Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
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Preppers. What is Survivalism?

What should be the ideal survivalist - or what is survivalism?

Our life is speeding up every day. Sometimes we don’t even have time to track the time and just mark the passing weeks on the calendar. The modern rhythm of life sets its own goals and objectives.

Every day is scheduled by the minute, there is no time to think about anything other than how to do everything. Work - home, work - home, spinning like a squirrel in a wheel. In this endless bustle, you forget to think about the main thing, and what will you do if suddenly the “wheel” breaks?

Any major cataclysm can throw you off track. Hurricane, typhoon, earthquake, war, nuclear explosion, plague, after all. And then instead of the usual everyday tasks, you will have only one thing left - SURVIVE!!!

But if you never specially prepared for this, you just didn’t have time, you don’t understand at all what we are talking about, who are survivalists and what is survivalism, then you should not finish reading right now. Just as “ignorance of the laws does not save you from responsibility,” so ignorance of the basics of survival will not save your life.

Michal Renco, Pixabay

What is Survivalism?

This is a curious concept, comes from the English word survival - survival. Everything. No other variations. But the word itself has a much broader and deeper meaning.

All of our life, since the time of the caveman, is subject to one main goal - to survive. With the development of society, progress and material security, to survive sounds different for everyone, but the essence is the same - to save one's own life, at any cost. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, everyone wants to live.

No one knows who and when trouble will befall, especially what kind, therefore, everyone approaches the science of survival differently. Someone is working on special survival skills and acquiring additional knowledge, someone is preparing equipment and supplies of N. Z., some are building bunkers and equipping shelters in which you can autonomously survive a big boom. Such people are called Survivalists.

Michal Renco, Pixabay

Where did it all start?

What is survivalism? is the art of survival.

This word-concept found its life in the mid-seventies, the last century, during the Cold War. In 1973, during the oil crisis, Howard Ruff published Hunger and Survival in America. And later, Kurt Saxon began publishing a monthly newsletter, The Survivor, and he claims to have coined the word Survivalist.

Since that time, the survivalist survivalist movement in America was born, they built bunkers, made supplies of water and food in them, and prepared to survive the “end of the world”.

Over time, the threat of nuclear war weakened, but the movement took root. And it was not limited to the construction of bunkers and stockpiling, but covered many aspects of life.

For example, in America, the scout movement. From a young age, children are taught the basics of survival in the wild. How to build a fire, set up a camp, find water and food, send a distress signal, etc.

Gradually, the activities of the Survivalists spread throughout Western countries. Survival organizations and clubs began to appear. Survivalism gained popularity in Russia as well.

Currently, in this movement, the following directions are being worked out:

  1. Survival - survival and its foundations.
  2. Bushcraft - survival in the wild.
  3. Tourism and its directions.
  4. Prepare for Emergencies (ES)
  5. Off the Grid - Off the grid. Survival of people remote from the outside world.
  6. Combat survival.

Plus to all of the above will be:

  1. Individual city security.
  2. Fundamentals of first aid.
  3. Paramilitarism, includes such games as: paintball, airsoft, historical reconstructions, etc.
  4. Stalkerism.
Michal Renco, Pixabay

When is survival needed?

ALWAYS! In any situation, you must know how to behave and how to act.

It is not necessary to learn and practice all the techniques and skills, but there is a certain set of knowledge that everyone should know. Such as:

  • behave in case of fire, earthquake, natural disaster, catastrophe;
  • not to panic and be able to calm those who happened to be nearby;
  • organize a temporary shelter;
  • find and purify water;
  • find or obtain food;
  • provide first aid in case of injury;
  • Send a distress signal.

This is only a small part of what a person should know, regardless of gender and age.

Jonassanislo, Pixabay

Imagine the situation

Your car breaks down on a road with no heavy traffic. There is also no connection. Winter. Night. Fifty kilometers to the nearest settlement.

What are you doing?

This is where the knowledge of the following will come in handy: you can call 112, the emergency number, even if there is no connection; if you are alone and physically healthy, then a fifty-kopeck piece will jog for eight hours; if with a family, then the skills of making a fire and collecting firewood will come in handy, you need to survive until help arrives.

But such roads in Russia are innumerable for mother. In the nineties, truckers, when broken down in the winter, sometimes burned all the wheels from the truck, just to survive and wait for help.


An elevator is stuck in a multi-storey building - you are in it.

The main thing is not to panic. Keep calm and calm those who happen to be near you. Take a few deep breaths in and out.

Many people know what to do next. Press the button to call the elevator operator, wait for a while and safely get out of this situation. The most difficult thing is to wait, keeping calm. Many people know about this, but not all.

Imagine a different picture:

A plane crash in the taiga, a train crash, a snowmobile breaks down far from settlements, war, terrorists, financial and food crisis, global warming, a huge meteorite will crash into the ground, the end Sveta.

