I’ve always loved the expression “Idaho Stovepipers.” These are the half-mad, wild men and women who don Army surplus gear and horde canned goods in the badlands of extreme northwest Idaho.
They’re waiting for the Apocalypse. Too bad for you, if you’re not prepared.
I have no idea how many Idaho natives or immigrants may fit that description, but whatever the case, the basic tenet of stovepipism may be spreading into the cultural mainstream.
A recent AP story contends that with “Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare.”
Writer Samantha Gross describes the conversion of grandmother Kathleen Breault from modern consumer to homesteader:
“Breault cut her driving time in half. She switched to a diet of locally grown foods near her upstate New York home and lost 70 pounds. She sliced up her credit cards, banished her television and swore off plane travel. She began relying on a wood-burning stove.”‘I was panic-stricken,’ the 50-year-old recalled, her voice shaking. ‘Devastated. Depressed. Afraid. Vulnerable. Weak. Alone. Just terrible.'”
There’s something more here than anti-government paranoia and a taste for cammo, although Gross documents those sentiments as well.
If I’m not mistaken, the Crunchy Con/post-soccermom/Dangerous Book for Boys/bike commuter/Wendell Berry ethic is riding a perfect storm of high gas prices, climate change and global terror.
Will there be enough room in the Stovepipe when we’re all up there at the compound?
What are y’all doing at home to hedge against the End of Days?