Survival Training

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preparedness

You’ve got your guns.
Your pantry is stocked full of food.
You’ve got so much gear, your bags are ready to explode.

But are you really prepared to survive?

  • Have you run through simulated scenarios?
  • Have you tested your plans and looked for weak points?
  • Do you know how to use every piece of gear in your bag,and have you actually tested it?

Gear is great, but when it comes to survival nothing can replace knowledge and good old fashion practice. To be truly be prepared, you need to start practicing your skills in a real world setting.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

Start hiking and backpacking

This will not only help you stay fit, which is an extremely important aspect of survival, but it will also prepare you both mentally and physically in case you have to bug out.

Build a fire pit in your backyard

Building a fire pit in your backyard can help you in a number of ways.

  1. It’s a great spot to practice fire starting techniques.
  2. It’s a great place to practice primitive cooking techniques.
  3. They’re good to have in case you’re ever without power.

Shoot, Shoot & then shoot some more

Whether it’s for hunting or self defense, if you own a firearm it’s your responsibility to train and practice with that weapon.

How tragic would it be if after all of your preparation, you found out the hard way that you don’t know how to use your gun? Think I’m being a little over dramatic? Think again!

Every year thousands of gun owners are killed by criminals because they never learned how to properly use their gun.  From forgetting to take off the safety, to not knowing how to shoot, there isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t hear about a tragedy that could have been prevented through training.

Go hunting and fishing

Being able to provide for your family is not something that should be taken lightly. Even during the best of conditions, there’s going to be times that you come up empty-handed while hunting or fishing.

To give yourself the best chance of survival, you need to learn how to hunt and fish. The more you practice these skills the easier it will be to find food during a survival situation.

Comments

Responses to " Survival Training " Please share your thoughts...

  1. The Prepper says:

    Taking this one step further:

    “Every year thousands of gun owners are killed by a criminal because they never learned how to properly use their gun. From forgetting to take the safety off to not knowing how to shoot, there isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t hear about a tragedy that could have been prevented through training.”

    If you have the money take a class from a quality firearms instructor. My classes were invaluable and have helped me learn my weapons systems inside and out. Can’t recommend this step enough.

    • Lee says:

      My husband is retired army ranger. He is good to go. I have done some hunting in the past. But, my 2 kids have never shot a gun. Will be taking some classes this spring.

  2. woodnick says:

    And don’t forget to do these things in all types weather.

    • Hunter says:

      I couldn’t agree better. You cant prepare to survive if you can only do it one type of season.

    • Horse says:

      What, and get my precious gun wet ?? : )

  3. Preaching to the choir here, woodnick also has a very valid point, “do these things in all types weather”. Learn and practice the different methods of food and water procurement, water filtration and sterilization methods, fish traps, spring snares, dead falls and foraging to name a few.

  4. Prepping Preacher says:

    the summation of it all is: if you don’t use it, you lose it…

  5. sam says:

    i call bullshit on your “thousands of gun owners per year” comment. citation?

  6. 357chaos says:

    I agree with going hunting. It is a good time to actually test out your gear. Most people can’t afford their own land for a bug out location but have you thought about getting a deer lease instead. Some place you can go year round and maybe put a small camper stocked with some essentials. You can practice shooting, camping, cutting and clearing, fire starting, hiking, stalking, skinning etc. Mine is $600 a year and gives me access to a few hundred acres. The deer hunting isn’t very good, but it offers so much more.

  7. Les says:

    a pistol or full sized crossbow, or compound bow might be handy survival tools in addition to guns.

    I purchased a pistol type along with a dozen arrows, pretty much as a toy for the most part, but with a little practice, I was fairly accurate at 15 – 20 yards, and with the compound bow, I wasn’t half bad at over 100 yards and with practice, some people are deadly with them at 300 or 400.

    I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary weapon, but possibly as a back up, in case shells got wet, or ammunition stock low, or when trying to hunt quietly… no point in letting others close by that you might have killed something and have food stuffs available…

    and agree a camp sight would be a ideal bug out location, maybe a hidden cache within short walking distance, set up rain water collection, heating and pumping systems, along with a basic supply to start with.

