Learn it and pratice it

by Tony Rife
(Ohio U.S.A.)

When I was a young boy my mother started teaching me wilderness survival. She raised my brothers and sisters through the Great Depression. When I got older I would go out for a week at a time with nothing in my pockets or a pack.

One time I met an older man on a hiking trail we sat down along a small creek for a bit as we talked he said something that stuck with me. He said that its good to know the ways of the land but if the American Indian had matches,hiking shoes and modern bows the dam sure would have used them.

So now I carry a strike force fire starter,50' of 550 cord,fish hooks,aqua straw,soup can for cooking and a good side knife.It sure beats making a knife out of a stone or cordage from nettles but its good to know I still can even at 55 years old and six bypasses. Remember learn all u can but then go practice it.

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by: Ken

1. learn!
2. practice!
3. "be prepared"
4. practice some more!
5. (get home with most of your pieces.)

I've been a river guide for a lot of years (15+) and have personally experienced "survival" situations.

Believe me when I say that any survival situation is NOT WHAT YOU MAY EXPECT! Fortunately, for me and our guests, we are prepared and practiced for most emergency events. We still take time out to practice our "skills" in front of the guests. Everything from 1st aid to survival skills. It entertains them and gives us an excuse to .....PRACTICE!

IMHO, one should have an appropriate "kit" in an appropriate container for each kind of outing and weather and be VERY PRACTICED at using each and every piece of gear in ALL it's potential applications.

Practice IS preparation
by: Dustin Tarditi

YES! The saying I've heard is that if Daniel Boone could have carried a bic lighter, he would have.

There is a difference between survival and primitive living. Survival is man vs. nature, primitive living is man *with* nature. Some of the skills are shared across disciplines - but the philosophies are quite different.

Survival skills have GOT to be practiced - another saying (I'm full of sayings today!) is "It if isn't tested it doesn't work." Theory is great - understanding of the mechanics of starting a fire with a ferro rod and striker, for instance, is important, but there is no substitute for having tried to do it, refined your technique, and building the confidence in your ability to do it. As your skills grow and mature, experimenting with ways to attain the same ends without the same means - we know we need to produce fire - learn as many ways as possible and become proficient in at least 3. Shelter building can involve tarps, tents, cordage, etc. but learn how to make other types with as little "introduced" materials as possible. Not only will you expand your skillset, you will focus on the outcome, not the process. The process *will* change based on how you come into the situation and what you can find on-hand.

While you can't be prepared for everything, if you have built up a "bag of tricks" to address the key elements to sustaining life in other-than-ideal conditions, it frees us up to deal with more complex issues at-hand. Similar to how the military relies on training so soldiers can rely on instinct and trained response they don't need to worry about fundamentals like marksmanship, cover & concealment, tactical movement, etc.

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