Survivalists' Guide for the New Millennium: Chapter 4
© 2000 BY MATTHEW WEBB AND COURTNEY SCHMIDT
Any or all of this material may be used by any interested person or organization, for the purpose of spiritual and/or intellectual enlightenment. We ask that you mention the source of this material in your publication(s), (the World Mind Society, and Matthew Webb) so as to promote the mission of this organization.
TRANSFORMATION OF CATERPILLAR
It is not
difficult to see that the whole Agenda behind owning a bigger home, a
newer car and more land is one of ego.
This is an orientation toward the building of an empire of material
wealth, in a vain attempt to demonstrate the success of one’s greedy
aspirations. The intelligent, natural person is not interested in this.
They know that superficial, material things do not define true
satisfaction and do not seek them out.
On the contrary the intelligent know that an unnecessary
accumulation of possessions is a burden to be reckoned with.
When possessions become a primary life focus, it is they
who become the master of day to day living.
In this culture the dollar tells us what to do and we do it. We live for the dollar and the things it can buy, and orient
our life around its welfare
rather than our own. Worshipping
the dollar is not the mark of the intellectual, but the emotionally
insecure. Clearly, a new way
of life is called for.
For the person who recognizes money as a false idol, the dollar
takes the position of servant rather than master.
It is they who will seek ways to make efficient use of the energy
that money represents. The
efficient minded will first accomplish this by eliminating as much waste
as possible from their lifestyle. Secondly,
they will seek out the best possible means and circumstances in which they
may live well, and yet still have a maximum amount of free time and life
energy reserves. Rather than
investing their entire focus in the accumulation of transitory material
things, they will instead employ a minimum of material means to achieve a
maximum spiritual end. The
spiritual person therefore invests in their own health, clarity of mind
and inner unfoldment so as to accomplish the sane objectives of natural
living. Many of the
suggestions found herein are useful in accomplishing these important
goals. The foremost among these is the purchase and remodeling of a
practical vehicle, which will serve as both home and mobility.
than being stuck in a given place with the same neighbors, problems and
mortgage payments for the next 20+ years, imagine what it would be like to
live in freedom. Living in a
vehicle such as RV or van grants the ability to literally migrate with the
seasons, and live in eternal spring and summer if so desired.
Any location arrived at, (within reason) instantly becomes home to
be enjoyed in full. Life
“on the road” caters to the spirit of exploration, where an extreme
simplicity of daily routine is matched only by an extreme diversity of
environments to choose from. Generally speaking it is only the older generation who have
finally decided to enjoy life, and who live by way of RV or RV converted
van, (or boat). Most people
seem to feel that they need to use the word “retirement” as a
justification for their freedom from wage slavery.
We don't need a justification for efficient and natural living. The
value of these qualities is self-explanatory.
Many people object to the idea of such freedom simply because they
chide themselves for not having the courage to live it out themselves. Orthodox materialists maintain a "pay your dues"
mentality, because they have suffered and striven to be the subject of
envious gossip and taught their children to do the same. They feel that others should suffer and strive as they did.
Orthodox materialists take great pains not to acknowledge that they have
lived a lie. They treat as
outcast in fact, anyone who does not possess their
"club membership" in the cult of materialism.
Such people prefer a cast system approach to social organization
based upon money, which predictably gives them a greedy advantage over
everyone else. This advantage
however, lasts only so long as everyone else plays the same make-believe
game. All persons should live
and be treated as equals, because as conscious beings we are in fact
equal. To the soul and to
God, money and position are irrelevant.
So don't be fooled by the materialistic ideas that are literally
tearing this world apart.
out the paradise of your own choosing by exploring all cities, towns,
attractions and public lands as opportunities for new experiences.
One aspect of a fulfilling life is no doubt found in the greater
number of options available to it in each moment.
Every town, city, national forest, beach, lake, mountain and cave
are the options available to the free spirit.
Adventure will be available on demand, simply because you have
chosen a life that allows the free time with which you may enjoy and
the symptoms of the modern disease, is the using up of the time and options
contained in each 5-minute period with some socially acceptable activity.
If a person is not "doing something" with their time each
minute of the day, then it is supposedly being "wasted."
There are a great many important accomplishments in life, which
directly depend upon the ability to do absolutely nothing in the external
sense, so that the internal realm of mind and spirit may be properly
developed. We need this time to focus introspectively, to make clear
decisions and to cultivate a clear, peaceful and intelligent mind.
This absolutely cannot be done when a person is constantly
distracting themselves with an endless stream of activities.