    • Billbo says:

      Seriously you are full of it, most bow hunting is done at 25 to 40 yards and that is with the best compound bows on the market. No way in he’ll is anyone killing anything at 100 yards let alone anything over that. To shot at a target 200 yards away you would be pointing at the sky and have to arc the arrow there is no way to aim. Hitting something at distances like that would be complete luck and nothing more, a pro has as good of a chance as a first timer. People just make shit up on these blogs I guess huh.

      • Sarge says:

        I agree. If someone can hit a target that’s more than 60-70 yards away with a crossbow or compound bow, they are amazing. So amazing that, I’d pay good money to “see” it take place.

        • Kenshin says:

          No need to be amazing, Sarge. I’m a “weekend warrior” type of archer and I can put arrows on a 1-meter target out to 80 yards. That’s using a recurve bow and wooden arrows. No sights, no stabilizers, no release mechanisms, no ultra-straight shafts.

          I hunt and, I’ll grant, I’d be leery of taking a shot in the woods over about 30 yards, but that’s not because I don’t think I’d hit the deer. It’s because I don’t know for sure that I’d kill it cleanly.

          I haven’t personally seen anyone do what Les claims and shoot out to 300-400 yards, and I personally can’t, but I can see it being done with modern gear… I’m dubious of the lethality of such a long-range shot, but a) that range is POSSIBLE and b) lethal shots can be made out to 100 yards by personal verification.

          I agree that as a primary weapon most people can do better than a bow. But, if you’ve got space, they’re quiet, deadly, and much easier to make reloads for than a firearm.

          • Jeff says:

            You are probably the biggest BS’er I’ve ever heard. I was a Olympic archer 2nd request during the 90′s.. I shoot competition bows made specifically for me by Hoyt. I shoot recurve, compound and long bow with arrows made of cedar, metal and graphite… I also hunt with a Mach at 95lb draw (capable of 300+fps) using 2413 metal shafts (which are awesome for deflection and resistance outdoors)… And to sit and say I could blow targets away at 80 yds is ludicrous. And 200-300 yards with a bow is just down right ignorant. You may have lobbed a shot with your bow once at a target but to say this is common range for you, I call you a liar… (use utube to prove me wrong)… Anything over 40 yards (hunting) would be considered an unethical shot, mainly because the arrow would lose velocity and the arrow (even with punch-cutters) would not penetrate the lungs and heart, therefore allowing the animal to run off and bleed to death….

            Please keep your lies and dreams to yourself!! In your little world, making statements and unethical archery shots is fantasy… Keep telling the neighborhood kiddies about your awesome shooting abilities and great archery equipment, however, stop disgracing the sport I love so much… And stay out of my hunting camp

          • sapper says:

            Jeff, 2012 summer olympic recurve target was 70 meters….or 76 yards. You are biggest BS’er ever. I used to hit consistently at 30 yards with an old recurve 25lb pull and I’m no olympic shooter. With my 65lb compound bow I can bullsey consistently at 50-60 yards all day long. Had a friend who as a teenager would wow us by sitting in a chair at 20 yards and hit emplty rifle casings. He of course had several competition championships and shot a lot every day but the fact is that just because you can’t do something doesn’t mean that I can’t. Nor does it mean that just because I never tried competiion shooting that I couldn’t outshoot you. Most hunting done at 40 to 50 yards because you need to see what your shooting at and make sure it’s not another human. 300 yards however is difficult to believe in my opinion.

        • Big Bow says:

          Hey Sarge. 60-70 yards is a makeable shot and, with modern equipment and practice, is ethical. I have shot a decent group at 120, but things get pretty wild at 150. You can watch me do it at Full Exposure Outdoors or on HuntIt.TV. The name of the program is “Right Outside” and its the second segment in Episode 2 “Montana Muleys”.

          Enjoy!

          • wakvhaco says:

            Jeff has apparently not bothered studying history…in the middle ages English longbow archers could make those shots. they are more than possible, and without modern bows with training wheels. the key is practice, pratice, practice. the problem these days i would see with the story is finding someplace cleared that far to be able to use as a range.

