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How we need to prepare

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Survival Learning

Preparing for Survival is a different thing to learning for work or for a hobby. First of all you are going to be reading and watching lots of diverse and disparate topics. Most of which you will not be able to put into practise there and then. As we all know we learn more by doing than reading about something. Survival though is the one area where we just cannot practise anywhere near as much as we need to.

It is not our fault. Who is going to let you practise sutures? Who is going to let you set traps for animals in the woods? Who is really going to build a wood fuelled engine? It just isn’t possible for us to do everything we are interested in learning about.

So, as humans do, we adapt. We read about the subject and we think about it then we might practise what we can but then we slowly forget about it. We need to accept that and find a way to work with it.

The way I handle this is by buying a book or downloading one, watching videos, basic learning about the subject. Most of us do not have perfect memories and so we must keep the documentation and media files for later reference, i.e. for when we need it. It is our standard way of dealing with things we don’t use regularly. I also make notes on what I need to purchase and prioritising those purchases. Many components are available now but will not be so readily available after a scenario. No point looking around then for a one way valve you can buy for £1 now but will be nearly impossible for you to fabricate with your toolkit. I also consider if this topic is one I really need to practise now or it can be included in with the bigger list. For example: First Aid is something to learn now. Don’t just build up a first aid kit. On the other hand making a gravity water filter can wait. I have plenty of water, several filters and chemical treatments and that gravity filter would take up valuable space I can use for something else at the moment.

I then put the book or downloads in my filing system and move on to the next topic. Slowly forgetting most, but not all, of what I have read excluding those topics I want to practise now of course. It is because of this I won’t read a lot of reference books from the library. You can’t revisit them when you need them. Buying your own or at the least having a soft copy is the only option. Do not skimp on knowledge.

The theory then is that when I need to do whatever it is I can get the relevant book again and then armed with the correct components do what I need to do or someone who knows what they are doing or did it, or something similar, previously can pick it up quicker from a book than trying to remember.

This method works great for me. I read a book on building a furnace, order the bits I need and when the weather is OK I get the book out again as a refresher and then build one. Same principle except for survival your bits are put in storage.

This technique is the only real way to handle preparing for a survival situation where you cannot, or more likely do not, want to live under that regime now. Who wants to live with 2Lt plastic pop bottles sterilising your water every day? Not me.

Sure, it has its downside; you will have a steep learning curve when you really need it. You will lose fishing hooks and damage tools, go hungry longer than you would have because you don’t do things right but you simply ensure you cater for that by having more spares or food and water until you can gain the real life experience. It is a balance.

Things to consider:
Real books take up a lot of space. You can store millions on eBooks in the space of one real book.
Real books are expensive. They actually cost real money.
EBooks require batteries and time powering up.
EBooks can have codex or corruption problems.
You gain no experience from an unread book.

My solution is to have real books for what I can. Be careful what you buy though. Money is finite. Get some recommendations. If it is a download then take it anyway. You can always delete it if it is no use.
Read them all before you put them in your eBook library or dead tree library. Find out what you should be preparing for now. Follow up on books that recommend further reading or downloads. If you come across any books or videos that are corrupted or require obscure software to read then convert them, if you can, otherwise delete them. Do not just store them just in case. This gives a false sense of security. You think you have it but you do not. It is not better than nothing it is worse than nothing. This is a big issue I have with videos. People save 2k in file size which requires a 200k codex or special program to run and they think they are smart. Idiots. If it does not run on your viewer or cannot be converted to do so then delete it and look for another.

All the books in my download section I have read using Word, PDF, DjVu or WordPad. All the Videos in my download section can be watched on VLC.

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