Learning wilderness skills

First of all, I’d like to congratulate Chloe as the youngest graduate of Dave Canterbury’s Pathfinder Basics Class! At 9 years old, she already has the basic wilderness survival skills the vast majority of adults lack. Congratulations, Chloe, you rock!

Everyone interested in preparedness should have at least a basic, fundamental level of proficiency with bushcraft and wilderness skills. These would include making fire, survival shelters, and foraging. The idea isn’t so much that you can just walk into the woods with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife and survive for years on end. Rather, these skills are meant to supplement your stockpiled supplies, your bug out bag, and your other emergency gear.

As should be evident by now, I have little little patience for those whose plans for a crisis consist primarily of going “Rambo” out in the wilderness. There are very, very few people who could likely pull that off for any considerable length of time and most of those folks wouldn’t want to do it if there was a better alternative. Living entirely off the land out in the bush is hard, hard work. Most of your time is spent just acquiring food, let alone working on your shelter, keeping firewood handy, and doing the innumerable other tasks that need to be done on a daily basis.

That said though, skills are something that can’t be taken away from you. You can’t lose them like you could a pack of matches. They might get rusty if you don’t use them regularly but they are still there. If you’re forced to bug out on foot and you’ve already used your last match, those skills will give you the ability to still make a fire to keep warm. Those skills will fill your belly when you’ve eaten your last pack of ramen noodles. Those skills will keep you on the right path as you navigate to your bug out location.

Those skills will keep you alive.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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