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Not really a survivalist ?

I don't feel as though I'm survivalist like most of you fine folk.
I am a search and rescue specialist in Canada.
But not in the conventional sense.
I prefer make most of my survival materials and use traditional shelters and just to be able to camp/survive disconnected for extended periods. Just completed a winter survival weekend were temps got to -34 degrees Celsius. found this board while looking for info about re-using tin cans for boiling water and if its safe to re-use them that way.
 

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I came by it pretty naturally. In my Boy Scout days I was taught about being prepared and I took it seriously. I also grew up reading Mel Tappan, Ragnar Benson, Brad Angier, and others. I never "made the decision" to be a prepper. I was kind of brought up in it.
 

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When I saw first hand how flawed the current system is in dealing with an Acute Emergency of any kind.
^^Couldn't have said it better

Also worked for A fire/EMS agency, supervisor in his office had a photo of him while working relief in Katrina. He had some stories. Also time spent in Middle East, working EMS and in the Emergency Room. Lotta unpredictability. Doesn't hurt to be prepared and learn a thing or two while you're at it.

Thats the short version anyways:upsidedown:
 

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For as long as I can remember, I have always brainstormed preps/tactics/supplies/groups, etc. I believe it was a combination of being raised by my grandparents on their farms (both sets of which made it through the Great Depression) and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books that shaped that thinking.
 

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I watched CNN! Decided I better to something fast! Seriously I have been toying around with teaching myself ways to survive for years! I like the old ways of doing things and like to challenge myself to learn to get by with what is available! Then I met and fell in love with one off your own and he is teaching me more!
 

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Knowledge is power.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Our Government is out of control, corruption and propaganda is too dense not to feel its all leading to something catastrophic eventually, at which point if given the option: would rather be safe than sorry.
 

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I started college in 2008 and remember watching the news on the recession with my friends during my first semester. Growing up, my family was never into preparedness but after seeing how quickly things went downhill, and being exposed to other viewpoints I started to realize how complex our modern world is, and that it really doesn't take much to throw things off balance.
 

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So, How didja become a Survivalist?
Got to say I am someone who is learning about survivalism, I tend to have many of the same interests as people who are survivalists, so while I don't readily identify as "a survivalist" "a prepper" etc.. I more or less have many of the same interests.

That said I think everyone is a survivalist deep down inside if they have the will to survive, it is just that some people have better skillsets to acheive that goal.

For myself I think it is important to stress OPSEC and KISS methodology - but I will digress to share a little about my most foundational experiences.

1. Like so many people who have family members within 3 generations who were involved in WWII or had military or emergency service employment and the very fact that the way my family grew up active with the land, whether having a garden, being hunters or working, in military and law enforcement activities - although I would definately not consider myself a BRAT by any stretch when I was young my first memories were in fact what I would call kiddie survival activities. One of my first memories is being taken out into the woods and taught to hug a tree if I ever got lost in the woods, or a memory of hiking across a swamp with my brother 7years senior - and the trauma of falling into the swamp and that drowning in swamp/bog was a traumatic experience that likely instilled a respect for nature and its power to give and take life.

I moved a lot as a kid so I was always encountering new experience most of my early childhood memories involve traumatic experience with nature like the time I walked home from the school bus over a giant, to me at the time, snow hill in a housing development crawling up the hill with bare hands, to get home with frost bite and that the danger of snow and the pain it could cause was etched into my brain. It is these experiences early in life with nature that taught me important vunerabilities in dealing with nature and that nature presented threats not just as ideas but as experiences etched into the mind.

I had a little more formal engagement with what I would consider the cornerstone of kiddie survival training or prepping and that was the scouting orgaization that instilled values perhaps as much or more than skills but defiantely both. Again I am no eagle scout but the scouts engaged me to learn about new things, things that could be practical skills, things that engaged me in the community and were a nexus to learn new things about the community.

Oddly my first self defence encounter was a "bad boy" kid who wanted to show me his karate punch, I still remember the arm twist bunch from palm up to palm down, his butter and sugar sandwiches, and he was a real clandestine character, not sure what happened to him but I guess he straightened himself out, but he was such a bad boy for that age, I won't go into details as the statute of limitations may not apply to certain acts in certain jurisidicitons. In fact my older brother was a pretty bad kid to. In my heart I was a real angel though but always had bad influences teaching and showing me how to do things more cladestine and jolly rogerish how to get into secure places how to use conceilment, hiding contraband, and how to manipulate people to gain advantage over them to accomplish goals.
Was never really in my heart. Bear in mind I am a child of the cold war so I grew up at a point that world ending destruction was broadcast on the TV, I was someone who tuned into the chernobyl meltdown on the news, I was someone who got to see shock and awe that brought ideas of the war closer to home.

