Sunday, November 15, 2009

Packing for the Apocalypse

For the first time in a long, long time, Cody and went to see a movie on the opening night. Given my waning obsession with all things apocalypse and 2012, it should come to no surprise that we went to see 2012.

I promise I won't give any spoilers away here. The movie was highly entertaining peppered with moments of improbable pauses to explain things to the children in the movies. I really enjoyed the whole show, despite John Cusak. Cusak makes a very believable semi-deadbeat dad with a failed career. He's not so believable as an action hero. (Cody disagrees, citing Gross Point Blank. I say that Cody's argument is still flawed.)

But the movie got me thinking of this apocalyptic scenario: If I know that 90% of the earth's population is going to be wiped out, and to make this fantasy enjoyable, I also know that all the people I love are going to be safe, and I know we're all going to get on an arc, and we're allowed only one suitcase, what would I bring?

A survival guide comes to mind. Clothes to layer. Eyeglasses of different strengths. But beyond that, what is there to take? I've been running this over in my head for a whole day and come up with surprisingly few items. Most things seem like they'd be useful, but then they'd be used up in a month or two (a flashlight's batteries would die, the toilet paper would be gone through, the toothpaste squeezed from the tube, the books read to deterioration). And none of those things would lend themselves to survival once land is again found. I guess I would pick a lot of different nonfiction books: how to farm/irrigate/find water, how to build a house, how to weave and crochet and knit, how to take care of injuries, how to find plants that heal. Or maybe I would take things that others would find useful so I could barter for someone's medical skills or for a shirt someone else wove. What would you pack?


Shaida said...

OMG, what about Con Air? I haven't seen 2012 yet, but I have to side with Cody here, I think John Cusack can pull it off! :-D

Re: what to pack (I've also considered this), I agree that skills are the most important thing to take along with you (how to feed yourself, stay healthy, make broken things work again, etc.). If 90% of the population is wiped out, then presumably there will be a lot of available resources left behind to "borrow," assuming one can gain access to them. I think it's most important to know how to do something with the available resources than to have ready-made stuff stockpiled, in terms of adapting and upping your chances of survival. That said, I think a good, off-road bicycle is one of the best tools to make sure you have, and also maybe a man-powered boat (depending on the conditions). Then I head for the hills and start farming!

Rebecca Chastain said...

Shaida, the bike's a brilliant idea! Good transportation. I always figured on horses, but the bike wouldn't require feeding. The boat would be good, too, but a bit harder to pack in a suitcase. Unless you have an inflatable raft, but those seem a little iffy to me: one rip and you're out of a boat.

Shaida said...

Unless you also have duct tape in your bag! ;-)