Preparing yourself for various scenarios of catastrophes and accidents, that's what survivalism is. At the same time, the acquired skills and knowledge can be useful at any time in ordinary life.

Lum3n, Pixabay

Bushcraft as entertainment and survival school

In fact, the word bushcraft is formed from two English words. Bush - shrub, also applicable to the wild desert of Australia, and craft - skill, skill. This concept summarizes the knowledge and skills necessary for survival in the wild. Initially, it was used for Australia and New Zealand, but gradually spread around the world.

Nowadays, bushcrafting can be practiced anywhere: in the taiga, mountains, steppes and even snow-covered tundra. In this kind of extreme entertainment, you need not just knowledge of a certain area and how to exist there, but skills that will help you survive. And not just to survive - to harmoniously and comfortably merge with nature.

This is interesting

Therefore, the Discovery Channel quite often shows programs on how to survive in the wild, on different continents, with minimal or no equipment. In them, professional survivalists tell and show how to build a shelter with a knife, make a fire without matches, how to find or get water, food, cross a river or other obstacles. You look and think: “Yes. Cool guys. Can I do that?"


You can!

If you know the basics of survival.

“To know is to be able, to be able is to survive.”

If you decide to take up this type of extreme tourism, then you should:

  1. Find a good instructor.
  2. Carefully study the area where you will "survive". What kind of flora and fauna is there. What can be eaten, what can not. What medicinal plants grow. How to get water, food, etc.
  3. Learn to navigate in space with and without a map and compass.
  4. Study the map of the area where you will be, remember it as much as possible, especially the location of linear landmarks and settlements.
  5. Prepare a minimum set of equipment. It doesn't hurt to have an instructor's help.
  6. Before hiking, try out specific skills that might come in handy in the woods.
  7. Learn basic survival and first aid techniques.

If you find an instructor, he will help you, if not, then you have to do it all yourself.

Such an extreme hobby will help develop skills for survival in the wild, but if you are going to do this alone, then at least warn relatives and friends where to look for you and when to start worrying.

But look at it all from a different angle. The good old hunters and hunters had never heard of bushcraft, much less knew what survivalism was, and at the same time they survived in the taiga for a long time, with a minimum supply of food and equipment. “The taiga is a native home, it will feed you, give you drink and put you to sleep.”

Jalyn Bryce, Pixabay

Good old tourism

As they say: "Everything new is well forgotten old."

The Soviet school of sports tourism taught most of the skills in question. She had a lot of directions and difficulty levels with impassable routes to overcome. In addition to theoretical knowledge and skills, sometimes physical strength and endurance were required.

For example

A group of tourists is faced with the task of getting from point A to point B, which route they will take, depends on the degree of preparation of each team member. The path can run through: mountains, rivers, swamps, taiga, steppe, tundra. Often routes are laid at a great distance from settlements, and the group can move for weeks on a snow-covered desert, in forty-degree frost.

They were preparing for the campaign. We studied the area, picked up equipment and clothes, but the development of survival skills was always put in the first place. On the route, anything could happen and therefore everyone had to know how to:

  1. If necessary, issue a distress signal visible from the air.
  2. Navigate in space without a compass.
  3. Maintain the direction of the selected route.
  4. Search and find settlements, people.
  5. Preserve food for a long time.
  6. Prepare food without utensils.
  7. Making fire in primitive ways.
  8. Organize a long-term camp.
  9. Provide first aid for injuries and injuries.
  10. To overcome water and any other obstacles.

As you can see, bushcraft and sports tourism have many points of contact, but the basis of everything is the ability to survive in any situation.

Free-Photos, Pixabay

Off the Grid

Another branch of Survivalism.

The main idea is to achieve maximum autonomy from the outside world, but at the same time maintain maximum comfort.

People build dwellings far from settlements and the benefits of civilization. They cultivate the land, raise livestock, equip the house with alternative energy, make household items and clothes.

In other words, they fence themselves off from the outside world and provide themselves with everything they need. At the same time, they try to use forgotten, historical technologies: grind flour with millstones, work metal with a blacksmith's method, make a fire with a steel, spin on a spinning wheel, plow with a plow, etc.

All these not cunning ways were owned by the villagers, some one hundred - two hundred years ago.

If there is a financial and food crisis in the world, it becomes impossible to buy food in cities, then people who live offline will not even notice it.

Although when a big kick happens, everyone will most likely notice it.

Preparers for emergencies

These are such “funny” guys who are confident that the “end of the world” cannot be avoided and are actively preparing for this, more precisely, for a specific emergency or disaster.

Approximately once every five years, one or another apocalypse is predicted to us. A huge meteorite will crash into the ground. Global warming will melt the poles and the whole world will sink. There will be a superflare on the sun. Ozone holes will devour the earth's atmosphere. A nuclear war will destroy all life or even split the planet. All volcanoes will erupt, ash will cover the sun, and we will have many years of volcanic winter. Epidemics of plague, anthrax, etc., etc.

