Adam Scepaniak 02.14.23
To start this article right, I must first say that those preparing for emergency and disaster are some of the most impressive people out there. You have truly taken up the mantle of personal responsibility and shouldered that. Its noble. We can only hope that all of America does the same in the near future. A more prepared population is exactly what we need as we move forward into this uncertain future. All that said, I think there are some things that the preparedness and survival community are not considering enough. We are going to look at 5 things that can help you prepare for disasters and emergencies for the short- and long-term.
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Primitive Madness – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
I want to start with primitive skills because people are very confused about primitive skills. In my estimation, there are two camps in the primitive skills world and its important to know which camp you are in. The first group are those who love to practice bushcraft in all its forms as a hobby. These guys can do some impressive stuff using the natural world. The second group are those who look to lean on slate arrows, bone tools, and stone knives to survive in a truly life-threatening situation.
Now, some bushcraft skills are very important for survival, but we must be careful about what we really choose to rely on when we get in a tough spot. Creating something like a hand drill set to make fire when the sun is going down is a bad choice when we have metal at our disposal.
There is a reason the Native Americans traded just about everything for European metal. Its just a better tool in every way. Lighters, candles, and ferrocerium should be your first option when you consider fire for emergencies. It’s not that knowing how to make a hand drill isn’t a good skill, but its not worth all your time and our time in the woods is limited. Focus on the things that you can do over and over again – with success – quickly because that could be the defining factor in an emergency.
Passive Food Sources – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
Survivalists most often consider hunting and foraging as their best methods of gathering food in a survival situation. Fishing is not far behind, and thank God for that! Hunting is never a sure thing, and you could burn a lot of time and calories to come away empty-handed. When it comes to something as important as food, you need passive food sourcing capabilities. The best of which are metal traps. Here, we go with that metal thing again, right? High tensile fishing line, metal hooks, and metal traps are what you should lean on for trapping and catching food. Many people fish, but hardly anyone is trapping animals. It can be a bit grisly, but it will work over and over again.
If these things are at work for you, then you can spend more time hunting, foraging, and have some insurance in those traps and hooks to know that your caloric needs are going to be met. We all need to pay more attention to passive food sourcing methods. Remember, traps don’t run out of ammo.
The Armory – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
Always a hot button topic, guns are an important part of any survival plan or mentality. They are as much a part of self defense as they are taking care of animals that might be standing in fields or ornery, fanged creatures that are still alive in your traps. There are some folks who are naturally drawn to guns and treat them like baseball cards. They collect them in all forms. That is great. We live in an incredible nation where we are allowed to do that if we haven’t made the wrong choices in life.
When it comes to survival, you need to be very picky about what you are going to take with you. How many guns can you carry if you have to leave your home? How much ammunition can you carry and how many different kinds of ammo can you carry? If you really want to break guns down to the bare bones. You should focus on three guns that are all cheap. The 9mm handgun, the 12 Gauge shotgun, and a scoped centerfire rifle. I know this isn’t the sexiest survival loadout. Where’s the AR15?
Hear me out.
A reliable sidearm like the 9mm is going to serve you in many cases and the ammo is going to be easy to find, just like the 12 Gauge. Ammo is just as important – or more important – as the gun you carry because without ammo you just have a melee weapon. The 12 Gauge can harvest or defend against anything that crosses your path. Bears to bobcats, the 12 Gauge will get it done. The scoped centerfire rifle is a great weapon for harvesting small- and big-game alike.
“Survival” Skills – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
Fire, water sanitization, shelter, these are all very important survival skills. They can be used in both short term and long-term scenarios and that is very important. Obviously, preparing for a long-term scenario is much harder and requires more resources than a short-term situation. Survival skills can also be things like wood working, blacksmithing, and food processing. If you are sitting there with a basket full of black walnuts, do you know how to eat them. Do you know they are not food for today?
I am going to beat the dead horse of METAL again, but its real. If you can manipulate metal with heat and hammers you add serious value to yourself in a survival scenario, you can generate income or at least get the things you need through barter. That is critical to long term survival. Between having the tools and skills to work wood and metal you can build almost anything you will need or anything another person might need. Let them do the hunting and skinning while you do the fixing and building.
Community – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
The previous idea bleeds right into the most overlooked idea in survival and that is community. While its fun to fantasize about a wilderness survival scenario where you are left with only a belt knife to survive by yourself, true emergency and disaster situations often include communities of people. Community building is all about personal relationships. It’s about forming a bond that has nothing to do with survival and then having trust when the waters get rough. Hard times will come to this nation again and you will look to your neighbors for help.
It won’t be the government that helps you. It won’t be your old college buddies. You will need people close by who can do work and who trust you to lead them. You have the information that everyone will be looking for. Engage your community and start something simple – like a community garden – to bring them together again. You will find that neighborhoods can be fun if you actually come out of the house and interact.
Conclusion – 5 Skills You NEED in the Survival Community
People are busy and they are trying to get prepared for disaster and learn new skills in their free time. I get that. This article is not an attack on your personal practices; rather, it’s a look at what can be done to spend that limited time as wisely as possible. You don’t have to follow the tips above to a “T,” but I hope they force you to consider things. Consider the viability of metal over stone in a true survival situation. Look at practices that can be executed repeatedly and use the least amount of resources to pull off. We don’t know what the future holds, but we all should be prepared for the worst of it.
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