Posts tagged: resilience

Jul 11 2012

Resource lines


Above is a picture I drew a few years back to illustrate the concept of “Kit Lines” (*); the conceptual layers of equipment a prepared person might arrange for themselves (**).


Over time, I’ve come to realise that kit/equipment is just a facet of a wider range of things this conceptually covers. Calling them kit-lines reinforces the image of it being about what tools you can equip yourself with. What it is actually about is what resources are available to you, categorised by their inherent seperation from you. They are resource-lines, the concept of the supply and support line combined and re-compartmentalised.

Reinterpretting the original definitons for this idea, you get:

Line 1; “Worn” – Those resources which you have with you at all times. Your clothing, accessories.

Line 2; “Carried” – Those items you might pick up if leaving the house briefly. Keyring, wallet, mobile phone.. anything you might have ready access to.

Line 3; “Packed” – Packed gets into the resources requiring an extra layer of storage, a bag of some sort, for you to take it with you. Most survival-kits, camping gear, anything in your vehicle.

Line 4; “Embedded” – Items that require a non-trivial amount of effort to relocate. Difficult to take them with you. Your furniture, PC, bed, most household possesions, workshop contents, food garden, etc.

Line 5; “Residential” – Your home itself, the roads and services that supply your area. These items are essentially imobile. You have to be in the same place as them to access them. Can also include friends and aquaintences, as they’re also location-specific, even if only in conceptual communication-spaces.

Line 6; “Communal” – Essentially omnipresent resources, available in almost all locations. Bit harder to define, but could include the Internet, generic medicines, air, the economy, national government, public transport systems and so on.


These lines act not as a list of essentials, but a way to conceptualise the resources available to you as well as their possible vulnerabilities. You may have a lot of resources at Line 4, but if you loose line 5 you may loose it all with it.

Again, there are dependancies between the various lines, not all of them standard. 5 may effect 4, but 3 may not effect 2. It all depends on the specifics of your own resource arrangements. Loss of medicines on Line 6 might not cause a big problem for some, but loss of national government might take out Line 5 entirely.

It’s a convenient mental tool for visualising your personal resilience. YMMV.


The unstated item in this list though is the conceptual “Resource Line Zero”. That is YOU. You exist at the center of the diagram, and even when all the other layers of resources are peeled away, there’s still you. Line Zero is your inherent skills, your health and fittness, etc. Line Zero is what you would have if dumped naked on a desert island. All others are external constructions.



(*) The “Kit” concept was originally put to me through Sean Kennedy’s work on Rant Radio, and had a rather survivalist bent. It also reinforced many peoples bad habit of buying equipment and being reassured by having it, rather than learning how to use it. It became another game of bigger and better ownership.

(**) The website I drew it for was, which while still up is essentially lifeless. It was a good concept, but killed by over-engineering. There was simply too great a bulk of website created for a small userbase to maintain, and as a result the users there felt inaffective and dwindled away. A handful of people stumbling around inside a gargantuan mansion, unable to find anything.

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