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Discussion Starter #1
Madcow made a great point in another thread (and maybe his point had
nothing to do with what I'm writing but...) that got me to thinking.

What is the "point" to survival?
What are you prepping for?

Okay, so one gets the skills aspect down. Fine.
One equips themselves with good gear. Nice.
A person readies themselves in ways they seem fit. Cool.

BUT! What if you didn't have any of that, would it matter?
Would you be able to survive out in the stick with say
1/3 of the knowledge you have as you read this post?

What is the point of learning survival skills?
 

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What I find rather interesting is the number of people who have the gear but who really don't know what to do with it. I would think that some testing would be in order. Madatory blackouts in the home for a week or two, just to see if life goes on or if it grinds to a halt. I expect a halt... Most of the guys I've seen would die from lack of web or gaming time because they are addicted to that versus actually doing the true survival stuff required.

A couple of questions (and these have been asked in other threads):

Can YOU actually process an animal you trap or kill?
Can YOU make safe drinking water without running to town first to get supplies to do so?
Can YOU figure out how to poop one hour after the water gets turned off?
Can YOU eat on the third or fourth day after the power gets turned off without getting food poisoning?
Can YOU walk into the woods -- any woods -- with a basket and a pocket knife and return home with supper?

Millions of other questions could apply, but those most basic questions are the ones that may hit home first if bad stuff happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My opinion?

What is important in learning to become self-sufficient?
Having the right mindset. I believe that (for me) training
and learning skills isn't what's going to save my arse in a
SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario. What's going to allow me to
thrive is not what I know, but "how" I think.

If I have the right mindset, I can adjust to the circumstances
and press on and continue. Do I stop learning just because I
can't access my personal library of survival books or a great
resource like SurvivalistBoards.com? Of course not. I overcome.
I improvise. I apply what I've learned and continue to train "me".

THAT to me is what separates a Survivalist from the rest; Their mindset.
I've seen that in the various shows on the tube. I've seen guys chocked
full of skills fail miserably and I've seen guys with limited experience in
a tough spot grab that situation by the horns and make it their own.

I always had the right mindset. I lacked the skills, so now, I'm in a race
to acquire them as much as possible. But if I had to skedaddle it into the
wild to live off of the land and nature, I would make it undoubtedly and I
would thrive. I just wouldn't fail. I wouldn't die. I wouldn't "not" live.

I know I have a lot to learn, but my mind is right. Get that right and
everything else falls right into place; even if you have to learn on your own.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What I find rather interesting is the number of people who have the gear but who really don't know what to do with it. I would think that some testing would be in order. Madatory blackouts in the home for a week or two, just to see if life goes on or if it grinds to a halt. I expect a halt... Most of the guys I've seen would die from lack of web or gaming time because they are addicted to that versus actually doing the true survival stuff required.

A couple of questions (and these have been asked in other threads):

Can YOU actually process an animal you trap or kill?
Can YOU make safe drinking water without running to town first to get supplies to do so?
Can YOU figure out how to poop one hour after the water gets turned off?
Can YOU eat on the third or fourth day after the power gets turned off without getting food poisoning?
Can YOU walk into the woods -- any woods -- with a basket and a pocket knife and return home with supper?

Millions of other questions could apply, but those most basic questions are the ones that may hit home first if bad stuff happens.
Exactly.

That's all I think about lately. Can I take care of my family if I had to?
There really is no other answer but "absolutely" really. I HAVE TO be
able to take care of my family. I don't have a choice. It's mandatory.
At least, with how I think and operate.

How dirty is one willing to get to survive?
 
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Blame Canada.
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What I find rather interesting is the number of people who have the gear but who really don't know what to do with it. I would think that some testing would be in order. Madatory blackouts in the home for a week or two, just to see if life goes on or if it grinds to a halt. I expect a halt... Most of the guys I've seen would die from lack of web or gaming time because they are addicted to that versus actually doing the true survival stuff required.

A couple of questions (and these have been asked in other threads):

Can YOU actually process an animal you trap or kill?
Can YOU make safe drinking water without running to town first to get supplies to do so?
Can YOU figure out how to poop one hour after the water gets turned off?
Can YOU eat on the third or fourth day after the power gets turned off without getting food poisoning?
Can YOU walk into the woods -- any woods -- with a basket and a pocket knife and return home with supper?

Millions of other questions could apply, but those most basic questions are the ones that may hit home first if bad stuff happens.
Or can you function after going three days with out food ? Im not talking about moving, but can you keep your head clear enough to use that basket and pocket knife ? Over this last weekend I tried this. We hiked and camped, and attempted to trap food. We got nothing out of 15 to 20 traps in four days. We used snares and Arapuca Bird Trap's. In three of those four days we each consumed lots of water, one jolly rancher hard candy, and the drink mix from an MRE. Hunger is so foreign to most Americans that many would die from stupid accidents while trying to acquire food because they are not focused on their task, but how hungry they are.Seriously, try not eating from Friday after work until Monday morning. Its an extremely humbling experience.
 

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Oh, that's easy.

