The apocalypse is coming. Not ‘if’ according to some bits of slightly gloomy Internet, but a definite ‘when,’ driven by a self-stimulating paranoia that imagines every flavor of Doomsday. The walking dead feature a bit. Chat-room rabbit holes involve viral attack, dirty nukes, alien invasion, meteors, and mass brainwashing by reality television. But one that keeps cropping up—and the one with the most likelihood of actually happening—concerns basic societal breakdown after a particularly violent stock market crash or technological giga-malfunction. Stuff stops working, wholesale; the general population becomes unhinged.
Responses vary almost as much as the imagined stimulus. Some detail what they might do with their final days (which generally involve drugs, sex, and variations on suicide-by-cholesterol), others vomit religion all over their keyboards. Apparently, there are billionaire cabals über-prepping with self-sufficient island boltholes, right down to seemingly normal people preparing emergency go-bags, or having a mildly bug-out capable vehicle. Bear Grylls survival amped up on the dodgy meth of Internet speculation.
But among the instructions for everything from a homemade water filter to founding a new strain of government is a neat segue into something a little less scary. The place where zombie-prepper insanity dovetails quite nicely with the current trend for getting ‘off-grid’—deliberately throwing yourself into a digital detox, being a bit more self-sufficient. Posh wild camping, in other words. The place where you can generate a sexy meme for the ’Gram while preparing for the end of everything.