2016 was a rough year in every possible way. Even the most optimistic people were seeing questioning the future of our world. Researchers, Scientist and intellectuals are continuously warning and raising their concerns about the upcoming events which can be more severe than a nuclear war in terms of lives and resources. From Global Warming to world war 3, things are not as peachy as the governments and media wants you yo believe. With the current events like racial riots, terrorists attacks and ongoing wars in the world, its not hard to see that things are going to get worst from now on. But with all the information in the world in their hands, people still appeared shocked and scared when reality hits them or they experience something which they saw happening to someone else on TV. There is an old saying by Benjamin Franklin that, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and this cant be more true than now. You need to be prepared. You must be prepared to survive!
Following is the most comprehensive guide on survival on the internet. We have divided it into following 4 parts for better understanding and reading experience. Bookmark it or print it because this gonna save you lots of time someday!
- What, Why & How of Survivalism
- Training & Skills
- Common Issues
PART 1 – What is Survival
Survivalists are people who use their skills and abilities to ensure their, and their loved ones survival. This can be from disasters such as the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, or Floods and Hurricanes, or even events such as losing their job. All of these things can threaten survival, and a survivalist will think about the dangers that each of these risks presents, and will plan and prepare appropriately.
Really, everyone is a survivalist to some extent. When you cross a road, and you look to see if anything is coming, listen to hear if any vehicles are in the road, you are using survival skills; learnt through lessons (TV ads and parental guidance), through experience (the inevitable near miss on the way to school), and through knowledge (cars travel at 30 mph on this road). Another example is someone who takes an umbrella with them, even on a sunny day, just in case the typical English weather catches them out.
Be Prepared! The sort of person who keeps a breakdown kit in the car, or keeps a toolkit in the desk at work, people who have the foresight to get just a few extra tins of food at winter in case they are snowed in. These simple examples show some of the foresight of a survivalist. A survivalist has taken a small step further than the basic preparedness above. Thinking about various possibilities, the survivalist will make preparations to make sure that he and his family are safe, whatever happens; be it a storm, flood, national strike, terrorism, war, civil disorder or any other form of danger.
What is a Survivalist
Look at the news. Every day, people all round the world are threatened by dangerous events. Just think back a little while, September 11 in the US, and the Anthrax attacks shortly afterwards. The hurricane Katrina which caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas. The fuel blockade which almost brought the country to its knees, with fuel, and also food shortages.
If you read the definition of survivalist, then it’s basically the person who is prepared to survive. There are many good reasons to become a survivalist, particularly if you have a family. Its not just about surviving “The Big One”, or TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). The three examples given here could happen at any time, and can kill. Everyone has insurance (if they can afford it), Survivalism is merely another form of insurance, cheaper, in some cases, and far more important.
A real survivor has to have the state of mind to survive and a reason to survive. This could be because of responsibilities for a family or a partner, it could be as simple as wanting to live. I’m sure psychologists will have a fancy statement about wanting immortality through the lives of our offspring, and they may be right too. But in real life, everyone has a wish to survive, or why would we do anything like better ourselves, store up wealth, try to improve society, bring up children.
Some people spend their lives preparing for “the end of the world”, and it may never come. Alternatively, some people prepare for power-cuts, storms, civil disorder, strikes, and other lesser, but equally dangerous events. I personally consider anything that is a risk to my, or my family’s survival, and prepare for it. In the past five years, this has included being directly affected by, Fuel Strikes, Power Cuts, Floods, Storms, Riots, and many other potentially dangerous scenarios.
How to Become a Survivalist
Be Prepared; Preparation is vital when it comes to how to be a survivalist, and to be prepared we need to have a proper understanding of risks. So I use this process.
- Identify the Risk
- Identify the potential damage
- Identify the likelihood of the risk occurring
- Identify what would reduce the risk or occurrence, or the potential damage
- Plan a response including equipment and training required
- Make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do
- Practice the plan, improve on it, and practice again.
PART 2 – Training & Skills
This section looks at the training and skills that you might need to overcome various scenarios, you can’t hope to learn everything, so you need to decide what is the highest risk to you, and then learn the skills and practice dealing with that particular issue.
For example, it is quite likely that everyone will at some time have to deal with a medical emergency, whether it be a road accident, a household accident, or severe illness such as a heart attack, so everyone should know at least the basics of first aid. Survivalists with young children are quite likely to need to know how to deal with the minor cuts and bruises that are the inevitable result of play. So a little first aid training is useful for most people.
