The Survival Mindset, by M.C.J.

The healthy human mind doesn’t contempt the what if’s in reference to survival. Why should it? The very thought of such a thing does not factor in a persons average day. Especially given how people live there daily lives going about life on the railway to the normalcy train. That redundant moment in time when all is the same and sane . Waking up to conduct a normal work day of work and routine. Having a decent breakfast or rushing off fast grabbing a bite from either the microwave or the nearest fast food outlet, just to beat the morning “rush hour” traffic. Getting oneself done and ready to take on the average ordinary day of doing 9-5 and earning a decent paycheck. No. The healthy human mind doesn’t see the potential for collapse on both the economic or societal scale, let alone contemplating the very realistic notion that it all could come to a crashing end over night. Such a thing is anathema to “normal” thinking. Where is the Mindset for that contingency? How does one get ready to handle such a catastrophic change? More importantly, how does one cope with it? Good questions.
Having been an 0311/8152 in the USMC back in the time of the Berlin Wall collapse to Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Restore Hope Somalia gave me a unique perspective on the matter. Let me state that you do not have to be in the military to gain the Mindset. You do not have to be a member of any three lettered alphabet soup agency. You already possess it and are not aware of it.  The Mindset was brought about for me by seeing the world for what it truly was.  That of a beautifully terrifying place is one not aware of his/her surroundings and a place of varied cultures and beliefs that should not be taken for granted. Having the Mindset will help you get through the toughest of times. It will equally help you empower those around you that are not in the know of what is going on, giving them the strength of mind to carry on and to survive. Having been to Third World countries, I got the chance to truly take stock in how good I lived and how much we have taken for granted. Having asked myself, “What would America do were it in this position?” “Could we survive a nuclear attack?” “What if the Grid went down? “EMP?” These were the thoughts that ran through my head. It was enough to drive anyone insane, yet I maintained the Mindset in that no matter what may happen or that would come my way, I will survive. Being 41, divorced with two little girls the need for having a strong and healthy Mindset is evermore imperative. The way one achieves this is through setting one’s spirit right in the Divine , that will help out in tremendous ways. Let me state for the record that I am not a Bible-thumper. The word of the Almighty and His promises of things to come rings true and He will sustain you, but like that old saying, God helps those who helps themselves. That’s where your ability comes in through the strength of your will to see you through. You don’t have to be Hercules or  Sampson to have this. You simply have to be the real you. We all have that potential to do this.  Improvise! Adapt! Overcome! These three very important words of the Marine Corps have seen the Marines through many bloodied tight spots all around the world. The human mind is a very powerful weapon and as such it should be nurtured through good actions and deeds not only one’s self, but to others. Being positive regardless of the circumstance and/or situation  will see you through. The process is not an instant thing, it requires determination of will and spirit to make things happen in your favor and for that of your loved ones. What you project will invariably have a direct impact on those around you. Self-Esteem and empowerment will help you make the right choices in getting prepared.

Decisions are based on independent research of the various topics that are affecting you. The imploding economy. Increased social unrest and dissatisfaction with the “order of things”. The GWOT. The machinations of the Elite and so forth. Being pressed by these things can take a heavy toll on the human mind and thus create much anxiety, restlessness, and tension. How do you fight back? How do you win? The Mindset will see you through, by right of appropriate action, i.e., (listening to like-minded independent media, talking to others who feel as you do, looking for alternatives to see you through the uncertainties, etc…) you will avoid being a part of the mirror-shade masses that would rather live in denial. Equally, you also have avoided becoming part of the hyper-paranoid minded people that are on the verge of mental breakdown. Clarity of thought will see you through the murkiness and useless banter of the mainstream media and other groups out there that say being a “prepper” is bad and other negative connotations that they label folks us as. As far as I am concerned, being level-headed and cool under the pressure is key to survival, in any situation. Making the right choices is not always the coolest thing to do in terms of wanting the more expensive name brand items, but getting what is essential to your survival and that of your family should be first and foremost. You may find yourself in a rut in not having the necessary funds to get what you really want, but if you have enough to get a decent water filtrations system for example, you have taken the first step in making that right decision. Having the Mindset does not make one an uber-survivor of all things, but rather it makes one the ideal survivor by allowing one to discern what one needs and does not need. The old saying of you can never have too much of something is true in some respects, but not all. A gluttonous mind is a wasteful thing. A timid mind is a fragile thing. A balanced mind is right in all things. Knowing when to say when in terms of getting what you need for survival is important and how to utilize the items purchased is of great import too. It is the arrogant mind that buys and buys getting the latest in whatever is on the market, yet never bother to learn, train, or utilize the procured items until the actual time of need. That leads to unnecessary consumption of energy and time. Such a mindset would be costly to not only the individual, but also to loved ones in need. The balanced mind would do well to practice with and train with all relevant equipment and materials purchased. Through repetition and use of the items, one becomes familiar with things. This familiarity will lead one to accomplishing the needed goals in a timely fashion. No hesitation. No doubts.  This in turn leads to self-empowerment of the mind. A most positive outcome to a hectic situation. Having avoiding any further complications. Decisions of this nature will almost always produce a positive and uplifting result. Decide to invest in getting what you know will be right for you, not everything that is out there will be for you, take a solid recon of where you live. The environment. Is it feasible to live out in the area? Can you make it work for you? Will you have to relocate? If so, then where to? These questions should have crossed everyone’s mind at some point in time and rightful decisions have to made to accommodate the “what ifs”. Decisions. Decisions. Making the right choice comes down to having a good solid mindset.

