A man who calls himself Che Bodhi draws a crude map in the dust on the hood of his maroon Volkswagen, a battered car that can run on used vegetable oil.
There’s the United States and all its guns to the south, Bodhi says. Highways 401 and 407 are heavily travelled. And St. Catharines and the Niagara Region are a “funnel point.”
“North,” he concludes, “is the only way that you can truly disappear.”
Bodhi is the organizer of the Annual Preppers Meet, held on a recent weekend on a patch of land near Shelburne, and he knows something about disappearing. I call him after the meet, having heard his name is an alias. He’s evasive and won’t confirm it directly.
“By having an alias, it’s a way to protect my family, and I would really appreciate if you didn’t publish anything in that respect,” he said.
Preppers anticipate various disasters by stockpiling food, honing wilderness survival skills and learning self-defence.
If a Katrina-like storm knocked out power in Toronto, you’d know the preppers by the lights in their windows, running on generators. And if things ever descend into chaos, they’ll grab their prepacked bags, loaded with essential survival equipment, and split, leaving the rest of us to fight over the last drops of gasoline and fresh water.