Some people have more elaborate plans, it could be that they are part of a survivalist group, and in the group they have a specific role; communications for example. They would need to know more than an average person, including repairing radios, basic construction and antenna theory, and radio operations.
There are several ways to develop these skills or to be trained. You can pay for the training courses yourself, and with First Aid, there are normally plenty of evening classes available. But if you work, why not volunteer to be a First Aider, you get your training for free, some occasional practice, and sometimes, a decent first aid kit too.
There are other ways that you can get the training and experience for free: you could join free ambulance service to get First Aid skills, or you could become a Scout Leader to get a variety of skills.
This training part of our survival guide is divided into following parts
- First Aid
- Food & Water
Looking at some of the quotes mentioned in this guide, you will see “be prepared” and “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” and other quotes extolling the virtues of planning and preparing for possibilities. I remember that in my family, we have always had a “million to one” plan, which could be for something as simple as meeting up – “if I’m not there by 12 noon, wait for me in the pub” or “if we get separated, meet up at the entrance”. OK, so they are simple plans for simple events, but what this planning gives you is safety – in that you always know what to do if something goes wrong. A more advanced plan “If ever you have to evacuate the house and I’m not there, leave a note on the back of the front door”.
So what do you need to plan for?
First, you need to assess what dangers there are which might affect you, how they would affect you, and how you can overcome them. So, lets do a little exercise. Think about where you live, is it highly populated, are there factories or heavy industry nearby, where is the nearest nuclear power station, where is the nearest motorway, where is the nearest railway line, where is the nearest military base, have there been floods near you recently, what is the crime rate, what sort of crime happens in your area, has a house in your street been burgled in the past year, has anyone that lives near you been mugged or assaulted. This will give you an idea of what you should be planning for.
Look at these two areas:
- Natural Disasters: Floods, Thunderstorms, Snowstorms, Drought, Heatwave.
- Other Disasters: Industrial Accident, Riot, Crime, Terrorism.
Now you should have enough insight into the subject to write a list of the possible threats to your survival based on where you live. Then perhaps you could score each possibility on a scale of 1 to 5 for chance of it happening, and chance of it affecting you. One being not likely, five being extremely likely.
Just because something is not very likely, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for it. Nuclear war being a perfect example. The effects of a nuclear war are likely to be so widespread, that you cannot ignore it, however unlikely it is that one should occur. What you shouldn’t do though, is be obsessed by the smaller risk situations, for example, when you cross the road you’re not looking for a herd of stampeding elephants, you’re looking for cars. You cannot possibly prepare for everything, so make sure that you have covered the situations which are likely to occur. If you live on a flood plane, don’t waste too much time preparing for a nuclear war which might happen, prepare for a flood which almost definitely will happen. Weigh up the risks, and make your plans accordingly.
Once you know what the risks are, you can start to plan to overcome them. Lets look at floods. What do you need to do to make sure that any flood in your area is not going to put your, and your family’s lives at risk.
Look what might happen if there is a flood
- Flood water penetrates house and damages carpets, electrics, electrical goods, furniture and belongings.
- Power and gas cut off due to flooding, no hot water, no hot food, no heating, no lighting.
- Drinking water polluted.
- Pets and vulnerable members of the family at risk from cold, drowning etc.
- Family fighting floods and risk from elements, and from being caught in flash floods
It would probably be a good idea to have a stack of sandbags readily available somewhere nearby, with some of them ready loaded. Maybe a system of temporary boards to protect entrances which might be at risk very quickly. Try to get the power sockets in the lower floor of the property installed above the likely flood level, and make sure that fuse boxes are at head height too. Have the number for the Environment Agency Floodline somewhere handy, and listen to weather reports each evening, and especially when going away. Perhaps a flood warning detector, in any cellar, or near any flood points to give you a little bit of extra warning time. Have a well rehearsed plan for dealing with flood, get valuables to the upper floor of your house, make sure that pets are safe, have adequate clothes and tools to deal with the flood, have alternate methods of lighting and heat should normal supplies be disrupted by the flood or associated storms or weather.
Now apply this planning method to the other risks, and you will have a plan. You also need to do this for when you are at work, when the children are at school, when members of your family are out or away….. Be creative, and think about all the possibilities.
