Survival And What It Isn't

Discussion in 'Mental Preparedness' started by TexDanm, Dec 7, 2017.

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  1. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    Survival and what it isn't

    One of the problems that I see among so many of the prepper/survivalist people is a sort of vague misunderstanding of what it is about. Way to many people have watched to many “Road Warrior” movies and see survival as some sort of war. I'm sorry but if you go into it like that you may be setting yourself up for failure. What you need to understand is that war is the antithesis of survival. In war you have objectives that if you are in the armed forces you are totally willing to go after even to the point of death. A soldier hopes to survive but that isn't the most important thing and officers will send you out to die knowing that many or most of you are going to be hurt. THAT is what you have to do when you are at war. War is all about death and destruction.

    Survival on the other hand has one overriding objective; living for as long as possible and with as little trauma as possible. That may indeed include you having to at times fight but that isn't the focus of your life and you will do as little of it as possible. Surviving also means more than just plain living for one more day. I have a first cousin that managed to live through 3 tours in Vietnam as a Marine but he left his soul over there and though he lives he didn't truly survive.

    If you go out and try to survive by being the baddest beast in the valley of death you may live but you probably won't survive. Survival means that when things get better you don't end up trying to such start a 12 gauge shot gun. PTSD is a KILLER. That is what you will have if you spend all of your time constantly on full alert looking over your shoulder and waiting for the next fight to start.

    The US military is having hell with that mostly because the liberal have shrunk our military to the point that we now try to fight wars with national guardsmen instead of full time professional soldiers. We are killing our people because there are not enough of them and the idiot politicians won't fight a war to win anymore. That is beside the point though. If you want to survive you can't go into it like an endless war.

    I know that a lot of you have trust issues and that people are not all trustworthy but one person along just can't make it. They have to sleep and can't look in all directions at the same time. They will last until the first time they get hurt or sick and that will be it. Human beings are clannish and tribal by nature for a very good reason. It takes a bunch of people to make things safe enough that more of their children will live to maturity than will die. It takes more people because not everyone has the same skill sets and so many things just aren't realistic for one or two people to be able to do.

    If things go bad as most of us here expect can happen there will be a period of dying when the stupid, the evil, and the just plain sheeple will die in mass mostly because they won't have someone to tell them what to do. Each person will have to deal with this time according to where they live, what preparations they have made and exactly what sort of disaster has befallen them.

    To each their own but I suggest that you find a place where there are not a lot of people but NOT to isolate yourself and just try to hunker down and ride that first 6 months to a year out. The reason I don't think total isolation is good is because if you are found you will be ALONE and easy pickings for bandits. A less isolated area will give you a better chance of not being sneaked up on. If they hit your neighbors you can go and help without the same risk level. You can work on them from a distance with say a good deer rifle and not have them shooting up your BOL.

    Having other people around also will mean that you don't have to grow, raise and do it ALL yourself. If a neighbor has corn then you can trade him beans or whatever you grow When one of you wants to butcher a calf of bigger hog that one family doesn't have to deal with that sort of huge volume of meat in a hurry before it spoils. At harvest time you help your neighbors get their crops in and they will help you. This allows you to have and work larger fields than one person could do. Extra stuff allows the start of civilization again. Grain mills only are worth building when you reach a certain level of grain production. They are not one family projects.

    A larger group in an area also improves your chances that you might be able to find a medically trained person if you get hurt and maybe someone that is into herbal remedies. The reason that you will only find a lot of this in small population areas is simply that there is probably an older group of people there and just as it takes more people to allow kids to flourish all those old people may be the only ones that know a lot of the stuff that you are going to be needing to know.

    I'm telling you all of this because I am trying to get you to think of survival in a more long term basis. These little continuities or groups of families will help you keep yourself fundamentally grounded and offer you a chance for life rather than just survival. If you have kids all of this is critical. Kids can't live under constant threat. It does things to them and later it can be pretty bad. Our prisons are full of people that grew up on the streets and in the streets with family heads that were more predator than parent. These are scary people!! They will kill you and not really understand why anyone would care. You want your kids to have as much of a childhood as you can give them. Survival isn't JUST about you. It is about what you leave for the world when you are gone.

