An Interview with The Real Survivalists
We have enjoyed connecting with these great people and we have also loved learning from their knowledge and experiences.
The interviews have covered a wide range of interviewees. We began with nuclear survival expert Tom Linden before featuring the likes of UKSN founder Glyn Smith, Paladin Network creator Jay Olliver, Vivos Bunkers CEO Robert Vicino and so many more in between.
We have also had the privilege to interview some of the businesses that provide survival and preparedness kit for Preppers in the UK. From Knife Warehouse to Military 1st and DD Hammocks to name just a few.
After taking up the time of all these individuals and businesses, we thought it only fair that The Real Survivalists founder, Rob, take some time out of his schedule to answer some questions too!
We asked for your input as to what questions Rob should answer and we have chosen some of your suggestions (there were too many to ask all of them!). Thank you to all of you who submitted your question ideas – you certainly didn’t want to give Rob an easy ride.
So….here you go, four years after creating The Real Survivalists, Rob finally sat down and answered some questions about what has happened, what is going on and more importantly, what he has planned for the future.
Tell us about The REal Survivalists
The Real Survivalists is a survival and preparedness website and online community. I created it just over 4 years ago but it has only been in its current state for around 12 months.
It all started after I had been writing for preparedness websites for a couple of years. Most were American or focused solely on the end of the world as we know it. I was trying to find a UK based site that I could approach about writing for but struggled to find one that matched what I was trying to achieve.
This led me to create The Real Survivalists. I stopped writing for other people and started coming up with the type of content I felt necessary to share.
4 years later and I feel The Real Survivalists is on the way to becoming what I think it could be.
How are you trying to make The real survivalists different to other preparedness sites?
The whole point of The Real Survivalists is that everything I share should be relatable and realistic or fun and thought provoking.
I want people who visit the site to realise that prepping isn’t just about preparing for the end of the world or storing a whole load of weapons and believing in every conspiracy theory on the internet. I want them to visit the site and realise that just having a few provisions for tough times will help make their life much easier.
I try to only share content on the site that I would find useful. I also want to make sure there is something for everyone. Current articles range from security tips for your home all the way through to choosing a bug out location for a large scale shtf event.
I don’t want people to visit the site and go away feeling scared or worried that the world will end imminently because, in truth, I think this is highly unlikely. That being said, I think everyone needs to be realistic and understand that things can go wrong. Being prepared for when it does can make such a big difference to life after the event, regardless of the scale of it.
Ultimately, I want The Real Survivalists to be a resource for preppers of all levels. I believe that prepping should not dominate your entire life and make you spend every single second looking for things that could go wrong. For me prepping is about enjoying life as much as possible. Having provisions on hand for if things go wrong help me to do that to an even greater level than before.
what led you to create the real survivalists?
As I mentioned earlier, writing for other websites and not completely relating to their message led me to going it alone and creating The Real Survivalists.
My main issue with some preparedness sites, groups etc is that they are constantly looking for things to go wrong. They want to find something that they can use as an excuse for putting their preps to use. This is the complete opposite to what I think prepping is and should be. For me, prepping is about having provisions in place JUST IN CASE something goes wrong. I hope that I never have to rely on my preps to survive; but I know I can if the need arises.
It seemed (to me at least) that some sites and groups want society to collapse, they want the bombs dropped, they want it all to fall apart just to prove themselves right.
To answer the question, I felt the wrong message was being shared about preparedness so I created The Real Survivalists to share what I believe to be the right message. I’m in no way saying everyone else is wrong because they are sharing their own message that they believe in. I couldn’t find a place that had the same message to share as me so I created my own place to do so.
You wrote 2 articles on the advantages and disadvantages of Survival groups. Would you go lone wolf or form a group after a shtf event?
Great question and also a tricky one for me. I am 100% an introvert. I enjoy being alone and I am a very private person. I don’t do interviews (apart from this one), I don’t do events, I don’t do shows – I do my own thing and share my written work on The Real Survivalists website and social media channels. This will likely have to change at some point soon but being in the public eye is certainly not an aspiration of mine.
As much as I like working alone, if the event is a large scale, long term event then I believe the best option is to form a group of like minded people. A group would usually mean more equipment, more skills, more security and more normality which puts you in a much stronger position than going it alone.
If you can create of group of people you trust then you stand a much better chance of making it through whatever situation you find yourself in.
What skilled folk would you seek out for a communal group and why?
Another great question! In any group I create I want loyal, trustworthy, hardworking and friendly people. To me these qualities supersede any professional skill they may or may not have.
In an ideal situation, I would have doctors, vets, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, farmers, teachers and all of the other usual skills survival groups look for. However, if someone has one of these skills but bring the morale of the group down or are a bully or self righteous then unfortunately you no longer have a place in my group!
If you are going to live in a group, there have to be comprises and there has to be a bond between all members. I can’t afford to be spending time dealing with one person who belittles and bullies other members as they see themselves as being more important.
The ability to share knowledge is a key skill I would want members of my group to have. If you can grow crops and raise farm animals but can also teach others to do so then you are an ideal group member. If you are happy to have an apprentice while you treat patients or rewire solar panels then you are another ideal group member.
I’m not sure if that was the answer you wanted but hopefully it was useful in some small way.
How do you choose which products you review?
I usually review products I like the look of.
I should say that I never use or own any product until I have it for review. I feel it would be a biased review if I already had an opinion on it before reviewing. The first time I use it is when I review it.
If I see a product I like the look of, I will try to get it for review. I also listen to recommendations and suggestions from others. I put a post on social media a few months ago asking for suggestions of products to review and I got a few responses so they have been added to the list.
I don’t really have a strict criteria other than I have to like it or think it will be a useful product to have.
If you have any suggestions for products to review – I am always open to ideas so get in touch!
What is your favourite thing about The Real Survivalists?
My favourite thing about The Real Survivalists is seeing the community interact with us and each other. I love putting a post on social media and seeing people like it, share it and comment on it. I also love seeing comments on posts on the website.
The Real Survivalists isn’t about me or about any individual. It is about creating a community where people can come and learn and share knowledge and experience of survival and preparedness. Seeing you all interact with each other is awesome and I love the feeling of watching it happen.
Interaction in any form is always welcome so if you want to interact with TRS feel free to send us an email. If you wanted to interact in a more private way on social media, we have the private Facebook group where more detailed discussions can happen between members.
What is next for The Real Survivalists?
This is the big question! Hopefully The Real Survivalists will continue to grow and become a useful resource for survival and preparedness in the UK and beyond.
The Real Survivalists online shop is due to launch in the next few weeks. I never planned on selling products through the website but things have led me in this direction so we will see what happens when it arrives.
I feel that it is time for ‘Interviews With Experts’ to evolve into it’s next format. I would love to get video interviews or audio interviews as well as written ones like this. I am working on new formats currently so if all goes to plan – a new style of interview will be available soon.
I am also working on some health and fitness stuff specifically for preppers. I think fitness is such an overlooked element of prepping and I would like to address that. I was a personal trainer for almost 10 years so I feel that I could be the perfect person to bring the fitness and preparedness worlds together.
In all honesty, I don’t know what is next for The Real Survivalists. All I do know is that I am working hard every day to make it as successful and as useful as possible. Lots of other plans and ideas are floating around so there is definitely a lot more to come from The Real Survivalists.