  8. john says:

    a bow at 300 to 400 yds? please show me this because i have been archery hunting all my life and have never met anyone claiming to be deadly at even 200 yds and the guys who say they are at 100 are usually lucky. im not trying to be rude but if i ever meet someone willing to try and kill some thing over 70 yds i tell them they need to buy a rifle

  9. Mandy says:

    Good to know by these standards I’m covered in the survival area ;) Sadly most people now wouldn’t know what to do with themselves without electric, stores, & vehicles!

  10. Stephen says:

    Having been in the military for 19 yrs, I’m coming up on retirement. I’m still fairly new to the prepper lifestyle but I am fully committed to it. I live in south MS. I’m actually trying to get “off grid” completely. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find good information on things like solar panels and and quality gear?

    • A says:

      Mother Earth News and Grit not only have good books, but monthly or bi-monthly magazines that are full of ways to go off grid. It’s how I got my start, and how the hubs persuaded me to get on board.

    • denver says:

      solar pannels at about .85 a watt at pv depot. i got eoplly 240 watt pannels from dwight there tell him denver sent you they are valid company.
      do research on what inverters chargers and batteries you want on line you should find someting that will work. pannels are a good start
      to get off grid the more you can afford the better. remember most wells use 240 volt pump motors. You will need your fridge and frezer. figure out what you will need to cook on in. i would like to get an old wood cook stove. almost everything else can be done by hand no fun but can be done.

    • RegT says:

      Stephen,

      One of the best sources of info on anything solar, wind, or hydro is Homepower Magazine. They are online at homepower.com. They have many basic articles for free, their paper magazines are available at some libraries, and their DVDs with all of their many issues (they started back in 1987) are pretty cheap. Check them out. I subscribe to their on-line digital magazine, so that I don’t have to store the 144 or so issues they have put out (I use to have the printed issues 1-120, but gave them away after I got their DVD with them on a disc).

  11. Austin says:

    Shoot like every bullet is your last, my dad taught me this and it really helps you take the time to squeeze off your round with accuracy and deadliness.

  12. Austin says:

    OH! And practice with a variety of weapons, learn how to make weapons such as bows, spears, arrows, knives. if you have a knife, attach it to a long sturdy stick and you have increased your kill radius

  13. ztar says:

    The shooting guns makes me laugh! I have been raised around guns for all my life, I remember one of my friends inherited his first gun , so me and him were out there target shooting, and he couldn’t hit the can. So i took the gun from him and hit all three cans without missing once. He said the sights were off, But i always say the sights are there for guide lines. but its amazing how people don’t know how to use a gun. But I don’t get to hunt much, or camp. but my dad taught me it all when i was growing up. It just a matter of how much you practice and how much you know. I mean for some people..this is new to them, but i was raised in survival training. When your raised in it , you have to know it.

    • jim 28th reg. says:

      I’m with you on the practice. I bought a 10/22 and went out. Been hunting off & on all my life. Spot’d a row-dent way up in a tree & ran 14 rounds thru & missed every 1- looked at the sights and WOW someone had creaped up and put a white dot on the front post-ain’t never seen that there afor.Got the squirrel.
      WHEN I FINISHED LAUGHING AND WIPED THE TEARS AWAY.

  14. Killer91 says:

    I’m 46 years old and have been into survival all my life,it’s a way of life for me. Your attitude in a survival situation is the most important thing,you need to have the will to survive. When i go into the back country I always assume that I will be in a survival situation so I always go prepared mentally.Take some classes on survival or get some books or videos and then practice these SKILLS over and over and over again.Make it a way of life for you too because one day it will be a way of life for you and you wont be caught with your pant down. Have fun learning.

  15. USMC94 says:

    When you practice your shooting don’t just practice marksmanship, practice your reloading, reloading without looking, reloading in different positions like lying down or in the sitting position, and shooting from behind cover and while moving. Also a good gun to have in a survival situation is a good shotgun with all different types of shells; slugs, buckshot, heck, even the cheap target bird loads will help.

  16. ProjectOmega says:

    USMC94,
    When I was a Huey crew chief / ALSE NCO for my aviation unit in Alaska two of the pilots asked me what I thought was the best survival firearm to have. They were both Fairbanks cops in civilian life and one carried a .357 and the other a .44 mag. Then I pulled my Mossberg 500 Mariner stainless out of my bailout bag. One of them looked at me and said “From now on you are OUR crew chief Sgt. Carter.” From that point on I was their crew chief whenever they flew…..LOL.

