What Would You Do?
You and your family must leave your home immediately, what essentials should be in your bug out bag (BOB)? What are essential protocols to successfully bug out? During a without rule of law (WROL) scenario you have opted to bug in; how do you proof your home to increase the safety of your family and possessions? Get these answers and more in Chapter 2 EDCs, BOBs, Bug Out/In, & WROL
What are the initial signs of hypothermia? What can you do to avoid falling victim to it? How do you quickly create a shelter that will protect you from the elements? What everyday household items can be substituted during a 1st aid emergency? If you have an infection but no antibiotics or alcohol, what common foods and plants can you use as antibiotics and antiseptics? Someone in your family is desperate for pharmaceutical grade antibiotics but you can’t access a doctor or pharmacy, learn how to access antibiotics legally without a prescription and the answers to all these questions in Chapter 3, Earth Suit Maintenance.
You need to start a fire; do you know the different components that are needed and how to use them? Don’t have a lighter or matches, learn how to start a fire in multiple ways: solar, electrical, chemical, friction and percussion. If your sticks and wood are damp, what common items can you us to accelerate starting and keeping a fire? Learn these answers and more in Chapter 4 Fire.
Lost in the woods, drank all the water in your pack but found a creek, how do you turn that into safe drinking water? Stranded in an arid environment or on a deserted island with nothing but ocean water, do you create a solar still, catchment device or distillation system for saltwater and how do you do that? Learn which purification method, whether it be chemical, filtration or distillation, is best for your situation and how to execute in Chapter 5 Water.
All hell has broken loose, what tools do you need to take care of yourself? The answers might surprise you. If you don’t have the essential tools, learn ways to improvise and create them from items in your environment. What is the best one tool option? What is the best survival knife? Want to know how to open a can without a can opener? How about how to make a sling shot with a condom and stick? How many ways can you use a hat to increase your survivability? Everyday tools that can help you survive are all around you, tips on how to spot and use them can be found in Chapter 6 Tools.
Society is changing and for many of us, it feels less predictable and potentially dangerous. If you are considering buying a firearm for personal protection or hunting, learn what type of firearm is best for your purposes. Learn what platforms are and how can they benefit you. All the basics needed are reviewed in Chapter 7 Firearms & Improvised Weapons so you can make an informed and comfortable firearm decision. In addition, discover tricks to create self-protection and hunting weapons that don’t involve guns.
No phone, no compass, no problem. Learn how to navigate directions day or night without modern technology in Chapter 8 Navigation and Signaling. If you’re traveling roads and interstates in the US, learn how the road numbering system conveys vital directional information. Need to be rescued? Multiple ways to signal for help are relayed in this chapter.
Chapter 9 Traps explains through illustrations and directions how to set up and catch small to large game, including fish and birds. Only have shoelaces or a strip of cloth from your shirt, learn how to set up multiple no-knife traps configurations. Need to catch and dispatch medium to large game for a protein source? If you have wire and a knife, you can create an effective snare trap on any game trail. Near a creek, river or on the coast, set up this passive, re-usable fish trap once and reap the benefits over and over. Want to catch a live bird? This dead-fall live trap will do the trick.
SHTF: Shit Hit the Fan; implies an incident or event has happened to compromise our ability to obtain goods, services and emergency response necessary to maintain life as we had known it. This is considered an extreme social crisis scenario.
WROL: Without Rule of Law. A situation where emergency response services such as medical, fire and specifically law enforcement are not responding and probably won’t for an extended period of time. This could be large scale rioting and civil unrest, an environmental or weather incident or outright societal system failure such as war - yes, war, it’s been known to happen. Be armed and know how to protect yourself. If the police have stopped responding you are completely responsible for your own safety.
EDC: Every Day Carry. A bag or items you keep on your person,. It is a preplanned bag you keep with or near you at all times. The contents of your EDC should be regionally appropriate and easy for you to use. At the very least it should contain a cutting tool (knife), multi-tool (with saw, plyers, can opener, file, etc.) fire starter (lighter or ferro rod) flashlight, water, seasonal appropriate clothing and shoes, and any medications and eyeglasses you may absolutely need.
BOB: Bail Out Bag or Bug Out Bag. A bag filled with enough food and gear to sustain you for about 72 hours.
LNT: Leave No Trace, meaning literally, leave no trace of your presence. LNT is a respect for your environment and the people and animals that will use it after you. It’s common courtesy in parks and recreational areas. You are asked to pack out whatever you packed in, taking all your trash and even excrement with you when you leave. Reverse the concept of LNT and you will be leaving a trail of trash and other items behind you that may help you get located quicker if you are lost and wanting to be rescued.
RULES OF SURVIVAL
Survival is a game of percentages. Every skill that you learn is a percentage of improving your survivability. The more you know, the less you need to carry, the better chance of your survival. Most people live in denial about life’s fragility and are unaware of how to provide for their most basic of needs outside of the current system. The most adaptable survive.