Being able to start a fire, without matches or a lighter is a very useful skill in survival situations. Fires can give you heat to keep you warm, cook food, and boil water to sterilize it.
There are three ingredients that you must have to make a fire; air, heat and fuel. Each is equally important, and if one is absent, there will be little chance of sustaining fire.
There are three types of fuel that you will probably need to start a fire (excluding chemical fuels).
This can be in the form of anything that is quick and easy to light. Fluff, prepared fine woodshavings, paper, and partially burnt cotton are just a few examples of what could be used. These are flammable materials that will catch fire very quickly once heat or a spark is applied. A small pouch of tinder, or a box is an extremely valuable asset to have in a survival kit.
Slightly more substantial than tinder, kindling consists of small twigs, wood shavings, or anything else which will catch fire reasonably quickly from flaming tinder, and can sustain a flame long enough for the main fuel of a fire to catch fire and establish itself.
Wood, coal, and peat are the main fuels which you are likely to want to burn. These will all sustain a fire for some considerable time, enabling cooking, heating, and light to be provided.
To start the fire, you will need a heat source, and this can be from many sources:-
Lighting a fire with matches or a lighter is easy, even in quite difficult conditions. Having a stash of matches in your survival kit is essential, and make sure that they are waterproofed. I have a flametechnology torch lighter which takes ordinary lighter fuel, but has a flame similar to a blow torch. It can cut through beer tins (good pub trick), and this means that it is very easy to light a fire with it. Don’t make all of your plans for firelighting with matches and a lighter, because its quite possible that you may be without them when a survival situation develops.
I keep a flint striker in my survival kit, and it is my first backup for matches and lighter. If you are without anything, I would say that this is the best way to start a fire. Use two flint stones, and strike them against each other, or against metal to get sparks, and aim them onto tinder.
Using the bow method of friction is very good, but you need the tools to make the bow, some hard wood for the board, with a hole and a vee cut in it, and a stick to rotate. I personally find that to get enough friction going takes a massive amount of effort. I prefer flint and striker, but I’ll keep on trying to perfect the bow method.
If you happen to have a lens with you (it is a handy thing to have in your survival kit), then you could use that to focus light onto some tinder and catch that on fire. There are some potential problems, first you need to have a lens, second, you need to have the sun out. In some weather, such as when it’s cold and wet (when you need fire the most) you may not be able to light a fire with sunlight!
Although air is all around us, fire needs a constant fresh supply of air.
You need to make sure that the air can get inside the fire, but you also have to make sure that the fuel is close enough together for the heat to be adequately transmitted to keep the fire going. A ‘wig-wam’ style is quite good at achieving this. Build the fire up with tinder in the middle, kinding around it and four pieces of more substantial fuel making a wig-wam. Start the fire on the tinder, and it should spread relatively easily with normal air flow fueling the fire through the gaps. If there isn’t enough wind, you can easily blow onto the tinder in the center of the fire.
A fan, made from woven wood is a good way of fanning a fire, and you can make one in a survival situation to help start fires quickly. A bellows is particularly useful if you want to use fuel such as coal, and especially if you want to make a forge to work metal.
I’m not thinking about CO2 or foam. A bucket of water will do, or a pile of sand. If the fire is in the middle of your camp, and it gets out of hand, you could lose all of your kit, or even worse, someone could be injured or killed. So have a way to extinguish the fire quickly if necessary.
Sometimes, the ground that a fire is built on may have lots of dried grass or plants. It is a good idea to remove this back so that you have a firebreak to prevent the fire spreading too far.
Uses of Fire
A fire can keep you warm, and dry you out in cold and wet situations. A fire can be vital in situations such as this or in very cold snowy situations.
An open fire can be used to boil, fry or roast food if you have the right tools. It is also possible, using primitive techniques to bake bread. It is well worth looking in to how primitive societies (when I say primitive – I really mean post modern) such as medieval or Anglo-saxon used to cook.
A fire beacon is a very ancient signalling method, for things such as invasion, celebration or rescue. However, it is important that if you have a beacon, you have a method to quickly light it. It’s no use if your rescue plane has passed before you beacon is alight, or if you camp has been raided while you’re trying to get your bow to light your tinder.
Small torches of oil soaked material on the end of a stick makes an excellent portable lighting system. The camp fire itself is also a good method of providing localized light for the camp. The negative side of this, is that if you want to be discreet about your location, a fire will make you visible for miles.
