By Josh Marcinik, Class of ’14
Let’s face it: if the world as we know it ends on December 21st, a lot of you will be unprepared. Since Augustinian traditions must be carried on into the future at all costs, it’s probably about time that you start thinking about what you’ll need to not only survive the catastrophe, but also to thrive once everything has settled down into a new and probably unrecognizable world. Here are five ideas to get you, the Villanova student, started on that before it’s too late.
5. The Ruck
To escape the impending doom coming to our planet, you’re going to need to carry a lot of gear with you, so you’ll need a Mayan-proof rucksack. The most obvious consideration is space- you’ll need somewhere to stash those Twinkies. Make sure you have enough room to live out of. Any good pack will have plenty of attachment points on the outside for strapping on a sleeping bag or the skull of a horned animal. It’ll also be made of indestructible materials, because the last thing you need is a rip or tear. With that load on your back, the rig needs to be comfortable, too. Make sure you find a pack that is adjustable to your custom fit for the long haul and able keep the weight off your shoulders. Running at $400, the Eberlestock Battleship is a load bearing system for the human burro that’ll hold enough to get you through the worst of it all, allowing you to survive and become the leader of a primitive tribe of post-apocalyptic hunter-gatherers.
4. The Portaledge
When our infrastructure is destroyed, we’ll quickly be facing a lack of decent shelter, and you’ll probably want one. But the face of the world will be entirely different after the coming upheaval. For this reason, it’s almost essential to own a portaledge- a tent designed to be hung suspended from a single point on the side of a cliff or from the branches of a great tree. But this isn’t some romantic nest in a Jamaican novelty resort; it’s made for hardy individuals who need to spend multiple days on the side of inhospitable mountains where nothing else works. Don’t forget the accessories- a good one will have a rainfly to keep you and your gear dry. Feed your passion for the North Face and their jackets by seeking out one of the brand’s now rare portaledge models, or grab a model from Black Diamond regularly retailing for around $700. You’ll be asleep poised over the earth’s inhospitable surface in no time.
3. The Offshore Life Raft
The only potential problem with everything above is that there’s a good chance our planet might be flooded, but choose the right life raft and you’ll be just fine. There are a million different types to choose from, but for the apocalypse, you’ll want nothing less than the very best. For extended periods of time, try going for a six-man life raft designed for use at sea which gives you plenty of room for storing all your other gear and stretching your legs, all while riding out the worst of the waves and reading the classics. With the best designs, there’s an automatically-deploying canopy to keep off the waves, spray, and wind. In case you spot friendly human beings, you might want a complementary selection of flares; a complete ocean survival kit is also a plus. The Revere Offshore Elite Life Raft will provide you with all these amenities and more. Be prepared to sell your car or get a loan to pay for it. Good luck finding one with a built-in cooler.
2. The Compound Bow
Remember, it’s important to be prepared for what happens after the intergalactic storm is over. If video games taught us anything about what happens when society devolves into chaos, it’s that we will immediately fall back to using bows and arrows. Since the regular longbow is considered a little weak, you’ll want to pick up a compound bow- the pinnacle of modern bow design. There are a lot of reasons to have a bow besides looking good, though. If there are any remaining landforms with surviving game, you’ll want to be able to hunt for what might be the world’s last burger. It’s also important to have a method of defense against bandits and mutants. A bow allows you to do that silently, undetected by any potential enemy. Of course, you’ll need to keep plenty of arrows around, just in case your quarry happens to be tougher than you expected. A good option is Bear’s Anarchy Shadow series, which retails for just under $900.
1. The Portable Internet
Everyone secretly dreams of being a hero. But just imagine for a moment that you are saving part of the internet. That’s an unbelievable task- a task that requires some special technological equipment. There are probably geeks out there who could find a better way, but for the ordinary citizen, the simplest way to save the internet is not simple at all. Take Wikipedia, undoubtedly the most important website for college students. It must be saved. In theory, you can spend your time now downloading all the information that makes up the site (skip the pictures to save space) and transfer all those files to your RAID storage device, a sort of external hard drive on steroids. However, it’s more than likely that you’ll require a generator- and that’ll probably end up being a hand-powered model, unless you’ve managed to bring a solar-powered charger. The market for massive storage devices is rather tight, but you’ve got some options. A CalDigit HDPro2 16 terabyte external hard drive array sells for around $7500. That’s the price for saving our internet.