Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, which goes into detail on how to keep improving your firearms skills in a time of crazy-expensive ammo…if you can even find it. If you own a gun, you need this book. It’s less than a single ticket to the movies and you’ll save more than that in your first 5 minutes of training. If you’re a fan of Top Shot, Dustin Ellermann is on the cover and demonstrates skills throughout. To learn more, go >HERE< now. And, to see my brief commentary on Wednesday night’s episode 2 of Top Shot: All Stars, go >HERE< -David
Survival Diva here, about to upset the applecart for some who plan to flee to the wilderness post SHTF. The good news is that with forethought and preparation, you can drastically reduce the challenges posed by wilderness survival.
Many of us here on the forum have given up luxuries in order to prepare and many of us spend a good deal of our time researching what it will take to survive after a breakdown in infrastructure and/or civil order, and then make the necessary improvements needed to increase our preparedness. In that vein, I have listed some of the challenges that will have to be overcome to survive for any length of time in the wilderness.
(David’s note: Why mention the wilderness when a lot of what I have written about focuses on urban skills?
Great question. I actually wrote an article on this that I encourage you to read by going >HERE<. In short, for many families, it’s easier to get them to buy into practicing wilderness survival skills than it is to get them to buy into practicing urban survival skills. And, although there’s not a perfect correlation between wilderness and urban survival skills, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. In other words, you might not be able to get your family to turn off the utilities to your house for 48 hours to test your preparations at home, but it’s much more likely that you CAN get them to go hunting, fishing, or camping for 48 hours. Perfect? No. Baby steps in the right direction? Absolutely.
It’s a page right out of Mary Poppins’ book…hide the work behind fun and you learn without knowing it.)
Although many of us already enjoy the outdoors, and aren’t strangers to camping, fishing and hunting, please take a look at the list below and access your personal survivability during a long-term crisis. Everybody is going to have different scales of success–if you’re in your 70s and your 95 year old mother lives with you, your realm of possibilities are slightly different than a single guy in his late 20s who just got out of the Army after 2 Airborne deployments. With that in mind:
- Are you physically fit, to the point that hiking steep mountainsides, or running with a heavy backpack is possible?
- Could you withstand extreme heat or cold for long periods of time?
- Could you deal with a soaking tent, clothing, and terrain during the spring and fall?
- Can you identify edible plants for food and medicinal purposes, and do you have a thorough book on edible plants that will let you know what is safe to eat if ever there was a question?
- Do you have the shooting or archery skills that will allow you to hunt, and if so, do you have the right equipment and ammo to get the job done?
- Can you make a snare to catch game?
- If you were to take down a deer or another animal, could you gut it, butcher it, and preserve the meat while in the wilderness?
- Do you have what it takes to defend yourself, even when that may mean having to take another person’s life while having to defend your or your loved ones life? Put another way, have you answered the question of whether or not your life is worth preserving if someone else is trying to snuff it out?
- Will children be with you, and if so, would it be possible to keep them silent if it becomes necessary to “disappear” from others?
- Do you have the skills to start a fire from scratch when the matches run out?
- Do you have the skills and equipment to cook over an open fire pit?
- Do you have the stamina to wash clothes in a stream, gather wood and carry the heavy water containers back to camp?
- Will there be enough members in your group to patrol the parameters of your camp site when such safety measures become necessary? Do you know how to patrol? Do you know how to set up perimeter alarms?
- Are you free of physical limitations or ailments that would make living in the wilderness for a long period of time unrealistic?
- Do you have a “the glass is always half-full” mental attitude that will let you continue, even when the going gets rough?
- Are you close to a wilderness setting, and if not, do you have the combat training to get past groups of looters and worse who will want what you carry in your backpack?
- Is everyone in your family or group team players, or are there those who may cause dissention?
- Do you have reality based (no punching to the face) hand-to-hand combat and tactical training expertise, like Target Focus Training?
- Do you have the medical training to treat emergencies such as wounds, and general illness and could you treat a dental problem?
This list was not meant to deflate anyone’s plan to flee to the wilderness. Many others have faced these questions and have worked to fill in any holes in their survival plan through training and practice. It’s not an all or nothing proposal. It’s simply a self-check that you can use to identify vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and start knocking them off one at a time.
Now is an excellent time to honestly access your survival skills and work on your expertise if necessary.
If you feel you are up for extended wilderness survival, and that’s backed up by personal experience, then you probably are. However, there is one other aspect about wilderness survival that should be considered.