  17. m4 says:

    I’m curious how many people on here have ever been in a survival situation? I have been on survival courses with the army and must say some are quite easy to some being very difficult. I did a winter survival course with what I was wearing, a knife, a lighter and one meal pack between my fireteam partner and myself for 3 days. I laugh at some people who are worried about their B.O.B. You need very little in a survival situation.

    • Jonno says:

      Yep you need very little BUT you really need to know how to use it effectively. For most people you need a good variety of items for survival if you don’t a) constantly practise b) have an innate sense of the right thing to do in a survival situation. So although I agree for the expert survivalist very few things are really necessary, for the average person those extra few items in their survival kit can mean the difference between living or dying. My advice is take as much as you can safely carry and learn how to use it effectively.

    • Faraday says:

      Yeah, and how many children/grandparents did you have to keep quiet and sorted? I suppose one could always bolt and leave the “anchors” behind, but for the rest of us, we’ll need the BOB.

    • Sapper says:

      ummm….BULL! I am an Army vet, airborn, combat engineer. Been there done that. You need little for survival for 3 days escape and evasion course or jungle survival when you know someone is coming to get you in 3 days and it’s just you and another guy. When you have to get out of dodge with your civilian wife and 9 year old daughter you have to provide for them. They are not used to being without TV much less going days without food and water. IF SHTF and I have to bug out we will throw our pre-packed crap in the 4×4 and expedition and try to get as far as we can. I need 6 hours of warning to get us the hell out of here and to our permenent location in the country where family has prepped for long term. If I get 300 miles and have to hike the remaining 100 miles on foot with only our BOB and what we have on then I’m looking at about 3 weeks cross country with wife, kid and dog. Want to bet if that will be a piece of cake?? I bet I’ve been in worse survival situations than you my friend and I’m not looking forward to coming up with food for a month. I’m confident I can but would not call it simple nor laugh about it. I have fishing gear, traps, rifles, handguns, multiple backups for food, water, fire, shelter and the knowledge and experience to use them. We will be fine but if you think your little survival training in the army is going to get you through without supplies for more than a couple of days….well….good luck with that.

      • sapper says:

        Airborne, sorry about the spelling. Not sure how the e got left off. I am ashamed :(

        I thought I should add that I am a combat vet. Been through several Army “survival” schools. They will get you by for a few days but are not designed for long term. Nor are they much good in an urban environment. At least when I was there in 88-91 this was true.

  18. Jaris says:

    I might add, a big part of knowing how to use your firearms is knowing what kind of ammo it will and will not shoot. A rifle that handles cheap steel-cased bulk ammo in a relatively clean, 100-round range trip might not like it so well when you’re firing multiple hundreds of rounds in field conditions or without cleaning. Bottom line, be careful about going “cheap” when stocking ammunition.

    • meece says:

      “A rifle that handles cheap steel-cased bulk ammo in a relatively clean, 100-round range trip might not like it so well when you’re firing multiple hundreds of rounds in field conditions or without cleaning.”

      Thats why you make sure that one of your SHTF guns is a cheap SKS semi auto, they are the Lada of the gun world and from personal experience will work in the worst of conditions with all types of cheap ammo with very little maintenance, (plus everything you need to field strip and clean the SKS is in the butt of the stock anyway.

  19. mike camp says:

    My self and my two children shoot all of our firearms every summer and winter on a regular basis, all of them. I want my kids to know how to shoot and break down and clean the weapons as well as I do. My so just got a mossberg 590 shot gun for Christmas and cant wait to go the range. we use a lot of surplus guns because they are cheap, but very reliable. and My kids have shot all of them. we also are begining to learn reloading with a lee handloader. we have a bow for each of us and some arrows, these are just in case weapons, like if we had no ammo or needed to be silent, we all shoot these often also. they are good for about 20-30 yards for us.

    • Gordon says:

      Make sure the kids, and yourself know how to clean the firearms too. Maintenance of equipment is important to keep it functional. Good to hear someone taking the kids out and teaching them how to be responsible and use firearms properly. Check out appleseed for more info on community firearm events.

