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Prepare Yourself

1306 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  AnvilIron
I get concerned that too many people are becoming reliant on equipment, books, videos, food caches and virtual communities to establish and measure their level of preparedness. They may largely embrace academic knowledge rather than experiential knowledge. They may subscribe to plans that they don't have the competency, foresight or true proficiency to carry out. They don't test and become intimately familiar with the tools and equipment they've acquired.

The basis for survival is self-reliance. That takes experience, practice and a mastery of situations and solutions. I think there are those that substitute thing-reliance and plans for self-reliance and doing. From my perspective that's very dangerous. I would encourage everyone to put equal focus on actual experience (not reading a book, watching a video, or buying stuff).

I'd like to hear more about people's experiences… developing on knowledge, honing skills, using their equipment.

Summer is coming. I encourage you to get out and use your gear. Sleep through a rainy night under a tarp or tent (even if just on your patio). Get a fire started and cook a meal. Prepare yourself, not just your BOB or your pantry. I'll be doing the same and sharing what I learn.

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Excellent post! I'm doing well in the acquiring stage, but once I am moved to the new place, my focus will be shifting to doing just that and practicing what is in my head. There is a lot to be said for trial and error before you need to use something. For example, I haven't shot regularly in probably 15 years. I plan to spend a lot of time honing up on those skills. Over the past year and a half, exercise has not been a priority. I can tell the difference. These are the main areas I plan to focus on next.
sadly, I am not in a position to just go and camp out for a night or two.. However, I do have camping experience.. I am not afraid to bait a hook, hunt and skin my own food, and I know how to shoot and hit my target. Being a mother for just over 18 years and renewed twice during ... a mothers protection instincts kick in when there is a threat, and Ive experienced this as well. I use online to help me "not forget" to add something I might need. I tend to make sure everyone has what they need, however, Ill always come up short on my end.. being prepared for everyone including myself is important.

I also like to watch videos to help find ways to do things in an easier and more convenient way etc.. :) making belts and bracelets out of paracord for the family, making pot cozies or cozies to help rehydrate food... learning how to dehydrate certain foods.. what foods you CAN dehydrate.. etc.

I agree, that if you have never experienced things like camping out, or hunting/fishing for your own food.. you should at least once.. :)
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Very good post. I thought I was prepared for this years tornado season, but as I found out, I was terrible in a real life situation. Sorta "lost my head" mainly because everyone was looking at me for advice on what to do. I have learned from that mistake. It sorta goes when I was working in the hospital and someone "coded", I would run up 12 flights of stairs to the patients room, jump in there, knocking over stuff in the crash cart, knowing that I had to get up there grab the laryngoscope, intubate, ambu, then switch with chest compressions. With all of that on my mind, I freaked out and went into my sympathmemetic mode and was thinking of only what books told me to do. I learned the hard way when a older doctor pulled me aside during all of this and said "calm down son...".

Today I went fishing in my pond. I haven't been in a few years. First cast, pulled out a bluegil. I told myself, "this is what I learned a long time ago and will feed me for a day". Experience is king!
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I didn’t live through the great depression or the second world war, but as a boy in the 50’s the rural farmers I worked for and who were my role models (including my father) did. They conducted their lives with an awareness of, if not an insistence on, essential values. They understood the nature of bleak realities and subscribed to a critical definition of what was inherently true. They regarded relating secondhand experiences or hearsay information as disingenuous and an indication of poor character. If you hadn’t done something yourself, then you had no business discussing it or implying that you knew anything about it… perhaps a narrow perspective, but one aligned with their reality.

For me, that perspective has colored the terms of my own self assessment and what I consider to be true knowledge and ability. In short, if I haven’t done it, I don’t know it. I understand that not everyone can avail themselves to develop the range of skills that relate to the many facets of emergency preparation. There’s no doubt that secondhand information is much better than no information. My concern is for those people who accept secondhand information on par with firsthand experience and assess their level of preparedness well beyond their reality.

Dreams: It sounds like you do quite a bit to reinforce the instructional information you take in with the experience of doing. I watch my wife selflessly tending to everyone else’s needs and addressing her own last… usually when she’s exhausted. We’ve had numerous discussions about taking care of herself first, but that’s just not the way she’s wired. There are times when instincts trump experience and if any human beings have a deep resource of instinctual behaviors, it’s mothers.

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AnvilIron said:
Dreams: It sounds like you do quite a bit to reinforce the instructional information you take in with the experience of doing. I watch my wife selflessly tending to everyone else's needs and addressing her own last… usually when she's exhausted. We've had numerous discussions about taking care of herself first, but that's just not the way she's wired. There are times when instincts trump experience and if any human beings have a deep resource of instinctual behaviors, it's mothers.

She and I sound alike.. lol.. we go to a theme park....Ive got every type of medication and first aid in my bag to take care of my husband and my two girls (only 2 at the time). upset stomach, toilet issues, head ache, heart burn.. etc.... however, I get a head ache and what I take, I left home.. LOL.. My hair, my cloths, .. all get done last.. even my food... thats if I get to eat.. normally by the time I get everyone else their food, the baby is crying and I have to feed him... yup, exhaustion sounds about right. I watch the videos and read while hes eating or Im putting him to sleep.. Oh well.. its how it is.. :p Honestly, I dont think I would have it any other way.
Great post and great advice AnvilIron. While I regularly shoot and clean my firearms, hell I can tear all of them down and put them back together blindfolded, it has been years since I have slept out under the stars and this is something that I will do for several nights this month. I will also use this time to learn out to use all of the survival gear that I have so painstakingly gathered up and maybe make a few smores!! :mrgreen:
Great advice Anviliron! We do regularly check our equipment and test anything new that we buy. Like C5GUY said, I haven't slept on the ground for years. Maybe we need to plan a "roughing it" camping trip this summer.
There’s a certain confidence and maybe a little calm that reinforces your efforts and progress when you challenge yourself personally and succeed. It helps us see ourselves as a resource for survival and not just the things we acquire or the plans we make.

Acquisitions and plans can get swept away in heart beat. If we develop and cultivate a sense of ourselves and our own competencies, then we may not be as shaken or suddenly adrift when chaos comes calling. A day of fasting, a less than comfortable night outdoors or a bit of rough terrain navigated lets us sample the more raw side of life, lets us peek over the edge of the abyss and see what stares back.

When our son was in Marine Corps boot camp and we finally got to his graduation, he said, ‘Dad they pushed each one of us 24 hours a day until we threw up. The only way to complete the physical endurance training was to completely lose it’. I said something like, ‘that’s incredibly rough.’ He said it was one of the most valuable things he’d ever experienced because now he knew what he was capable of handling and what his person limit felt like.

I’m not suggesting that anyone take that approach, but there is no greater asset in a SHTF scenario than an accurate sense of your own potential. If we have a feel for what we can expect or handle, then it lessens the intimidation, the fear factor, the mental paralysis, and contributes to clear and logical thought and improves our odds to survive… Just MHO.
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