Survival 101: Focus on What Will IMMEDIATELY Kill You, NOT Irrelevant Details
Survival 101: Focus on What Will IMMEDIATELY Kill You, NOT Irrelevant Details by Daisy Luther for The Organic Prepper
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I’ve written about survivalism vs. preparedness before. Today I want to talk about a major difference between the two.
- In one discipline, you can focus on the small details.
- In the other, you could die if you do that.
Preparedness is like getting a meal ready in the slow cooker. Survivalism is like the deep fryer. If you take to long to deal with things in a survival situation, you’re going to get burned.
Something I see far too often is people who focus on preparedness confusing these two things. In a survival situation, there is no time at all to deal with irrelevant details. The speed at which you act can mean the difference between life and death. And I’m not talking about slow death by eating processed food. I’m talking about immediate death, injury, or peril.
It never fails.
I write an article about an extreme situation without appropriate sanitation and someone comments, “We don’t use hand sanitizer or bleach. It’s bad for you.”
Or I write about building a fast kit for an extreme emergency when you’re at a tourist attraction and I suggest peanut M&Ms. Someone says smugly, “That’s not very organic.”
When you’re on the run for your very life, you’re probably not going to care about a little bit of high-fructose corn syrup.
The same can be said for articles about using Narwhal tusks to defeat a terrorist or breaking down an event that may or may not be a false flag. While I appreciate guns, organic food, fancy hand cleansers made from essential oils, and discussing conspiracy theories as much as the next health-conscious, red-blooded American, I also know that there are situations in which getting bogged down in these irrelevant details could be deadly.
If you’re caught up in a mass shooting, you won’t suddenly be immune to bullets if you spontaneously realize, “Oh wait. This is a false flag organized by the government!” Those bullets are still flying around you no matter who is shooting them at you.
In a survival scenario, you have to work with the parameters you’re given. When seconds count, fretting over the non-organic applesauce or the sunscreen with parabens is downright ridiculous. In survival situations, you have to focus on what will immediately kill you, not what might give you cancer in 30 years.
For the sake of survival…
Sure, in your day to day life you should make the best choices possible to support your health. You should eat whole foods that are free of pesticides and toxic additives. You should be a savvy consumer of media, thinking critically about what you’re being told and not just soaking up the propaganda.
But for the love of all things cute and fluffy, stop trying to make emergency survival fit in with your ideal world. Emergency survival is not prepping.
If you’re in a situation where the S has truly hit the Fan, you’re going to have to eat things that may not be up to your standards. You’re going to have to push yourself when you’re exhausted. You’re going to have to sleep in places that do not have freshly laundered sheets. You may need to use bleach to clean up an infectious mess made by a person who is ill. You’re going to have to push yourself far beyond your comfort zone.
You have to cover your basics in the most efficient way possible.
If you are in a survival situation, you don’t have time to putter around Whole Foods seeking out some delightful, raw vegan snacks for your backpack. You don’t get to select a nice sleeping bag stuffed with goose down with literally 40 pounds of feathers. You aren’t going to have a trail guide or a pack mule to carry all your stuff.
You want to have lightweight essentials. And forget two is one, one is none. This is survival. You’re either moving fast or you’re hunkering down and staying hidden. One is plenty in most cases. And with a lot of things you think you need, you don’t even need one. (Here are some survival products that we field-tested that worked and some that did not.)
If you’re bugging out, you are most likely not going to sit down and cook a nice meal at the end of a long day of evading zombies. You’re going to gnaw on some jerky and eat a granola bar and wash it down with water you filtered from a mud puddle. Then you’ll take turns sleeping and standing watch.
Survival is like prepping’s redneck cousin.
Efficiency is everything. You want the most efficient way to stay warm enough and dry enough to function, to communicate, to stay hydrated, to eat enough to keep your energy level up, to treat any wounds or illnesses you encounter, to navigate to your destination, and to stay clean enough not to get sick.
This doesn’t take 50 pounds of gear.
As much as I’d love to write a list of the perfect survival bag and recommend all sorts of expensive things every prepper should have, after taking Selco’s courses, I don’t believe that’s how it works.
I believe in having good basic tools that you know how to use, and the flexibility to use other things if your ideal tools aren’t available.
I want the highest level of germ-killing products available to me. I want sturdy tools. I want to stay dry. I want to have water that won’t kill me. I want something – anything that won’t make me immediately sick – to eat. Check out the urban bug-out kit that I put together at a foreign flea market in about 15 minutes.