Survival 101: What Survival Is

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Making A Home

Survival isn’t necessarily thriving

Real success and happiness comes from moving onward from a survivalist mentality However, you can gain tremendous peace from knowing how to survive

Survival goes beyond physical preparation

Being mentally prepared in a crisis is more important than stockpiling
  • Emergency supplies could sustain you for months, but your ability to persist comes through the ability to adapt to the circumstances
  • Knowing how to act beforehand will serve you more than hoarding possessions
  • Survival consists in knowing how to meet your needs, not necessarily in pre-planning every need
Don’t let a crisis surprise you
  • Normalcy bias is the tendency to underestimate the chances or severity of a disaster
  • Civilization requires a variety of elements which can vanish at any moment
  • Natural disasters, significant political instability or a government coup could completely undo your way of life
  • Preparation allows you to face hardship with more confidence, which ensures more success
However, don’t sabotage opportunities from civilized society
  • Some groups create a cult from survivalism, which can be off-putting for many people
  • Respect others’ views, even if they’re from normalcy bias or insecurities
  • Obsession with survival taken too far can sabotage success

Aspire for minimalism

Only keep things where you see a legitimate current or possible value, not in a potential benefit Distinguish how a crisis can render some items critical or unimportant A possession can’t have much value to you if you haven’t thought about it in over six months

Increase your general chance of surviving a disaster

Keep an emergency card with you at all times with known allergies, medical conditions with proper treatments, and emergency contact phone number Since refrigeration isn’t guaranteed, memorize the approximate shelf lives of food Hide your valuables in places nobody will think to look
  • Inside a clean diaper
  • Taped inside a bathroom sink cabinet on top
  • Behind power outlets
  • Bury in a container
  • In your phone’s case
Always sleep with clothes on to be prepared if disaster strikes Stay in shape and healthy Always keep a powered-off phone without minutes in your car
  • All working cell phones can call 911, even without paid service
  • Contact the police when you see a chance of needing them, not when you need them
  • Give your location first when calling 911 to let the dispatcher send a vehicle since they can’t triangulate your phone’s position
  • You can text 911 instead of calling
  • If you ever need someone else to call 911, specify a specific person to avoid the bystander effect
Observe your environment
  • Don’t enter a club where a security guard searches everyone at the door
  • The windows of a neighborhood show how safe it is
    • Plate glass is a safe neighborhood
    • Plate glass with bars means leave before dark
    • Leave as soon as possible if you see plywood on the windows
  • If you must text and drive, do it at a stoplight
Answer anyone who knocks on the door late at night
  • If you don’t, the person will assume you’re not home or asleep
  • If you do you can carefully examine their face, which increases their risk to carry out the crime
If you’re walking through a dangerous part of town at night
  • Avoid wearing formal or expensive clothes
  • Play a police scanner phone app or recording at full volume
  • Call someone and stay on the line with them so they can call the police if you’re in danger
Examine your vehicles beforehand
  • Frequently check your auto’s fluids and air pressure
  • Always check your motorcycle helmet for spiders, especially before driving on the highway
Lose someone following you while you’re driving
  • Drive erratically and unpredictably or make four left turns to confirm the person is tailing you
  • Turn on the windshield wiper fluid and try to navigate somewhere they can’t follow you with
Even as the victim of a crime, you can still fight back
  • If your mouth is duct-taped and hands are tied together, lick the tape until it falls off
  • If you’re captured and held in a car trunk
    1. Disconnect the taillight wires
    2. Kick the trunk lid as hard as you can when a cop pulls them over
  • If you’re being buried alive, tie your shirt around your face to avoid suffocating
Turn off cruise control in the rain to prevent the tires from spinning out of control Manage vehicle accidents
  • If you can’t jump out of the way from a car about to hit you, jump upwards
  • Sit at the back of a plane to increase your chances of survival in a crash
  • If you’re trapped in your car underwater, break the window with your car seat headrest

