I'm a child of the 70's and 80's. As most people over the age of 25 know, this meant growing up under the shadow of the bomb. Even in North-Central Alberta, the idea of nuclear war loomed large in the 70's and 80's.
As I grew up I became exposed to shooting. My dad wasn't a gun nut, and wasn't a hunter, but we had a number of rifles and shotguns around the house. He would take us boys shooting, and taught us the fundamentals of marksmanship and firearms safety. These are things my dad either learned himself, or figured out on his own. For my 12th Christmas, I received a CIL .22 that my dad had won years before in a curling bonspeil. He put a little Tasco scope and a camo sling on it, and put it under the tree. Of course, I was ecstatic. I would spend hours walking around in the woods around the small hamlet that I grew up in, shooting anything that moved, and a lot of things that didn't.
When I turned 13, I joined the Cadet organization. While in cadets, I learned even more about marksmanship, and started learning about camping, survival, and military life. I attended an Aircrew Survival course, where I had the top marks in the wing, until I reached Knots and Lashings. I passed with Remedial Assistance (I still despise knots.) I also met many career soldiers, and got interested in joining the military myself.
During my teens, with my exposure to the military and reading everything that I could on the military, I became aware of the threat of global thermonuclear war. Compounding that, I saw the movie Red Dawn. These two influences started the fertile mind of a teenager running wild with the thoughts of war, invasion and occupation. I began reading Guns and Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, American Survival Guide and other similar magazines. My favorite book series just happened to the The Survivalist by Jerry Ahern.
I began stockpiling things my young mind thought would help me to survive... Of course, my main survival plan was to "play Batman in the Boonies."
In my last year of high school, I applied to join the Canadian Forces. However, in 1991, the Combat Arms of the CF had a hiring freeze. My first choices were Infantry and Military Police. Early on in the application process, I was told that there was no chance of joining the Infantry at that time, but I could be an MP. All I had to do was spend three years as a Refrigeration Technician, and then remuster to the MP trade. Ummm.... NO. I also applied to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton to take their Police Studies program. After an absolutely ridiculous application interview, I was told I was not qualified to take the course, being that my writing style was too immature. (Later I was hired to be the MacEwan College security supervisor, and they PAID me to attend the Police studies courses.... LOL)
So, I went away to college and got a diploma as an electronics technician. While in college, I was constantly broke, and a meal away from having an empty cupboard... So the prepping centre of my brain seemed to have grown dormant... But I'll tell it's reanimation in another post.
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