Everyone’s survival situation will be different and the needs for each situation will vary. YOUR emergency happens where YOU are. A survival scenario can evolve quickly out of a simple roadside incident, inclement weather or power outages; common outdoor recreational activities can quickly lead the unprepared into emergency survival circumstances. Long term issues stemming from natural disasters, war, economic, political or infrastructure collapse coupled with emergency response service failure will raise a whole host of concerns. Our infrastructure is wholly dependent on electricity and gasoline; and we, as a society and individuals, are wholly dependent on that infrastructure. Electricity runs our lives, it has created amazing ease and allowed us to evolve, yet the importance of not being solely dependent could never be more immediate. Consider your everyday life and how you provide for your basic needs. We buy food from the store, we drink water from a pressurized tap, we flush the toilet for sanitation, we adjust the thermostat to keep ourselves warm and cool, all our needs are met by the push of a button. This is a new chapter in the story of human existence, we expect everything to keep being as it is. The reality is without our infrastructure, we will return to the wild, wild West in a heartbeat.
The infrastructure has created a bubble around each of us that protects us and provides for our needs. What if the bubble breaks? We will be left vulnerable and without proper supplies to care for ourselves. Common sense dictates we be prepared for short and long-term emergency and survival scenarios. Generations preceding us, as little as a hundred years ago, knew how to provide for their basic needs with their own hands. Back then, most people were entirely consumed on a daily basis with procuring for their basic needs.
There are some general rules to survival that everyone should keep in mind. When it comes to survival and efficiency, redundancy is key. 3 is
2, 2 is 1, 1 is none. Carry multiples of each essential survival item, such
as knives, containers, fire starters, cordage, cover, etc. Items can break when subjected to harsh use, become lost or you may need to loan one out to a partner.
The basic guidelines for staying alive are:
RULE OF 3’S
Do not allow your body to go:
· 3 minutes without air
· 3 days without water
· 3 weeks without food
Death by exposure in freezing temperatures can happen in as little 3 minutes, your body temperature must stay extremely close to 98.6o F. Taking your body near the Rule of 3’s limits will impair your ability to function, think and ultimately take care of yourself. If you exceed these time frames, you have diminished your strength and severely harmed your ability to get the water, shelter and food you will so desperately need in the coming hours, days and possibly weeks. It is a slippery slope when your physical and mental conditions are compromised in a survival scenario. Staying ahead of this curve is of paramount importance.
The Foxfire Series of 12 books and 2 anniversary editions is chocked full of historical no-nonsense Appalachian American know-how: simple yet efficient methods to living sustainably with the land. The Appalachian culture is closely linked to ancestral roots of the Medieval period in Europe from the 5th to 15th. These methods are time tested. And really, unless your bug out location is rigged with solar, wind or waterpower, be prepared for your lifestyle to be thrown back to the 19th century.
No one is an island. We are social creatures. Our primitive ancestors were individuals living in societies. They didn’t just wake up and find themselves born with all the knowledge one needs to survive. They were taught by their elders. Houses, food, tools, knowledge of seasonal harvesting and game migration routes were available and passed down. It was essential that each member learn their skills and participate as a community. What we would call “solo survival” today was called “banishment” then. Even if you are one of the few people who “solos” it, you didn’t show up naked and build everything you have from scratch. Today we have become very specific in our knowledge of skills. True long term, self-reliance is a community built strong by the knowledge and skills of its members. If the grid really does go down and stay down for any length of time, prepare to be an asset to a tribe/clan/community. That is what it will take if you want to survive those changes. Understand that you will need people as much as they will need you. Skills that will be highly useful in a long-term scenario are fire making, sewing, blacksmithing, construction trades, engineering, 1st Aid and medicine, herbal medicine, wild foods, gardening, food preparation and preservation, hunting, sanitation practices and weaponry skills.
It may be difficult comprehending that “safety is an illusion”. Truly understanding that phrase creates uncertainty and fear (referring to Helen Keller’s poem). Humans by nature do not like uncertainty. Fear is healthy and an indicator to be aware and alert of ourselves and our environment. Unrestrained, fear can keep us in denial and leave us feeling powerless and possibly immobile. It is important to acknowledging that we live in a world full of contradictions to our
safety. From that point we can begin to reduce the probabilities of danger through survival skills.
Having basic items, skills and knowledge are essential to effectively maintaining you, your loved ones and our collective society’s wellbeing. This skill set gives you comfort, confidence and self-assuredness. Should we encounter a “grid down” event without emergency responders, the more of us that know these skills the less traumatic the impact of that event will be.
This is not an inclusive be all, end all, book on survival and all its related interests and fields. If one exists, we are not aware of it. The scope of such a book would cover an enormous volume of information. Just considering the differences in climate, geography, flora and fauna that exist globally and it’s easy to see why no one has attempted to compile such an extensive work of this sort. Survival techniques and knowledge vary as much as climate and geography, from desserts to mountains, from the tropics to the arctic.
Compiled here are most of the survival tips and tricks we learned and used. These tips are meant to help increase your efficiency and survivability. Most of the techniques described in this book will work just about anywhere, but not absolutely everywhere. If you are looking for a survival 101 guide, obtain one for the type of region(s) you will be spending most of you time in. We strongly recommend hands-on field training from a reputable source, especially when it comes to wild edibles. These tips, tricks and traps are our field-tested favorites. It is our hope that those who read this book whether a beginner survival student or a seasoned expert will discover new, valuable, energy-conserving survival tactics.
This book touches on topics that volumes have been written on and serves as an introduction to new topics under the “survival” umbrella. The topic of survival can spin off into short and long-term emergency preparedness, primitive skills, hunting, security, sustainable living practices, homesteading, environmental consciousness, 1st aid and emergency medical treatments, trapping, shelter making, tool making and yes, even basket weaving. We encourage everyone to explore any survival topic that interests them, the more we all know, the more we will all be sustained.