I think though oddly enough my major hobby as a kid growing up sort of contributed to the idea of building a base of knowledge and looking beyond what you already know and that was ROLE PLAYING. D&D, and a host of other role playing games partcularly. It engaged my mind in trying to see things abou tthe past, reading encyclopedias to learn things about history, the middle ages etc.. that would later probably be a major lead into me ending up a Hons. BA in History including a bit of study of prehistory, ancient history to neoclassical period and beyond, as well as me studying more about culture and anthropology in general. In fact it was my university studies, and now my college program studies that taught me so many more skills. But role playing was great even if not totally accurate it had you think about combat situations, tactical thinking, devising problem solving strategies etc.. Speaking of which again I was in a program in highschool that was centered around the problem solving method and applying process to find solutions to problems, any problem.

Now the practical stuff came about and I am not 100% sure how it came about, but it must have been closer to 2008 when I purchased a property in the middle of nowhere by my standards at the time. I took time off and spent time hiking learning about foraging a bit more actually learning about trees, learning to live off grid, set up my own solar system, learn to harvest water from nature, live with out electricity or running water or heat. I sort of eased myself into that. I think it was from there, living in the woods/swamp through part of my senior university years, living the vagrant lifestyle for social history studies, doing security work for field anthropology studies, etc.. learning about arctic survival for arctic anthropoloyg and history courses.

I could go on and on but its mostly the things I studied, that prepared me for what I consider survivalist activities.

I have to add though that my older brother was probably a bit of an indirect influence on those things, he was someone who also grew up more involved, my dad was still in the navy when he was a kid, he was in the cadets program, he has the military books, tom clancy and SAS survival guide but he was also one of the people who taught me how to use clandestine skills and ask such to sneak into his room and read his books presumably without him knowing. He had very basic military police training so I think in his mind he was always about going beyond the law to get the bad guys or atleast acehive the mission as best as possible in the circumstances. You know I was there flipping through the SAS survival guide and other survival guides, I was a real book person as a kid, with minimal real world experience.

It was when I was actually able to apply those skills in moving up north that everything came together more. I won't mention all the different training things i did that would be useful for survivalism or prepping but it was program here program there, summer in the woods here, summer in the woods there over a handful of years. My HAM hobby developed around this time, I did some more electrical engineering training, trades training, it all sort of feeds into itself.

I am still someone learning about survivalism there is apoint when you think you are learning to survive and then there is a point that you realize that you are maybe buying yourself some time in some situations. IMO I think survivalism eventually leads to homesteading, and homesteading leads to real BOL prepping.
I think a lot of people who are just starting out are the disaster preppers they start out thinking they need to plan for 2 days without services -- -to me that is a long nap. Some people then go to 72 hours, a week, or two weeks. I think that is a bag of rice. I think when you hit the one month mark you are starting to actually start to plan for situations. When you are trying to do meal budgets based on how much you think you can get from the woods via forage, vs supplementing stapple crop, how much you can cut your flour with fillers, etc.. that is when it starts to get more frugal and interesting.

Bread and butter though

person who advocates or practices survivalism - by this definition when I was 5 or 6 in a laughable first taste context.


especially : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.
I don't think society needs to breakdown to learn to survive without it but I also don't think it is "anarchy" I think it is organized chaos--- it is class warfare, have's and have nots, people with life skils, people with street skills, people with farm knowledge, people with technical knolwedge, it is specialized society, economic systems etc.. sort of complex but not really. I think learning survivalism is mostly just going back to basics, its not easy, it takes a lot of lifeskills to survive and gather enough food to survive without domestication in most areas. The complexity is added if you need to have land, plant enough mast trees, fruit trees and cultivars and you can live in your own permacultured garden of eden that not complex but it is the fact you need to get the land and develop the land over 5 or 10 or 20 years to get to that point. Living a legal lifestyle and living off the land can be made at odds with one another. This is why for so many survivalism becomes a hobby rather than a lifestyle because people still have to pay the bills to stay law abiding, people live to buy new toys, so its always going to be a hobby that flows out of some other stream of income that is their make do.