The Final Word on Fire
So this may seem very basic, but I’d like to retell a story which one of my history teacher told me. One day, in the Anglo-Saxon house in which the group were living, a young girl from a city was staying, to experience some of the life. All of a sudden, the girl reached over the open fire which was being used for cooking. She obviously burnt her arms. When she was asked why she had done it, she said that she had never seen an open fire before, living in a tower block with only electrical appliances. She had no idea that the flames would be hot. So, with that level of inexperience of primitive skills and tools currently known by children, I thought that the absolute basic would provide a base level of knowledge for anyone visiting this site.
First Aid – Training & Equipment
First Aid Training is available from a huge number of places. If your work requires trained first-aiders, then apply for the course, they’ll train you for free, and some organizations give you a bonus for doing it. Alternatively you could join some ambulance service or volunteer at The Red Cross center near you. Again, they will train you for free, and give you lots of experience in dealing with injuries and illness. With either of these options, there will be some time commitment that you will need to make, but the rewards will be worth it.
First aid, and even full medical aid equipment is widely available in shops or from catalogues. I have five different medical kits. The most important issue, is knowing how to use this equipment, and knowing what to do in various medical scenarios. There are a number of good books available to help with this training and knowledge. I keep the Collins Gem book in my kit, and the First Aid Handbook in my big kit as well as in my survival library.
Micro First Aid Kit
These are designed to fit in your wallet, purse, pocket or briefcase. Just a small waterproof pouch with a sterile wipe, a couple of adhesive plasters, a small blister pack of pain killers, and a basic information reminder card. The idea is that you will have at least these basic items, and the rest can be improvised.
For example, if you cut yourself badly, the sterile wipe can be used to clean the wound, and the plasters can be used as sutures to close the wound. Torn clothing could be used as a binding, and sling if necessary.
This should cover you for minor medical incidents such as trips and falls, and as it is so small, could give you a small head-start in a more serious incident.
Mini First Aid Kit
This is designed to fit in a small pouch, a coat pocket, a briefcase or a handbag. It contains the first line equipment that you might need including plasters, sterile wipes, pain killers, a wound dressing, a razor blade (Sterile), needle and thread (so small, you might as well pop one in!), surgical tape, crepe bandage.
This should cover slightly more serious trauma, and be able to treat injuries to enable moving the casualty. Designed for a more serious incident than the micro-kit, this is the sort of mini-kit which you could have in a bug-out-bag.
First Aid Kit
This is designed to fit in a pouch, in the glove compartment of a car, or in a substantial survival or hiking kit. It contains all the medical kit which you are likely to need to perform first on the scene emergency medical aid until professional help arrives, and in more serious situations, could provide simple medical aid in the long term.
The kits should include sterile dressings (2 large, 2 medium, 2 small), 1 large packet of adhesive plasters, 20 sealed sterile gauze pads, surgical tape, 3 triangular bandages, 4 large open weave gauze bandages, 2 packets of sterile cotton wool swabs, 2 rolls of cotton wool, 1 bottle of paracetamol, 1 bottle of ibuprofen, 1 bottle of aspirin, 1 clinical thermometer, 1 pair of flat ended tweezers, 1 pair of scissors, safety pins of various sizes, anti-septic solution, hydrocortisone cream, deep heat, anti-diarrhea tablets, scalpel, locking forceps. Proscription medicines (for asthma etc.)
Medical Aid Kit
This is really for going it alone, for going on safari, long voyages, or your medical kit for providing medical aid in a serious survival situation. Some of these items cannot be obtained legally in the UK unless you are a trained medic, and you should not really be using them unless you are extremely competent at medical aid.
Advanced Medical Kit
If you are in a survival group, it may be advisable to have a nominated medic and support to deal with the medical needs of your group.
Although you can live for sometime without food, it’s not a sensible survival attitude to rely on that ability. As you become more malnourished you become weaker, and less able to combat illness and disease, as well as not being able to carry out normal survival activities.
How Much To Store
There is no straight answer to this, other than ‘the amount that you need to survive until danger is reduced, or you can become self sufficient at supplying food.
So, first looking at your home, or survival retreat, you should have enough to get you through the emergencies that you envisage are likely. So lets say for example you live in a remote village which is regularly snowed in during the winter. How long would it normally be until normal food deliveries are available. If that is two weeks, then I suggest four weeks.
