You know someone like this. They take every opportunity to tell you what they know and what you should be doing. They take over every conversation about prepping and surviving in the bush and then some may even proclaim with a whisper that “Uncle Sam” taught them a few highly classified tricks. They have the latest gadgets the most high-powered rifles and their bookshelf is filled with survival manuals.
Every survival show on television is set to record on their DVR’s. They have that LCD pallor from nights spent gazing into the computer screen looking for the latest information or state of the art survival gadgets. Some people just have to be the first one to own the latest magical survival tool.
Some claim to know it all, they are experts and in some cases only experts in their own mind. Some of the more hardened survival experts call them couch commandos, keyboard survivalists, and SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) trained wannabes.
SERE instructors used to tell the recruits, if you get the first two down to a science (Survival Evasion) then you never have to worry about the last two (Resistance and Escape). Survival is all about knowing what to expect and using counter measures to keep you out of trouble down the line.
The above statements are exaggerated to some extent and certainly not meant to offend anyone. The statements were made to drive home the point that when gathering information to begin your survival training or prepping, that you should not always take what you read and hear at face value.
Exercise due diligence and research everything carefully. There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet, and some people while well intentioned may not have some of their facts right either. You have to sift through the clutter often times to get to the truth.
SERE training is not just provided to Special Operations (Spec Ops) personnel. Each branch of service typically has its own course. Advanced SERE training focuses on Special Operations personnel and military aircrews so they can survive on the ground and avoid capture if shot down.
The training is also provided to certain military personnel holding a specific MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and to certain civilian personnel working for the DOD (Department of Defense) or other agencies. If you hold a position in the military, where the probability of capture is high then you can be considered for SERE training. The material provided during the training is considered classified.
If a person has to brag about it, it probably never happened.
You simply do not know what to expect until you have been there and done that. This means that, yesterday, today and tomorrow is all about training for when the SHTF for real.
It is important to gather information and to listen to other perspectives but survival simply means to sustain life. In theory and according to some survival manuals, it is not complicated but in reality, it is very difficult under extreme conditions. You do not know what you do not know until it happens.
Once a crisis is upon you, what you have learned is implemented and from this point forward unless you have “been here before” it is hands on training, ad hoc at best in most cases. Even the most highly trained once confronted with reality realize that there is a large gap between what you think you know and what you really know. Well-trained individuals however, are disciplined and can adapt quickly as the situation evolves.
Survival situations are not an “either or” scenario. Some might assume that if they plan well enough they will not get lost so they fail to prepare for getting lost. Both can happen and you can have the best of plans only to have them fall apart somewhere along the way leaving you lost or stranded. You have to practice every day and always look for problems before they find you.
Getting lost is one thing, getting lost without the ability to make a shelter, build a fire and gather safe water can be deadly.
Experts might tell you if asked there is no such thing as an unexpected event because everything is to be expected and that is what they prepare for.
Training is the key, you cannot take a course or read a survival manual and that is the end of it. You have to gain the knowledge and then apply that knowledge on a continual basis. You have to train every day.
If you have to think about the next move to make you are not trained well enough. If you are in the military or in some law enforcement units and you are caught hesitating in some situations you are recycled for more training or washed out completely. Go ring the bell and slink back from hence you came. You cannot give up and go to the back of the line in a real world situation, because once in it, you have to survive it.
Survival is the ability to live long enough to be rescued and bushcraft is essentially the art of living outdoors.
You have to keep in mind that most, not all, of the survival, prepping shows on television are scripted for their entertainment value, but in spite of this, there are some valuable lessons that can be learned from these shows. One lesson that should be obvious is “do not get into these situations in the first place”.
Face the facts, if you just happened to be dropped off somewhere several days walk from civilization with just the clothes on your back you will have a very rough go of it. You may not even survive the ordeal, unless you have years if not decades of training (or a camera crew and support staff a few feet off camera). What does this tell you? It tells you to show up at the party always prepared for the festivities.