I've been around long enough that I've learned folks (myself included) tend to make things so much harder than they have to be. It is now my personal mission to not get any dirtier than I absolutely have to. That way I don't have near the mess to clean up when it is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Or can you function after going three days with out food ? Im not talking about moving, but can you keep your head clear enough to use that basket and pocket knife ? Over this last weekend I tried this. We hiked and camped, and attempted to trap food. We got nothing out of 15 to 20 traps in four days. We used snares and Arapuca Bird Trap's. In three of those four days we each consumed lots of water, one jolly rancher hard candy, and the drink mix from an MRE. Hunger is so foreign to most Americans that many would die from stupid accidents while trying to acquire food because they are not focused on their task, but how hungry they are.Seriously, try not eating from Friday after work until Monday morning. Its an extremely humbling experience.
I did that for real (went days without food while still having to function).
There is no better teaching than experience.
 
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Exactly.

That's all I think about lately. Can I take care of my family if I had to?
There really is no other answer but "absolutely" really. I HAVE TO be
able to take care of my family. I don't have a choice. It's mandatory.
At least, with how I think and operate.

How dirty is one willing to get to survive?
Its a good way to be, but for me, I have come to the conclusion that teaching my self, and my family to do with out some times is probably the best thing we could do. Im not saying give up, but that maybe being a bit cold and hungry is not horrible, but at times is just a fact of life. Hope that dont sound bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, that's easy.

I've been around long enough that I've learned folks (myself included) tend to make things so much harder than they have to be. It is now my personal mission to not get any dirtier than I absolutely have to. That way I don't have near the mess to clean up when it is over.
Agreed. Some approach a situation thinking about what they don't have.
Others (like me) approach a situation thinking "what do I need to do).

K.I.S.S. is the rule of the day for me. I never understood people who
overthink things and do nothing but complicate the situation.
Or like my father taught me while working with him;
"You don't need your hands to talk!"
(when I'd stop working to talk)

There's a lot of wisdom in that statement.
 

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I did that for real (went days without food while still having to function).
There is no better teaching than experience.
And its tough ! I just got here from Texas. The cool crisp mountain air was freezing to me. We have a fire ban so it was me and the dog in the Pancho liner. Sure, skills are important, but endurance and tolerance to pain is a must in my opinion as well.
 

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Well, one of the most over-used phrases I hear from "survivalists" is that of "I'd be able to do just fine if my plane crashed and I was stranded in the middle of the woods." Survivalist cliche by now. I do believe though, that in the case of a catastrophic event with prolonged consequences, most people that are not elderly or sick would be able to survive. And remember, in those situations the people aren't going to be out in the woods. So I guess it's just what you want to be prepared for. I use it with the idea that I'm exercising my critical thinking, which will help prepare me for anything.

Oh, and if your plane crashes up here in Alaska, you might not make it. But at the same time, there are homeless people in Fairbanks that survive in makeshift camps two miles out of town in -50 degree weather who barely do any planning...
 

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Well, one of the most over-used phrases I hear from "survivalists" is that of "I'd be able to do just fine if my plane crashed and I was stranded in the middle of the woods." Survivalist cliche by now. I do believe though, that in the case of a catastrophic event with prolonged consequences, most people that are not elderly or sick would be able to survive. And remember, in those situations the people aren't going to be out in the woods. So I guess it's just what you want to be prepared for. I use it with the idea that I'm exercising my critical thinking, which will help prepare me for anything.

Oh, and if your plane crashes up here in Alaska, you might not make it. But at the same time, there are homeless people in Fairbanks that survive in makeshift camps two miles out of town in -50 degree weather who barely do any planning...
And you did not just hit the nail on the head, you whacked it with a sledge hammer ! Critical thinking, and being able to continue to think critically is the key. You can buy that, and all the skills on TV or in books are squat with out it.
 

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Survival is such a vague term, self sefficient is probably a better term. I've only recently stumbled into this, well lifestyle you could say. I've read things, watched videos for years, its just taken me a long time to get some practical experience which is what I'm starting to do now.

I mean what good are videos and knowledge if you can't put ANY of it into practise in an actual critical situation. Faith without works is dead.

Theres a few things that I havn't done that I would like to which is hunting/trapping animals and cleaning/prepping game for food, which is fairly important in the grand scheme of things, all in due time though.

Self sufficiency, well its just a good feeling knowing you can not only provide for yourself, but for your family with very little help from anything other then what nature provides.

It was mentioned by SR69 about mindset, I 150% agree... When your will to go the whole 9 yards thats what its about, no ifs no buts, get down to it, get it done! I've read an article about a guy that was stranded at sea, at nothing but turtle blood, rain water and fish for 3 months, he lost 40 pounds, but he is around to talk about it isn't he?

I also agree with pastornator, test your gear in EVERY adverse condition, if it starts raining or gets really windy go try start a fire, if it starts snowing go build a shelter, go filter water with nothing but grass and charcoal. Without any of this when it comes to crunch time unless you have that mindset, conditions will get the better of you without practise.