Personally, I store at least three months of food in the house at all times, and if there are any increased threats then I might increase that to four months.
The other issue of food storage, is how much to include in a bug-out-bag. In mine, I always carry enough to get me home or to my retreat comfortably. So if I’m at work, which is, at the most a days walk home, I carry a day and a half’s food with me.
Rotating Your Store
With a large store of food such as six months, it is important to watch the use by dates. Rotate the food, so that new food goes to the back of the cupboard, and the older food works its way forward. This ensures that there is minimal wastage.
There are a number of foods which are particularly suitable for survival situations, such as military MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) – or to people who have to live off them Meals Rarely Edible. These have a tremendously long shelf life, and provide high energy and nutrition, which is vital in survival situations. These are widely available in army surplus shops, or from backpacking and outdoors shops.
A cheap alternative, is packet food from supermarkets. It is similar in content to MREs, but not as easy to cook in the field, but nonetheless, very useful and edible.
Hunting, Trapping and Fishing
Some people I know think that if food supplies fail, they will find it easy to hunt and forage for food. The reality is, that if you are not very experienced at hunting, you will be unlikely to be able to get food easily.
The answer is to be skilled already in providing your own food. Fishing can be practiced anywhere in the country where there is a lake or river, and there is ample equipment to achieve reasonable results.
Storing and Preserving Food
This is as important as getting the food. You need a dry and safe place where you can store your food.
Survival of the fittest is not just a saying, it is a well measured truth of nature. It is the fittest that survive in the end. Should a survival situation arise, and you are unfit, you are immediately at a disadvantage. For example, you have to run for cover. A simple task, which could be necessary for a number of reasons. If you are twenty stone, and can only run a few feet before you tire, then you will be at risk from survival dangers. In addition to this, people who are overweight tend to have a lot more health problems, it is much better to be a reasonable weight, and reasonably fit. You don’t need to be a super human, just fit enough to run away from danger, pull yourself up from the edge of a cliff or building, and jump over a six foot gap.
It is a good idea to make sure that you are fit and healthy. To achieve this you should exercise, eat healthily, and have regular checkups with the Doctor and Dentist. If you leave these things until a survival situation, it could be too late.
Walking is a very good way to keep fit. A half hour walk every day or every other day will do you a lot of good. It is not too stressful on your body so there is less risk of injury, you can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t feel like hard work, but produces good results. Try going out from your job for 30 minutes at lunch time, or taking the dog for an extra walk each evening.
At the weekends, do an extra long walk, maybe an hour or two, or longer if you have the time. You could incorporate this with memorizing your escape routes, or familiarizing yourself with the surrounding terrain.
Alternatively, running, swimming and cycling are very good forms of exercise. Either in conjunction with the walking exercise, or on its own, do some intensive exercise two or three times a week, with rests in between. When you do the exercise, don’t aim for particular distances – set a distance that you can achieve within 30 minutes, and your objective is to achieve it in less time.
Many of us are overweight, or live on a badly balanced diet. If we want to survive, we need to be healthy. “We are what we eat”.
The term is a description, used in the military, that means leaving a situation fast, perhaps an ambush or contact, but anyway, you’re in a hurry. To the survivalist it means the same, you will be putting distance between yourself and a potentially hostile situation.
Why would you bug out?
The answer to this one is SELF-PRESERVATION. Any situation that you perceive as a major threat to the existence of you and your family may make you decide to bug out.
If you live in a city or large town, that was experiencing civil unrest (rioting, looting, etc) you could well feel very threatened and decide to evacuate your home to a safer location. Natural disaster could also give you reason to consider this option, the list is almost endless.
Even the survivalist, who lives in an established retreat, could bug out to a sanctuary if the situation dictated, returning when things have “cooled down”. I know this isn’t very “gung ho”, but Davie Crockett stayed and he ended up dead (a failed survivalist!).
When would you go?
As soon as you feel the situation has reached a point that you cannot handle and that is something only you know. It is your decision and you will base that choice on intelligence you receive, by being aware of what is happening in the world, in the country, the town that you live in. So keep “up to speed” on current affairs (your life could depend on it).
The all-important question. Remember “ the six P’s”- PROPER PLANNING & PREPARATION PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE. It’s all about planning, you need to sit down and plan how you and your family will leave a potentially threatening situation. Once this is done you start the preparations, checking and purchasing kit, making sure you are fit enough etc. This prompt list should help;
Where are you going to go? you need a destination? Your chosen area should be safe and capable of providing you and your family with the necessities of life, i.e shelter, warmth, water, and food.
