Hi-Tech/Lo-Tech: Surviving the End of Times (When the shit hits the fan, Armageddon it on!)

Listen, I’ve been to a Solider of Fortune convention before and it’s a bunch of chain-smoking deadbeat dads with dark circles under their eyes and a belief that a limited-edition 12-inch blade (and officially licensed movie merchandise) will save their truck from getting snapped up by the repo man. And that Patriots Guide to Survival handbook you got from Aunt Sandy? Well, as much as I like duck tape, you’ve just gotta realize you’ll need a little more to survive in the future. Will Cosmo Girl save you? Naw—when the shit goes down and Johnny and Luther Htoo are trying to run a "Rambo II" reenactment on your scalp, only Celebrity Cola will leave you prepared.

[Note: Celebrity Cola is not actually suggesting that you buy into any of the products, organizations, or ideas listed below. This piece was originally written for a counter-culture music/lifestyle magazine, but the publication got canceled before this issue ever went to press. The article’s concept was to poke fun at the usual “cool new products that you must buy” section that’s so often found at the beginning of most magazines. You know, that front-of-book part of glossies where the editors plug their sponsors under the guise of an article called “Makeup you can’t live without!” or “Cool New Gadgets Men Love!” That being said, the following list does contain some gobsmacking cool shit.]


Bow-Lingual: Remember how in “A Boy and His Dog” good ol’ Don Johnson’s only reliable sidekick is his telepathic talking-dog, Blood, who helps him scout out food and women? Well now your dog can help you scout out the post-apocalyptic landscape as well. With Bow-Lingual the only friend you have left will be able hold a rudimentary converstaion. At least you’ll know what he thinks of your plan to rig a radio transmitter to the water tower...

Yumemi Koubou: Japanese for “Dream Viewing Workshop,” this handy little multi-sensory device will help you sleep peacefully even after all hell has broken loose. Plus, if used properly, you’ll be able to program yourself and you’re your friends in great Manchurian Candidate style, insuring you don’t all go insane.

No-Contact Jacket: stylish, chic, and wired with 80,000 volts of low-amperage electric current. Put this puppy on and you can dance all night at the club without boys grabbing at your hoo-ha’s.

Neoterik’s Np2131k Gas Mask: anyone in a gas mask is vaguely sexy in an end-of-the-Earth kind of way. And whether the Russians are coming or your roommate’s just eaten too much chili, having this baby around could be mighty helpful. Plus, it’s specially designed to allow you to keep talking without the normal gas-mask annoyance of a muffled voice.

SOLAR SCOTTeVEST: When the power goes out all your shit can still be powered. This jacket has thin solar panels sewn into the fabric that allow you to connect and recharge all your gadgets. You can even tear off the sleeves and rock it “Invasion USA” style. But if you need more power, check out the portable, lightweight SolarRoll at www.brunton.com.

Garmin GPS Rino 130: When you can’t trust anyone to give you directions, you can count on satellite readings to help you out. The Rino 130 includes an electronic compass, barometric sensor, a weather receiver for seven NOAA weather channels, and a detailed map of North and South America. Oh, and did I mention it’s a walkie-talkie? You can communicate with the other radio holder up to two miles away.

Steri-Pen: This “Pocket-Sized, Ultraviolet Water Disinfection System” is a portable water purifier that will destroy all those pesky viruses and bacterium the enemy may have slipped into our water system. Plus, if you’re in Mexico, it’ll keep you from getting the runs. UV sterilization is used by hospitals around the world to disinfect water and contaminated instruments, while the U.S. military sometimes prefers the MIOX Purifier, which uses salt instead of UV light.

Z-Medica’s QuikClot: Used by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, Z-Medica's blood-clotting powder only costs about $20 a dose. Good for serious skateboarding accidents, knife wounds, and Zombie bites, although there’s no guarantee you won’t turn into a zombie if infected.

HUMMER Shake Flashlight: specially designed to capitalize on the growing strength of your wank wrist. Jostle it back and forth to charge.


The Zombie Survival Guide: Most hokey survival books take the perspective of someone out in the woods alone. Chances are, when the end comes, you’ll be trapped in a city and everyone is hungry and desperate. At this point, most people will be behaving like crazed zombies. Or perhaps mutant viruses and radiation exposure will actually spawn flesh-hungry zombies. Author Max Brooks (son of Mel) teaches you how to cope.

