The ABC’s and 123’s of Survival Preparedness – Part 1, by The Circumspect Survivalist

End of the Line

For those who are already deeply entrenched in the fortified bunker of their survival awareness, it is universally understood that we as a nation and a world are about to transit through a very dangerous and challenging period in our history. Whatever your personal beliefs, there is no question that either because of an economic collapse, social and or political breakdown, another world war, or one or more environmental catastrophes, our present way of life is about to change forever. The days are drawing near, if not already upon us, when the luxuries and services that we have enjoyed are all about to come to an end. The time to prepare was yesterday, and for those fortunate enough to have the discernment to see the signs of the times, this downward spiral towards a total social and ecological breakdown has by no means been a surprise. These pragmatic pilgrims have been packing, stacking, and racking for the coming “end of the world as we know it” while at the same time offering no apologies for it. In the light of current events those who have prepared in recent years could now be seen as prepping prophets. Like many of the prophets of the past, these survivalists have been for the most part lonely voices crying in the wilderness with few heeding their warnings about the ominous events coming upon us all. However, as we have gotten closer to a reset of our society, these dire messages have found an increasingly attentive audience. As a simple illustration of this latter day psychological paradigm shift, just consider the condition of the preparedness movement in this country during the Y2K scare as opposed to now. The number of people that are prepping for the uncertainties of the future is dramatically larger than ever before, and the amount of information on the Internet about survival is something only dreamed about fifteen years ago.

It is a testimony to this movement that visitors to the website for which this article is written have grown exponentially in recent years. Speaking of which, has always held a prominent position at the vanguard of survival preparedness, and this writer owes a debt of gratitude for all of the invaluable information that has been gleaned from it. Be that as it may, it is with great humility that an attempt will now be made to offer something of immediate value to this already extensive treasure trove of material. As it stands, there are many bush craft skills, self-sufficiency procedures, and defensive tactics explained online and in the numerous survival manuals that have become ubiquitous in bookstores. Acquiring them, if you can afford to do so, will more than likely prove beneficial in the future, if you do indeed survive the initial stages of whatever apocalypse scenario plays out. I say future because to fully implement many of these survival steps requires a sizeable investment in time, not to mention money. Unfortunately, as we are on the cusp of a total socio-economic meltdown, it’s the very lack of time that poses the greatest threat to you if you happen to be just coming into awareness. It is for this very person to whom this article is written, the person I call the fledgling survivalist. Considering the current state of the United States economy and instability of international relations, what a fledgling survivalist needs right now are some seeds of practical information that they can instantly plant in their lives. Being exposed to the vast field of information that the mainstream media has exploitatively dubbed “doomsday prepping”, a newcomer to the subject can be overwhelmed with the multitude of sheaths and miss the kernels of truth that they contain. If you are a veteran of the bullets and Band-Aid brigade that led the charge towards self-sufficiency in this country, you can empathize with the dread that accompanied the initial realization you yourself at one point in time were way behind the power curve. We’ve all been there, so don’t feel like you’re inadequate if you can’t start a fire with a bow drill at the moment. If you’re new to all of this, take a deep breath, and center yourself. Help is on the way. Though this article does not promise that you will become a super soldier overnight or get any closer to being a bush craft specialist, it does promise that after reading it you will have saved the large portion of time that would be required to cull this critical information on your own. As stated earlier, time is one of the precious commodities we have little of now, and it’s quickly running out. It is this writer’s sincere hope that you find reading the rest of this article time well spent.

Defining Terms

We will begin by defining our terms.

Survival: 1. To remain alive. 2. Endure.

Preparation: 1. The act or process of preparing. 2. Readiness.

Surviving is about living and enduring, and preparation is about actively preparing while being in a state of readiness. Therefore, we can define survival preparedness as follows.

Survival Preparedness: 1. An act and/or state of readiness that involves keeping oneself alive and enduring.