Knowledge is power as the saying goes. Good solid practical know-how will see you through many things both simple and complex. Not everyone is survival expert, I am not. My expertise lies in land warfare and certain aspects of unconventional warfare, but that is no excuse for me not to have some knowledge readily available and on-hand should I need a reference to how to determine if a plant is edible or poisonous or how to treat a burn. These issues are of importance and should not be left on the back burner. I carry my PUSH pack with me wherever I go and in that pack I have the SAS Survival Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman. Talk about convenience! Everything I need in a small little book and for my backup I have Les Stroud’s SURVIVE! I’m not making a sales pitch here gang, just some pretty good honorable mentions because I may have to utilize their knowledge one day. Chance favors the prepared mind. Having such books or as I call it, Tomes of Survival on hand will definitely increase your chances of survival in any given situation. Read the book from front to back and read them at differing times so that the knowledge inside is retained  in your mind. If you’re not familiar with issues like Land Navigation, then either purchase a manual on it or download the U.S. Army LandNav manual in PDF or take the time to learn the basics of survival from a person that teaches the skill set. If there is one thing that is in absolute abundance and is generally free of charge, that is knowledge. Fishing. Learning how to signal. Marksmanship. Archery and Targeting are very good applied knowledge.  If one likes communications and radio, then obtaining a ham license is the way to go, something I am endeavoring to get. Knots and ropes is important from everything when it comes to building shelters and makeshift items to making traps to get wildlife for sustenance. Sailors knots are a good to know, a book on knot tying or a U.S. Navy Blue Jackets Manual is a good reliable source on knots and how to tie them. Cutting up one’s catch is no easy feat and that takes time and repetition, if one is not careful in the cutting and slicing of their catch, one could accidentally cut an organ that would contaminate the catch, thus ruining the meal and starting the entire process over for the hunt again. That means time lost.  The bottom line here is simply, knowledge gained and applied gives great rewards. Knowledge acquired for the sake of it and not put to use, can lead to potential disaster.  Having the right knowledge makes for a solid mindset.

Skill set is important. Having a set of general skills or specialized skills in a survival situation will see you or your family through some tough times. Adaptation is key here. A person with a mechanical or electrical skill set would have the ability to make jury rigged devices run to produce power for a house or vehicle. Marksmanship skills are definitely a plus for hunting and/or defense. Knowing how to hit a target at distance takes more than just aiming the weapon and shooting. Learning the why’s and how’s of a round travels downrange, the various shooting positions, breathing techniques, and trigger discipline makes one not only better marksman, but also makes one better appreciate the overall value of the skill. Remember the basics of marksmanship: Aim. Breathe. Relax. Squeeze (NOT pull the trigger!). Shoot.  Communications/Oratory skill set is somewhat undervalued and should not be taken as such, the power of speech, to convey intentions makes a world of difference when it comes to bartering for goods and merchandise or how about the potential for outbreak of hostilities? Good oratory skills combined with a competent mindset can potentially diffuse hostile actions. Writing skills are good as to keep a record of events for historical reasons. Skill sets can really be of benefit. Technical skills are good from anywhere to making fuel preservatives for stored petrol to field expedient antennas to receive emergency communiques from ham operators. Mountaineering is excellent, who would ever think that an accountant could be a competent mountaineer, but such people do exist and should not be frowned upon. Intimate knowledge of the terrain and where to step and climb could mean the difference between life and death. By taking the time to learn something new, one’s ability to adapt has increased exponentially.  There is always some new to learn when it comes to survival and it is best to take advantage of the learning while the chance is given. 