Ted Nugent’s Gonzo Meat Biltong: The worst part about being vegan is having to deal with all the patchouli and hair braids every time you go shopping for food at the co-op. That and knowing a delicious cheeseburger would be really good for your hangover. As your chances of obtaining tofurky dwindles, you might want to consider Ted Nugget’s D.I.Y. ethos of “If you kill it, you can eat it.” Even Ian Mackay can respect this. What’s the problem? Yeah, like you’re more punk than Ian Mackay? In the meantime, stuff some of the Nuge’s special-recipe beef jerky down your throat. (We're sorry to announce that this product has been discontinued, but we figure there must be a warehouse of unsold Gonzo Meat Biltong out there somewhere. We’re not sure where you buy this stuff, but we want it—bad.)

Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Cresson H. Kearny, is a practical guide for the nuclear-paranoid that shows you how to quickly and simply build such useful things as fallout shelters and radiation meters using mostly household items. So if a warhead hits the mainland before you’ve built your own underground lair, you better have this book in your bedroom or your skin is going to get so nasty even Botox won’t help. Fpr extra credit, read The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, Gonzo Gizmos: Projects and Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek, and Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things to learn how to turn a penny into a radio or use lemons to make a battery.

Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS)
: For 14 days you’ll hike across rugged mountains in deserts in southern Utah, with no food or water except for what you find. The emphasis is on knowledge and low-tech techniques for survival. Added bonus: Hikers often lose up to 20 pounds from their fat asses.

GSI Vortex Blender
: Electricity gone? Black clouds of doom keeping your solar panels from working? Don’t fret! The GSI Vortex will keep the frozen daiquiris coming, since this hand-cranked beauty easily spins it’s stainless steel blade at 7,000 rpm. Now if only you can find some ice and booze...

PB-V3/PB-207 Blue Flame Pocket Micro Torch: An old-fashioned lighter with the heat turned up a notch. Light your ciggies in high-wind conditions, start a campfire in the rain, solder together a make-shift radio, melt a lead pipe into a spear, and heat your soup with this hand-held 1,300 degree Celsius flame. Fits in your pocket, as does the similarly ultra-hot Mini-Bunsen Burner. Try not to burn your lips off. (Or see ThinkGeek.com for a lighter that doesn’t light shit but does take digital pix)

Cold Steel’s Special Forces Shovel: modeled after the original Soviet Spetznaz army shovels, this combat spade will enable you to dig a bomb shelter lickety-split. The edges are axe-grade and can chop through tough roots and enemy necks. The heat-treated carbon steel can be sharpened for extra slicing power. Plus, it makes for a nice frying pan. (More combat shovels can be found at www.bynoon.com/survive.html)

Kurt Saxon: A former Nazi, Satanist, UFO cultist, Scientologist, and spiritualist (among other pursuits), Saxon is now a octogenarian that believes he’s transcended racism, religion, and politics. He sees himself as a modern-day Buddha and Survivalist, although he hints that Muslims might be Martians and still harbors some extremist views. But then again, he’ll also tell you how to turn corn or cheap wine into 90-proof alcohol (great drinking and good fuel!) using a pressure-cooker or turkey-fryer as a moonshine still. Check out his books and CDs for useful survival info and weird-ass ramblings.

Gore-Tex & Wind Stopper Outerwear: Ugg boots offer sheepskin/wool simplicity that elicits a saucy caveman vibe, but outside of Aussie footwear it seems surprisingly difficult to find decent prehistoric-style attire. Come to think of it, it’s hard to find sheep-based products at all in the U.S. The last time I was Down Under every decent restaurant and dirty hole-in-the-wall offered up lamb, and sheep’s brains were the delicacy de résistance. That’s true troglodyte chic, and Australian clothing is desperately needed for this whole modern-primate esprit de corps. But until the fashion world realizes that we all want to dress like Crocodile Dundee in a snowstorm, the miraculously waterproof products utilizing Gore-Tex and Wind Stopper technology will at least keep us dry, warm, and looking rugged.

—by Lucas Brachish & Byron Karl

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