  20. Goldenseal says:

    I was lucky enough to grow up in the mid-west around the ‘old timers’ who lived though the last depression. Large game animals were quickly hunted out and small game was very hard to find before it was officially over. Deer even had to be reintroduced to Iowa and Missouri by the government. That is why there was a hunting ban on deer until several decades ago. Our population has greatly increased since the ’20′s and ’30′s so why do people think that there will be plenty of game to hunt for food?? To be prepared you have to be ready to supply your own or do without!

    • Neil says:

      Very interesting about the game goldenseal. I guess I dont need to stock more than 100 pounds of field corn for bait. I am now confident that I have enough
      270 rounds so I can stock more shotshells and 45acp for self defense.

    • sapper says:

      Not all about big game buddy. Rabbit, coons, squirrel, snakes, rats, possum, or anything else with meat on it. Army taught us to eat bugs. Nothing like a cup of tasty earthworms or grubs to fill up on….YUM…..but to answer your question, in 20′s and 30′s most people new how to hunt, had guns and ammo and were much more resourceful. Now they sit on top of their house with signs asking where FEMA is and starve to death. I think those of us who are hunters would know A: how to cure the meat so it lasts for days if not weeks. B: not to waste meat of what we kill…nor hide, bones, etc. We also fish and forage to supplement. I don’t see having as much problem with over hunting big game this time around. I could be wrong but I expect most urban dwellers to either be thug or victim. I plan to be deep in the woods while all that is happening.

  21. OneShot says:

    This is the problem with a lot of gun owners – they read books and watch TV and think firing a gun is easy. Well, firing it is easy. Hitting something is another story.

    My dad started taking me hunting and fishing when I was around 5 and I started shooting when I was around 7. I actually stated hunting with a gun when I was 10. This was repeated with my two boys at the same ages.

    The other thing I did was make sure both boys became Eagle Scouts. It may not be military training but it does teach you how to survive in most situations. This was the rural Scout program, not urban. We spent many winters in snow caves we built as well as “stash camps” where they were taught to stash food, etc. and find it after it snowed with a compass. How many people even know how to use a compass, find and eat grubs and other insects, find a coyote spring for water, etc. now days?

    • fliper says:

      Your spot on OneShot, your father taught you well, and you have passed it on, you can be sure your boys will “Be Prepaired”, thanks to you and your guidance.

      • riff says:

        It teaches them situational awareness and to think in their situation with what skills they bring to bear.

    • Keith says:

      One thing that scares the bejezus out of me is when I see a person on that dumb Preppers show on tv get a new handgun or rifle. Half of them have never owned one…or shot one. Theyave scared kids! Surprised the camera crew gets near them. :P

      • Amack says:

        Ever think about meeting these types after day 3 in the woods? When you have people running from the urban centers into the woods? That have never been off the concrete? oh man…..

    • Faraday says:

      “This was the rural Scout program, not urban”

      Good point! And it makes a difference. Unfortunately we’re in the urban program, so I’ll be filling in for the silliness that scouts doesn’t cover here.

  22. J. says:

    well, in a survival situation one must realize that a good shot will only get you soo far…What happends when you have nothing to shoot at? Ones survival relies on more than how well they know their gun and how close to the bullseye they hit. Yes this is a huge factor in self-defense and plays a great role in survival, but gathering and foraging are also key components to ones survival. Knowledge og edible plant and even insect in the area in which you live could save your life.

    “People will do amazing things to ensure their survival.”

    -knowledge is power

  23. joe says:

    I have an idea. Why don’t we start a group where we go camping together and practice and share our camping, hunting and survival skills. I like to consider myself fairly self capable, but like everyone here I could always use more skills and advice.

    I do have skills to share also: hunter and fisher, Army with 2 deployments, camper and firefighter paramedic.

    • watchdog says:

      That’s a great idea, Joe! I’d be the first to agree. The only problem is that with these blogs you could be in Alaska and I could be in Ontario. That sort of makes weekend warrior-ing together kind of difficult.

