Last week’s episode wraps up with Jack Jobe, age 65, from a suburb of Denver, CO.
Transparency/free PR clause: although they don’t mention it on the show, Jobe runs a survival website where he sells the multipurpose hatchet-y tool he’s seen with in the episode. There’s the link. Please don’t leave comments asking where you can buy it.
Early on, there’s a clip of him doing what looks like a stand-up comedy routine…with a shotgun. Like, I’d really like to hear how that goes, because it seems like a terrible idea.
His producer-enforced issue is “a massive solar flare that could set our society back hundreds of years.” I know what he means, but I don’t think he’s looking at the big picture. Which is to say that technology aside, society hasn’t changed that much since 1800, much less since 1300, 300, or even 300 or 1300 BCE—even that far back, Our culture was still stratified (the few at the top of the pyramid lived very well while the majority at the bottom toiled on their behalf), people still had specialized ‘jobs’ for which they were ‘paid’ so that they could acquire food, and the leaders called up their standing armies every couple of years to try and wipe out their enemies. Our American Empire is simply the most recent attempt to build something different while using the same blueprints as the ones used by the English, Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians.
Anyway, as part of his approach to disaster preparedness, Mr. Jobe buckled down and lost 90 pounds in two years. This touches on a key point that hardly any of the folks on this show have mentioned: fitness is an aspect of prepping too, one just as essential (but not as interesting) as stockpiling beans, bullets, and bandages. But once again, like true sustainability, achieving fitness requires more than simply buying things, it requires active changes in lifestyle.
Mr. Jobe’s fitness-as-preparation packs a triple whammy, because he doesn’t simply put in a few hours at the gym each week, he gets out his survival pack and hits the streets! I did this at least once a week at university, sometimes taking along a protégé or two to teach the good foraging spots, where the hobos hang out, etc. The benefits are numerous.
First: gaining familiarity with one’s gear. Too many folks put together a bag of survival gear and throw it in the closet or car and forget about it. Strap on your pack and actually wear it while you’re out and about. It might turn out that your shoulder straps are terribly uncomfortable or that your weight is distributed all wrong or something, and I’d rather find out in my backyard than out on the bug-out trail.
Second: gaining familiarity with one’s environment. Suburban hikes are a great way to explore your ‘area of operations’ (as the tactical folks say).
Third: gaining familiarity with one’s community (talking to neighbors). You don’t even have to talk prepping with them like Mr. Jobe does. But urban backpacking is totally a great conversation starter; I’ve had plenty of chats with folks while wearing my pack that I wouldn’t have had if I’d simply been out for a jog.