My Militia Weekend: A Liberal, Female Blogger at the 2014 Alaska Militia, Prepper, and Survivalist Rendezvous

Jeanne Devon, founding editor of the left-leaning blog, spent a few days at the 3rd Annual Alaska Militia/Prepper/Survivalist Rendezvous – and her account is absolutely hilarious.

I should clarify: she is incredibly respectful of her hosts, and the humor comes through in her observations about herself. She is outside her comfort zone, choosing to camp out in her Subaru instead of a tent.

One funny moment is the first night she spends in her car, realizing that the participants at the Rondezvous have instituted a “watch” during the night. This involved two participants circling the camp grounds, wearing Kevlar and armed with pistols, rifles, and a radio.

Late in the evening, she talks to one of the female guards on patrol – learning that there are no actual bathrooms available.

I am not above going into the woods. I, and any Alaskan worth his or her salt, have gone in the woods plenty of times, so it’s not that per se. But right now, it’s pouring rain. Pouring rain. And there are also people with firearms scanning the trees for reasons of which I am not completely clear. For both of these reasons I really don’t want to exit and reenter “the perimeter” right now. So, after doing a terrain assessment of the inside of my car, and a supply check, I opt for Plan B. I wait for the patrol to go by, and launch Operation “Pee in My Travel Mug.”

At turns both funny and fascinating, Devon provides readers with a glimpse into what all goes on at a militia/survivalist retreat. I was surprised to learn the level of rules involved, and the pains the group took to ensure everyone’s safety (example: though there was a gun range, one rule required that no drinking take place 8 hours prior to shooting).

Devon has a very relaxed writing style, and the article pulls you along as you discover more about the group and Devon’s attempts to fit in. It’s not a “look at those crazy militia people” piece, and more of a “fish out of water” piece. Or, perhaps more accurately, it’s a “we have more in common than you’d think” piece.

Really well-written article, and well worth your time.

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