Along with about 20 other would-be survivalists, we journeyed down a trail in the forest as Christopher pointed out key vegetation. Shredding yucca leaves into thin strips and braiding them makes twine such as for tying shelter—or possibly even a survival weapon, Andrew noted. Downside: “Can you wait 30 minutes while I twist something to strangle you with?” Rub strips of yucca leaves together forcefully between your hands with a little water gets you soap. Put mugwort on skin exposed to poison oak. Toilet paper plant: Mullein leaves.
In terms of food, top choices are watercress and lambsquarter; the greens are very nutritious. Return of yucca: the shoots, flowers, and leaves are edible. Elderberries are another, but eat a lot of them and you might vomit. Cactus can be eaten raw and you can also get water from it. Find a log, and you’ll probably find termites inside. They don’t carry parasites, so they can be eaten alive. While I took notes, Andrew was deep in a drinking game he’d created for every time anyone picked some leaf and said “salad.” At this rate, he’d be drunk on bottled water by noon.
Then came time to make fire. The knife is a good tool here, because using it to scrape a magnesium block causes a spark. Or you can do it the caveman way through a process called drilling, using a stick and block of wood. The manliest is hand drilling, or bare hands rubbing up and down the stick quickly and with pressure. Few ever succeed, lacking the upper-body strength. Andrew did it, and the gloating thankfully made him stop asking how much he could pay me so we could go back to the Ram and stop hunting and tracking wild leaves.
As we sat around watching the others, we couldn’t help wondering who we’d want to survive doomsday with. The guy who is seemingly balanced for his life on two rocks in 1 inch of stream water? The dude whose knife was always in hand, blade exposed, even during casual conversation? Probably not the girl who kept snacking on elderberries—we didn’t need barfing during doomsday. But that did lead to our next survival question: Who would repopulate the world? We ventured online to sites dedicated to survivalists seeking survivalists. Andrew got curious about the “survivalist babe” who enjoyed Dutch oven cookery, but leaned more toward the one who could make jerky. The gal good with sticks and rope, or the chick listing her thighs as an asset? Decisions.
Or was Elderberry Girl The One after all? That’s another thing I’ve learned: a “real man” will hold a woman’s hair while she’s hugging the porcelain Mullein. Andrew agreed. “As long as she’s wearing a swimsuit. And heels.”
That’s another thing I’ve learned: “real man” will hold a woman’s hair while she’s hugging the porcelain Mullein. Andrew agreed. “As long as she’s wearing a swimsuit. And heels.”
Build Your Truck for Doomsday
How would the aftermarket build our Ram for doomsday, with an unlimited budget? (Might as well blow your wad—it’s Teotwawki. Google that.) Mark Mathews from Pro Comp (www.procompusa.com) would start with engine performance: Magnuson supercharger with JBA headers and exhaust. He’d also bolt on a Pro Comp 6-inch Stage II suspension to fit Xtreme MT 35-inch tires coupled with flat-black 5029 Series wheels, and G2 axles. He’d add a Smittybilt X20 waterproof winch and M1 bumpers, and front and rear Pro Comp LED lighting with 4-inch LEDs in the wheelwells and undercarriage. For protection, the list includes bulletproof glass and armor plating. There would also be a water filtration system, onboard/tailgate BBQ, and “a functioning bar/beverage station with an icemaker. After conquering my attackers, I’d like to celebrate with a tasty beverage.” A Kicker sound system also made the list, with several terabytes of hard drive “to stockpile every heavy metal/rock album ever, even the glam stuff from the ’80s. It’s going to be a long time before anyone makes a new album.”
Mark Hayes from National Tire & Wheel (www.ntwonline.com) would run a Fabtech 6-inch lift with Dirt Logic coilovers and shocks, as well as 37-inch Swamper IROCs with Weld Racing T50 rims. He’d also add an in-bed fuel tank, “because like in “Mad Max,” fuel is going to be a highly cherished commodity.” An exocage, stout bumpers, Smittybilt winches, lots of Pro Comp LED lightbars, and an over-the-cab-style rack for spare rubber would be other add-ons. Also, “expanded metal will replace the glass.” In the power department, there’d be a cold-air intake, a chip, and free-flowing exhaust. “Now that my mighty Dodge is equipped the way that I need, I can navigate my way through the rubble, debris, and bodies that lie ahead as I travel the world in search of some remaining form of civilization.”