When you are looking to keep you and yours Self Reliant you have to look to those who had to be or else. Those that it didn’t matter what you thought, how you were brought up, or current station in life it was a matter of life or death. In the times where if you didn’t make it, or produce it, or create it from scratch you simply went without. There was no Bed Bath and Beyond, heck, there wasn’t any Sears and Roebuck either! I’m talking about those that lived 200 years or longer before our time. The factors that they needed to square with were the following:
- They were on the move often. Didn’t know when opportunity was knocking for a better place or circumstance to live nor did you know when it was time to get out of harms way. And one needed to be ready to move with the essentials at a moments notice.
- Everything had to be mobile. Because you never knew how you might be moving on, with a carriage, wagon, on a horse or on foot. Everything that was vital to your remaining self reliant had to be compact, preferably light weight and able to be carried on a person.
- Everything had to have multiple uses. Because you needed to have access to a wide variety of stuff to survive, what you chose to carry with you at all times had to have the ability to be used in several ways. Even the hand gun, besides protection and food acquisition could become a hammer if push came to shove.
It has been said that knowledge is power, and that applies to any area in life. Most importantly, how to use that knowledge is wisdom indeed. And of course, it is important to get ready what you need now, but also to keep learning for what you will need in the future. Some of these arts and sciences have been lost in the last century, or at the very least fallen out of practice as modern life has caused humanity to know more how to use a smartphone rather than how to stave off hypothermia. It is easy to toss aside these skills like an old hat when you can simply pop at TV dinner in the microwave when you are the slightest bit hungry.
The histories of empires have told us that they are finite, and always come to an end. Abrupt or gradually that includes that “empire” of the U.S. In this case, America is at least a decade overdue for a severe if not catastrophic economic downturn that can eliminate us as the world’s #1 power. It is important to gain knowledge, learn about and practice the old methods that have been long forgotten by many. This knowledge may not always be accessible as it is one of the first resources that will become scarce in the event of a nation threatening disaster. Other items may be procured with relative ease, but it may be next to impossible to find gems of sustainability and reliance.
As the real time know-how of many things are dying away with the older generations, one of the best places to find this crucial knowledge about survival methods for now is on the Internet. The Interwebs have an incredibly high concentration and abundance of information. Books, articles and even videos that can dwarf any local library and can be accessed by the stroke of your keyboard. A quick search engine inquiry will reveal answers that took hours of research in the past. This is a great place to start. As a caveat, this is also the downfall to the latest generation. Because they think that they will always have access to such resources that they don’t have to put together their own survival library or get hands-on practice. One must strike while the fire is hot and the links are still accessible!
As I have said before, it is VERY HARD to survive in isolation. Time and resources make doing everything by yourself near impossible. There are many skills we can learn from one another of like-minded self reliant people. Find or even start a group on Meetup that does what you want to learn and master on a regular basis. Learning from one person to another is the best way to make it a part of you.
Nothing will help people thrive more in a time of crisis than a tight knit community that cares for its members. Ideally, in this community, you will find different skills, access to different resources, and a psychological morale improvement. Finding others with the same mindset will help you survive long-term, and make the situation far more bearable than braving the dark times alone.
Knives are considered one of the most basic tools in any society. When you look back to any society in the past, the knife was essential and a valued tool to have at hand. Using the proper knife for a survival scenario is arguably the most crucial part of survival. Your world will revolve around your knife, so it is important to have one appropriately selected in your possession.
You do not want to survive on a kitchen knife, as these are only tailored for light duty. The different types of knives can come in several forms but they have to perform these basic tasks:
- Chopping or Cutting Wood
- Carving Wood
- Stripping Bark for Lashing
- Cleaning Game
- Cutting Cords
- Fashioning Other Weapons
- Striking Fire Steel
- Shaving and Scoring Wood
It is for this reason that your knife must be durable, and have the right shape to perform daily tasks. The tensile strength of the steel must be stout. As opposed to many popular designs, you do not want your everyday knife to be longer than 5”. If it is, it will be difficult to handle and could possibly be dangerous to you. Also, you may need to defend yourself with your knife. This may be more preferable than using bullets, as you may not want to draw attention to the location from the loud clapping of a shot. This means that the knife must come to a sharp point at the tip. This may also allow you to lash the knife to a long stick, creating a spear for hunting. Another possible function of your knife may allow you to throw it at a target. This is another great hunting application, but it is less for defense, in the event that your target runs away with your precious knife.
There are other types of tools that would have multiple ways to use it, such as an axe or hatchet. One that can be ready for defense against an attack and able to make firewood for the evening meal is what you will need. Having such a tool that can provide you safety, sustenance and shelter is one to keep around and maintain in good order. The ability to survive from this most basic of tools is known as more of an art form than a method.
The Past’s Examples
With the self reliant mindset it may come and might seem to stem from weathering bad times, it is actually based in a basic enjoyment of nature. Nature is a gift, and the ability to live comfortably from its provisions is one of the most life-changing experiences a person can ever have. The art of survival seems to have been lost over the years, but before the technology boom in the last century, it was commonplace to know and understand survivalist principles.
Take the examples of the native Americans. The Algonquin, or Cherokee, Comanche or the Apache. Everything about their civilizations had a use, and multiple applications to what they chose to make, wear, and utilize in their interactions with one another. No activity was frivolous, no piece of clothing was “just” for show. No possession or tool that they carried in their ambulatory lifestyle was single faceted. Everything was precious and had its purpose in that survival way of life.
It is for you and I to return to those lessons learned so long ago. That in these modern times we can have a set of tools and possessions that can be used, worn and accessed daily when called upon in times of crisis. That we can create or produce something in real time, without going to the store to buy it. That we also can have the confidence as did the tribes of America in living a life worth the effort and time. By seeking out and learning lessons from these people of the past, it can enlighten us on how to live from the land on purpose.
Now is the time to prepare, to gather in and make do. Once the time comes when prep time is complete, you will be glad you didn’t hesitate to put into practice the lessons of the ancients. Experiencing and enjoying nature is one of the most basic principles of the art of survival, and using ancient methods is one of the best ways to do just that.