Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's the best digital camera for the Apocalypse?

I’m often asked what's the best digital camera to have during the apocalypse?*  It’s a fair question, and one I believe represents the true misunderstanding about just how bad things could get.

Modern society, especially as expressed in larger cities, has all but removed the man vs. nature opportunities that not only keep us sharp as humans (and arguably thin the herd as with the Darwin Awards), but also satisfy the craving we all have for adventure of the survivable kind.

In my experience working in outdoor recreation, I am often reminded just how limited the exposure most people have for even the most mild situations where the survival mentality buried deep in our brains must be accessed. And zombies only make it worse.

Two observations of my outdoor work and recreation experience include 1) that what I could do day in and day out for a living is considered extreme by some, and Kodak moments by almost all the rest. And 2) that my hobbies would kill most people.

So where do zombies fit? Simple. Zombies are a naturally occurring mental fabrication created to stimulate the adventure-region of an adult mind that has been dormant for many years. In other words, the lower the adventure in one’s life, the greater the zombie fantasies. And worse, the zombies in your dreams behave in a way just below your level of tactical fighting experience. If you have no skills, then the zombies are like infants. If you have some experience, then the zoms have a little fightbackability. If you think of yourself as a real operator, then the zombies can attack full force and your machete arm never grows tired.

Zombies represent a slow but relentless foe in a roughly human form, but yet carries none of the emotional baggage when you "kill” it. Yea, I know about the fast zombie crowd out there, but chew on this: making your zombies quicker and sharper is nothing more than a manifestation of your need to advance beyond the dull, exhausted previous sluggish zombie fantasies. Fast zombies do not represent a major evolutionary advancement making you somehow superior to those preferring slow zombies.

The absurd number of zombie related products from green ammo to bleeding targets is further evidence that the make-believe world of the apocalypse is alive and well. My focus here at the Prepping Professor, however, is to point out the fallacy of such thoughts and hopefully refocus them into a call for productive skills and preparation focused on realistic scenarios completely devoid of brain eaters, space aliens, and global destruction on any given day that contains a round number.

So what camera is a good one for the end of the world as we know it? Well, like most so-called preppers, having a camera that is water resistant, dust and shock proof, has long battery life, and great overall durability would come to mind. But those things don’t really matter in the big picture. However, a camera does matter. It matters more than anything else.

The camera as a physical object is not important, but instead what the camera represents is the key to survival. In a nutshell, the camera acts as a time capsule recording past events for future consideration. Two components are necessary for the concept of a camera to work; the present and the future. If your prepping scenario includes the alternative to put a bullet in your own head, then a camera will do you little good. But if you have deep survival instinct that claws towards the future regardless of the seemingly insurmountable challenges in front of you, then the camera can document your journey, viewable at your destination.

The low threshold for suffering is evidenced by city dwellers who venture outside only to discover cold rain, extreme temperatures, large animals, and the fatal effects of gravity, and then exercise the permanent check-out option long before most outdoor types would even begin to grumble.  It doesn’t have to be that way, but unless one builds up a tolerance for being uncomfortable, one will not have a proper measurement system for assessing just how bad it can get.

The recent spat of books about survival attitudes has clearly documented that the way you view the future is as important as the preparations you make now. If you are lacking the survival attitude—and I don’t mean some reckless kill-em-all arrogance-gonna-go-down-fighting-brain-spasm, then chances are great you won’t emerge intact on the other side of the event.

But if your situational awareness includes a positive element conducive to the collective survival of yourself and our species, including the wellbeing of society at large—not just you the individual, then I promise I’ll say nothing but good things about your pictures.

*Actually, nobody has ever asked me this question.

Carrry on.

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