    Military guns are cool but they are made for war and not survival. I'm not going there but if you want to give yourself the best chance to live then you want to think in terms of AVOIDING fights of all kinds. If you manage to fight off a group of bandits, if you don't kill EVERY one of them the survivors may well have the last laugh on you when they take you out later by ambush or sniper fire. To you those that you killed might be nothing but trash but that trash is going to be someones brother, son, Dad, husband, sister, daughter, Wife or Mom. They KNOW where you are and probably won't forgive and forget. I KNOW I wouldn't.

    People don't in general take it as personally in a real war. Survival is VERY personal. Any injury could kill you. Anyone that you treat bad might kill you. If you want to survive you want friends not enemies. In the long run these people will help you LIVE.

    The rest is following...
     
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  2. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    Almost from the first you need to be CAREFULLY on the look out for people that might be of benefit to you. If you are bugging out and don't have a set BOL it might be good for you to try and make some connections with other people similarly on the move. You never know they might actually have a destination and be happy to have more people to travel with. There is a certain safety in numbers.

    I actually don't see food as being a big problem where I live. The land is fertile and there is just too many things that a knowledgeable person can eat to survive on for that first year. After that there will be a lot fewer people and those left will tend to be nicer. City folk will have to learn fast what country folk have always known. It pays to be nice and neighborly. We tend to wave at each other when we drive by and just basically acknowledge each other. We all know that we are out here because we want peace and quiet and are pretty self-sufficient. We don't have cops but we do have rules and breaking them isn't a good thing to do.

    The difference between the urban and the rural world view and attitudes is massive. Since I think most of us would agree that major urban population centers are not going to be viable places to survive then even if you currently live in a big city you need to start making contacts and learning about the older more rural ways.

    When you have more physical room around you you tend to be more interested in or willing to be friendly your neighbors than when you are surrounded by the masses. For many of us city living is just not mentally healthy. Too many people jostling you around always in your business and making noise. I was raised and lived in a suburban type place with single family houses. That was about as close as I could deal with. I never even considered living in an apartment. If I was rich I would live in the middle of a thousand acres with nobody around except family.

    There are a lot of us out in the woods that are like that. We are friendly, we just don't want to deal with a lot of people at the same time. If you throw in a hoard of refugees that are used to demanding and getting what they want they are going to have a rude and terrible awakening.

    One of the problems that urban people run head on into when they move out to the country is the idea that since there are no cops and there isn't a law about everything that they can do anything that they want. They will turn their dogs loose and when you complain about them in your trach of messing with your livestock they inform you that there ARE no leach laws in the country. They then FREAK when you explain to them that while this is true that you can also shoot the mutt next time it comes on your property. I've actually had to have this conversation three separate times over the years. They also will drive up and down the road like maniacs because there are no cops so they can do as they please. You have kids on those roads and driving like a fool is not acceptable. In the city when someone does something like this you call the cops, In the country you more often take “direct action”.

    Rural areas tend to have a somewhat older population. Older folks don't have as much patience with stupidity as younger people do. Survival in this sort of place will be a lot easier in some ways. These older people garden and hunt and many here runs some cattle or goats and pigs. They will protect their stuff and the signs that say No Trespassing... mean it and also often have a second line. Trespassers will be shot on sight...survivors will be shot again. This is NOT always a joke! This is the way it is NOW can you imagine what it will be like if everyone is stirred up and nervous?

    If you want to slide into this sort of place you will need to have an IN. That means that you will need to know someone there that will vouch for you and take you in. I have no desire to go it alone and know that there will be safety in numbers. I will have several people that will come to me. We will hunker down together and repel any invaders then once things thin out we will start again. LIVING means you are doing something besides just breathing and your heart is beating. You also need to be doing something worthwhile and have people to care about who care about you.

    Survival is short term life is forever.
     