Wherever you decide to head for it should be comfortable enough for you to stay for sometime.
Don’t get your road atlas out, close your eyes, open a page and hey presto you’ve found a location. Remember PROPER PLANNING. Research it, get good maps of the area and of the area between you and your destination. Visit and familiarize yourself with area before the event.
Don’t pick somewhere too remote, you have got to get there and make sure it’s not too inhospitable, you may have to live there.
How are you going to get there, by motor vehicle or on foot and by what route? When planning, have several options, in case everyone else chooses your route too, and have “all vehicle” and “all foot “plans, so if you have to walk the whole distance you have a route already selected and your not wasting valuable time, doing something that should have been done at the start.
Consider having a “staging area” outside your town or city. From your home to your “staging area” you must have several routes perhaps on the four points of the compass) allowing you to circumnavigate trouble and giving flexibility to your escape plan.
Another point to note, is that in times of “national emergency” all major road networks would be closed to non military traffic, leaving you and the rest of population the “B” roads, so don’t count on traveling too far by road.
You have made one decision about “when “ already, but this one relates to what time of day, daylight or darkness.
Traveling on foot is far easier and quicker during daylight hours, but, it is far more dangerous, particularly if there are hostile groups (looters or rioters for example) operating in your vicinity, this would depend largely on the police presence and the scale of the situation.
Movement after darkness falls is safer, but it has its downside too. It takes much longer, requires a great deal of practice to become confident and requires a working knowledge of evasion techniques to be successful.
Stuff you Gonna Need
What supplies and gear will you need for When choosing what you are going to take, you have following seven headings to work from when planning your bug out bag essentials:
You will need adequate shelter that’s not too heavy to carry, a bivvy bag and basha for example.
Sleeping bags and spare clothing will be needed that are suitable for the coldest weather you can expect (within reason).
It would be impossible to carry all the water you will need, so ensure you can carry a days worth, and that you have a means filtration and purification with you. Remember you only last a day or two without water.)
Choose food that has a high calorific value, but that is light to carry and plan your menus carefully to account for all the families tastes. If your route out is a long one, food parcels (possibly with fuel as well) could be cached in advance. Don’t forget something to cook it on stove of some type and a good cooking pot.
Personal medication and a good first aid kit should not be forgotten. To this add plenty of cold & flu treatments (lemsip or similar) together with caffeine based stimulants (proplus or peps) to keep you awake.
Adequate clothing, including a full set of waterproofs. The colors you choose should be subdued, but not camouflage, you do not want to look like a paramilitary. Special attention should be paid to good footwear, wellies & trainers are no good, go for good quality walking boots.
These are items you need to get you where you’re going. My personal choice is a small utility fixed bladed knife, a good multi tool & a small hatchet, but this is purely personal.
Finally you will need something to put it all in, two Tesco’s carrier bags will not do the job, a good rucksack for each of you, but nothing too big and remember to keep your bug out bag contents to essentials, but have everything you need. One of my favorite sayings is “TRAVEL LIGHT, FREEZE AT NIGHT” in other words if you haven’t got it all you’ll pay. Keep your gear packed & ready to go, just in case the balloon goes up while you are at somewhere else.
Preparations come next. Recce potential areas and begin driving/walking routes. Practice movement at night and familiarize yourself with your equipment and how it should be used. Make sure your navigation skills are up to the job, you need to know what direction you are traveling, how far you have moved and how to estimate time & distance, again this takes practice.
As you become more involved in planning your “bug out”, you will begin to see more areas that you had not thought of before and probably ones that I have not covered here, the idea of this short piece is to provoke thought and to give a different perspective on the subject.
PART 3 – EQUIPMENT
Tools Maketh a Man! Doesn’t matter how skilled or prepared you are, without right tools & equipment, even a simplest task can become a tedious work, which in survival scenario isn’t a good thing at all. You need to have basic equipment and tools ready at any time. As mentioned in Planning, you should have your gear prepared and it must contain some essential equipment.
Now the equipment list may vary depending on the needs and scenarios. Following suggested kits are based on most probable situations, and further modified by skills, abilities and needs. This can also be treated as emergency survival backpack list. Always remember that you shouldn’t copy any kit directly. Look at what you need, what you intend the kit to do, and what you know about using those tools.
