How Do You Find Your Survival Essentials?
Finding your survival essentials, is the first step towards building your survival platform. Starting at the foundations, with the Pocket survival kit and through to the 72 hour kit and Bug out Bag. Along the way you might find your survival essentials with life at home too.
However, it’s not just the kits that you build but the questions that you ask yourself while building them. In the end, these hard and honest questions will help you to better find your own survival essentials.
This post will reflect on the circumstances that led to the origins of the Essential Survival Theory.
The Initial Move
Around 2003, we shifted from our first house in suburbia and into what was to become our family home. The new house was further out from the urban area and the extra distance was a little troubling. Although, we were really only out on the fringe of the urban sprawl but it still felt isolated.
However, the new area proved to be amazing and the extra distance of travel, was more than returned to us. Even with the lack of amenity, we were still rewarded with the spacious and peaceful surroundings of our family home. Even the weather was turning out to be different and better than our former local area.
We were previously living in the lower valley and had now moved further up to a higher plain. The change in weather interested me, so, I studied it. And I learned that the geological features of the higher plain created a “rain shadow” over our semi-rural estate’s area.
Consequently, we received less rainfall and more settled weather than the areas surrounding us. No big deal, we still received some decent rain, when the weather came in from its normal direction.
Sudden Changes Can Reveal Problems
Around the height of Summer in 2005, it rained heavy for 3 days, which transformed our nearby creek valley area. Basically, from something resembling a dry gulch into something out of Jurassic park. Complete with cascading waterfalls and mudslides, even some rock falls! The normally trickling creek, had turned into a swollen monster, as it breached banks and threatened to overwhelm the bridge.
At some point during the 3-day rain, I realised that the weather had shifted from its normal direction. Effectively reversing the rain shadow effect and dumping it on us instead. Apart from the local flooding and minor storm damage, life went on with clear weather in the days after. However, more and more water soaked into the waterways over those few days. The local creek swelled again to within 6 inches of the underside of the bridge and threatened its closure or possible destruction.
I Didn’t Know All of My Vulnerabilities
Only then did I begin to look for another way back to suburbia and to my shock, I could find none. There are two other bridges but we belatedly discovered that they were already overwhelmed and closed. We were close to being marooned on our hilltop island and needing either a boat or an airdrop to be resupplied! This situation came about in a little over 3 days within a perfectly normal Summer’s week. To say I had a shift in my survival thinking, would be an understatement.
As a result of that minor experience with the flooding, I realized that a hidden vulnerability had been revealed. And, I continued to wonder how many more vulnerabilities were lurking in my life and how can I reveal them. I quickly discovered that focusing on the essentials for survival was the key to finding vulnerabilities.
And it all started with the Pocket Survival Kit, the last and most important link in your essential survival chain. When building my first kit, it was the limited container size, that made me understand the essentials for survival.
Build or Buy?
No doubt if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, you’ll be glad to have a Pocket Survival Kit. However, it is the questions you are forced to ask yourself while building it, that forms the structure of your survival strategy. The follow up posts will revolve around ways to create your own or buy a readymade Pocket Survival Kit. I strongly suggest you build one like mine but that may not suit everyone.
So, I will also show what to look out for with the pre made kits as well but you have to ask yourself the hard questions. Where am I vulnerable? If I get lost while out hiking, with only my pocket survival kit, am I vulnerable? I would say no, in danger yes but not vulnerable.
“Chance favours only the prepared mind”
Louis may have only been referring to his own field but that quote holds true in all aspects of your life.
Foundations Built from Your Kits
From the Pocket Survival Kit and your survival essentials, you can grow and evolve a strategy in line with your circumstances. The details and equipment may change for individuals but the fundamentals will not. Whether you live on the fringe of society or in a high-rise apartment tower, either way, you will need a kit for both. Even with such opposing circumstances, your survival kits may not look that radically different from one another.
Further posts will cover making kits for these changing environments. The first Pocket Survival Kit post covers a kit I made for the traditional survival situation. Useful while out on a hike or camping in bushlands type environment for example.
Other posts will cover the type of equipment to choose and tips on using it and the purpose of the different sized kits and bags:
- What are the top ten survival items?
- The most important survival tool?
- What are the best survival tools to carry in a Bug out Bag?
More Skills Than Just Surviving in the Wild
It just starts with the Pocket Survival Kit (PSK) but by no means does it end there though. Survival skills are required in all aspects of your family life and not just providing food and water. A financial survival plan is not something many people think about needing or have set up, to thrive in retirement. So, really you need to learn how to survive at home, even more than you do in the wild.
- What do you need to survive at home?
- How to Survive at home continued?
- What do I need for financial survival?
- How much land do you need to be self sufficient?
A Kit for All Your Survival Essentials – Your Home
No matter what your personal emergency scenario looks like, you will be able to plan for it and make a kit. The addition of a small kit of relevant gear to assist you, will greatly enhance your chances of survival. However, only a detailed review, of your most likely survival situation will reveal the most useful gear to pack.
This kind of review and planning is crucial to success, especially when building your main survival kit; the family home. However, planning is only one step, you have to take that planning and put it into practice with everything you do.
For instance, that could mean a financial plan or even a fence your building; you have to find what is essential for its survival. For the fence, that could mean waterproofing or painting to help it survive against the elements. And for your financial plan to survive with you into retirement, that could mean diversity in your portfolio.
Essential Survival in Your Pocket
A perfect example of survival essentials, is the Pocket Survival Kit, everything you need to survive and in your pocket. However, not only is the kit packed with essential items, it is also squeezed down to an essential size. This essential size, is something that’s not always looked at with survival gear but it’s incredibly important for function.
For example, if your pocket kit sits uncomfortably while you’re hiking, you’ll probably store it someplace else. Which of course no longer makes it a pocket kit and breaks the foundations of your survival platform. Essential survival demands that the pocket kit stays in your pocket, while you’re out in the wild.
Finding Essential Survival
For me, I use spreadsheets to coldly examine the usefulness of survival gear and even our budget/savings ambitions. That initial assessment is taken further into planning, with the focus on the essentials for its survival. A great example of that, is my Bug out Bag, which can be broken down and still leave you fit for survival!
If you’re looking for a place to start, then begin with the most obvious areas where you are vulnerable. For instance, I started with a survival bag for camping and have continued through to home, finances and retirement. All the while focusing on what their survival essentials are, what they require and how to plan for them.
Becoming an expert in anything takes time, finding and understanding the essentials in things, does not. You don’t have to instantly master all the knowledge or skills, just understand the fundamentals and practice over time. You might even end up an expert in a few different things you weren’t expecting.
Essential Survival Awakens
For me, it was the rising waters after a summer storm, that revealed my survival essentials. From that threat, I became interested in Meteorology, Geography, Geopolitics, land/water management and sustainability, Horticulture and it goes on still today.
Of course, one of those other things I became interested in, was survival skills and building survival kits. However, after seeing so many bottle openers on survival tools, I figured the focus on the essentials has slipped.
The bottle openers are not the lone reason for starting an essential survival blog, I also found my spreadsheets useful. And I thought others might as well, however, you need to subscribe to access them. I won’t annoy you with sales or emails but subscription shows me you are properly focused on the essentials of survival.
Good luck and thanks for reading!
Read the Essential Purpose of the Pocket Survival Kit next.