What is most suspect about our cultural definition of "doing
something" is that only material, external changes are considered
accomplishments. We do not
recognize, or for the most part consider important, the inner achievements
of greater love, clarity, spiritual perception, health or mental ability.
All of these areas of development are considered basically
worthless until they are converted into some touchable object.
This attitude represents one of the tragic errors of Western
thinking in our present day culture.
What we fail to recognize is that all external achievement is
preceded by a paralleling internal state.
All outer change depends entirely upon inner transformation.
The inner state is therefore an even more important consideration
than the outer one. It is
true that the physical demonstration of inner focus is a solid test of its
authenticity. But this does not imply by any means that a focus upon inner
transformation is an unworthy one. A
comprehensive inner development is in fact the primary goal for the truly
the stress of unwisely used technology and unnatural living increase among
us, the individual must take it upon themselves to cultivate a progressive
inner state of being. Living
free in you own vehicle will allow you to do this.
There will be many who, in their ignorance or envy will look at
such a lifestyle with a troubled gaze.
The self contained "nomad on wheels" no longer
"plays the game" of material competition, and may in a very real
sense be compared to the ascetics of ancient times.
They have rejected the assumptions and unnaturalness of modern
living. They are not hypnotized by a fascination for self-destructive
money grabbing, preferring instead to maintain sanity and clarity.
The modern person on the average breaks the well being of their
mind and body to accumulate houses, lands and cars, which are supposedly a
measure of success. Sadly,
they do not even have the time or free energy to enjoy all of these
things. So possessed are they
by their possessions, that insanity, disease and chronic dissatisfaction
become their only true and lasting companions. This modern state of
affairs is the result of the single-minded fixation upon the greed for
more and more. The “nomad
ascetic” however, actually owns very little.
Yet they have all the time in the world to fully enjoy the forest,
the earth and the greater health of body, mind and spirit without being
possessed by materialism.
We often hear that we
live in a "dog eat dog world."
What this really means is that the modern emphasis is one of
con-artistry, were everyone gets everything they can from every one
else…endlessly. We are taught by common example to first evaluate what
material reward or status can be gained by association with another
person, before “becoming involved.” If there is "nothing to
gain" from that association then it is considered an unwise use of
time. This attitude implies a fundamental lack in the public consciousness
of spiritual understanding or practice.
In the cult of materialism we see no value in people themselves,
but only in their ability to accomplish material things.
This is why our great material wealth and greed is matched only by
our spiritual poverty. The
change to a nomadic and spiritual lifestyle reverses all of these trends.
In the natural mindset people are again seen as souls rather than
as an opportunity to make a profit. Nature is again seen as a spiritual
reality rather than as a stockpile of natural resources. Time is again invested in what is truly important in life,
which is the embodiment of our higher spiritual purposes, rather than wage
slavery and dollar worship.
The change from house or apartment living to one that involves only
a camper, van or RV is not difficult.
The only real obstacle in this transformation is one of mental
adjustment. If we can live
with the concept of efficiency rather than extravagance, with practicality
rather than showing off to the neighbors, than this change will be no
great feat. After a short time of experiencing a lifestyle of home and
vehicle made one, you will soon wonder how you lived any other way.
Of the 3 options of RV, van or towed camper, a van is the most
compact, maneuverable and flexible. Since
RV’s are usually much longer than a van, the opportunity to park or
maneuver than as needed is extremely limited.
They generally require special accommodations for this reason,
making then somewhat impractical. RV’s
are large and also very conspicuous, meaning wherever they are they may
attract the attention of passers-by.
Particularly in coming times, the wise traveler will want to remain
as inconspicuous as possible. Towed
campers are also somewhat difficult to maneuver usually because their
length, which extends behind a truck or car.
The fact that they are not attached directly to the drivers’ area
can also be inconvenient not to mention conspicuous, since the driver must
get out of the towing vehicle to access the goods they carry.
This chapter will focus particularly upon the use of the van as the
most ideal tool one may use for efficient and natural living.
Before you purchase such a vehicle learn what you can through
reading or knowledgeable advice, about their function and repair.
Learn at least the basics of engine operation and its relationship
with the transmission, the carburetor, distributor etc., etc…
Know how to check and replace water, oil, transmission and brake
fluids, as well as spark plugs and wires, air filter, etc… These things
are not difficult so long as one has the proper basic tools,
(recommendation for these in this chapter).
Because this book is not intended as an automotive repair guide,
further details on this subject have not been included. Just be aware of the basic principles and procedures of
automotive function, through supplementary reading and experience.