Many survivalists use army surplus equipment, and there are good and bad reasons to do this.
Firstly, the bad reasons is some people assumes that paramilitary organizations basic kit can have everything they need. Now it may be true to some extent but majority of people cannot even use most of the stuff in that kit. Rule of the thumb is your kit should only contain equipment that you can actually use. (USA government recommended emergency kit)
The good reasons are; its often cheap, its normally very good quality, and if you have proper training and knowledge then it is designed for the most difficult environments in the world, and it is designed to help its owner survive.
The equipment that you are likely to need will be to deal with the following issues:
- Clothing and Shelter
- Navigation and Signalling
- Food & Water
- First Aid
So based on the above requirements, a basic kit may contain following equipment
- Led Flashlight (with extra batteries)
- Mini-Survival Tools – Screw drivers, blades, scissors. You may also get a Swiss army knife.
- Lighters – A zippo and a torch lighter
- Mini compass & a map
- Mobile Phone & Emergency Charger
- First Aid Equipment’s – Plasters, pain killers, sterile wipes, cotton etc
- Emergency Phone Number List & Important cards copies like ID card, driving license etc
- Folding Lock Knife (Beware of the law!) – Its illegal but its a must carry item in survival kits. You may use excuses like going fishing, picnic etc but again its illegal to carry any type of fixed length blade. (government authorized items list)
- Protein bars, dry food & water bottle
You can also divide your kits in the following categories based on the situation and your plan
- Always Kit – Its basically the suggested kit containing only essentials.
- Survival Kit – Always kit with equipment for longer periods. Also if you plan to stay in home during a situation you may have to modify it accordingly
- First Aid Kit – Plasters, Anti-septic wipe, Vinyl Gloves, Face Shield, Pain Killers, pain relievers etc
- Bug-Out-Bag – For serious situations. Survival kit with extra equipment like clothing , sleeping bag, binoculars, extra money
- Vehicle Kit – Spare wheels, fuses, plugs, wires, battery, tire air pump or inflator, oil, tire changing equipment, tools kit, washer fluid etc
- Big Stuff – Vehicles, Tents, Axe, Communication equipment, legal & licensed weapon
Remember that survival kits purely depend on the situation and your plan. A good idea is to have a basic kit ready and other items stocked in your home. You can then add other stuff in your kit as per the requirements.
Part 4 – Survival Issues
In survival situations, following are the most common issues a survivalist would face. The severity of these issues depends on the situation and circumstances. For instance, communication may not seems to be a big deal right now, but imagine if all communication system gets down with no access to mobile phone, internet etc. A good survivalist will be always prepared for situations which seems far-stretched to normal people. Lets have a look at the most probable survival issues.
This is the first thing people think of in any emergency situation. People need it for asking for help, confirm their loved ones safety or finding resources. Considering today’s world dependency on information, if communication system gets down, it will shortly led to chaos. People start panicking when they realize that they have no control anymore and this leads to situations. A survivalist should know the basic means of communication i.e. radio.
Whether it is receiving news of survival situations, or keeping in touch with other survivalists, communications is a vital part of both short, and long term survivalism.
Navigation & Transport
Survival situations don’t always occur when you’re at home, or with your family, so you might have to travel. Alternatively, you may need to evacuate, and knowing how to get from A to B is a skill that not everyone has.
The two most importance places people turn to incase of any emergency is where they can find food and fuel. Always remember that incase of any evacuation emergency, no one is going to wait for you to get your vehicle tank fill or worst you might have to leave your vehicle and travel on foot.
Keep extra fuel in some container and change it on monthly basis. You can use that fuel and then refill the container with new fuel to keep it from going bad. Keep your vehicle fit and learn basic mechanical stuff like battery change, tire change, spark plugs change, common issues to check when you vehicle doesn’t start etc. Keep your vehicle fit by getting in checked from a mechanic on monthly basis. Remember that your vehicle can save you lots of precious time in survival salutations.
You should keep an eye on weather forecast for next 7 days. You may also learn about the signs that eventually lead to weather change like birds & animals behavior. Plan and prepare keeping the weather condition in mind.
Different terrain requires different survival skills and equipment. Surviving in Urban environments, suburbs, rural areas, woodland, coastal areas and mountains is completely different from each other. For instance situations can develop very quickly in urban environments, because of the number of people involved, and because of society’s reliance on itself.