This definition makes no mention of overcoming or conquering. People who have a close connection to the systems in nature know how foolish it is to hold onto the attitude that you are going to “conquer the wild” or “overcome an environment”. Being prepared to survive means that you have a willingness to anticipate and adapt to whatever emergency or disaster arises, with the sole intention of staying alive and enduring the ordeal. There is no room for machismo or hubris. Of course, if your life or the life of a loved one is threatened, then it is your right as a human being to defend yourself, and that will require a “do or die” attitude. This life or death situation is described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War as “fatal ground”, but it is only a last resort if all other options have been exhausted. The true survivalist has too much respect for the power of elemental forces and the potential dangers of crazed mobs amidst civil unrest to be looking for danger, trouble, or both. The first step in preparation is to make some instantaneous changes in your day-to-day life so that when the challenging situation does arise you will be prepared to live through it as best as possible. A sudden crisis or emergency has a very good chance of occurring when you are engaged in every day activities or while you are home. Keeping this in mind we will now turn to the two pillars of preparedness– the psychology and systems of survival.

Basic Survival

Survival is largely dependent on your mental and physical preparation as well as your ability to execute affectively in both areas, if and when the time arises. Though the numerous branches of the survival movement seem complicated, survival itself is basic. Please take note that I did not use the word simple but basic, because it means that it is a foremost priority in all matters resulting in a solid foundation for your life. Survival does not have just one element; it is indeed complicated and is not easy in any way, but there is a functional approach to address its challenges. There are two practical ways in which you can increase your chances of survival when confronted with a major calamity; one is psychological, and the other is physical. To be psychologically prepared, one must have a warrior mindset. To be physically prepared, one must be in relatively good shape and have a series of survival systems that accompany you at all times as well as prepositioned in the most likely places you will find yourself. We will begin with having the right mindset.

Warrior Mindset

Without the proper mental and emotional frame of mind, most physical preparation goes out the window. One must have awareness of both what is going on inside and outside oneself. Most of the general public are in a perpetual “vacation state of mind”. This fatally flawed way of meandering through life is demonstrated by people who refuse to believe that today will be any different from yesterday, since yesterday was the same as the day before. Their attitude is that since their life has been free of major disasters, they persist in not paying attention to potential hazards. Unfortunately, nine out of ten individuals don’t respond in an effective manner when faced with an emergency, and it is largely due to the fact that they have never planned for such an event to occur in their lives. At this late date in the calendar of the coming crisis, it takes an incredible amount of denial to stay in this delusional state of false security. A warrior mindset also means that a person has the fortitude to do whatever it takes to endure. One does not have to be former or current military to have this warrior mindset. Take for example those obstacle challenges like The Spartan Death Race that have gained a loyal following in recent years. This extreme test challenges people over many days of grueling trials. The contestants are physically and mentally taxed to their limit while having no idea how long the actual race will go on before being completed. It’s been documented that, during certain races, former military and Special Forces operatives have dropped out and quit while housewives have gone on to complete their race. No one should underestimate their own potential to stay the course, and the warrior is an archetype that everyone should cultivate, if only for the fact that societies that did not have a noble warrior class to protect them ended up more often than not as other people’s slaves. We should endeavor to be our brother’s keeper not captive. This crucial mindset can be remembered by the acronym WARRIOR. The posture principles listed in this newly coined acronym are similar to how Navy Seals are trained, so we are on safe ground by assimilating them into our life.

  • Working Situational Awareness – Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Assess Situation – Make an assessment of the current situation.
  • Run Self-assessment – Keep composure and maintain combat breathing.
  • Rule of Three – Select only three options for an appropriate response.
  • Initiate Action – Commit fully to one action.
  • Observe Results – Monitor progress.
  • Repeat if Necessary – Reassess and change course as situation dictates.

Just having this frame of mind will put a person in a superior position, if and when they are confronted with adversity. An easier way of remembering these basic principles is to think of them as the ABC’s of the psychological mindset of survival.

  • Always be ready.
  • Break analysis paralysis and choose a potential course of action.
  • Commit to an action and go for it.