Jonassanislo, Pixabay

For each type of threat

Members of such communities build equipped shelters and develop an algorithm of actions that, as they believe it will help them survive.

Everything depends on the financial possibilities of this or that group of people. They can build a bunker, deep underground. Equip it with everything necessary, create stocks of food, water, medicines, thanks to which they will be able to live there without leaving the surface for several years, and survive the most difficult moments of the “apocalypse”.

Others build domes in which one can live as long as one likes, isolating oneself from the external environment. Under these domes, they develop their own ecosystem. They grow plants that provide the under-dome space with oxygen, are engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture. All waste products acquire a second life, a kind of symbiosis of man and nature in a confined space.

Some collect seeds of useful plants all over the world, create conditions for their long-term storage, in case of death of all life on earth. And when the world is reborn from the ashes, like a phoenix bird, they will gain a second life.

Combat Survival

What is Survivalism for the military?

This is the foundation of the foundations.

In the conditions of hostilities, they perform the assigned tasks and the skills to survive are simply necessary for them. You need to be able to stay alive in any situation, in any climate and on any terrain.

When conducting combat or reconnaissance in the forest, jungle, tundra or in the Arctic, completely different knowledge, skills and equipment are required. Many armies of the world practice training their special forces, survival skills in various natural conditions. This includes bushcrafting, and sports tourism, mountaineering, the ability to make an escape and evade persecution, hide, set traps and traps, build secret shelters, navigate, hunt, stay and survive in the forest for as long as necessary to complete the task.

In general, combat survivalists can be compared with taiga hunters who can survive in the forest as long as they like.

On this basis, games began to develop.

Michal Renco, Pixabay

The game of "combat survival"

Do you remember the childhood game of "war"? Played it, the whole yard.

The children have grown, the toys have changed. Now some play paintball, others play airsoft, others play laser tag, and some even copy historical events and fight in real armor, with real swords.

Yes, these are games for adults who still have a mischievous child inside, but they are very similar to real combat training, in which you need to know and be able to apply very specific combat survival skills.

Usually such games take place in nature, away from settlements and last from several days to several weeks. Therefore, each participant should know:

  1. How to equip the camp for a long time.
  2. How to safely prepare a place for a fire, hearth.
  3. How to save food brought with you.
  4. How to purify water from a spring or river.
  5. How to cook food on fire or coals.

Most of the equipment and products are brought with them. It's like a weekend picnic. But during the game, the guys partially work out the skills and basics of combat survival. Silent movement in the forest, camouflage, obfuscation of traces, organization of ambushes, defense during an attack and much more. And if a war suddenly happens, they will only have to change their weapons to combat ones and they will fight back, any "uninvited guests."

The guys playing these games are not limited to nature alone. They also simulate combat actions and clashes in a man-made environment: at abandoned bases, construction sites, destroyed buildings, in underground utilities. And this already directly borders on stalkerism.

Michal Renco, Pixabay

Games are different. Models of the Apocalypse

Many Survivalists, who are waiting for the end of the world, in any form, have an unbearable desire to see what the AFTER WORLD will look like…

Largely due to this curiosity, the direction of industrial eco-tourism has developed.

People enter closed, sometimes secret objects that have not been operating for a long time, scour abandoned villages and towns, which are enough near abandoned military units. They make their way to the frozen nuclear power plants. All in order to see and imagine how everything was here, and what could happen to it in a hundred years. Such travelers are called stalkers. They do not have a goal, to take something with them, rather, on the contrary, leave everything as it is.

The most popular place on the list of places visited by stalkers is without a doubt the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Huge in territory, a monument to the tragedy that occurred in 1986, the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It is in these places that you can visually imagine what will happen to the world, if, nevertheless, somewhere, it will really bang.

You are a realist and don't believe in the end of the world

But anyway, you should know the basics of survival.

You live in a city where every second you are in danger: a drunk driver in a car jumped onto the sidewalk or drove through a red light, an icicle or a snowdrift fell off the roof, gopniks landed in the alley, but just slipped, fell and got injured. With all this, you must remain calm, do not panic and provide first aid if necessary.

The desire to SURVIVE and help those who are nearby should be meaningful and purposeful, should not be dictated by instinct, but only by a conscious need.

Michal Renco, Pixabay

What should be the ideal prepper?

He should be calm, knowledgeable, skillful, self-confident and inspiring confidence in others. A person who, if necessary, will take the lead, will be able to ensure his own survival and those who are close by.

What is survivalism? This is our life from birth to death. With the first breath of air, we begin to fight for life. First, our parents help us, protecting and protecting us in every possible way, then we fight ourselves, we fight until our last breath. Someone does it better, someone worse, but we will fight for life, regardless of disasters and cataclysms. There is only one difference - the more you have learned and mastered survival skills, the more chances you have to survive and save others.