Emergency PreparednessWilderness Survival

Three Questions Every Prepper Should be Able to Answer Without Hesitation

Carl Sagan, the famous astrophysicist and astronomer, once said, “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” As survivalists, we all know that extinction is inevitable. We can’t know when and we can’t know where, but we do know that eventually, we will have to rely on our knowledge and training in order to keep ourselves alive.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to decide if we are to be part of the rule or part of the exception to which Mr. Sagan so wisely alluded. If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of the growing number of Americans who will take it upon themselves to ensure their survival when a disaster or imminent threat of some kind puts us and our society at risk of collapse.

Prepping for this type of event takes significant time, energy, and training. If you plan on being the exception to the rule, if you plan on making it out alive, there are some questions that you should ask yourself.

Are you ready for armed or unarmed combat?
There are a few theories out there about the effectiveness of firearms in the wake of a disaster. Some argue that relying on guns for survival is the best way to protect themselves. There is no match against their power in self-defense, that’s for sure. Choosing to carry a firearm, knife, pepper spray, or other weapon is a personal decision (in most places in America at least), and opinions vary as to if it’s really necessary.

No matter what side you’re on, you’ll still need to ask yourself if you are ready to protect yourself, with a weapon or without. Self-defense may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, but when the law enforcement agencies you depend on for safety have been rendered helpless an attack or other event, the ability to protect yourself becomes paramount.

Take the time to sign up for and complete a basic self-defense class. Even if you don’t want to own one, at least learn how to respect and use a firearm if your life depended on it. These skills could one day make extinction not so inevitable after all.

How sustainable are your resources?
We all know that we won’t survive for long without clean water and food. Without hydration and adequate nutrition, we’re useless. Extinction is inevitable. But notice that this question isn’t about whether you have stockpiles of food and water. The question is if your resources are sustainable over time.

Those cans of Beefaroni and giant glass jugs of water are going to run out, and will probably do so much faster that you think. Sustainable resources for yourself mean the same thing as for our planet. Sustainability is the ability to continue to feed ourselves long after the supplies are gone. You can’t go to the store and buy resource sustainability like you would a stove or tent. It’s a skill that must be mastered.

Sustainable resources for human survival center around a source of clean, dependable water and the ability to grow and hunt food. Practice gathering rainwater at home and discover the many ways it can be used. Even if you choose to grow just some small herbs in your kitchen, you’re learning about how to plant and cultivate a sustainable resource. Self-reliance means that you are the one in control of feeding yourself, and that takes practice and knowledge.

Are you prepared for physical and emotional stress?
If there’s a theme here, it’s that if you want to be the exception rather than the rule, you’re going to have to work at it. Survival can’t be purchased at Cabella’s or entrusted to a shotgun. Let’s tackle the issue of physical stress first. The amount of work your body will need to accomplish in order to stay alive is probably unfathomable right now. For example, if it’s a natural disaster, you’ll need to move yourself and your gear over a number of miles to get to a safe place, all under dangerous weather conditions.

Consider what your mind and brain will go through when you come to the realization that every part of society that was put in place for your protection is now worthless. Could that be a little tough to handle? If loved ones are killed or injured in an attack or disaster your entire emotional foundation could be rocked. It’s essential to have a leadership and problem-solving skills that will keep you focused.

Fortunately, it’s doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. There are tons of opportunities out there for building these skills while still having fun with your family. Hiking and backpacking trips are great ways to practice teamwork and communication skills. If you have trouble getting motivated to exercise, consider how crucial physical strength is to your survival. Lifting some weights might not seem important, but if that strength might one day be used to carry a child away from a fire it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

Anyone who isn’t able to confidently answer any of these questions will hopefully start training and learning with more focus. There is no doubt that some kind of traumatic event can ruin all of what we’ve come to depend on, so any extra preparations can do nothing but help. Keep stopping by ShadowFoxHQ and we’ll share our knowledge and tips for making the most of your training.

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Steve Ference

Steve Ference

When he's not writing post-apocalyptic fiction or survival guides, Steve's snowshoeing on the Pacific Crest Trail or training for his next off-road triathlon.

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