      • David H. says:

        Hold on a bit Watchdog, Joe has made a very good point. Maybe all of us can’t meet up, but I’m sure we’ll have groups of two or three of us that live within a reasonable driving distance from each other, or could meet to camp somewhere along the midpoint.
        I would be more than willing to do something like this, and to bring other survivalists I know. It just scares me that noone my age (I’m only 20) seems to know what to dowoot side of the comforts of a city. Sometimes I wonder if the younger generations even COULD survive, what with all the kids I see around here not knowing which end of a rifle to point down range (city kids that would probably die off without their precious phones and all).

        • Hunter says:

          David H. I am 18 years old, and ive been studying different survival techniques for a few years now. Just because you live in the city, doesnt mean youre worthless, haha– but I agree, a lot of people don’t know how to survive. But my brother and I would be more than willing to drive half point to meet up with other survivalists to obtain more knowledge; knowledge is power. Also, you don’t have to just survive in the country. In certain cases you might have to in urban areas as well.

  24. Robert says:

    Become your weapon..know it intimately..practice, practice, practice..be ready to, at a moments notice to break daily protocol in pull a ghost..disappear.. shit will hit the fan..when it does, be vigilant.!

  25. Jay says:

    They always say practice makes perfect. Just when you think you got your plan down. Test it again, and again. You wont really be prepared for an emergency unless you are constantly training.

  26. Ron says:

    Being in excellent physical shape eludes many otherwise well prepared people. Hiking is an excellent way to gain skills and keep fit

    • Hunter says:

      I agree. But hiking won’t be enough. You might have to run miles at a time at some point. You might have to be able to pull yourself over a cliff with your pack on. It just depends. But you cant really depend on walking with a 30-40 pound pack on as a great workout. Sure it will help keep you active but, you’ll need to do more than that.

      • Rabid says:

        When I was taught to hunt I fired only one shot every half hour whether with a rifle or a bow. The reason is this when you are hunting you don’t fire shot after shot. You get only one chance, make it your best. I don’t go through a box of ammo every time I practice at most I go through five rounds a month but then again I know my equipment and I rarely miss.

  27. Raven says:

    And remember to shoot from all ranges and manners of cover as well as shooting from the ground. Thats right in the dirt. Train as you fight. And when someone asks why you need an “assault rifle,” the answer is covering fire, reflexive fire, suppressing fire, and enough rounds to move or push to cover. Thats why. Oh and reloading is a bitch when crouching behind a car or hugging the ground.

  28. sapper says:

    Thought I would bring up a point that occured to me reading here. Our plan for bugging out involves a permenent place to hunker down. It is 400 miles away. I have seen comments about might have to rappel or climb hills/cliff, etc.

    One thing I’m doing is obtaining topo maps and pre-planning several routes to our perm position. Along those routes I’m going to place caches of supplies buried in public parks out in the woods and record coordinates in GPS and hard copy. Will be able to re-supply food and ammo and have water sources. Hope to get as far as possible by vehicle but contingency planning dictates that we might have to walk door to door. My point is to know the terrain on your route in advance. I know there are no cliffs, major rivers to cross etc. on my route so lots of gear I don’t need to carry. Just saying.

    • Gordon says:

      Dont forget weather sapper. Check out what weather patterns are like along your planned route. It really dictates what equipment is essential during transpo. Theres a great book about hiking and equipment by ….cant remember his name…sorry TBI, but its published by national geographic. It gives a lot of great tips.

  29. frank ivey says:

    I think I’ ready could use more people my 22 yr old grandson and I practice regularly we swap back and forth on who is the best shot at 100 yds but we are more than effective (you wouldn’t walk away).We are working on our food supply live in the middle of 40 acres house can’t be seen from road and we have a 90 lb pitbull that doesn’t like strangers how do we rate? p.s. 2 ak’s 1 sks couple thousand rounds of ammo

  30. prariewolf says:

    If you own a weapon you better know how to service it. Better know how to trouble shoot it, repair it know what parts are it’s weak links. Please do not think equipment equals skills in the field. THEY DON’T ! You’d better learn to operate on Natures time not human time. An example would be ; An alerted deer doesn’t move until it is certain from where the alarm (noise , sight, scent , vibration,yes deer feel ground vibrations through their hooves )survival is important not getting comfortable or fed or any other human longing. Learn how to Man Track. I could go on and on.

  31. ron says:

    prariewolf, thanks for the good tips, i need them.

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