For myself I have my prepper kit, the basic camping/bushcraft kit, little tidbits I picked up over the years gear that has survive years of use, things I've wanted to experiement with for example my latest "prepper buy" was a drywall knife to see how it would cut wood..

all that said, still learing. still see it as a hobby, but still feeling as though I have a better sense of reality than some others. demoscoles sword, you know I technically still have places that are sort of remote to go to, I still sort of technically have vehicles to bug out with, if I thought that were actually possible, I don't anymore for most situations I think a bugout would be needed. I don't necesarily think bugging out is even the way to go anymore for 90% of situations as it is more or less a last resort if resources are avaialble in an urban area. There are way more considerations now though. I havn't stopped being someone interested in survivalsim but I do think now the most is gained from it in activities and actually being out there and doing things rather than learning about it, you got to go out and do it. You are a survivalist when you are living off the land, you are a hobbiest when you know how to do that.

You know I can't say much more than put your kids in scouts(whatever still exists related to wilderness and community activities, active lifestyles etc..) cadets, search and rescue JROTC, 4H etc... there are lots of beneficial community oriented organizations that instill good values and lifeskills. I think it is those sorts of influences that probably directly and indirectly contributed to my developmen early in life, and that my post secondary studies and training programs, and self training developed things more so in my most adolescent young adult years. Overall though I think being broke taught me to live with what was available and find ways to get stuff from nature to live off of and with. That is it right there though if you are broke, you can't buy your survival you got to find it.

It is when you realize there is a point when cashmoney willnot buy your survival that you need to start aquiring the skills and equipment to survive without cashmoney.

The prepping aspect comes into play when you start analysing and planning for various scenarios that challenge you going from bad to worse.
 

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I grew up poor in the Appalachians. We were survivalists and preppers before it was cool, and well before I even knew what a "prepper" was. If we didnt grow a garden and raise animals, we didn't eat. If we didn't can and store food, we would have starved in the winter. I didn't even realize that, guns, gardens, pressure cookers and can houses weren't permanent fixtures in everyone's home until I joined the Army.

These days, I retain the skills, but I'm far more aware of just how much can go wrong for society and how badly it can go. My preparedness has extended beyond simply lasting through winter, and is a little more tailored to some various

I
 

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I knew that I was a survivalist when I became an EMT 11 yrs ago. My career showed me things that most would fall victim to. I have learned to survive every day even with the EMS life always knocking on my door.

I was also raised in camping and being outdoors. I was always eager to learn how to start a fire without matches/lighter, how to find food or shelter even with little to no supplies. I still love to find ways to be self sufficient and try to be a survivor when others would likely not be able to conquer a struggle.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Seemslike I have always had this interest

I have always had an interest in one form or another of survival ism. The blizzard of 93 really drove it home for me. My interest and situation are ever evolving and changing.

I am borrowing from another poster with thanks to Per Ardua who said it very well.

"What is a survivalist?

Is it someone who can survive a hurricane? Or the person who knows how to live off the land ? What must one plan for to be considered a survivalist? Must one even plan or can ones raw personality make them a survivalist?

What is a survivalist?

I think everyone is a survivalist to some degree and that our level of survival ism is not measured on a single spectrum but rather a whole group of spectrum s. I have always been a survivalist, the degree of my survival ism is ever evolving and will be until the day I die. I think this is true for anyone who hasn't given up, stopped and said "this is where I die and I don't care anymore.".
 

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I grew up on a farm and we were fairly poor at the time. We prepped and stored most of our food for the cold Canadian winters as well as farmed and hunted our own meat. Once i moved out on my own it didn't take me long to realize that most people have no clue how to support themselves.

I have spent many, many hundreds of days and nights in the bush, often solo, and still love to get out when i get a chance. Now that i have a family to tend to i don't get out as much as i might like but i still find a chance every now and then to keep my skills tuned up.
 

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From the time I was 7 and spending all day in the woods with a BB gun or a fishing pole in NW North Carolina I believe I have been a survivalist. Sometimes roasting small book trout over a fire like hot dogs to, ahem, borrowing an ear or two of sweet corn from an unknown farmer across the ridge. Crab apples and raw sweet corn aren't bad if you are hungry. My dad found out from a cousin that I did that and it came to an abrupt halt when I was about 12. At about 30 years old I was fully aware of what a great country we have and what a sorry bunch we had running it. That hasn't changed which led to preparing. I have been preparing for many decades now. I will never be as prepared as I want to be but know that Jesus is my true protection. I feel good about that. Oh, and every chance I get I go fly fishing or squirrel hunting. Great preparation for anything.
 

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Having grown up in Florida for most of my life I’ve become accustomed to hurricanes. Having gone thru a few bad ones being without power/utilities for a few weeks it makes you aware how important it is to have certain things on hand for emergencies.
 
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