or hunt, skin animals, make clothing etc

    How many people think of things like boots? how long will your boots last, know any good cobblers? It's gonna come down to bartering for what you need a lot of the time and a group may carry you and supply you with food if they know you can get an old tractor running on veg oil or fix up their solar power systems (electronics skills don't become useless when everyone is using solar panels and wind generators) without being able to fix power regulators your back to the steam age.

  • I think the fear of not knowing would hit people hardest. though would it? I've asked many friends and family about what they would do and how they'd go about it and most of them are so zoned in on the fact that the government and army will be there to help and fix thing's it's a little scary! I mean, just because they have power, does in no way mean they have the power to turn electricity on or make money out of thin air! I think how reliant and dependent your average humans are in there comfort blankets of government is the major scary thing that gets to me! I'm pretty read up on, not so much practiced within survival and everything it would take to survive but I think I'd definitely have more of a chance! Think that it's important to be prepared, even if it's not completely psychical with practice
    pillaging would be a huge major impact in any scenario as well i agree. England in no way produces enough food to supply us as a nation in need

  • I couldn't have worded it any better offgridkid
    You pretty much have my exact mind frame on life as we live and you are certainly correct on our education system! the amount that we could do once for ourselves was amazing. we have gone from being able to build our own homes, source our own water, hunt and gather our own food, find and process our own medicines and make our own tools.
    now there's kids who don't know what goes into there mcdonalds burgers, parents who won't step foot near natural medicines but will pop paracetamol everyday and take medicine for any kind of bug letting theirs and their children's bodies immune systems suffer, and from hunting and gathering to hunting in the two for one isle!
    I do think structure is needed as much as i believe mainly in anti capitalist, none governmental, anarchistic views! But having societies and small none major structures and communities is a necessary within all life!
    we majorly need to look at our education system though and break away from the sheep like civilians we have become and throw away the blindfolds of modern slavery and stick it to the man! I know that this is far away from the point but it is all connected one way or another

  • Yeah popup, to be honest.. life should be back to bartering and skill sharing! The world would be a much better place without full on currency! skill swapping, bartering and exchange is the way forwards in life! I met a very nice lady in macclesfield who lives her whole life that way and has a very (sadly) secluded life and community around her in which there belongs no currency except the obvious for fuel and thing's that can not be easily exchanged.

    Also I do think offgrid van life is the way forwards, i know you can't become fully off grid as fuel does cost and it's pretty hard in england or anywhere to gain free fuel. if you can set up your van to run off grid in the terms of living then it's one step in the right direction within heating, water, cooking, electric etc etc

  • An unusual yet interesting thread. If you know how to do it you can quite easily conceal both yourself & even a quite sizable vehicle to the point that someone would have to be within thirty metres to spot it. There are things called 'obvious points of cover' which if the feds/rioters/zombies/the taxman are looking for you they will be sure to search but it would remain perfectly feasible to make yourself disappear within the 'confines' of the UK without the benefit of a cloak of invisibility. You can take both food & water from the land (& sky). The thing about survival/E&E is the correct mental attitude, without that you'd be screwed.

    Yesterdays gone, tomorrows a mystery, today's a gift, that's why its called the present.

  • yeah 4dscumpunx sounds like we're on the same page, it's amzing how cultral conditioning can blind people and make them say silly things when it's totaly obvious when theyre talking shit. Il give you an example, this sumer i went out with my air rifle in the hope to bag a bunny( i havnt caught one yet as i havnt mastered the skill) anyway on my way home ironically i saw a dead bunny at the side of the road so to cut a long story short i took it home as it was in perfect condition, checked out some demos on you tube on how to gut and skin a rabbit and off i went, it was pretty easy, i took it camping with me in the woods and cooked it over a fire, it was the some of the best meat i had ever tasted, and it was natural and free and i didnt even kil it. I was well proud of myself

    The next day i was at my brothers barbecue doo telling the story and the response from his wife was pure horror and disgust, 'how can you pick up a dead animal from the side of the road ' how can you gut and skin an animal' etc etc, and then the next minute she is ramming a barbecue hot dog in her mouth!! i didnt say a word but inside i was exploding with laughter at how ridiculous her comments were. I thought to myself, who is the one who has handed over money to wash away the guilt,blood and guts of the farmed animal that has lived a captivated unnatural life then been butchered cleaned and placed into a sanitised packet for an oblivious consumer to take off a shelf take home and then eat. Who's eating the more wholesome and natural piece of meat, who is more humane and which animal has lived a free life, who is more honest and mindful about what they are doing. To me she is totally disconnected fom the reality of the food and the process it goes through before it reaches the supermarket and ultimately her stomach, she uses money to do her dirty work just like millions of others on the planet but thats the fact you see,because the majority are doing it it's then perceived to be ok,but it's not ok not by me anyhow. One time my house mate said to me, "dude you will eat anything", i replied by turnin the tables on him and saying, "no mate have a look at the back of that packet of microwave food at the ingredients list and you will realise that you are the one who will eat anything." but its not the norm to pull red claw cray fish out of the river to take home and eat or to pick up some roadkil is it, all you have to do is break down the wall of conditioning to free your mind!

    Create Your Own Minority Cultures As The Majority Are Merely Sheep Meat For The Vultures!

  • Nout wrong with a bit of fresh roadkill :D I find gutting and skinning very natural, back to your roots type thing, as with collecting firewood and foraging.

    And I totally agree about barter and skills - boots, oh yes that would be a top item as with alcohol of course (and medicines)

    I do actually keep a bag with some essentials in, such as cotton wool and vaseline for firelighting, matches in plastic bag, rope, knives etc.