Tonight was episode 3 of the Colony. It was a good episode with lots of human interaction under stress. Here are some of the lessons and observations that I had while watching it.
-Survival is not sexy…it’s continual work. Normally hard work.
-The time to start finding food to replace your survival provisions is when you’ve got plenty of food…not as you’re approaching the end. You want to set a hard deadline for this. As an example, you could say that you’ll never let your long term food storage get below 7 days, or 1 month, depending on your original stores and your situation.
-Like the last season, they made non-essentials, like a forge and a shower, a priority.
-What they need more is security, traps for food, and a sleep strategy to make sure everyone is getting enough rest.
-With all those abandoned buildings, I don’t understand why they would waste time building a shower frame when they can just take a bucket and a rag anywhere private and clean off.
-As evidenced by MORE people sneaking up behind the colonists, they have no listening posts/observation posts, and no early warning devices. They also don’t have an efficient way to signal each other when intruders show up.
-The two new people make a point of hiding some of their supplies before integrating with the group, which is VERY smart.
-The new girl makes a point of saying that people either love her or hate her and that if other people put up false pretenses, she calls them on it right away. In a survival situation, it’s especially important that you do your best to smooth over your rough edges and try not to upset people unnecessarily.
Those of you who have lived or still live in a small community understand that you don’t always have the luxury of saying what you think as freely you do in a large city. In a city, there’s an assumption that you can burn as many bridges as you’d like because there will always be more people.
In a small community, and in a small group in a survival situation, sometimes you just need to shut up and throttle abrasive tendencies. Is it comfortable? No. Is it smart? Yes…unfortunately. It doesn’t mean that you always avoid conflict…it just means that you need to be tactical and strategic about when you let conflicts happen and/or escalate.
-Michael (the new guy) brings up a good point that scavanging begats scavanging. We see this in riots, shortage situations, and before hurricanes and blizzards. (When it happens before hurricanes and blizzards, it’s called hoarding.) If you need to scavange, try to do it invisibly so that others won’t scavange what you’re scavanging AND so that they won’t target you in the future.
-Amber and Michael (the newcomers) decide to take care of security IMMEDIATELY and stay close but separate from the larger group.
-While they’re fishing, a trader on a boat comes by and they start bartering. As I discuss in my book, Urban Survival Bartering and Negotiating, one of the most important phases of a negotiation is the planning phase. They didn’t have a strategy, know what they wanted, didn’t want, or the perceived value of their stuff before trading. There are proven techniques for pre-barter planning and you NEED to know them.
They also traded medical supplies, 1 pound of sugar, vodka, 2 hazmat suits and 1 toothbrush for 1 welder/generator, 3 bars of soap, one bag of fruit, & 6 fish. In general, they traded items that they can’t replace for items that, for the most part, skill could get them or replace. Specifically, they should find fruit trees, catch fish, and make soap and trade these replacable items for items that they couldn’t use skill to produce.
-The colonists built and used a smoker to smoke and preserve their meat. When smoking, you want to make sure to use non treated wood (NO lumber) and wood that puts off a non-bitter smoke. Smoking is a low temperature process. You want to keep the temperature between 180 and 210, and make sure that the fat/grease doesn’t drip onto the coals or anything metal. One easy way to make sure that your improvised smoker doesn’t get over 220 degrees is to put water in the smoker. If it boils, the smoker is too hot.
-I’m not sure what wildlife is around the colonists, but when they threw out the soup that had ants in it, it didn’t appear that they set out the soup as bait to draw in rodents, birds, and other creatures that they could use for food or future bait.
-It’s really “cool” that they made a forge and iron weapons, but so far they haven’t covered the fundamentals of hunting or security. Fundamentals and skills beat cool-sexy tools any day.
-FINALLY at the end of day 13, the mechanic decided to get a group and go out scouting for items that they can use to trade/barter moving forward other than the limited supplies they have right now. This meshes nicely with what I said earlier about bartering strategies.
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So…what did you see this week? What lessons did you learn? I’m sure you focused in on some lessons that I didn’t. Let me and other readers know by commenting below.