THE END: Aussie 'preppers' aren't all that crazy
ONE day the world is going to end.
But whether it's an infestation of zombies, a nuclear apocalypse or basically just when SHTF (prepper lingo for when s**t hits the fan), there's one group of people who'll be ready to survive.
"Preppers", the universal term used by people who have prepared themselves for the end of the world, started in America.
But now, the prepper movement has made its way to Australia and few Aussies have perfected their end of the world preparation better than Sydney man Nick Sais.
After spending a number of years in the Army Reserves, Nick realised he was getting a lot of survival questions from a huge amount of people.
So three years ago, the 43-year-old decided to start Australian Preppers, a website, blog and Facebook page that has turned into one of the nation's biggest and best-informed survival guides.
"A lot of people were asking me for advice on how to survive bushfires or get prepared for floods and stuff so I decided to launch the site," he said.
Australian Preppers now has more than 2,000 likes on Facebook and gets hundreds of interactions and comments on its forum every day. The Facebook page is regularly used by Nick to post tips to other Aussie preppers trying to get ready.
In America, preppers have built up a bit of a stigma, with much of the population thinking the survivalist groups are essentially only preparing themselves for zombie apocalypses.
Nick on the other hand, said his site isn't about that "crazy stuff".
"We're not as crazy as you think and we've never latched onto any of that stuff like zombies and apocalypse, end of the world type things. We help people be prepared for any Aussie event our country could throw at you," he said.
"If you are to become a prepper or a survivalist you always need to start with the worst case scenario. People take that to the extreme and think it's all about end of the world type stuff but really we could just be talking about a bushfire," he added.
If you are considering getting into the prepper world, Nick said you can never be too prepared.
"You need to be prepared for anything because you never know if you get thrown a curve ball. One day you might think, 'I really should've had a spatula', you never know," he said.
Despite Nick not buying into the "zombie apocalypse" notion, he strongly believes the worst-case scenario he's prepared for will involve nuclear weapons.
"Nuclear war is the worst thing I'm prepared for. We've been waiting since the Cold War, all that tension," he said.
"But of course the first thing you need to ask yourself is, 'Do I want to survive in a world like that?' Maybe you just want to sit on the beach and watch the fireworks," he added.
HOW TO SURVIVE
Nick said depending on the type of end-of-world scenario they face, he and a small group of close family will be ready to go.
If it's bombs, they have an underground carpark they can dive down into.
They'll carry iodine for the radiation and have stores and equipment spread throughout Sydney that they can hike to.
"It'll be mentally hard but we're as prepared as we can be," he said.
Nick believes the main thing people will need to survive is water.
"At the end of the day it'll come down to water supplies but food is important too. But how much you have, that all needs to be kept secret because you could have starving neighbours who come knocking for food and if you're already working with limited supplies, you're both going to end up in the same dire situation.
"I don't want to see people suffer but you won't be able to help them if you're starving as well. It comes down to you or them," he said.
Nick said being comfortable in the bush, especially as Australians, will be instrumental in surviving.
"You have to get away from people which means you have to go bush but even that's harsh as. If you don't know your surroundings, you'll still perish," he said.
WHAT YOU'D NEED TO SURVIVE
Aside from the usual and classic survival supplies, Daisy Luther, a prepper from the US, said coffee is what people will really be looking for.
"Think how we coffee lovers are on a regular day when we somehow don't get coffee, and then add zombies, nuclear radiation, a hurricane, or the pneumonic plague," the prepper blogger told GQ. "Talk about making a bad day even worse."
Bailey is another prepper who thinks coffee is going to be the decider between survival and death.
"[Coffee] would give you a moment to think in a stressful moment like bugging out," he told the magazine.
Nick however, one of Australia's best-respected preppers, doesn't think coffee will hold much weight in an end-of-world scenario.
Cigarettes on the other hand, will be like gold.
"Think about the sort of thing people come up to you on the street and ask, they're always asking for a cigarette,' he said.
"You can also look at human culture. In jail it's all about smoking, they barter in cigarettes. They're a commodity.
"Those withdrawals are pretty heavy and I guarantee you I could trade a pack of cigarettes for something really good," Nick added.
Bad prepper reputation aside, Nick said a lot of people don't even realise they're more survivalist than they think.
"There's a bit of a stigma around preppers - people think you're a crazy person. But what they don't realise is that everyone's a prepper on some level.
"If you've got jumper leads and a bottle of water in your car, in case something goes wrong, you're a prepper.
"It's an easy thing to get into and trust me it's easy to get prepared. You're much better off being ready," he added.