On Survival: Becoming Self Sufficient In Times of Trouble Part One
April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Growing up in the South, there’s always been two statements that I have heard men say; “Oh, I know how to shoot,” and “Yeah, I can survive in the woods.” While folk-lore and skills have been passed down from father to son and so forth since most of the rural parts of America have been settled, most have relied on the false pride of thinking they have a unique set of skills. While most could probably shoot another in self-defense, or kill an animal with the intent on eating it, I think we would find that only a few would be able to maintain themselves and their family for any extended period of time.
Recently I have started putting a program together in the effort of teaching other’s how to survive on any level, and while doing so have come to the conclusion that most of us would never make it. I certainly don’t profess to be any sort of Bear Grylls, but I believe that the concepts presented here could certainly improve your chances of seeing another sunrise.
The initial breakdown in most survival situations won’t occur on the physical level, unless the beginning of your survival began with some sort of trauma or accident in isolation, but more on the mental. Early man wasn’t in possession of a lensatic compass or GPS receiver, but was able to understand that certain brutal factors and ability to learn from feedback determined whether he ate heartily or looked at the stars with hunger pangs. When faced with the information that we are separating from society and municipal authority and must now solely ensure or own well-being, we must immediately steel our minds and brace ourselves with the resolve that we will do whatever it takes, no matter how hard or cruel it may seem, to protect and to provide for ourselves. The Marine Corps teaches the acronym concept of the “OODA Loop” for making decisions in stressful or combat scenarios, standing for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Making timely and correct decisions will be the deciding factor of living or dying.
Now that we have developed that resolve we must look and identify what type of survival situation that we might find ourselves. The term I have coined is “Proximity Factors,” describing what to expect and the depth and scope of what we can do and the path we may take. There are many places we can find ourselves, with a different “proximity” to safety. We may have to survive in an isolated mountain range from the result of a plane crash, or in our own homes as the result of collapse of the power grid. Each survival “scene” and conditions that we inherit at the beginning of our survival experience will determine the tools and tactics that we can find and use and how we will have to interact with outside factors.
Different scenarios will call for different tactics and resources. Some events include; accident (automobile or plane crash) in a remote area, natural disaster, loss of power grid, economic collapse, insurrection, war or invasion. In any of these occasions there will be a gap in when municipal authorities can reach you, or in the worst case, they will no longer exist.
In discussing the tools and tactics let me say that there are a million and one ways to perform these actions, with no way better than the other. If it ends with you thriving in adversity or barely making it out alive, you have survived. As humans, we require basic resources to maintain homeostasis and sustainability. The most prominent factor that we must maintain is our personal safety, if just in immediate proximity. These threats may present themselves as wounds we have incurred that we must give attention to, to adverse conditions such as weather and animals, or in some cases other humans.
Once personal safety is established the next priority will become developing a plan to change your “proximity” to one that is closer to a safer posture. That might be the decision to change your location that is more suitable to survive in, but we must be practical and eliminate any unnecessary dangers. If we are going to change our location we must ensure that we have the means to provide personal protection, (firearms, weapons, etc.), and have the logistics necessary to make this a reality, (water, food, appropriate health, etc.). If the situation depicts that we started in an urban environment or with a group, we must choose whether to make a go at it alone or to ensure the sustainability of the entire group. Both scenarios have stark pro’s and con’s. (More in Part Two)
In the most basic of survival skills we will need to procure tools and materials for at least 4 needs that we will need for sustainability.
1. Weapons – personal safety, procuring food, signaling
2. Water – storage and the means to purify it
3. Fire – warmth, making food stuffs palatable, signaling
4. Shelter – protection from elements, concealment from dangers
Finding the skills and tools above is not that difficult and there is no reason that any man, woman, or child cannot practice and at least become novice at the above mentioned. All of the ideas mentioned here could be expanded into 500 pages of detailed information, but we do not have the time or space to make that happen. If you wish to attend a seminar to learn these skills and the ones yet to be talked about, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of these factors can and should be expanded in ensuring long-term survival if necessary. Other factors to consider will be clothing, first aid, communications, ammunition, mobility, and navigation.
Part Two in this series will expand upon deciding to maintain a small family unit or choosing a commune to provide long-term sustainability, as well as preemptively developing skills that will aid in any level or survival.