Preparedness  is the overall important factor when in the survival mindset. Going about your daily lives is good and well, but being knowing that you are prepared as best you cane be with the resources given will make all the difference in the world.  As having the survival mindset, you should already have at the minimum all the basics you need at any given time. A basic reaction pack. This small, but very necessary pack should have  a survival tin/kit with all that suits your basic survival needs. Whether it is a pre-packaged survival kit or a hand-made one, this kit should have all that you need based on the environment that you are currently living in and/or where you anticipate in operating in. A small book on survival, as I mentioned in the Knowledge part, a book like the SAS Survival Guide or SURVIVE! would be good books to have on hand as easy reference guides in case anything is missed. A dedicated flashlight for signaling and moving into dark areas or reading maps at night. A map of the region you are in and a solid compass. Other items of interest that would be of value to you is a small radio (i.e., C. Crane Radio’s CC SW Pocket) it is a handy shortwave am/fm radio. Good to have on hand.  Gloves  are a good item to have stored in your pack. Notepads, pens, and pencil. Making an illustration of a landmark or drawing a hasty map of a particular area might be helpful for future references. 550 Paracord at least 15 to 25 feet. Butane lighter (the perfect mini-torch). Other items that suits your basic needs. Your grab and go pack should be packed for at least 72 hours out in the field. An evacuation pack should just about everything you need to survive and make it out in the field. In terms of food, not everyone can afford the gourmet foodstuffs or the emergency food stocks. Worry sets in and anxiety wreaks havoc on the mind, especially with knowing what is coming our way. The alternatives to this are canned goods and/or my favorite, MRE (Meals-Ready to Eat). Having these items can go long ways and are pretty easy to ration if done right.

Caution and Discretion. Being in the survival mindset means that you don’t panic. To do that will inhibit your ability to function. Reality checks tend to bite, but having a level head and prayer will carry you on and bring about stability. Stability grants one the sense of clarity. In that clarity, your mindset will run smoothly. Water is important. Having a decent portable water filtration system will save you from much pain and unneeded medical issues. Knowing that you are prepared on the basic level will help you function well for those unpredictable moments, if you have longer time to prepare your homes and your family for such uncertainties, then you are good to go. When it comes to being prepared, it pays to keep things on the down-low. Sales and advertising to people you know, but are not tight with the risk for being compromised becomes great. The times that we are living in and about to experience will be unprecedented, people that you know to be good, but are not prepared will be coming your way for your stocks that you have set for you or your family. No matter how prepared you are in terms of food you must remember that the items you have will be in limit. Once everything stops flowing life will be going back down into the basics of things as it were in Pre-Industrial America. The people who have the major one up on us in this arena are those that live in third world countries. Taking things for granted and having that sense of having it all and never running out will be a very hard deal for those that live in that denial mindset. Such a mindset is extremely dangerous. Good people can live in denial. We see it every day. When good people go bad is when you will have a lot to deal with. The desperation that sets in. The chaos. Violence will be the order of the day in most areas. Some communities will be like miniature forts. Being in a good strong mindset will permit you to do what is right and to ensure your survival and that of your loved ones. Be every watchful of what’s going in your community, city, and state. Look to the independent media for unbiased information on what is going on in the world. Most people have lived under the false premise that what happens in one corner of the world will not affect our corner of it. That’s plain wrong. That’s bad thinking. Two world wars have invalidated that mindset. The world economies is where to look and from there, if interpreted right, you can figure out what might be coming your way. We have all be affected by this very issue and now things have gotten pretty delicate. Foreign troops in CONUS in unprecedented numbers. U.S. troops being placed on the lines fighting not being aware of what is truly happening back here at home. Seismic/Volcanic activities on the rise. Ecological issues. The list goes on. All of these issues comes into play for that one word: PREPAREDNESS. Get into the mindset of survival. If you are already in this mindset, you are in a good place and secure in your ability to make it through these upcoming dark times. If you are not, do not panic. Read up on what was provided here in my writings and look into the similar writings from other people too. We are a community that is absolutely unique in every way possible. Empower yourself. It’s alright to feel on edge, but do not let that feeling override your survival mindset.

Comfort and Sanity can come in the form of a having some good books to read should the power grid go down. Issues of cooking can be resolved with backup propane tanks for your grills when the gas lines cease to operate. A sun oven is an excellent alternative to cooking, potable water, and sanitation issues. Backup generators in the form of petrol or solar powered would be of immense help for lighting in addition to having backup canisters of kerosene with a fuel preservative longer shelf life for lanterns. Candles are good as well. To help bring ease on the psychological aspects, having a decent movie selection in your home would prove to help take off the edge. For me it is meditation, prayer, and a good book. We must never forget that the mind also craves food too, whether it be a good novel, the Bible, or some other type of activity. Keep yourselves mentally active in a good way. Stay physically fit as possibly. A strong healthy body goes hand in hand with a strong healthy mind. I have never been in such a situation like this before, but I revert back to my discipline and training from the Marine Corps and the additional skill sets I have acquired as a civilian to see me through. It’s going to be an interesting ride for all of us. You can persevere if you have the right mindset.

Remember to keep a strong mindset! Never give in to the fear. Be strong in your faith. Be vigilant. Pray that we may all get through these uncertain times. Be proud to be a prepper! That’s all I have for now. Semper Fidelis.