First please allow me to give you a little background on myself. I have been preparing for TEOTWAWKI for about nineteen years but I have focused (until recently) on wilderness survival. I even managed to get a book published on how to survive when you get stranded in the middle of nowhere (it is called What We Forgot a lesson in survival). About a year ago I heard about this site while I was listening to Coast to Coast one night and I was so thrilled to find out that I was not alone in my thinking. Since then I have managed to store about a years worth of food and have everything ready to go incase I need to bug out. (I know that isn’t enough but my fiancee and I won’t be able to take any more unless we leave other important things behind.) As much as I love what has been written there has been a lack of attention paid to the topic of actual survival skills. After all what good is a survival retreat that is stocked with twenty years of food if you get lost in the wilderness when you are on patrol and die because you don’t know that you can eat almost everything in the woods and that includes all birds and furry animals.
Now because I am the kind of guy who would rather give solutions instead of complaining about what has been done this is what I feel everyone needs to do.
1) Pickup two different copies of a book on how to survive in the wilderness from at least two different authors. (Every one has a different stile and some ways will work for you.) One of them should be the US Army’s field manual because it also tells you how to evade the enemy and if TSHTF almost everyone will be the enemy.
2) Practice in the comfort of your home: Go to your backyard or garage and figure out how to make the skills work for you. When I was ten I spent about three months working in front of my mom’s fire lace trying to figure out how to get the hot coal to form using a bow and drill. Then I had to learn to build the fire from that small ember. (This was my choice after my mom got scared that I would get lost and die in the mountains on a camping trip and got me my first copy of the US army survival manual.)
3) Practice out in the wilderness: Start out small do not go out with only a knife like Bear Grylls unless you have the training and the experience to come home alive. On several occasions I have had to go and save some new survivalists who got a book and decided to try to survive for a week with only a knife. (It was a lot of fun for me but those young people were miserable.) So start by camping and leave something like your tent at home. Then after a few trips forget something else as well. Keep forgetting things until you have nothing but a knife on you. By the time I was in high school none of my friends would go into the mountains unless I was there with them. When I asked them one said, “With you around I don’t need a survival kit.” And another made the claim that I could be dropped north of the Arctic Circle and be found a week later in Mexico City sitting by a pool with a fistful of pesos and a million dollar smile. I do not agree with their statements and I feel that everyone needs to learn at least the basics.
4) Keep up your skills even if your plan is to bug in you will need to leave your home sooner or later. Anything can happen and if you are a little rusty then you and or your family could die.
5) Expand from the basics. Learn to track animals including those pesky talking monkeys (I call all humans that not one ethnic group). Because if you are out there and find an animal you wouldn’t mind eating then kill it. But if you are going to do that you should also learn what plants you can eat so you can stretch the food you brought with you even farther. But don’t forget to learn how to dry the meat in the field an how to tan the hide so you can keep them longer.
Now that I have said all this I you should know that the things that are coming won’t be fun and it will seem like a nightmare even for all of us that have been expecting it. Now I know that probably most of you are not only skilled in survival but well practiced. I did this for those who are new to this and think “All I need is a million bullets and twenty five years of food and I will be fine.” Well to all those who do think that I say I hope you are right but shouldn’t you expand your strategy just incase you can’t stay with your food? Now I know that you are probably thinking that I just want to sell a lot of books but the truth is I would like to give them away but my publisher and my fiancee won’t allow it. I want to help people stay alive that is why I plan to help you to expand your knowledge with topics like smoking meat to dry it, making and maintaining archery equipment and other things that we will need to know after the chaos of the first year to two years has ended in later posts. I hope you have fun and stay safe.