Ahh I've started rambling sorry bout that :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Its a good way to be, but for me, I have come to the conclusion that teaching my self, and my family to do with out some times is probably the best thing we could do. Im not saying give up, but that maybe being a bit cold and hungry is not horrible, but at times is just a fact of life. Hope that dont sound bad.
That makes you a better father/husband.

I'm not saying I'm superman; to the contrary.
I struggle with what I have to prioritize.
I'm 43 and I'm STILL maturing.

When I decided to start to focus more on self-reliance,
it's like flowing down a river then deciding to turn around
and walking against the current because everything almost in
normal life makes one depend on others (government, society, etc...).

Becoming self-reliant is literally bucking a trend.

We are conditioned in life to expect for everything to be there for us.
At least in America. My old man? Different outlook. He was all about
doing for yourself. He came to this country with a 3rd grade education,
flew all 10 of his brothers and sisters here, helped them get jobs, they
all went on to be independent and he went on to make himself a very
(without bragging) wealthy man [7 figures two times over] who STILL
would take a brown bag lunch to work and who didn't retire from his
job until he hit 65.
 
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Or can you function after going three days with out food ? Im not talking about moving, but can you keep your head clear enough to use that basket and pocket knife ? Over this last weekend I tried this. We hiked and camped, and attempted to trap food. We got nothing out of 15 to 20 traps in four days. We used snares and Arapuca Bird Trap's. In three of those four days we each consumed lots of water, one jolly rancher hard candy, and the drink mix from an MRE. Hunger is so foreign to most Americans that many would die from stupid accidents while trying to acquire food because they are not focused on their task, but how hungry they are.Seriously, try not eating from Friday after work until Monday morning. Its an extremely humbling experience.
Never thought of this surprisingly, will give it a go soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, one of the most over-used phrases I hear from "survivalists" is that of "I'd be able to do just fine if my plane crashed and I was stranded in the middle of the woods." Survivalist cliche by now. I do believe though, that in the case of a catastrophic event with prolonged consequences, most people that are not elderly or sick would be able to survive. And remember, in those situations the people aren't going to be out in the woods. So I guess it's just what you want to be prepared for. I use it with the idea that I'm exercising my critical thinking, which will help prepare me for anything.

Oh, and if your plane crashes up here in Alaska, you might not make it. But at the same time, there are homeless people in Fairbanks that survive in makeshift camps two miles out of town in -50 degree weather who barely do any planning...

Good points.

The man who thrives when they have everything at their beck & call
might collapse personally when all those luxuries are taken from him.
Meanwhile, the downtrodden who are used to struggle and to overcoming
difficulty and adversity suddenly become the top of the pecking order when
the polar shift of society happens. And the meek shall inherit the earth.
 

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Survival is such a vague term, self sefficient is probably a better term. I've only recently stumbled into this, well lifestyle you could say. I've read things, watched videos for years, its just taken me a long time to get some practical experience which is what I'm starting to do now.

I mean what good are videos and knowledge if you can't put ANY of it into practise in an actual critical situation. Faith without works is dead.

Theres a few things that I havn't done that I would like to which is hunting/trapping animals and cleaning/prepping game for food, which is fairly important in the grand scheme of things, all in due time though.

Self sufficiency, well its just a good feeling knowing you can not only provide for yourself, but for your family with very little help from anything other then what nature provides.

It was mentioned by SR69 about mindset, I 150% agree... When your will to go the whole 9 yards thats what its about, no ifs no buts, get down to it, get it done! I've read an article about a guy that was stranded at sea, at nothing but turtle blood, rain water and fish for 3 months, he lost 40 pounds, but he is around to talk about it isn't he?

I also agree with pastornator, test your gear in EVERY adverse condition, if it starts raining or gets really windy go try start a fire, if it starts snowing go build a shelter, go filter water with nothing but grass and charcoal. Without any of this when it comes to crunch time unless you have that mindset, conditions will get the better of you without practise.

Ahh I've started rambling sorry bout that :)
Tell you what, you can do all your training in your back yard. You can buy rabits and do them up. You can collect sticks and bring them home and make shelter. Make a live bird trap and eat whats in there. Ill warn you, magpies dont taste good and are not very filling.
 

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Tell you what, you can do all your training in your back yard. You can buy rabits and do them up. You can collect sticks and bring them home and make shelter. Make a live bird trap and eat whats in there. Ill warn you, magpies dont taste good and are not very filling.
Haha live in a pretty urban area at the moment, will be moving closer to bush very soon so thats when I'll start my training ;)
 

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There are SO many points of view,none of them are what I would call wrong or right,just different.
For myself,I just LIKE to get out & learn what could be called survival skills.
I enjoy it. I think it's fun.
I don't go out thinking I'm going to have to survive anything,I just like doing it.
Maybe I'm more of a wannabe bushcrafter than a wannabe survivalist but whatever you call it is fine by me.

There are so many possible scenarios that we can get in our heads that you come to realize that maybe you can't be ready to survive all of them.
So I personally just get out & do what I do,have a little fun while I'm at it & hopefully learn a thing or two that could help me out if I ever really NEEDED them.
But I try to remember that not everything is going to end up in a life or death situation.
Hope that makes some sense ;) .

Cliff
 
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