(NewsSpace.com) – The best survival guides can make or break you when the SHTF. They’re critically important to how you respond and whether you’re well-equipped in advance. Yet, deciding which guides you really need is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. Like everything in survival, context is incredibly important. Here’s what you need to know.
What Do You Really Need?
Survival is incredibly fluid, and so are the many guides written about it. There are literally thousands of them out there, each addressing just one of many situations or knowledge levels. So which ones do you need to have?
The short answer is, “it depends.” We all need basic survival skills, but the factors will dictate to you which ones you need right then and there.
Consider these questions:
- What’s the situation you’re planning for?
- Is it active, expected, or hypothetical?
- What’s your current knowledge level?
- What’s the setting — urban, woodland, jungle, desert, arctic, or something else?
- What are the elements, environments, and weather conditions?
Survival, when shopping at night in an urban environment, requires an entirely different skill set than surviving while lost in the woods. One situation might require incredible situational awareness and defensive skills, while the other demands bushcraft expertise.
A societal breakdown adds yet another layer; catastrophes may prevent you from getting to a doctor. This could force you to deal with a medical issue on your own. Yet, minor and major medical emergencies are vastly different. They each require a specific body of knowledge and supplies to manage well. Guides may or may not address these topics.
Taking Stock: Your Current Level of Expertise
Examine your daily life. Think about where you typically go on a daily basis and what type of situations result from your regular daily experiences. Do you consider yourself prepared, trained and equipped, or are you brand-new to survival?
Be careful with overconfidence. Ask yourself if you’re truly confident in your own assessment of your skills. Have you tested them in a controlled setting, and if so, what were the results? Be willing to be honest about your capabilities; even the best of the best can still learn and grow. True survival experts know that assuming you have all the info and answers is a surefire way to end up in trouble, especially in unpredictable times.
Most importantly, remember that your mindset matters almost as much as the information you absorb. You have to resolve inside yourself that you’re going to survive, no matter how awful the odds or how bad the situation seems. The right mindset can overcome weakness in knowledge, supplies, opportunity, or capability. You could never read a single survival book in this list and still survive if you have the right attitude on your side.
Knowledge is helpful for sure. But, it’s you who must decide to survive.
Suggested Titles to Get You Started
Below is a selection of topics that should be ideal for the average person. Remember: this is just information until you learn how to implement and use it effectively. You have to practice your skills — no, strike that, you have to get good at them — if you want to survive.
This list isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it will get you well on your way to being prepared to survive.
- 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive (Cody Lundin). Ideal for the average beginner survivalist who wants to learn about a wide variety of topics.
- On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace (Lt. Col. Dave Grossman). Ideal for the soldier going to war, but also suitable for learning about how combat scenarios impact the average survivalist.
- Principles of Personal Defense (Jeff Cooper). An excellent guide for developing self-defense strategies, from mindset to surviving an attack.
- Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook, Revised Edition (David Werner). Contains incredibly helpful information on treating illnesses and injuries when a doctor simply isn’t an option. Werner also explains how to stay well in the first place.
Each of these guides has something to offer, whether you’re brand-new to survival or have been practicing bushcraft for decades. Just remember not to stop there — keep digesting information over time. What you learn now very well could save your life later on.
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