Too many times we think of survival as; an accident or unfortunate event has happened, now we’ve gotta make it through. So what’s wrong with that kind of thinking? Or is there anything wrong with it?
I think it has more to do with the attitude than the process. If we do nothing to prepare for the unexpected, the unexpected will certainly catch us unprepared to deal with it.
We’ve all experienced “Murphy’s Law” in our lives, it preys unmercifully on those who are not ready. It quickly makes a tragedy out of a hardship.
I tend to take issue with those who view survival and preparedness as static issues, something where we can do x and y and we are eternally ready. That is just not at all the case. We become complacent when we gather together a few things, read a book or two, dabble with a few things and then declare I am now ready, no need to think anymore about it.
Both survival and preparedness properly done demand constant updates , consistent practice, and regular evaluation. It’s like the saying goes about luck, the harder a person works at something the “luckier” he becomes. If I were to venture into the vast unknown with nothing but my shirt and jeans then fall into a bad way, I may well survive, but the amount of work and struggle could be enormous. If, however, I take with me a kit, like our Off Road Survival kit, my time may be tough, but I would be capable dealing with it much easier, so we see where the puzzle piece of “preparedness” fits.
Being prepared is the oxygen that keeps survival alive.
An example of what I mean by saying preparedness is an ongoing project follows. Tonight I was repacking things from a snowshoe hike over the weekend. I checked the mantles on lanterns, I fully fueled the white gas stoves and lanterns, I organized my food in my pack. Now having all that done, I am ready at a moments notice to go.
I try to integrate the survival mentality into all I do. Whenever I am “out in the sticks” I like to practice something, or try out some item from my pack or survival kit. This practice not only hones my skills, but lets me know that perhaps some item I was counting on is not sufficient, allowing me to upgrade before I’m caught in a situation.
I use my First Aid kit items, I use my FireStarter Kit, I use my Swiss Army Knife, my 550 parachute cord, my whistle. A survival kit in todays world is looked at as something you buy and stash away, waiting for “the big crash” this is a tragic mistake, use it, then replace things as you use them up.
One thing I love to watch is the old Warren Miller skiing movies of guys skiing unbelievable powder snow in exotic locations, they just flow down the mountain as easy as can be, it’s beautiful to watch. Now if I tried that, it would not look so graceful, I haven’t trained nor had the experience to do it like they do. The same is true with your survival kit, and your survival abilities. If the “big situation” happens to you, would you like to gracefully and confidently take care of all that needs to be done? If so practice, use what you have.
Till next time – Perry Peacock