Practicing Minimalism

I love to read about or see what folks have packed in their survival kits. Sometimes I’ll see something I’ve not thought of before and incorporate it into my own kits. Other times, I shake my head and wonder just how far they think they’ll get toting all that gear.

Minimalism is basically just having the absolute bare essentials and making do. It relies much more on skills than it does on stuff. That’s something I’ve been preaching here since this blog started — no matter what happens, you’ll always have knowledge and skills. No one can take those from you.

Next time you head out into the field to practice your survival skills, try a minimalistic approach. Instead of taking along a 50lb rucksack with everything but the kitchen sink in it, use a fanny pack. Pare down your kit to the point that it’ll fit into that small space and see how you fare.

What would you consider to be your absolute bare essentials?

–Sharp knife
–Fire starting kit
–Container for water
–Small amount of high-calorie food
–Space blanket

And even some or all of those items could be done without, right?

Gear makes life easy, no argument there. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. But, if you don’t have it, do you have the skills to improvise and make do?

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 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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