*Survivalism in Denmark - special circumstances*
By: DanSurv
27 May 2004

I live in the general area of the Danish capital of Copenhagen and have recognized that also here catastrophic events such as terrorism, weather, social unrest, etc. may occur and that there may be times when public services such as electricity, water, heat, sanitation, transportation, police, etc. are not functioning for shorter or longer periods. Since I do not want my family or myself to be harmed by such circumstances, I try to be prepared.

Is there a need for survivalism? If youíre reading this I assume you at least to some extent agree that there is and itís a long discussion often heard. But is there a need for survivalism in a small European country such as Denmark? Isnít it only the Americans that may need to prepare for the worst?

Although the case for survivalism may be stronger in the US due to the attacks on 11 September 2001, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, tensions with China and North Korea, occasionally deadly weather, violent crime rates historically higher than Europe, etc., it is also present in Denmark. There are a lot of singular reasons:

But the most compelling argument for individual survivalism and preparedness also in Denmark is the vulnerability of Danish society as a whole. The complexity of modern society and the specialization of individuals and functions leaves it so very vulnerable to events that remove one of the many niche functions our current way of life depends on. This is particularly true in Denmark. We are just not prepared for even medium scale disasters and their impact is therefore very likely to be felt more. Large-scale disasters, national or even regional, will have a much more devastating impact on Denmark because we are largely unprepared. [National Vulnerability Assessment.] For instance, pandemic avian flu would probably create more casualties from secondary effects than would the virus itself. In order not to be one of the unfortunate ones that could have survived if prepared, it makes good sense to do so. WHO seems convinced it is coming.

In spite of this there is almost no survival community in Denmark, and as a consequence there is no survival information specific for Danish conditions available. In order to become knowledgeable it is therefore necessary to research the material available mostly from the US, where there is a fantastic wealth of information just on the internet, both from private and government resources.

But even though much of this information is well researched, accurate, up to date, tested, detailed, etc., it can very often be of only limited use in e.g. Denmark. Geographical, cultural and social differences have a great impact, and it is necessary to modify everything to local conditions and do lots of research from the ground up. Even something as simple as further research resources may be unavailable and purchasing products is made difficult by different brand names and stores.

The few that do prepare do so quietly and discretely and wisely so. Many of the aspects of survivalism are things that are socially unacceptable or frowned upon. Denmark is probably basically the most socialistic country in Western Europe, despite currently having what is by local standards considered a right wing government. The independency from the state apparatus inherent in survivalism would thus not become the vast majority well and would be considered anti social. Even during World War II Danes lived fairly comfortably, suffering so few of the horrors wrought on many other European countries, which I think has led to a national complacent attitude that things will work themselves out. No need to fear and prepare for the worst because it never happens. Just being prepared for personal self defence, whether armed or not, is considered aggressive and again slightly anti social (police will take care of it).

Which brings to my three basic rules:

Rule #1: There ainít no rules

Rule #2: Donít advertise

Rule #3: It is not a one-man show

Rule #1 is something that you should mentally keep in mind always and it is universal. It is a sharp contrast to the thoroughly regulated society that we currently live in and have to be able to continue living in for the rest of our days if the world does not change. I hope it doesnít. But if major changes to society do occur, these changes will bring with them the total disregard for those very rules and laws. The only rules and laws will those of survival: Rule #1.

Therefore you have to be mentally prepared for that, which is perhaps the most awesome and difficult task of all preparedness. Would you be able to harm or even kill other human beings even if you were threatened yourself? Think through the physical act if you can. Research into the background for crime and the behavior of criminals has shown that most people are simply unable to. Denmark being a very non-violent society, most people would probably have a hard time with this one. And almost as important, how would you recognize when the time has come for rule #1 to take effect? If your life is acutely threatened that may not be difficult, but when are your stored resources a life and death matter that you defend your property with lethal force if necessary?

Rule #2 speaks more or less for itself everywhere, but has even greater importance in a country like Denmark where the population density is so high and the general level of preparedness so low. In times of major emergencies or crises, there will be so many more people desperate for your resources. The best solution is un-tactics.

Rule #3 can be difficult to adhere to when survivalism is something kept very quiet. I have been thinking along these lines since mid 1999 and have still not succeeded in teaming up with anyone else, much as I would like to and have tried. Only one attempt took flight but quickly fizzled out because of lack of discretion and determination from the other party.

The special Danish circumstances also make it practically difficult to prepare. There are a very large number of items that simply canít be found in Denmark and many that can only be found in small quantities or sizes and/or at great cost. The list is long but includes such diverse things as water storage containers, bulk foods, manually operated kitchenware, quality outdoor clothing, weapons and ammunition, open land, etc. Innovative thinking (e.g. thinking like an industrial player), alternative solutions and compromises are all necessary.

The scenarios that should be included in any planning are excellently covered in a number of other articles. Naturally, these can also be adapted to Danish needs. Special factors to take into account could be the fact that Denmark is so densely populated. For most people it is simply not possible to live off the land for very long, because of the urbanisation. Plan for it. This very fact will enhance any panics, riots, etc. Plan for it. Nuclear plants nearby pose threats in themselves, even though the Swedes have been promising to shut down Barsebäck for years. Plan for it. The entire list is long, but the important thing is as always to think your circumstances through.

And the most important thing of all: As soon as everything is thought through, get out there and test it. Facta non verba. Whether it be your alternative on foot route home from work, your grand design for how to get emergence water up from the lake, or the best way to cook in your fireplace. If you havenít tested it, how do you know it works? Every idea can be tested at least partially. Discuss the rest with people who have experience. More often than not, it doesnít work the first time. Test it now while that first time is not your only time.

Being concerned about survival in this context is not something that can be done half-heartedly. Itís a way of life - also in a small European country like Denmark.

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