Preppers Even Though You Have the Knowledge: It is Just the Beginning
Knowledge Is Merely Potential: Only Once You Have Applied Your Knowledge Effectively Do You Have the Power
You can research on the Internet, and find information on virtually anything. You can find information on medical procedures, how to build a bridge, a satellite dish, an airplane and the list goes on. You can memorize and take notes, but this does not make you a medical professional or an engineer.
You have some knowledge but no practical experience. It takes years of training to become a doctor or to become a successful engineer. You need field experience, books and lectures and Internet videos can only take you so far.
Previous articles have talked about the importance of knowledge and have cautioned about gear and gadget dependency. As stated earlier knowledge is only a potential however, waiting for implementation. You have to be able to apply what you know. Research on the Internet allows you to gain or gather knowledge, but this does not mean you are skilled.
Many experts and nonprofessionals alike believe the will to survive is coded in human DNA. The belief is that humans can and will perform Herculean tasks to survive. The will to survive, because it is instinct, according to some, means you instinctively know certain things and know how to react. Then there are those that believe that instinct is not coded in human DNA but is a learned trait, learned through trial and error and passed along through generations. There is an argument to be made for both sides.
Knowing what you need to survive, does not mean, you have the ability to provide what you need to survive. You know you need water to survive whether this is an instinct or not, it is a fact, and yet unless you have real life experience in finding water in extreme environments you will die, regardless of your will to survive.
Tens of thousands of years ago, early humans took to the trees as a way of protecting themselves from predators. Humans could not run, or walk very well and trees were plentiful, so why run when you can climb a tree. Naturally, it seemed, humans took to the trees once they realized many of the four-legged carnivores could not easily reach them.
However, the climate changed and the trees started dying off, humans now had to face the predators on the ground. High grasses replaced the trees, and this made it hard to see predators stalking through the high grasses.
Humans leaned to run or had developed the ability to run, and soon learned how to make crude weapons. The tables began to turn, but humans had to apply the information that their now bigger brains were providing. They had to study the situation and then develop a plan and gather information to keep them alive. Then humans had to put into practice what they knew, and once they did, they had more power. Humans were becoming apex predators instead of just prey. Humans had the power to control their environment, and each day they learned how to control it just a little bit more.
Unless you climb down out of your tree and put your knowledge to use, you will never know. Unlike early humans, you get a do-over in your training and application phase in most cases. Training in a controlled environment allows you to learn from your mistakes. It is important that you train where your mistakes are not life threatening.
Get out into the woods for a weekend. Not only will you start to learn what it takes to survive in the wilderness you can apply those same skills right at home. Any natural disaster can turn your suburban community into a wilderness wasteland in a matter of minutes.
You will need the skills to create a fire in any situation and that includes right in your own backyard. You need to know how to find water in any situation, filter it and then purify it. Shelter building, no matter where you are, you need protection from the elements, other people, animals, insects and for psychological reason, you need the comfort. You may have to create a shelter on your own property in some situations.
Learn the basics and practice until your hands know what to do before your mind does. This is called muscle memory and it takes doing it repeatedly to achieve it. Practice until you get to the point that you look for fire tinder, and shelter material regardless of where you are.
People that get lost stumble around for hours in a panic when they should have been building a shelter and getting a fire going. If they had the skills, they would be in their shelter working on their next move, such as finding water, food and signaling for rescue instead of shivering miserably through the cold dark night.
Nothing is natural it takes practice. Anyone can start a fire with a lighter or dry match and dry combustibles, but can you start one if your pack fell overboard, and you are left with just forest debris in the rain. You can if you have the training and have practiced until your eyes glaze over.
One of the problems with the Internet and instant access to information is that it makes people believe they are smarter than they really are, it allows anyone to call themselves an expert. It convinces people they do not need to be in the woods over the weekend because they have got the procedure “down pat”.
Some may have watched videos or looked at step-by-step pictures while consuming a bag of pizza bites. Trained you are not, knowledgeable maybe, but do you also know you are staking your life on it?
You Can Call Yourself an Expert When
You can start a fire in the blowing snow or rain, when not starting a fire means someone is going to die. When you can find water and make it safe to drink, when lives hang in the balance. Call yourself an expert when you can make a shelter to protect you and others against the cold and rain when not having a shelter means dying from exposure.
Remember the above is not one or the other you must be highly skilled at it all. You cannot become skilled at anything sitting at home watching someone else.