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How we need to prepare


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You are already better off than most

I know quite a bit about living off the wild and surviving in hostile territory from watching outdoor shows such as Ray Mears. But, I live in the UK and unless you live in the wilds of Scotland, Wales or the North of England you are only a few miles from people at any time. Even in the wilds you are not that far from civilisation and so all you need in a survival kit is something to keep you warm, something to eat and drink so you don’t get too hungry and some form of communication so you can call for a taxi. Even Ray would phone for an air ambulance if he was gored by a stag and fell in a river in the middle of winter rather than using his survival skills to get home.

Sadly, or fortunately really, I won’t really need to know how to make snow shoes or build an igloo I just need to know the basics of foraging and making a nice little cosy hole from debris and some wood. I could live quite comfortably in the woods just down the road and from the small animals, fruits and vegetables that are growing there and would survive all year around. The only tool I would really need would be a knife and the clothes I am standing in. Sadly, carrying a survival knife is illegal here even in the boot of your car but you could easily store one there where it would be overlooked by a casual search by plod. If they went looking of course that would be a different story.

I think when we prepare we try and take as much as our existing life as we can, we hold on to what we have and we have grown accustomed to having fresh, clean water, antiseptic for cuts, forks to eat with and plates to eat from. I’m no different as my list of items shows. We just do not have the right mindset even now. Everyone reading this in the UK has a survival mindset already but not many have a realistic one. Few have until they need it then they live or die. All we need to do is learn how to survive. that and our existing mindset means we will adapt and live. However, even we still hold on to our comforts and why not? If we can take many items with us then it makes the transition easier, it means we don’t have to start from scratch and it improves out chances of survival. If it came down to it though we would switch gears and work with what we had.

If it really went pear shaped and you were on your own you wouldn’t need much. Warm clothing, something to start a fire from, some food and water to keep you going till you caught your own, a knife to cut wood, dig holes, a knife sharpener and a way to purify and store water and that’s it. That is the sort of stuff you should carry with you anyway. The world is full of people who have survived much worse situations than we get in the UK with just the basics.

A few years ago I was going to arrange for a survival course where we went out with an ex soldier for a week on the Welsh hills or the Derbyshire moors and just lived off the land. Only miles from a chip shop but you lived on what you caught or foraged yourself. The expert giving guidance to help you find food and showing you how to find wood for a fire, make a warm sleeping place. You ate what you caught yourself though and kept warm with what you built yourself. I was all for it but the others backed out one at a time and it just went on the back burner and never happened. I wonder if I would be up for it nowadays when I don’t have to?

What does this mean to us? Well it means that no matter where you are on your survival preparations you are already better prepared than 99% of the population and that is before you buy your first item. You have decided that you want to prepare and you have the get up and go mindset that means when something happens you won’t just sit down and wait for rescue and die if it doesn’t come but make sure that you survive by improving the situation for yourself by building a shelter, finding food and water and a million other things that make the difference between life and death. You make yourself a canny fox and not a scared and frightened sheep. You make yourself that by knowledge and not equipment. Although clearly having the equipment as well makes it easier.

The more you prepare the easier you will find to survive and thrive with less of a culture shock. So start now with the basics then add to them and improve your chances in the event that something happens. Don’t overstretch yourself or compromise your situation doing so. Remember at the very least you need a knife and some basics plus knowledge. Start reading the articles on this and other sites (See links), buy some books for reference and ensure you pick up that knowledge now. From this point on you can survive anything. Don’t be shy, the knowledge is given away free. The tools and hard copies are what costs. With that knowledge and just the basics at minimal cost you can be ready for most events.

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