Having a plan is very important if you plan to staying the city due to limited resources and number of people. In serious situations, like wars, the best option is to leave the city asap and retreat to some other safer place that you know will not be invaded by other refugees before you get there. If you have the money, a second house is your best chance of survival.
A lot has been written by survivalists about the importance of moving out of towns and into the country to survive. Whilst it is in many ways a desirable solution to the survival problem, not everyone has the requisite skills, resources or inclination to strike out for rural areas and survive everyday life, let alone a true survival scenario. From a survivalist point of view, the most important aspects of survivalism is security and the distance from large population masses.
You may wonder why is distance from large population masses advantageous? Well, lets look at that. Whatever the survival situation, if you have survived it in the city or town, there will be others, and if these people haven’t prepared, they are going to be stressed, hungry, thirsty, scared, angry, whatever. This alone can make any situation dangerous. If they know you have food, and they haven’t, you know whose door they’ll be knocking on. It is also very likely that the emergency services will be dealing with too much to care about small public order problems. So if there’s a riot outside your house, don’t expect a van load of police backup. Criminals are also quite likely to have survived the immediate situation, and are quite likely to take advantage of the police being occupied. On the plus side, this might mean that you could use more than what the law considers to be reasonable force to defend yourself, your family & your property, but then the criminals probably won’t be worrying too much about using extra force on you however you will still have a fighting chance.
In addition to the crime problem, think about food, water, electricity and gas. Even if law doesn’t breakdown, there are likely to be lots of hungry people around stripping the supermarkets of food. Even a small impact on an urban society could cause all the usual services to fall apart. A wide electrical failure would easily affect the gas and water supplies. In winter, this could mean a lot of cold people.
Another aspect is government, who typically like to control situations, and if you live in a city, who knows what they have planned for you. Forcing people to work to gain control of the situation, centralizing all property – in particular food and weapons. So you plan to survive, and end up helping your whole street, and then starve with the rest the week after!
It may sound selfish but who you gonna complain to in such situation where law enforcing agencies are occupied with “bigger problems” whereas some nut job comes to your house thinking its a good idea to take what is rightfully yours and your family.
Health & Fitness
The harsh reality is if you are weak then situations wont take long to become worst for you. People with criminal minds tends to take advantage of weak in survival situation. To overcome any such thing, exercise on regular basis & by exercise I don’t mean you have to go to gym and bulk up. Running 1-2 kms daily would be sufficient for most of the people. Doing basic push-up and pull-ups will increase your strength. If you have some medical condition like allergies or asthma, you need to make sure you have right amount of medicines stocked in your survival kit.
Shelter & Food
When disaster strikes, food is one of the most important thing people started buying and stocking. But imagine the situation where everyone gets out to get anything edible. The demand increase exponentially and due to scarce resources, things may turn ugly within no time. To overcome this situation you should invest in long term food supply. You should have sufficient food stocked safely in your house. Focus on food items that can remain fresh for longer period of times and can be cooked or consumed with very less accessories involved. When shopping for monthly groceries, buy a little bit more of emergency food items like honey, dried corn, powdered milk, cocoa beans, pasta, coconut oil etc.
We know that we feel most safe in our houses but during the survival situation, the safest houses can become the prime targets of needy or criminals. You need to make sure that you have your house is fully secured with locks on every door. Use only one entrance and temporarily blocked all the other entrances. When blocking other entrances, make sure to keep one of them as your escape route incase of any breach from the main entrance. However do not make that second entrance accessible from outside. Keep a licensed weapon hidden or secured in your house for the worst scenarios. If you are buggin-out, try to take less crowded routes to your destination. Avoid confrontation as much as possible but do not show weakness or someone might start thinking to take advantage of you.
So here you have it. A most comprehensive survival guide on the web. Let me conclude our Ultimate Survival Guide with the famous quote “prepare for the worst, hope for the best”. Always remember that it never take long for the things to turn from “concerned” to “emergency”. Excuse of not being prepared will not help you in survival situations. Considering the global changes and developments we are going through, it wont be long when you find this information in our survival guide becoming relevant and true. Be Prepared!
Disclaimer: Any advice given here is intended for survival situations, and should not be used without understanding the risks involved. Survival techniques are intended to deal with life threatening situations, where additional risks are required. Use any of this advice at your own risk.