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Doomsday preppers say coffee is the key to surviving the end of the world

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When civilization ends (be it via Geostorm, robots who didn’t get beat up enough, or take your pick of Donald Trump-related catastrophes), how will we start our mornings in the wasteland? Turns out, according to doomsday preppers, the same way we do now: with a nice hot cup of joe, ideally out of a mug that says something like “Don’t irradiate me until I’ve had my coffee.”

In an article speaking with a number of end-of-the-world survivalists, GQ’s Cam Wolf discovers that many of them say that coffee will be one of the most valuable resources when society inevitably collapses. Australian prepper Stuey Bailey gives Wolf a few reasons why this will be the case.


For starters, caffeine keeps us alert, which will be useful when you’re on the run from, say, human pelt hunters. A nice hot cup of coffee can also keep you warm and toasty in the event of a nuclear winter situation. Caffeine has some medicinal properties too, such as helping with severe headaches and serving as a diuretic. Caffeine can even help detoxify livers, which will be helpful for those of us who plan on living out our days wandering the radioactive plains in a drunken stupor.

Bailey also mentions that for many people coffee is a pleasant ritual, a moment to take a break and forget about our troubles, like the fact that everyone you’ve ever loved is dead and gone. Stopping to have a quick cup might give you a chance to think of a new, ingenious way to outrun those loved ones who are now risen from their shallow graves and chasing you. And of course, for the aspiring Humunguses among us, there’s also the fact that coffee’s relatively low weight as a tradable resource makes it easy to hoard, and it’ll be useful to have some on hand to keep your army of marauders caffeinated and motivated.

Moreover, the fact of the matter is that a staggering percentage of Americans are addicted to caffeine. If you can’t get out of the bed in the morning without the promise of a cup of coffee now, what makes you think you’re going to be able to do it just because you’re being tracked down by mutants? Then, as now, the best part of waking up—besides that brief moment when you forget you’re surviving in a burning hellscape because the president got mad on Twitter—will be Folgers in your cup.

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About the author

Gabe Worgaftik

Contributor, The A.V. Club.