Such knowledge can and will save you a great deal of unnecessary
The first thing to remember in buying any vehicle is to never buy a
new product. Always make your
purchase based upon quality, practicality and low costs rather than
appearance. Appearance can be
easily remedied according to preference, but quality cannot.
New vehicles are over-priced and most often constructed poorly,
with intentionally built-in flaws. These are the result of a desire on the
part of the manufacturer to cut costs, and to make more money on
subsequent repairs. New vehicles depreciate quickly in their "book
value." Older vehicles
on the other hand, especially those built previous to 1980, have simpler
components. The repairs
required by them are equally simple and inexpensive.
Older models generally do not require specialty replacement parts,
whereas newer models often involve an extended delay in repairs, so that
their unnecessarily complex replacement systems can be delivered and
Some suggestions as to where inexpensive, used vans may be
purchased include the following:
Magazines such as the Auto and Boat Trader and
similar local publications, sometimes list good vehicles for sale, as do
local newspapers. Contact
various owners, taking time in your research so that a wide variety of
options may be compared for their relative value.
General public auctions, government auctions and
Personal friends or acquaintances who have such
vehicles. Make them an offer
on a vehicle even if it’s not currently for sale.
Remember that you are looking for dependable function rather than
appearance can be an indicator of the quality of internal functions, yet
often times the reverse is true. The
best buy often involves a smooth running engine and an unsavory exterior.
Many owners will sell at a greatly reduced rate due to poor
exterior appearance, simply because they assume that most people will be
put off by its look and not bother with its true worth.
This assumption is essentially correct, which is why the practical
person has a great advantage in the market place, since they recognize
quality beyond appearance.
Also choose a vehicle for its amount of storage space, as this
aspect will prove most valuable to the traveler who carries with them
most, if not all, of their worldly possessions.
So-called “high top” vans with extended ceilings that allow
standing room, are excellent for this purpose.
Other vans have pop-up tops which allow greater headspace, though
these are not as recommended because ones’ presence is conspicuous when
the top is up. Regular low-ceiling vans can be used with slightly greater
difficulty than those with high ceilings.
Take your time in the selection of a vehicle so that all the
options available are known. In
certain instances it can be worth while to buy a vehicle that is not in
good working condition at present, but whose repair would provide
dependable transportation. This
is sometimes true even in the case of engine replacement, when the body
and other systems are in good order.
When we consider that such repairs are only occasional and not the
monthly reality, their cost is actually far less than rental or mortgage
payments. This is especially
true when doing some or all of the work of repair ourselves.
Upon obtaining or repairing a good used van, the remodeling
phase is then usually necessary.
Most vehicles have not been properly adopted for “living on the
road” as it might be called. Before
you begin this remodeling process you must have the right tools and
materials in hand. The
following list of equipment also includes those supplies generally
necessary for practical travel;
1) Socket wrench set, 2) screwdriver set
w/various lengths and diameters of screws, 3) hammer and various nails, 4)
vice grips and pliers, 5) tire changing essentials including a 4- way tire
iron, 1 ton jack and spare tire, 6) power drill and bit set,
6) skill, jig and hack saws, 7)
2 flashlights and emergency flare kit
8) miscellaneous hand tools such as wire cutters, needle nose
pliers, spark plug puller, caulking gun, measuring tape, chisel, hand
file, utility knife, ice scraper, 8)
14-16 gauge wire, razor blades, 9) electrical and duct tapes, 10) wood glue and epoxy,
11) hose clamps and light work gloves.
Most of the above
equipment can either be purchased used or at a modest price at larger
variety stores. All of these
items are useful in various settings, and many will be on hand already.
After you’ve bought your van and have the needed equipment,
(tools for its upkeep and remodeling) you can then change its interior as
desired. It is recommended
that one of the first things that should be done in this process, is to
remove the carpeting if any exists. Carpeting
gets dirty and stays dirty, harboring pests, stains, chemical spills and
moisture. Since you’ll be
living in your vehicle it is better to avoid these nuisances and strip out
that old carpeting, (a
possible exception to this is if the carpet is of a very short weave and
still in excellent condition). A
better option is to put in self-adhesive tiling or linoleum, over a layer
of thin plywood or quality pressboard. Be sure to remove any existing
appliances or fixtures, such as gas stoves, sinks, coolers and built in
water storage tanks, as in the case of the RV converted van.
These appliances take up much more room than they are worth, since
their functions can be taken over by smaller, more practical counterparts.
Hand-held gasoline or propane burning camping burners, (weighing
less than 5 lbs.) easily replace large stoves.