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  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I agree with the idea of keeping a low profile & staying out of a firefight as much as possible, I have always said this is the way to go. Unfortunately sometimes the firefight comes to you, & then you have to try & extract yourself from it. This may or may not include fighting back.
    On the subject of alone or not alone, it is a fact that one person or a few people can better avoid discovery than a large group of people. As an individual your garden areas will be smaller & less detectable. Travelling to the local water supply & back again & collecting firewood will leave sign, but less sign & easier to conceal if you are alone rather than in a group. If you are a part of a larger group, then you will need to be better armed, because if there are intruders out there, sooner or later they will pick up the sign you are leaving. Multiple tracks, multiple stick picking sign, multiple fires, large garden areas. Yes you will need guards on the watch all the time, whereas an individual can stay well hidden & stands a much better chance of not being discovered. Personally I think some compromise is the best option, a small group of 2-4 people. As it is my family is larger than that, so we would just have to go well prepared if we ever have to leave our forest home.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Can't argue with that.
    Keith.
     
  5. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I am massively armed and my people that will come to me are both well armed and well trained and include one one older Army Ranger. Both have battlefield experience and both will show up with a full tactical kit. Both have M14 rifles and 45 cal pistols along with lots of hunting rifles and shotguns. We nearly all have concealed carry and are at the very least competent with guns. We are also in agreement that the best way to win a fight is to first try and avoid it and if that doesn't work kill without warning.

    The area we live in can be pretty easily isolated and has lots of animals all around. I think that we will be able to make ourselves pretty welcome on those ranches both as mercenary and as Neighbors to help them keep their livestock protected and butchered. Two of us have experience butchering and the tools to do it.

    The little town that I live near has a population of about 500 most of us are mature and many work in the prisons so are not exactly shrinking violets. EVERYBODY is armed and this will be a tough area for gang type to mess with.
     
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I don't know about America but in the UK we have a much smaller population and if you know where to go there are plenty of places that are remote enough to live out your life in relative isolation, many people say there isn't but they usually live in London or other big cities and don't know the areas of which I speak.
    about 80% of the population live in cities and are 4 generations removed from the land, remove the services and the supermarkets and they will all starve to death.
    smaller groups or loners have a better chance well away from the large urban centres.
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the trouble with most American forums is that they seem to dwell on the gun and fighting angle, too many Rambo and John Wayne films I think, in the UK are biggest problem wont be gangs it will be boredom.
     
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  8. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I agree totally. I like guns but understand that they are for killing while survival is about living. Guns may play a part but in the end they should not be the biggest part of a survival strategy. Most of the hardcore Rambo types don't grasp that Rambo had magic magazines and ammo that just kept replenishing itself out of thin air. If they try and bug out with enough ammo to fight a war they are going to have to leave most of the truly necessary things behind. Things like food water and tools will be left behind so that they can go out and fight. Survival isn't about fighting. That may be something that you will have to do occasionally but if you do it much you are going to get killed. Fewer weapons and more stealth will mean for a longer life and THAT is what survival is about. There is a reason why wishing someone to have an exciting life is a curse.
     
  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    yes i'm more interested in stealth and isolation, post SHTF its about putting food on the table not how many baddies one can kill.
    if I have a nice quiet boring but very busy life after SHTF I will be well pleased.
    if as most of us believe the survival rate will be around the 10% mark that in the UK is the same population as the early part of the 18th century (6 million) and they weren't exactly falling over each other back then.
     
  10. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    Basically Lonewolf I think that humanity has simply allowed itself to overpopulate to the point that nearly ANYTHING that interrupts the smooth operation of our systems will cause a massive die off. This sort of thing is very common and cyclic in animals. I guess people just don't or won't use their much vaunted intelligence when it applies to themselves.
     
  11. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I've been thinking that for some time now Tex. some years ago it was stated that the optimum population for this little island of ours, the UK, was around 50 million we are now up to 65 million and counting, our national health service cant cope with the numbers, a 4 hour wait in the emergency room is normal these days, we haven't got enough housing for everyone that's here already never mind those yet to come and our major roads are choked during the commute to work, they also reckon it will take about 12 years to fill all the potholes in the road, that's the ones we have now not including any new ones. and yet people still keep on breeding.
    i'm just glad I live in a rural area well away from any big city.
     
  12. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    The fact that mankind had the means to control its population and yet refuses to do so in most of the world says something about our current fitness as an intelligent species to survive. China is the only place that is currently actually trying to control their population numbers and the West gives them a hard time for it.
     
