After TSHTF, maintaining highways and bridges will take a back seat to just staying alive and free from the slavers and reavers. If you need to get somewhere faster than you can walk or ride horseback, you will need some creative solutions.
Flying ATVs, such as the rugged special forces parafoil version above, provide one solution to the problem: Whatever you cannot “ATV”, simply unfurl the parafoil and fly over.
Another approach to difficult terrain is the hovercraft approach. Low level hover is effective for relatively flat surfaces. Moderately rough surfaces may require “ground effect hover” as described later.
The following video demonstrates the construction of a basic small hovercraft using conventional materials and methods.
The primary advantage of hovercrafts is that they can travel freely over land, water, ice, mud, sand, and even pavement. They come in all sizes, and can be customised for a wide range of climate and terrain. The hovercraft in the video above are built in a factory. But hovercraft can also be built at home — or as a high school project.
The Sherp ATV is the brain child of Alexei Garagashyan, a mechanic in Saint Petersburg, who has had an interest in unconventional solutions in traditional SUVs, such as building race cars, reports Auto Motor und Sport.
Multiple wheel vehicles such as the 8 X 8 in the video above are capable of moving strongly over water, land, mud, snow, and other difficult surfaces.
You do not have to wait for TEOTWAWKI in order to achieve similar travel challenges. In parts of the arctic, for example, travel surfaces can change radically from day to day, or from one hour to the next. In such situations, a more versatile vehicle can be lifesaving.
At Canada’s Great Slave Lake, Wintertime is TEOTWAWKI
Houseboat dwellers on the lake are necessarily self-reliant, to the point of virtual sovereignty. During the periods of freeze-up and breakup, travel from houseboat to outside help can be deadly treacherous.
Great Escapes is an earlier posting on alternative means of getting away from a suddenly unruly crowd.
Keep in mind that in the modern world, most situations of TS Hitting TF are only temporary, as in severe weather power outages and the like. Preparation for such situations generally involve hunkering in place with proper supplies and backup life support functions. But if infrastructure breakdown is accompanied by widespread civil disorder — as it easily could do in cities with large populations of poorly assimilated third world peoples — the ability to make an orderly and timely escape to a prepared position can save your bacon.
Infrastructure and civil order might be restored within a week or two after a shutdown — or perhaps not. In the face of that degree of uncertainty, a solid fallback plan can provide peace of mind. But even the best plan will fail if it is not executed in time. Plan, prepare, practise. And be ready to pull the trigger if necessary.
There’s never going to be a SHTF apocalyptic scenario, all that’s going to happen is that countries, and particularly cities in the US/FRA/UK will become gradually more unlivable,with more crime, more corruption, etc those cities will move down one or two notches in a scale that looks somewhat like this: NYC 50’s-NYC Today-Miami-Buenos Aires-Mexico city-Rio de Janeiro-Caracas. People will gradually adapt to this new scenario,the wealthy will hire tons of bodyguards, armored cars, etc. and life will go on.
Right. You understand, of course, that you are describing one possible scenario out of millions of possible scenarios. If you “believe” in this scenario to the exclusion of all others, you are likely to be blindsided, if you live long enough.
Straight linear extrapolations without discontinuities probably represent the least likely scenario to occur. Trends continue until they can no longer. Then the discontinuities, bifurcations, tipping points, etc. occur — often in cascading manner.
Time scales matter.
It’s not ‘one scenario’, it’s what has historically happened in almost every city throughout history after a period of upheaval (Mexico city after Cortes, Alexandria around 500 AD, Asuncion after the triple alliance war that wiped out 80% of males in the country) People just adapt, people still live in Beirut and Alexandria today. The mad max/SHTF scenario is just a secular variation on the doomsday/apocalyptic nonsense that was common in the anglosphere for centuries.
Yes, “people” still live in many ancient cities and lands. Not the actual descendants of those who once lived there, for the most part, but “people.” Cold comfort to those who suffered genocide and were displaced. To those long vanished peoples, TEOTWAWKI is exactly what happened, for they are no more.
Apocalypse and doom will happen to you, personally, one day. Try to see that it does not happen to your descendants, as it has happened to so many extincted races of people in the past.
I think we’ll see a worsening of infrastructure until it looks Latin American. People will have to buy Toyota trucks with good suspension to get through all the potholes. Or they’ll have to use boats and waterways. Humanity has historically traveled large distances either on horseback or the water.
I wouldn’t buy any of those Buck Rogers modes of transportation. I say this as someone with a private pilot’s license. The hovercraft will break all the time and the parasail looks dangerous to fly and unable to transport a useful load. It will also break.
Oars, sail, outboards, dirt bikes, Toyota trucks, and Shank’s Mare are the future I say.
When roads are not maintained even to the low standards of Africa, Latin America, or Russia … and bridges collapse as so often happens in China … Toyota trucks may not be up to the task. To say nothing of the lack of spare parts!
It is likely that we have not yet seen the types of vehicles that will evolve to meet the needs of a world without the scientific and technology leadership of Europe and the Anglosphere.
The underlying point — usually unspoken — is that parallel infrastructures for manufacturing, fuel and energy production, food, shelter, spare parts, etc. etc. are crucial for any sort of future more ambitious than subsistence level. Casual readers who have not been exposed to the Al Fin POV — The Next Level, Society for Creative Apocalyptology, The Dangerous Child Method, etc. — will not have any idea where to look for the genuine sources of chaos and discontinuity, nor will they likely know where to look for alternative ways out.
Concepts such as “flying cars” “ground effect hovercraft” “monster truck ATVs” “parasail convertible vehicles” “amphibious cars” “submarine boats” etc. etc. are staple props of provocation, to stimulate thinking.
Even the best preppers and survivalists are doomed if they are unable to think outside of conventional blinders.
BTW, Venezuela is the future of Latin America (and probably Russia) and that is not a pretty sight.
I don’t think I’m a prepper or a survivalist. Technological solutions break and are hard to service. New forms of transportation need to address the “Where?” and “Why?” questions before they become viable. Where do you need to go and why? I saw a battery-powered self-flying VTOL aircraft made by the Chinese at work a couple of years ago. It had a range of 10 statute miles and a price tag of close to $350k and no ability to glide should you run out of power. We all know how reliable Chinese LiPos are also.
The basic physics limits most forms of transportation to what has existed since the creation of man and the invention of the ICE. Other forms, such as flight, require large corporations or nation-states to maintain the infrastructure. Anything requiring jet fuel or rocket fuel is extremely expensive.
I guess I don’t think technology is fundamentally going to solve our problems.
You are certainly correct that “technology is not going to solve our problems.” Specific technology is meant to solve specific problems, but will necessarily lead to other problems that must be solved. The consequent increase in complexity — and increasing need for streamlining and innovation — causes most humans to be dropped by the wayside for lack of innate cognitive talent and lack of executive function.
We are seeing this right before our eyes in the coming anarchy, spreading out from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
We should realise that “technology” is not any one thing or group of things but rather an unimaginably vast superset of approaches to extend the grasp of humans beyond what their naked bodies can do. We have not begun to approach the reality of “smart technology”, which has nothing to do with computation or the internet.