The function of large built-in coolers can be substituted by small hand-carried coolers and a single ice bag, though even this measure is
unnecessary for most meals. Built
in water tanks are replaced by one 5-gallon container of filtered or
natural water, and one or two, one gallon containers for ready use.
If you now own what was a “work-van” with built in tool racks
and the like, then remove all but the most practical of these.
Living in a van is constant exercise in space efficiency. It is simply not possible to live in this way and carry
around useless, impractical items of sentimental or aesthetic value only.
Life on the road implies traveling lightly and discovering what the
real essentials of life are. For this reason you will want to find ways of making maximum
use of existing internal space. Obviously
this space is quite limited compared to an apartment, house or even a
mobile home. Van living is
not just a matter of square feet but cubic feet, in the sense that
vertical shelving space is as important as horizontal floor space.
You’ll want to put in a closet, (and possibly a stacking-crate
storage area or similar arrangement as explained in further pages).
Some RV vans have built-in showers installed, and these can be
easily converted to a closet by putting in a suspended bar for hanging
clothes. Shelves are a must,
and if these do not exist then they must be built in, as does a bed with a
storage area beneath it.
The van arrangement should look something like this:
VAN ARRANGEMENT OVERVIEW
the arrangement shown in the above diagram is only a suggestion. There are many other “floor plans” which will serve quite
well according to taste. The
main consideration in any arrangement should be pure practicality and
utility. A simple
consideration of the basic necessities, will help you to visualize what
layout is the most desirable. Space
must be devoted to clothing and food, and after these, cooking supplies,
tools and camping equipment. Extra
blankets can be laid out on the bed for more padding so that they don’t
take up valuable shelf space. As
for the taking of showers, RV’s are actually much more convenient, yet
this obstacle can be easily overcome.
It is generally not recommended that space and effort be devoted to
showers in a van situation for several reasons.
The main considerations in this case are, 1) available space and, 2)
moisture levels. Obviously a
shower stall cannot be used for both showering and for the hanging of
clothes simultaneously. You
will need room for such clothes, and moisture would cause mold to grow on
everything. When staying in
the city, fairly inexpensive health club memberships such as the YMCA and
other small, older clubs, (that are not part of a chain) provide both the
opportunity to get clean, and to have a well-rounded workout as well. Specials given by chain health clubs can be particularly good
when they are both available and practical. When traveling and staying in
a city, most health clubs also have a one-time visitation fee, one that is
often waived if you mention interest in membership.
When staying at a national forest or some other natural area, seek
out locations with clean water. Simply
go swimming to get clean in this case, or set up a discreet tarp-screen to
rinse off, using gallon containers filled with local water. Washing off in this way does not even require the aide of
soap every time. The removal
of oils and residues from the skin through a simple rinse is very often
sufficient to be refreshed.
the vehicle that does not already have a closet, these can be purchased
ready-made as freestanding units. If
the van you have is not of the raised ceiling type, then it may be
necessary to cut down the height of the closet using a skill or jigsaw.
Simply measure the existing height of the van from floor to ceiling
in inches, and cut down the closet unit to exactly that measurement. Remember that the curve of the ceiling will have to be
accounted for to accommodate its upper dimensions, meaning when it is in
place, there is likely to be space behind it.
This space will simply provide extra storage. The unit should be of
the standard size, probably no less than 30 inches in width. For the sake of efficiency, you will want to attach
additional fixtures directly to the side of the closet as desired.
A smaller ready-closet may be attached whose height may be of 3 to
4 feet, with a width of 15-30 inches for miscellaneous storage.
Above this small closet one may affix a short countertop or shelf
upon which a shallow crate can be attached. This crate or crates, (usually
plastic) is useful to store items needed daily for ready use, and will
keep them from flying about when traveling.
Several plastic, stacking crates may also be used in conjunction
with the small ready closet. Into
these may be stored t-shirts, socks, underwear and the like, (see diagram
you will want to custom build the bed area, which will also double as a
storage area, table and seating arraignment.
The building of a bed is most efficiently done in the far back of
the vehicle, which will of course mean the use of the back doors (if any)
will be restricted or discontinued all together.
The use of the back doors is generally unnecessary anyway, in a van
used for a living arrangement. We
recommend that before you begin building the bed, that the back doors be secured so they cannot be opened, thereby eliminating one vulnerable entry
point for break-ins. The area for the bed, table and additional storage should
look similar to the following examples;
DIAGRAM 4.2 The
multi-purpose bed, table and storage for van
|In the table|
|In the bed mode|
building the bed, the idea is to create a multi-purpose area that includes
sleeping accommodations for 2, (to be practical) storage and table
A technical description of this constructive process is not
provided herein because of its lengthy nature.
