Last weekend my husband and I participated in the first NC Forum meet-up. Pictures and comments are posted on the forum: http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=157&t=3222
Planning the camp-out and attending such an event required that I examine my feelings about remaining anonymous as a prepper which conflicts with my desire to share, learn, and even socialize with like-minded people. I also support the premise that in a serious situation it is better to be part of a group of reliable people than try to survive alone. But how do you do that without putting yourself and your family at risk?
My husband and I have not been in North Carolina very long and do not have any family close. Our home is fairly isolated, and we rarely see our neighbors. So where do I find this support group of preppers who I may be trusting with my life?
First, we do not casually share our prepping. My daughter and son-in-law know, and that is about it. Some others know we have a garden and have gotten into making soap. There are friends and family I have tried to help become "aware" who believe we are at the best weird, and at the worst nuts. One old friend that I discussed this with by email only on the most superficial terms, kind of gave me an electronic pat on the head, and said something like, "That's nice, but just don't get all twitchy on me." Too late. She doesn't have a clue about my real preps. So where are these people who I should count on to help defend against the Zombies?
I have learned that you need to be very careful about information you share online. In public forums, people are not always what they seem, and anyone can read information you put in your profile or write in your posts. Put it together and your anonymity can be at risk. I wonder, who might find out who I am and stake us out for what they may perceive I have of value? Could someone in the government use the information if they decide to confiscate weapons or stockpiles of food to redistribute? Paranoia? Maybe, but I also believe in caution.
The first time I talked about my prepping to people I didn't know well was at a Whole Grain Baking Retreat sponsored by the Millers Grain House. My intent in going was to meet some other women with whom I might become friends and who share some of my beliefs. It worked! Donna and Lynnette are now on this forum and another friend's husband, pnutcrushr, joined. I have to tell you, it was a great feeling to find friends like them who I can talk to openly. It is also unifying to have something so important in common. We never run out of stuff to talk about! Unfortunately, they do not live in my neighborhood.
Before this weekend, we pondered about the wisdom of putting ourselves out there and exposing ourselves to people we didn't know except online. We talked about it in camp, and everyone else had similar thoughts. It seemed like a reasonable risk, especially since I already knew Pnutcrushr's wife, and Whisper and Maustypsu have been active, supportive forum members for quite awhile. We don't regret it for a moment. These preppers are fun, smart, interesting people! There were no hidden agendas or manipulative behavior. I am happy to call them friends and look forward to enlarging our circle.
But, alas, they do not live in my neighborhood, either. But I feel that I could count on any of these folks, and that we will have each others' back. We are already starting to plan our next get together. Trust takes time. I am willing to invest that time.
A month ago I only had cyber friends who are preppers. Right now I have six real people prepper friends and feel pretty darned lucky. Now I have to start working on my neighbors.
Join the APN Forum at www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net
Visit the North Carolina Forum at www.NorthCarolinaPreppersNetwork.net