By Bob Robb
When I first started shooting modern crossbows several years ago, I had no idea what to expect. Like many who had never played with them, these tools confused me. I had seen them on TV, but without ever handling one, I wasn’t sure about a lot of things. How do you load one? How do you pull the string back? What’s the trigger like? Do they kick, like a rifle? Are they noisy? Are they accurate? How far away can you accurately shoot one? Do they have enough power to kill a deer?
As a student of wilderness survival, I have spent my life practicing, teaching and preserving the primitive survival skills of our ancestors. In our culture, primitive skills such as starting fire, hunting, navigation, making cordage, and using stone tools have been replaced with wind-proof lighters, flashlights, microwaves, grocery stores, GPSs, hardware stores and knives. We take modern conveniences for granted and the thought rarely (if ever) crosses most people’s minds about what they would do if ever faced with a true survival situation.
So you’ve stocked up on all the food you’ll need after the end of the world as we know it. You’ve got wheat, flour, dried foods, canned foods, all kinds of food. But if the worst case scenario happens, will you still have power? There might be power in some areas, but always assume there won’t be where you are. And if there isn’t, how are you going to cook all that food?
Staying healthy in a survival situation should be at the top of your preparation to-do list. By maintaining health in an extreme circumstance you can better insure your own survival and that of your families.
Along with attention to proper hygiene, the key to staying healthy when you are relying on your own resources is eating proper nutrition. The absolute best way to get good nutrition is by providing sources of fresh fruits and vegetables to you and your dependents in every situation. An MRE is not going to get the job done and neither is a conventional vitamin.
In the comments of an earlier article we were asked to consider the Vegan survivalist. I have been doing some study into the special problems faced by Vegans; this is the result. First, I am not a practicing Vegetarian or Vegan so if I have made any mistakes or presented an insult it is from ignorance, not animosity. Second, I also have not addressed firearms. That topic is adequately covered elsewhere and does not need repeating here. Please feel free to correct any errors that you may discover.
It’s 45 degrees and raining. Your last backpacking trip of the season has run into a snag – the weather was supposed to be fine and mild, but instead is dripping and cold.
The boots you wore for the weather you expected have sprung a leak and your right foot is shriveled and contributing to an overall feeling of soggy malaise. You make camp and start a smokey, barely-there fire, but you quickly realize that you did not pack the rain fly for your tent. And it’s already leaking.
A friend of mine got a dog and started training it for survival. He searched the Internet for specialized dog training books and articles, and found quite a lot of useful information. He also posted on a couple of survival forums, asking for help from preppers who`ve gone through the whole process and can give him some good advice.
As of right now, only extreme weather affects our daily lives, but in a doomsday scenario we would need to know the weather to properly adapt shelter, make sure our rain barrels are ready, or to know the right time to plant our seeds for the garden. In the event of a coming disaster you should have already purchased a solar charged or hand cranked radio equipped with NOAA. Ideally, this would provide a way for you to hear news from the outside world and let you know if a giant hurricane or tsunami is headed in your direction. Every good little prepper should have a back-up plan in the event the hand radio had to be used in defense against a hoard of zombies, or there is no one left to broadcast the weather and tell you the latest news (cue in eerie, dark music).
Life without fire is largely very hard, so procuring fire naturally becomes a number one survival priority in most situations. Fire not only allows you to sterilize water, cook food, keep warm, and drives bugs away, but it also lets you wash your clothes in hot water, dry your clothes, and it tends to keep predators at bay. To this end, when it comes to preparing for the worst there is really no such thing as too many ways to start a fire.