Well, here is part one of a series that I will be doing that is specifically for a low cost survival checklist. In this part I want to start the whole thing off by discussing the value of survival skills, having a known bug out location, and knowing when to go.
Over the next several posts I will be visiting the subject of budgeted survival. NOT CHEAP. I don’t do cheap if I don’t have to, I do low cost. What is the return on my investment or expense? I am posting on the subject by request of Stephen from TN. If you want a post over a specific topic, you may contact me and let me know.
Everything will basically stem off of a list of survival needs:
I will not be hitting this list a lot today, but will begin tomorrow. Today is a prequal to all of the preparations that we will be discussing. I want to make something clear before diving into all of the stuff that we gotta do or gotta get.
The first and most important low cost survival item is to grow your survival skills. Skills is not on the list, because it can encompass the entire list. This is dramatically more important than any “things” that we possess. With the skills and thinking necessary, we can get ourselves out of 90% of the situations that me may consider a “survival scenario.” And for those that are unavoidable, we can succeed in most cases, if we have been training ourselves and honing our skills. If we have been reading great informative resources such as the Clever Survivalist Blog and then practicing the ideas that we learn in order to turn them from written knowledge into skills.
It is awesome to have the skills to procure food, water, shelter, etc. Cooking food is a skill, and a valuable one that gets overlooked when prepping. If your rations are going to lack, you can overcome some of the mundane and bland by knowing HOW to prepare the food in different ways. Knowing where to look for food. Knowing where to find water and how to purify it. Knowing how to build shelters, and which ones are best in what environments. Know how to build a fire, how to set up a defense system, and the particulars of health and sanitation. Most of what I have described are knowledge, but what sets skills apart from knowledge, is practice. Knowledge plus practice produces skill.
It is a much better ROI (return on investment, business term) to invest in skills than any other item. This being said, you wouldn’t be very smart if you didn’t prepare with available resources to make it easier. LUCK is when preparedness meets opportunity. You make your own. Provide yourself the opportunity.
The next critical item on the list, which is actually a part of the shelter tab, but I see it as important enough to stress it in the introductory post. Before you start working on anything else in the list, you need to have a Bug Out Location. I am not telling you to go out and purchace 5 acres of your own to settle on in the wilderness. Bugging in is staying home when a disaster is pending, and bugging out is leaving your primary residence when there is a looming disaster. So any location that you would go to is a “bug-out location” or BOL for short.
You have family and friends that would house you if needed. Everyone’s situation is different, but you need to find somewhere you can go that has an established life support system. So you need all of the items on the list. Make a deal with your family or friends that if they provide you with emergency support that you will do the same for them and their families.
Take me or instance, I may be in Tennessee, but I know that if I needed to, I could go to Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and possibly even Virginia and Washington for a BOL. So if there is a local, or even regional disaster, I could be covered with a place to go.
As I said, you must get this figured out before you start working on some of the other things that I will be listing, because you can have all the water and food stored that you would ever want, but if you are forced to leave, you will be leaving most, if not all, of the preps at home. Don’t get stuck in a horrible position where you spent all of your time and effort on preps, and never considered the fact that you may need to evacuate.
Now, for a skill that pertains to bugging out. You need to know WHEN to bug out, and when to bug in. Many times people get into a situation, like in hurricanes, where they send their families on but stay behind, because they think that they cant lose that job, and then they, after a mandatory evacuation, either end up on the roof with a “Help me” sign, or even worse, they die in the disaster. You alone know your situation, and when you should leave, and if you haven’t thought about it already, it is time to sit down and consider the facts and scenarios, because this will reduce the chance of you freezing or making emotional decisions under pressure and stress.
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!