Survival: What it’s really like

The Pioneer Bug Out Bag

Survival: What it’s really like

 Franke Schein – April 28th, 2010

No matter what you’ve ever heard, or that you’ve ever read—survival out in the bush is a bitch!

 Many of my friends that claim to be survivalist have never really tested themselves. What they have done is spend a boatload of money on gear and supplies thinking that’s all they will need to make it through any adverse situation.

 Uh-Huh—sure thing Budro….

 The reality is that having gear does not make a survivalist. Anybody can buy gear, but true survivalism represents far more than acquiring a Bug Out Bag—it encompasses a wide range of primitive survival skills, tactical knowledge and experience, as well as having actually taken the time to hone those skills to perfection.

 One of the most basic skills that a survivalist can learn is the art of making fire when there are no matches. It’s not just good enough to read a book and know how to do it—you must be comfortable at constructing a “Fire Bow”, and building a fire from scratch. Fire is the most critical aspect of primitive survival skills. Without a fire, you are basically left out in the cold, and trying to fill your belly with grubs, snails, and berries. That’s not a good deal unless it’s forced on you.

 In my personal opinion the following skills are paramount to a survivalist:

 Primitive Fire Making

Shelter Construction

Primitive Water Purification

Small Game Traps & Snares

Animal and Human Tracking

Weather Prediction

Edible Plant Recognition

Smoking & Curing Wild Game

Primitive Herbal Remedies & Methods

Primitive Weapons & Tools Manufacturing

 These are the skills that will get you through any situation, even those situations that leave you without so much as a knife. That to me is the ultimate survival scenario. It’s one thing to get lost out in the woods, it’s a totally other situation when you have to escape and evade, or the situation is forced upon you by outside influences.

 So what’s it really like out there?

 It rains when you least want it to, or least expect it…

The going uphill is rougher than you ever thought…

The mosquitoes have quadrupled in size and appetite…

You can’t find the wild edible plants because its late in the season…

That cute little waterproof match case wasn’t really waterproof after all…

The batteries in your GPS corroded in the rain and stopped working altogether…

That expensive Cabella’s Rain suit just started leaking because your tore another hole in the shoulder…

Those Power bars and Beef Jerky just didn’t fill you up like you first thought they would…

Your rifle and pistol are covered in dirt and rust…

Your didn’t pack enough toilet paper, and now you’re wondering which expensive pants to cut up…

The fire won’t stay lit because it’s raining really hard…

Smoke won’t keep the bugs away from you while you’re eating…

You spent $350.00 on a decent pair of boots—but both of your heels have formed painful blisters…

That small cut on your right hand is starting to get infected—and you are worried about it…

You wake up in the morning to frost on the ground-and your sleeping bag is a summer bag…

It starts snowing in the middle of the night, and your high up in the mountains with no snowshoes…

You’ve just ran out of food because a 1000-Lb Grizzly Bear took it from you…

You’ve been spotted by four heavily armed survivalist—your pack weighs 50 Lbs-you can’t run…

You cross a bridge and get ambushed on the other side…

A tornado rips through the area that you’ve set up camp in…

That stream you want to cross is full of poisonous snakes and the water is brown…

There’s a massive forest wind being fueled by the wind and its heading your way…

 I can tell you from experience that things out in the bush country are rarely what you expect them to be. There’s always something that goes wrong, breaks, gets wet, falls from your pack, or stops working altogether. It’s called “Murphy’s law” and Murphy is a evil bastard that preys on the unsuspecting survivalist.

 I tried to keep warm in sleeping bags that were soaked because that “waterproof” cover wasn’t really waterproof—it was “Water resistant”.

 I’ve bought disposable lighters for my pack that didn’t work when I needed to make a fire and was counting on them.

 Boots that are supposed to be the very best become worthless when I’ve snagged and broken the boot laces. You quickly learn to keep extra laces in the pack.

 Batteries have failed when I needed them the most, as have countless so called “survival gear” that I was hoping would fill a void.

 All in all; I had to learn these lesson the hard way. It’s never been easy for me, as all of my “survival quests” that I have undertaken have been in very remote primitive settings such as the high snow capped mounts, the arid hot desert, and the steaming southern jungles.

 Each of these environments have taught me that technology is great—but it very well might leave you empty handed when you least expect it. It’s always better to learn basic primitive survival skills first. It also taught me that in order to survive, you must constantly test yourself in the most extreme conditions that are available to you.

 Sometimes it easy to fantasize about what you will do in a given survival situation. But let me tell you from personal experience that it’s rare for things to happen like we think they will. What is required is that you spend a lot of time in the most remote, the most inhospitable places that you can find—and start learning primitive skills before you will actually need them to save your life.

 One of the ways that I used, was to wait for the absolutely worse weather to hit the area—the kind that has all the news stations going nuts, and the weather alert scanner running non-stop. That’s when I would head out in the woods with minimal gear and hunker down in the bushes. You’d be surprised that the things flowing through your mind when faced with a severe winter storm, or a tornado that has touched down, or a severe drought—when you are near helpless during these events.

 The things about survivalism is this: with all of the preparations that you undertake, are you giving enough time and effort to the fact that you might not be alone out there. What I mean is the simple fact that you will probably have your spouse and kids tagging along. That changes the entire perspective of both the Bug out bag, and your approach to survival when TSHTF.

 While my children were very young—4-6 years old, I took each of them out into the woods during rainstorms, winter storms, and whatever mother nature threw at us. Each of my kids was taught that being wet and cold is miserable—but it’s survivable too. They were taught how to purify water with just wood ashes, sand, and pebbles, as well as how to build small animal snares to catch dinner.

 It paid off tremendously so far, as my kids now teach other kids basic survival skills, firearms, escape and evasion, and sometimes mixed martial arts. Skills that might one day prove useful to each of them, but let’s hope that they never have to use those skills in the first place.

 Learn some primitive skills—get beyond the rush to fill your pack with gear. In the long run it will benefit you and those around you.

For further reading and to watch some brand new videos related to this post: CLICK HERE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s