The other day, Corum asked:
Scrub, i wanted to ask this for a while, are you going to practice with weapons too?
If your tribe is going to be the only ones with food in the area, or even if you are going to have just more comfortable lives than other people... you sure as hell will need to defend your way of life.
I/we haven't put a whole lot of thought into this, and at this point my sole experience with guns involved missing a soda can with my one shot from an air rifle. I may well change my mind about what I write tonight, but I might as well start brainstorming somewhere!
I expect us to have weapons of some kind, if for no other reason than for hunting. Beyond that basic decision, I see two immediate next questions:
- What sort of weapons?
- What emphasis will we place on defense rather than simply hunting skills?
For question #1, I see two general approaches to hunting given our desire to ultimately depend on primitivist skills: 1) start off using all the heavy equipment, guns, and ammo we want to buy, and incrementally replace them with more and more primitive tools and techniques; or 2) start from scratch with primitive tools & techniques, using civilization-dependent technologies only if and when we need them.
For question #2, two aspects of our envisioned way of life help mitigate against a need to explicitly prepare for defense: our focus on learning skills such as nature awareness, silent stalking, and tracking; and our preparedness to rely entirely on mobile hunting & gathering. Those first skills should give us an advantage in many situations of conflict, assuming evenly matched weapons and numbers. I have no idea though to what extent those skills can compensate for an uneven match of weapons and/or numbers! Unfortunately, to whatever extent we carry out horticultural food procurement (permaculture) in one or even multiple fixed spots, we will present an attractive target to others if the shit seriously hits the fan. We do expect to involve ourselves with the community to whatever extent they welcome our input, to share our thoughts (and especially successful experiences once we have them worked out) with whomever will listen. Hopefully we can make ourselves too valuable a resource in knowledge and community support to leave anyone who knows us wanting to knock us off for a mere partial-year harvest. And if worst comes to worst, we hope to have developed the skills to disappear into the woods to hunt and gather (perhaps from plots we tend to some extent) in a roving lifestyle, where we never have enough accumulated food or other wealth for anyone to bother with us.
So, my practical plans for the next couple of years include:
- Buy a slingshot and learn to use it
- Practice throwing a rabbit stick
- Maybe experiment with other weapons - atlatl, those twirly bola things, nets, others?...
- Try to actually kill some squirrels (and eat them, of course)
- Make and/or buy a bow, and learn to use it
- Buy one or more guns, take a gun safety class, and start learning to shoot. (I might wait on this until we live rurally and can practice shooting without needing to pay at a city shooting range.)
- Practice body skills - fox walking, balance, etc
- Keep learning about bird language, learning from my sit spot, learning tracking, etc
- I don't feel really inspired about this, but maybe I'll start again with some form of martial art