9/11 helped Americans to see that it is in fact possible for us to be attacked on our own soil. It got people to thinking about what they would have done if it were a more widespread attack. What if there was war...in your neighborhood! What if you were stuck in your house for a long period of time? What if the infrastructure of your town or even the nation was interrupted? What would you do?
Hurricane Katrina got people thinking about the need to be prepared to evacuate one's home...to have an emergency evacuation bag ready. It showed how societies can break down quickly...and bring out the best and worse in people. That you had best have your own supplies stored and not rely on anyone else to take care of you. That government may try to take your weapons of self defense when you may need them the most!!
The economic downturn has got people thinking about a possible repeat of the great depression...or worse. What would happen if the economy collapses? What if life got REALLY primitive... How would you eat? How would you survive?
These events and others have served to create more interest in survival skills over the last decade. A library of books have been written on the subject to fill the desire for information. Shows such as "Man vs. Wild"..."Survivorman"..."Lost"...and "Castaway" have seen phenomenal success. Great teachers such as Ron Hood and Ray Mears (two of my favorites) have careers selling videos and training on how to survive various wilderness and urban situations. Websites and forums have sprung up that teach all kinds of "bushcraft" skills and let people trade ideas of what does and doesn't work.
Still...despite the good examples of many of these who teach survival skills...when a lot of people hear the word "survivalist" they think of some sort of "off-balance" person...like that high strung Sarah Connor lady from the Terminator movie...all tough...speaking crazed of end-times scenarios with a big gun in hand. Or perhaps they may think of someone like the cartoon of the guy above...sitting on his cache of food with a big gun. Perhaps in an effort to sensationalize their stories...the media has played up the image of survivalists being what might be called "militant extremists". While there may be survivalists who are militant...and extreme by many people's standards...to push survivalism into a box like that is to ignore the rainbow of types of survivalists out there.
And I've got to say...I've got absolutely no problem with the guy in the cartoon. Here is a man who through his foresight...has used money that he earned...to purchase food...which is HIS property. He has also taken advantage of his constitutionally protected liberty...to have a gun ready to protect his property and life...from any who dare take either! Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were more like him!! While some may condemn him for having a lack of charity...which he may or may not have...I support him either way! I want support him in his constitutional rights...and in his God given right to choose to have charity or not.
The definition of a "Survivalist" is really much more broad than one might think.
From the American Heritage Dictionary...
By that definition...one could just as easily think of this young pioneer woman! The pioneers certainly had personal and group survival as a primary goal!
Or perhaps this boy scout!! Who is trained on how to survive in the wilderness!
There are many more that could be labeled as survivalists. People that practice food storage... or emergency medicine...that put together an emergency evacuation bag...etc. If that is being an "extremist"...then more people ought to be extreme.
As we look back across the expanse of recorded history...of people living primitively...working hard to survive...we should find that in the grand scheme of things...that by contrast...we are a strange people living in a strange time. A time when survival skills are hardly common knowledge. Where they aren't handed down from generation to generation anymore...and we need to seek out that training by those who have kept the knowledge alive.
It seems to me that we should all be seeking to acquire that knowledge...to be survivalists...as it is highly probable that we may be thrust into a situation where we will need it to survive. While we sit on the comfy armchair of life...it may seem unreasonable that we could be found without the necessities of life...and yet any number of events could find us out in the cold. We have the commandments of God to be prepared to be able to survive the events prior to Christs coming...we have the promise that disasters will increase in frequency and severity...and the signs of the times...that scream of a need to learn the skills of self sufficiency.
While much can be learned from books and videos. There is no comparison with having hands on training from a knowledgeable mentor. While I have learned things here and there from various people...I have failed to find someone who is the whole package...who is local. Someone who can take me from A-Z in survival...until now.
A Class Invitation
Recently I was introduced to Doug Huffman and his survival school in the Placerville area. Doug is a survival expert who trains organizations like Special Forces, Navy Seals, Homeland Security, Search & Rescue, FBI Special Agents, and Sheriff Departments on how to survive all kinds of precarious scenarios. The demands of those organizations have progressively pushed many of his programs that he does with the public to the background. He has a few classes for the public coming up...neither of which I can make. I spoke with him and he told me that if I put together a group of a minimum of 7 people (myself included) that he would do a class for us. So I am putting together a class that will be on October 17th. We will have no more than 10-12 people in our group.
The class is an 8 hour intense training on skills to survive (from 8am-4pm). We will do one of two curriculums...one is on wilderness survival...and the other is on wild plants. See this to look at the class descriptions. I don't have all the details...but it should be a 4 mile hike on a path through the woods with lots of stops. It requires at least a moderate level of fitness. Tell me which class you would be interested in...and the majority will decide which one we do. These classes are generally $125 a person...but because of the poor economy Doug is trying to help people out by lowering the price to $95. That is a great value. This isn't some abstract...forgettable seminar or book...he is taking us out for 7 HOURS to teach us hands on skills and to have us practice to gain proficiency! It will be awesome!
To reserve your place please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org