In general terms however, the following steps should be taken:
- A plywood section should be attached to the body of the van to
provide support for the rear of the bed frame. The length of this piece should match the rear width of the van
itself. It is affixed to the
body of the van in the area surrounding the rear doors, so that the frame
of the bed may be attached to it in a stable manner.
- Struts made from 2x4’s are cut according to ones’ preference of
bed width, (and whose length is obviously determined by the van itself)
accommodating the comfort of two persons.
- 2x4 legs will support the bed frame to the desired height, (bed
frame should stand 12-18 inches (or higher) for underneath storage.
- Covering plywood pieces, (1/2-inch thickness) which will rest on
top of this 2x4 frame. These
should then be cut to size so that they rest on the struts securely
without slippage. The
covering pieces will be 3 in number, all of which are removable at any
time so that items below the bed may be accessed. They also provide the level surface of the bed.
The central piece serves additionally as the table when desired,
requiring further modification (See Step 5). The
two outer pieces require no further changes.
- The inner table section should, upon one surface, be affixed with
some kind of mounting, (these are often circular fittings of approximately
3” in diameter) with a counterpart fixture also seated on the floor,
into which a metal support tube is inserted that supports the table when
it is up. Inquire about these
at RV supply centers. The
table can then be broken down into a bed and vice versa at a moment's
These general guidelines are intended to provide orientation only,
rather than technical advice. Overhead
shelves may also be built as space allows, using metal brackets into which
plywood sheets are set for additional storage.
[Note; if existing pressboard or plywood does not exist as flooring
underlayment, it should first be installed prior to any other work. Self-adhesive tiles or linoleum can then be installed,
providing an attractive and practical floor covering that is superior to
carpeting. In the driver and
passenger area the unevenness of the floor will make tiling very
difficult. In this case a
thorough cleaning and spray painting (flat black is recommended) of exposed areas is a very practical
the remodeling process is complete according to your preference,
you may then provide your new home on wheels with the required
household "amenities." For
the bed you will need 2 to 4 thick foam pads, over which regular bedding
may be placed. Non-opaque
curtains let light in, but do not allow the interior to be observed. The
following list of miscellaneous items will further assist you in supplying
your new home:
large, (10-15 gallon) transparent, airtight, lidded plastic containers.
(1ft square) plastic crates, and various small to medium cardboard boxes.
heavy-duty toolbox of large size, to hold small, power and hand tools.
camping gear, including tent, backpacks, (large and small), gasoline
burner, gas can, rain gear, binoculars and space heater (optional).
oil and transmission fluid, WD-40 etc.
and pets are not recommended as traveling companions in this case because
of space limitations, and the fact that extremes of temperature and
traveling conditions can be unfair to them.
making the interior modifications you desire, know exactly what you wish
to bring with you on a new and sane life.
Pack only the essentials, and be ruthlessly practical about what is
really necessary and what isn't. Make
the maximum use of every container that you have procured for the purpose
of travel, leaving no empty spaces therein if possible.
Organize your possessions according to types of items, with one
container reserved for books, 1 or 2 for food, 1–3 for clothes (in
addition to closet space), 1 sturdy box for tools, (in addition to a hand
held portable box) at least 1 box or crate for dishes and silverware, and 1
for cassettes or CD's as desired. Of course there will be various smaller containers for
miscellaneous items, but these general categories cover the practical
basics. Once your gear is packed you are poised to embark on an
"extended vacation/retirement" which, due to its efficiency, may
last almost indefinitely. Believe
it or not, such a lifestyle costs as little as $150 or less, per month per
person. At this rate of
expenditure even a modest reserve of funds will last for many months.
The income from many jobs will provide enough money in a single
month to live for a whole year in this fashion! You may wish to initially
depart your old, inefficient life with about $1,000 or more.
This amount will allow for an acclimation to a new way of living.
Initially you will probably be spending far more than in later
months, due to inexperience with this kind of lifestyle. Upon remodeling the vehicle of your choice, stocking it with
necessary clothing, tools, camping gear, food and other supplies, the
ability to live as you wish is granted in full.
Your dependency upon wage slavery, upon utilities, rent, mortgage
and other modern ills will be defeated.
The new phase of freedom that will enter your life will be a great
blessing in a variety of ways.
Say goodbye to 40+ hours a week, payments, stresses, consumerism
and the cult of materialism. Your
participation in the destruction of life and sanity ends here.
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