What is Survival?

A man and woman wearing gas masks

What is Survival?

Survival can be a loaded word. What do you think of when you hear it?

What does it look like to you? What does it mean?

Does it look miserable?

Oftentimes when we discuss survival topics with people, they sometimes have an unconscious bias which makes them think of a brutal place: bugs, wet, dirt, hunger, sleeping on the floor, cold nights...and yet some look on it fondly, thinking about peaceful times in the woods, fresh air, friends and family, struggle leading to triumph. They look forward to campfires at the end of a hard days labor and the deep rest from satisfaction that only can be experienced sleeping outside.

So which type of survival sounds best to you?

If you are in the brutal camp and want to move over to the other side then you've come to the right place. 99% of your fears or trepidations comes from the unknown; the loss of basic skills that our forebears had for millennia on how to sustain yourself in the world around you without modern conveniences if necessary.

Maybe you've been camping before and had a bad experience. We can fix that!

There are ways of "smoothing out" roughing it.

And for those of you who already look forward to survival topics, welcome. We have a ton of information in this website that can make your adventures out there even more fun and thrilling.

Man holding a lantern with arms up in front of a tent watching the sun set over the water

Survival Depends on your Attitude

The first and most important determinant of long-term survival is keeping a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) at all times.

PMA is the key to success. Without it your chances for handling long periods of stress without suffering bodily or mental harm diminishes greatly.

If you lose the will to live, the will to fight, or the strength to handle a tough situation then you're done. What gives you a PMA?

Depends on you: it could be your family, your faith, your will to see a better day. It's different for everyone. But it's important to be aware of this, to help others cope, to stay focused and calm.

A warm place to sleep, a full belly, staying dry, having something fun to do: all these help keep a Positive Mental Attitude as well.

Basic meditation technique can be of huge help, and that requires nothing more than to focus on the breathing, in and out. Don't try to quiet your mind or get too deep, just focus on the breath. Studies have shown that even just a few minutes of this can do wonders.

So if you are stuck in a bad situation: a crowded shelter, in a tent in the woods, at your in-laws house (!) then you need to recognize that you have the ability to react to the situation around you in different ways. It's not actually the people around you making you miserable, it's how you react to them internally that is!

An old time vintage survival bushcraft shelter

Survival Depends on your Knowledge

There are several survival scenarios you should consider, some more difficult than others: staying at home with no power or water, having to leave your home and stay with a family or friends house, hotel, shelter, or in the wild. Each of these come with their own sets of problems and concerns.

We have put together a ton of info to help you with each of these subjects. If you are new to survival concepts then you can start with our Learning & Tutorials section, and work your way through the tutorials there.

One of the best ways to get started of course is to start reading books. We've compiled a great list of books for you to start with, see our article called The Ultimate Preppers Reading List.

Another way to learn is to take a class or meet up with a group of like-minded people. Join our Facebook Group if you want to ask questions or get advice from people online.

Or take a survival course like Byron Kerns or Tom Brown Jr.'s Tracker School if there is one near you.

There is also a ton of videos online. Look up the term Bushcrafting on YouTube.

Put in your local areas name in there too, for example "Bushcrafting Iowa" and see what comes up.

Primitive Survival Bushcraft Tools

Img src: http://www.wolftreema.com/

Survival Depends on Your Gear

Unless you were brought up to know the natural world around you in the way a Native American or old time Frontiersman might have then you will need more than just a knife and a musket to survive in the wild.

This is what Bug Out Bag Builder is all about. We compiled a huge list of products here that we think are appropriate for Survival Kits, Go Bags, Emergency Kits, or as we call them, Bug Out Bags.

Where do you start? If you want to get something right away, then you can get a pre-made Emergency Kit. Amazon has a huge variety to choose from.

Mind that you look for something with good reviews that has quality products.

What is a Go Bag Image

More than likely you will need to supplement the items in the pre-made kits with your own. Take a look at our Bug Out Tools article for some ideas.

If you want to try to make your own survival kit from items you already have around the house, then take a look at our tutorial: What is a Go Bag. It includes a checklist you can download and print out to make the task a little easier.

People in a gathering under a large tarp with an american flag

Img src: www.hipcamp.com

Survival Depends on your Community

More important then perhaps all the subjects listed above is the community around you, and the company you keep. Will your neighborhood fall into chaos during hard times? Perhaps it would be a better long-term decision to live someplace else. Family is the most important thing but it takes friends and neighbors to keep a community going.

Try to find other people who have similar interests as you do, and who you can count on to help and who you would be there for if they needed yours.

If you want to find people who can help with survival things then consider joining your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) or take the EMT Class at your local college. Perhaps join your local Ham Radio Club, or the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) club. Become a volunteer Fireman. Look for local Police or Sheriff citizen groups.

Survival ultimately depends on one person: you. Get active, stay fit, learn about how life used to be. Go camping! Most importantly, have fun.

Live your life to the fullest and keep your family and friends close to your heart always.

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