Preppers: Have You Really Learned the Skills Needed to Survive

Survival Skills

Teaching is not simply, just a matter of telling someone something, and learning is not simply reading about it online. A skill you have can be passed to others by teaching or you can gain a skill by being taught by others. In today’s world however, it seems you do not really need to know anything, except which button to push to get online.

The Internet is at your fingertips, information on anything you can think of is available in seconds, available that is, until it is not, and then what.

Knowledge of crops, how to cook, mill grains, sew and make new clothing, treat sickness and wounds, predict weather cycles, and hunting are just a few of the skills that had been passed down from one generation to another for millennia. Sons and daughters learned at the knees of their family elders, and in turn, they passed their knowledge down to their sons and daughters.

Some cultures passed knowledge down orally, nothing was written down. You were expected to listen and watch as the elders spoke and taught, and then apply said knowledge. Cultures needed skills and they needed people that could pass down those skills that were required for the next generation to survive.

First You Have To Train and Then Pass It Along

A skill is objective for the most part, objective because the skill required to field dress a deer for example, is not debatable really, you have the skill, or you do not, if you do not you will likely ruin the meat and hide.

You are not teaching someone your opinion or philosophy when showing him or her how to skin an animal. Opinions and philosophy of course are subjective. The only variance or anything that could be subjective is usually the style used when it comes to accomplishing a task.

Defining Self Taught

Is there such a thing, as being self-taught? By definition yes of course, but in reality are you truly self-taught or did you learn something from others’ efforts. How do you know you are a self-taught survivalist however, until or unless you have survived a situation where a person not having the skills would have perished? You may only be a survivalist when you have proven you can survive certain situations and without firsthand knowledge, you will never know whether you can or not until it is too late.

If you just assume you are self-taught and you are put in, a situation where you need certain skills to survive you may find out you are lacking in many of the skills needed. You can watch someone perform heart surgery all day long, but that does not make you a heart surgeon.

You have learned what you know from someone else in some, if not many cases. Someone figured out how to fashion a bow and spindle for creating fire centuries ago, for example, and the information was passed down, taught to the next generation.

Given the easy and continual access to the Internet today, people believe they are learning new skills by watching videos online. Applying the information successfully though, is another matter entirely. You have not learned anything until you can effectively apply what you are being shown, and then you can pass that skill down, by teaching others.

There is a point to all this rambling and that is the only way to become skilled at anything is by doing. You may think you are being self-taught by watching videos or reading articles online but the person in the video is not necessarily your teacher, in most cases they are simply demonstrators. In years past not only was it wise to pass along what you know, but in most cases it was your obligation to ensure the survival of the next generation.

There are three phases of teaching and learning. One is explanation about 10 percent. Two is seeing, 25 percent, you must be able to see the task being performed that you are trying to master, and then 65 percent of your time should be spent practicing. Hands on is the most important part and without practicing what you have learned you have not gained any skill at all.

Identify the Skills You Need To Survive

Identify the skills needed and then master them. Survival in any situation requires shelter, water, fire/energy and nutrition. Additionally you would need to have basic medical skills so you can treat wounds on yourself and others and you need to know how to use a firearm. These are not the only skills you would need of course, but without them, you would not survive long enough to be able to use any other skills.

Shelter building is a skill and if you have never constructed an emergency shelter that can protect you from the elements and be able to build one in any environment then you are not skilled.

Water collection, filtration and purification are skills that require specific knowledge, or otherwise you may end up consuming contaminated water and the result could be sickness or death.

If you cannot create fire, you cannot warm yourself, boil water for purification, cook food or repel insects and wild animals. Fire starting requires specific knowledge and skill. You need to know what materials are needed, and you need the skill to use the materials successfully.

Medical skills are important. You need to know how to stop a bleeding wound, splint a fractured limb, treat for shock, and perform CPR and so on. In most cases, you have to be taught these skills by a trained professional, and then practice the skills until you can perform them under any condition.

Weapons’ training is important and unless you can master the use of firearms, you may starve and anything you own can be taken from you and owned by someone else. You do not own anything if you do not have the skills and knowledge to hang on to it, because someone more skilled will end up owning it all.

The question is do you have the skills needed to survive or did you simply gather some information from the Internet. Manuals are important, they are a teaching and learning tool, but you have to take it from the pages and apply it in a real life situation and there is only one way to do that. Get out there, do it, and then pass along the skills you have mastered because the next generation will need them to survive as well.