True North Blog

The End of the World? Not!

Unless you tend, like me, to be oblivious of popular culture, then you all know that the end of the world will be tomorrow, Friday, December 21, 2012.  That is just a few, short hours from now.

If, though, you are also like me, you are already making plans for this weekend.  In particular, I will be spending Sunday afternoon hiking with my friends, Edie and Celeste, who have invited me out as a guest with their Meet Up group.  Afterwards, the three of us, then, will quite likely head over to Mad Mex in Shadyside for a margarita or two … or three.

This so-called Mayan Doomsday Prophecy has been a staple of discussion for about ten years now, probably since just after the humdrum conclusion of Y2K (which I find almost hard to recall now).  Since then it has become a fixture of fear-mongering websites and blogs, books, even several History Channel documentaries.

Mad MexStill, I never heard of it until just a few years ago when I attended a week-long wilderness survival course.  As we each introduced ourselves at the beginning, one of the students explained that his motivation for taking the course was to help prepare for the Mayan doomsday.  I thought that he was joking, and so I laughed heartedly.  It was very funny.  Until I realized that he was serious, and listened to his explanation.  At that point, all I could think of was how long the week was going to now be.

The way I see it, yes, the world will end.  Most indubitably.  But not anytime soon, and no one will predict it.  After all, apocalyptic proclamations became a fixture of society starting in the 10th century, and in the almost 2,000 years since, countless predictions have been made, many made by very influential and respected leaders, and none of them came to pass.  Each time, everyone just ended up living their days as before … except maybe those who had been convinced to give away all their possessions and money.

My view of “survival” or “prepping” is simple:

I believe that one should simply take reasonable precautions to deal with likely problems that may arise.  It could be as simple as stocking up on extra batteries and candles, or keeping a few extra jugs of water and some non-perishable food in the pantry, or keeping a sleeping bag rolled up in the trunk of your car, or taking a CPR class.  The ordinary reality is that if a storm knocks out your power or floods your home (like Super Storm Sandy recently did), or if heavy snows suddenly trap hundreds of cars on the interstate for several days (as happened a few years ago in Eastern Pennsylvania), or a loved one starts to have chest pains, that will certainly feel like an apocalypse.

I also believe that being prepared means, not just being able to take care of oneself by walling up in a bunker, but being able, provided that one doesn’t put one’s life in danger, to help others.  What good is survival otherwise?

So, if you don’t already have plans, come on out to Mad Mex on Sunday evening!


Do you have comments about surviving Doomsday?  Then email us so that we can share them.

Are you interested in taking a wilderness survival course, or becoming certified in Wilderness First Aid?  Then contact Erik at True North.


Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

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