When I grew concerned over the high number of folks who plan to flee to the wilderness and live off wild game when SHTF, I asked an Alaskan Fish and Game manager if people could expect to survive off wild game during a long-duration crisis. His answer was pretty much what I expected; “If people plan on surviving on moose and bear for any length of time, they’re gonna starve.
What moose and bear that would be left would be high in the mountains, where only a hardy few could climb, and even fewer would be able to drag the kill back down the mountain,” was his chilling answer.
He went on to say the moose and bear population (there are no deer in central Alaska and the caribou are predominantly in the far north) will be hunted in a matter of weeks. However, the feedback I got from my Fish & Game contact is partially due to everyone in Alaska having numerous firearms, and many of them are avid hunters, so you may have better odds in your region.
Have a look at the following wild game demographics in the U.S. and pit the numbers against the U.S. population of nearly 321 million
For this post, I did extensive research for the most current population of the most commonly hunted wild game.
The deer population today is between 24 to 30 million. Lucky for us, this is an amazing recovery from the 500,000 in the 1900’s.
The U.S. Elk population is 1 million and growing.
The wild Boar population is predominately concentrated in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, California, and surprisingly, Oregon and Hawaii, but they are are found to a smaller extent in three-fourths of U.S. states. Their population is approximately 5 million.
The Black Bear population throughout the U.S is 300,000. However, in Florida and Louisiana, the black bear is on the threatened list.
As you’d expect, the brown bear population is concentrated in Canada and Alaska and total to 30,000.
The beaver population is estimated to be from 6 to 12 million.
A VERY rough estimate of the U.S. squirrel population stands at approximately 1.12 trillion—very, very small meals.
There are an estimated 7 million wild turkeys in the U.S.
Although mountain goats, and bighorn and thinhorn sheep were once popular game, their numbers have dwindled. Because of their low numbers they were not added to the list. Opossums are routinely hunted in some regions of the United States and as they are both omnivores and herbivores, they are extremely adaptable while their habitat continues to grow. Although Opossum numbers are large, population statistics are not available.
(David’s note: Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is that, frankly, most people suck at both hunting and shooting. They can’t stalk. They don’t have good noise, smell, or visual discipline. They don’t shoot their weapons regularly. Most don’t have them sighted in accurately. Many don’t have good trigger discipline. Others don’t know where to aim for quick, clean kills. Some misjudge size and kill 90 pound fawns. Others shoot females of species with low population densities. Fix all of those problems, and hunters have a tendency to rush their shots, try to shoot through trees, or engage game at distances beyond their ability. And, if they get lucky, they don’t wait for their prey to bleed out, can’t track a blood trail from a double lung+heart shot, and wouldn’t recognize spor on a freshly raked beach. (can you tell I get a little riled up on this topic?)
Add all of these factors together and multiply them by the number of low-skill hunters who plan on living off of the land in a disaster situation and the most likely scenario is that a LOT of high quality, edible game will get shot and killed but the meat wasted or eaten by scavengers. Heck, with big game, you’ve even got the issue of how to pack the meat out after you shoot it…which oftentimes results in 1/2-3/4 of the kill being left behind.
Why do I mention all of this? First of all, as a tool for self assessment. Secondly, if you’ve got all of your skills honed, the game in your area of operations will still be subject to people who don’t know what they’re doing, so plan accordingly.)
If you are as disappointed with the numbers of wild game vs. the human population as I was, there are things we can do to get through lean times.
If you will be locating to a fishing area, an important part of your survival equipment should include fishing gear for all members of your family or group.
If you haven’t already, start educating yourself on wild edible foods. I highly recommend a field book that includes clear photos of poisonous look-alikes so you’re able to correctly identify plants before consuming them. Personally, I own two such books: Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies by Linda Kershaw and Edible Wild Plants; A North American Field Guide by Elias & Dykeman. If you have a favorite, please share it with the group!
Consider burying cashes of food and supplies in the location you will be relocating to before a crisis strikes. Of course, this is best done with stealth!
That concludes this week’s post. Next week I will be concentrating on how to harden your home against looters for those of you who plan to shelter in place.
Does your escape plan include fleeing to the wilderness, or do you plan on surviving in place, no matter what? Do you have a strategy to harvest wild foods? Please share your hunting tips and strategies with the forum. If you are proficient at gathering wild foods and medicinal herbs, please share your tips along with any books you would recommend by commenting below.
Chapter 11 of Implant is now available. Click Here to continue reading!
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva