What Bushcraft Can Teach You about Surviving Emergencies
Pine needle tea, cooking potatoes in aluminum foil over hot coals, using the bow drill method… all of these sound exciting for those looking to get into bushcraft. But little do they know that these types of experiences can teach them some very important lessons about surviving emergencies.
In this article, I’m going to do two things. One, I’ll share some lessons you should or should have learned by now. Two, I’m hoping to get you love bushcraft even more, and get excited about trying new things the next time you go to the outdoors.
Lesson #1: Self Reliance
There’s an ongoing debate in the prepper community about whether or not you should survive on your own or in a group. Of course a group can help (many times there’s safety in numbers) but, ultimately, when you’re facing chaos, you might be on your own.
When it’s you against Mother Nature, when there’s no 911 to call, and even if you have your family alongside, you’ll still have to figure out things on your own… things such as where you’ll sleep, what you’ll eat and how you’ll protect yourself if someone attacks you.
Bushcraft can teach you all of these because it’s the only way for you to leave your comfy couch and go out there into the woods, protecting yourself from the elements, finding you way back if you get lost, and trying not to get injured. And when you do get that first cut, you’re on your own to take care of it.
Lesson #2: Fitness is Key
If you hiked for more than 30 minutes in your life, you know what a pain it is to carry a 30, 40 or even 50 pounds on your back. You need frequent breaks, in which you happily drink some of the water you’re carrying to decrease the pressure on your back.
In an emergency, stamina and flexibility are going to be key. If you can’t run from a rapidly approaching disaster, if you can’t jump a fence or climb a tree, then all the guns and gear in the world might not save you.
Now, I know that most of us are relying on bug out vehicles to make our escape, but don’t forget they can get attacked by thugs, broken or into accidents. You need to be able to continue on foot; this is why getting just a little bit in shape is so important.
How do you improve your fitness levels? You know very well how; you probably don’t want to do it. Many lack the motivation to join a gym or even an at-home workout and stick to it. Well, now you’ve got extra motivation.
How about the fact that a flash flood could sweep you away should you not be able to swim with all your power, and grab onto a tree branch? How about that, in case of a house fire, you won’t be able to grab as many valuables as you ca, or to start putting out the fire yourself until the fire marshals arrive? These are very good reasons to start spending more time in the wilderness and do physical work, and I can think of dozens upon dozens of others.
You may be wondering: what does fitness have to do with bushcraft? Well, if you’re on foot, it means you won’t be able to sleep in your car. You might have to camp into the woods or on the side of the road somewhere, either using a tent or by making shelter form branches and leaves. You’ll need to make fire to keep yourself warm and you’ll need to do some outdoor cooking, provided you actually have some food.
Lesson #3: What It’s like without Modern Day Conveniences
When you have to “go” into the woods, you won’t find a toilet hidden behind a nearby tree, you won’t be able to check your e-mail every 5 minutes, and you won’t be able to turn on the TV when you get bored.
Bushcraft is a good opportunity for you to live just like our ancestors have done for hundreds of thousands of years. That’s pretty much how things could be like in an emergency. No TV or internet in case of a blackout, no one to talk to besides your family if there’s Martial Law.
If you run out of toilet paper, you better improvise. If you run out of food, you better find some. If you want to hear the latest news, you better ask someone. Use your kills and your guts, rather than Google and your smartphone.
Will you enjoy it? At first, yes. But then you’ll get bored and exhausted.
Will Things Really Get That Bad?
They might, but that doesn’t mean you should buy into any Doomsday scenario. The way you improve your chances of survival are by becoming more prepared, not by scaring yourself to death every day.
So long as you go out in nature and you make it a point of trying new things that also have to do with survival, you’re well on your way to becoming better prepared than 99% of people. Good luck!