Becoming a Suburban Survivalist

Survivalism isn't just for fanatics anymore: SUV-driving, mortgage-paying, urban Americans are stocking up on water purification tablets and freeze-dried foods in preparation for an economic collapse. Camping supply stores are reaping the benefits of this urge to prepare for the worst—they now sell 55-gallon water jugs, freeze-dried foods, and lamp oil in droves to customers who aren't planning a camping trip. The new crop of survivalists are worried that if the economy collapses, they will suffer for depending on complicated systems for their most basic needs. "I don't want to be a slave to anybody," one survivalist, who regularly freezes 15 pounds of meat and buys flour in a 50-pound bag, said. "The more systems you're dependent on, the more likely things are going to go bad for you."