  13. tominwash

    tominwash Member
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    Exactly. As for being alone, my survival thoughts are geared toward my wife. If I go, she is in trouble so I have to keep breathing as long as possible. I need someone else to watch the place if I go fishing etc. I think the troublemakers will be going after soft targets. A small group, even just 3-4 can defend quite well and protect their stash in a small town environment. It would be great to head out to the hills, ifin it was just me, I would probably do it, but it isn't and we are older.

    We had dinner with a couple of friends a few weeks ago and I round about broached the subject in general terms. I know the first rule of fight club. To my surprise, they were doing the exact same thing. We spent the rest of the evening going over everything we talk about here. 1/2 mile from each other through a wood area. We even went so far as to talk about if one place becomes unlivable, fall back to the other. It is one thing to take someone in, but quite another when they are dragging a year worth of food and weapons with them.

    I'm not sure, but I think my survival chances just went up.
     
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  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I don't think it will take much to tip the balance and set off a SHTF event, but most people cant or don't want to see it and will be taken by surprise without any sort of supplies when it happens.
     
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  15. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    removal of the mains electricity supply will tip the balance, most people have never lived without electric and wouldn't know how to.
     
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  16. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    You are very lucky to have friends you can talk to about this stuff that don't think you are a nutter! :)
    Keith.
     
  17. arctic bill

    arctic bill Well-Known Member
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    back in the 70"s i went off in to the bush and cleared land to build my camp. i think when the shtf it will be a lot like that. I got up with the sun worked all day long with old fashioned hand tools. bow saw, axe, shovel ect. then eat supper and so tired and dirty went right to bed, then get up and do it all over again, once a week i forced myself to wash in the lake even thought it was real cold. I figure it is going to be a lot like that. i liked it cause my heroes are those canadian woodsman trapper and hunter. it will not be easey. in fact i do not know if i could do it again. when was the last time you challenged yourself to go off in the wood and hunt fish or trap until you got something. we are all a lot softer than we used to be. i like talking to you guys cause i can see you are a lot like me.
     
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  18. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    It has been a while Bill, but I don't think I have got soft. More pain & a lot slower maybe, but not soft. As a matter of fact I have been scouting an area to construct myself a small cabin, & have a couple of spots marked out. Might go out again today & see if there is an alternate root higher up.
    You take care out there.
    Regards, Keith.
     
  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    Honestly I think that if you can just hunker down someplace and survive that first year without drawing attention to yourself the entire world is going to be pretty well a new world without near as many people. The Rambo types will mostly be dead because the old saying that if you live by the sword you will die by the sword is very true when you don't have doctors or modern medicines.

    The food situation won't be so much of it not being available as it will be a lack of distribution. The fields are planted. Miles and miles of corn and wheat or where I live thousands and thousands of hogs and cattle. The problem is that where there is lots of food there are not many people and where there are lots of people there is almost NO food. People in the mega cities, unless they leave at the first sign of trouble, will die there or in the area immediately adjacent to them.

    The sheeple are mostly going to just sit there assuming that the government will fix things and take care of them. When it becomes obvious that isn't the case the roads will be blocked and impassable. Where would 23 million people go anyway from say the NYC metro area. The LA metro area has a little less than 20 million. Their plight is hopeless. If one in ten thousand survive that first year it will be a miracle.

    With a plummeting population the survivors that have thought ahead and made some preparations shouldn't have too much trouble surviving. I suspect that the population will keep falling for at least 5 years before stabilizing. Those left will have an entire world to scavenge and salvage. Lots of food will be everywhere because our definition of food will change. The store shelves will be empty but the feed stores in most cases will be overlooked as will the warehouses for that sort of rough feed. I will tell you for a fact. 18% protean sweet feed for a horse tastes good. It is basically rolled oats, crushed grains and molasses.
     
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  20. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Good post Tex, totally agree.
    Keith.
     
  21. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I totally agree with every world you wrote Tex, this is very much my own thinking too, certainly on the same lines but with a British slant, the population numbers are much smaller to begin with.
    London has 8 million, Birmingham(often referred to as the 2nd city) has 1 million.
     
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