Friday, June 7, 2019

Wilderness Survival TEST

Wilderness Survival Skills are FREE to learn, and by definition, require minimal purchases since we are supposed to survive off of what we can come up with in the woods.

How do your Wilderness Skills really stack up?  There is a TEST that follows.

There are several levels of Wilderness Survival, that are broadly classified by:
    1) the length of time you must survive and
    2) the degree of preparation and supplies you have available and
    3) the number of survivalist present, their skill level & physical condition

Most survival scenarios are solo or small groups, short term, with only what you carry with you, also know as your EDC or Every Day Carry items but often includes what you have in your car.

A popular example, the Naked & Afraid show requires medium term survival at 14 to 40 days (most often 21) with very limited preparations.  Typically only one item each, with usually only 2 people with limited to above average survival skills.  It is an unrealistic scenario, for several reasons. The wilderness regions selected are worse than average and because you have no clothes making your Naked & Afraid Survival Plan notably different from any others.

But other scenarios could be long extended periods like on the highly popular Alone Survival Show, which is a single survivalist (except once season), with a Survival Pack of 10 items.  On Alone, the last person standing out of 10 contestants, wins $500,000 and typically the winners must stay somewhere between 50 to 90 days.  On Alone, the 10 items you select are critical and region specific.  At the bottom of this post are links to items selected in past seasons of Alone, and an Alone Survival Plan.

 Types of Survival include:
  1. Primitive Survival which requires stone tools, wood spears, friction fire, etc.  The TV Show The Great Human Race is the closest example of what this would be like.
  2. Everyday Carry Survival (EDC) varies, but may have a knife, fire starter or a vehicle for shelter.  Hiking or walking the woods and getting lost is a common example of this. The TV Show Naked & Afraid might be an example of this, with insufficient clothes.  Man, Woman Wild is another good example along with Dual Survival which portrays actual scenarios.  Survivor Man was a good one.
  3. Planned Camping / survival - where you carry a back pack of useful tools to stay for an extended period.  For beginners and children, this is the best way to start learning.  The TV Show Alone is an excellent example of this.
  4. Sustainable Living is surviving for years which includes raising livestock and gardeningSecurity becomes a big factor in this scenario.
There are others and varying degrees of the above classifications.

Primitive Survival would historically consist of a small but skilled agile group who inherited a few basic survival tools, region appropriate clothing and a pocket full of food.  Some type of Primitive Fishing tools would also be available. This would be long term survival under Nomadic conditions to avoid exhausting regional resources and would almost always be near a source of fresh water.  This also requires several hundred acres of land per group member.

This is only for the most advanced experts who excel at these primitive skills:
  1. Hunting
  2. Trapping
  3. Fishing
  4. Identifying wild plants
  5. Starting friction fires
  6. Making stone tools
  7. Building shelter
EDC Survival, is definitely the most common.  Even when camping with a comfortable pack of supplies, people will wander off without it and get lost.  So the question at this point, is what tools do you consistently carry with you?  For me, it is a Leatherman Wave, a ferrous rod for starting fire, an un-lubricated condom as a water carrier, comfortable shoes and a strong leather belt as well as a pistol and several rounds of ammo.  If in my car, I have much more, including a case of bottled water, a Wilderness Survival Pack (<- see link for list), several prepper fire arms, several hundreds of rounds of ammo, a coat, a machete, a plastic coated map, a GPS, plus my smart phone.

This is usually for 24 to 72 hours, and you have regionally suitable clothes for the current time of day.

Planned Camping can be the most luxurious survival and usually the best place to start.  In addition, there are multiple levels of supplies, periods of time and difficulty.  Its best to start out, especially with children, with ample gear and supplies.

Other levels are to go camping with only the supplies you can carry in your pack.  Additional variations are to only carry 45 pounds in your pack, or 35 pounds (if cross country hiking), or with only 10 to 15 items in your pack.  Each level is progressively more difficult, especially as you increase the time interval. With experience, you can challenge yourself by carrying fewer items and staying for longer periods of time.

Sustainable Living is perhaps the most unique, especially in the time period, as it basically for ever, with a wide range of pioneer type tools that you can build or maintain with group members skills.  This type of survival requires domesticated livestock, gardening skills and tools plus about 7 acres of land per group member. Sustainable living also requires a higher degree of security as the events that would necessitate this are severe.

OK, here is your TEST (Its not as easy as you think)

Based on your Survival Skills, pick one of the different types of Survival above and go out in the woods for a 3 day weekend and TEST your survival skills.  You set the parameters and what you bring.  As you become proficient at your first level, advance to your next level.

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