Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Urban survival


A Shack City is on its way.

That's what the flier said at least.  On campus today, I saw that a student organization is going to be camping overnight in a "shack city" to raise awareness for the issue of homelessness. The students will spend the night in cardboard boxes that are reinforced by duct tape.  This engaged my curiosity, so I went online to see photographs of previous Shack City events.

The pics I found conjured up issues far in addition to homelessness...even though that is a serious enough social travesty in its own right.  As I looked at the images of students working to fashion their boxes together and then getting inside of them feet first, sort of like a cardboard sleeping bag or tent, I imagined a different scene altogether.  I thought of a disaster, like a post-Katrina New Orleans with people forced to inhabit whatever they could find.  Building on that, I thought of the sure-to-come climate refugees, swarming and swelling inland to find shelter of any kind.  

Which made me wonder.  Is there a new cottage industry to be had in "urban survivalism?" A cursory Google showed me that, as usual, I am far from being the first person to think about such a concept.

One of the first links I found was the Urbansurvivalblog.   It advises that we all invest in a gas mask (which means Chris Helton has been prepared for a long time now.)  If you cannot afford one or have limited access to acquire such a mask, the blog has a post that instructs you on how to build your own.


Apparently, you can make one out of either a simple swimming cap or a regular, household bed sheet.  Who knew?  Other choice tidbits from the site including learning kayaking, martial arts, and an argument for keeping plenty of eggs on hand as a survival food.  Provided you can keep them refrigerated that is but why palter with the details?
If one could only have a single piece of survival gear in an urban environment, one site advocated for duct tape.  I can't say I'd disagree with that suggestion.  You can fix things with duct tape, you can create rope with it, it can serve in lieu of a bandage, and as the Shack City students demonstrate, you even use it to build shelters.

But why settle for that when you can be a fashionista of the urban survival set?  I give to you, the Urban Nomad Shelter by Electroland.  With this shelter you can be both mobile and stylish.  The Urban Nomad was developed for social reasons, namely to combat and bring awareness to the plight of the homeless, but that doesn't mean you can't one day be the envy of all your fellow displaced refugees.

I kid, but it may be only the urban survivalists who are laughing when something does happen.


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