Exploring nature has many risks

Animals generally run away if you walk and speak loudly Make a pinhole with your fingers and look through it to see something in the distance Deodorants or perfumes attract bugs, and some scents attract animals See things more clearly in dim light and at night with your peripheral vision Most dangerous bugs, like wasps and bees, ignore you if you stay still
  • Blow on, don’t swat, bees or wasps that land on you
Memorize how to respond to animal attacks
  • Most animals are afraid of fire
  • Rattling your keys will scare off most animals
  • Shoot a bear in the face, up the nose, in the ears or in the chest to kill it
  • Play dead if a brown bear attacks you
  • If a black bear attacks you, punch it in the nose
  • If a shark attacks you, hit it in the nose
  • If a moose attacks you, stand up against a tree
  • If a crocodile has you in his jaws, jam your thumbs deep into his eyeballs
Waddle like a penguin to walk safely on ice You’re caught in a riptide if you feel you’re drifting out to sea
  • Swim or paddle parallel to the shore to escape it
Avoid sinking into quicksand by slowly raising your legs and lying on your back If you’re buried under an avalanche and don’t know which way to dig, spit and drool will follow gravity If you’ve become disoriented underwater, blow bubbles and follow them Memorize how to manage a natural disaster
  • If you lie on the ground in a lightning storm, the electrical current will run through your entire body
    • Instead, head for lower ground or let the current skip your vital organs by sitting cross-legged
  • In earthquakes, ignore door thresholds and find a table

Adopt an alternative lifestyle to be the most prepared

If you can live with less and only buy what you need, you become more resilient to the psychological burdens of extreme scarcity The easiest way to prepare for disasters is to live in a small house
  • Convert a shipping container into a house by cutting windows and doors
Build a bunker for bombs, self-defense or fallout A recreational vehicle (RV) can weather most disasters
  • Don’t always store items near where you use them
  • Hang extra storage racks on inner cabinet doors
  • The larger the RV, the harder to navigate
  • Travel with the weather
  • Utilize public camping grounds
  • Manage your food more carefully
    • Tightly pack your fridge and freezer
    • Buy and prepare all your groceries in advance
    • Freeze your food from room temperature to let it expand. then store it in freezer and microwave safe containers
    • Avoid round containers since they take up too much space
    • Use resealable food bags whenever possible for both food and drinks

Living out of your car is an extreme alternate lifestyle

You can still meet your needs, but not in one place
  • Cooking requires creativity
    • Shape aluminum foil and cook on the exhaust manifold
    • Boil water with a heat source, then store it in a high-quality Thermos all day
  • Sustainable electricity for all your needs requires a small generator
  • Supplement a storage unit and post office box for more freedom
  • Stay hygienic
    • Use a chain-store gym
    • Swim at a beach or lake
    • Use truck stop showers
    • Keep wet wipes with you
  • Sleep in your car
    • Keep everything clean and organized
    • Adjust your seat and steering wheel for maximum comfort
    • Though lumbar support helps long-term driving, it can make sleeping uncomfortable
    • Consider padding or seat cushions
    • Don’t set your feet on the dashboard since the airbags can activate
    • Always keep plenty of extra blankets to stay warm
  • Store enough clothes to last a day and a half
    • Seven pairs of socks, two outfits, a hooded rain jacket, and extra underwear
  • Use the internet from fast food restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, retail stores, office supply stores, and public libraries
    • Most companies keep their Wi-Fi on after closing time
    • Look in Foursquare’s comments section to find passwords for Wi-Fi
    • Copy-paste a blocked URL into Google Translate to use it as a proxy
Keep moving around to avoid alarming residents or store owners
  • Sleep in parking lots like Wal-Mart that don’t enforce it much
  • Stay in a bank parking lot to have cameras safely on you in case you’re the victim of a crime
Your choice of car matters if you want to live in it
  • You will use every square inch of your car
  • Choose or paint an inconspicuous earth-toned color

Many people reach rock-bottom

Sleep uninterrupted during the day at parks or beaches If you don’t have access to a computer, use a public library Find a universally marketable skill you can take anywhere
  • Art skills
    • e.g., busking (playing a musical instrument for money), drawing, singing/rapping
    • Artistic skills are usually low-demand, so have other skills to pay your bills
    • If you’re performing, only let a few dollars accumulate in your jar
  • Necessary basic skills
    • e.g., custodial (especially window cleaning), manual labor, trench digging, truck driving
    • Usually quick to start into and often pays sufficiently
  • Technical skills
    • e.g., plumbing, electrician, computers, accountant, nurse
    • Typically requires months or years of training, but can yield significant pay
  • Search around the gig section of Craigslist
  • Search dumpsters for broken items, then fix and sell them
Next: Survival 102: Applying Basic First Aid