Survival Training

Many names for the same game

End Prepping, Dooms Day Prepping, Survival Prepping anything prepping seems to be the recent craze or trend but do the participants really truly understand what is required to live this life style. I thought I did, but months later I learned I didn’t. Just know I am getting a better understanding of what is required to survive in the San Luis Valley after the Apocalypse and it amounts to lot’s of Survival Training.

TV and real life aren’t the same

TV and Hollywood glamorize survival-ism as being simply gathering what you need to survive living off their land. There’s Jason Bourne films where the hero tends to his various injuries climbs over Alaska Mountainous terrain makes it to the remote cabin in blinding snow storm.

Programs like Life Below Zero, Alaskan Bush People, Alone and other survival programs show the upside of living alone with the wilderness. What they don’t show is the down side, victims of starvation, illness, injuries and even death while trying to survive in the Out Back. A real lack of survival training is the major contributor to they’re failure.

Some well documented failures

You might say “Not me, I have experience”. Let me provide you with names of several experienced people feel free to research them on Wikipedia. They all had many years of experience and yet their stories ended in Death.

Lillian Alling who in 1927 trekked from New York to Bering Straits on foot and disappeared somewhere between Alaska and Russia. He took odd jobs to purchase items needed to survive along the way.

Evertt Ruessis another who in 1934 was an experienced hiker and survivalist. He disappeared while hiking in Utah

Carl McCunn back in 1981 was an experienced environmentalist and outdoors writer. He committed suicide after being stranded while camping in Brook Range Alaska. He had a visual ground signal per-arranged with the Alaska State Troopers showing he was okay but never changed it to show he was in distress.

Christopher McCandless in 1992 was a self-experienced outdoors person who took great pride in being self-sufficient and living off the land. They found him weighing less than eighty pounds and died of starvation related reasons. He Traveled on foot through Denali National Parks Alaska along the Stampede Trail. He had a small caliber rifle and plenty of ammunition when found but may have contracted a wasting disease from eating rabbits or wild edibles. The death investigation showed he was stranded by rising river waters had he had a local map where he would have seen a usable river crossing point up stream not far from his location.

Even the experienced perish

Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard in 2003 with thirteen years’ experience of living outdoors. They documented wildlife in Katmai National Park Alaska. Both killed by bears while recording the creatures feeding season.

Tomasz Mackiewicz as recent as 2018 was an experienced outdoors person and mountaineer. He was overcome with altitude sickness while mountaineering during a time of severe weather and was killed despite the best efforts of nearby fellow mountaineers who were unable to rescue him.  

IN 2018 there were numerous wildlife conflicts resulting in death or injury of regular people throughout America including several Alligator contacts in Florida. One documented wild cat attack of an outdoor trekker in Boulder Colorado.

Many simple reasons contribute to death

According to these are the common reasons for outdoor fatalities” Alcohol and Drowning, Falls or Avalanches, Animal Attacks, Starvation, Poisoning, Exposure to weather. With proper training and experience most of these could have been prevented.

Richard Proenneke died in 2003. He left for the Alaska outback in his twenties and remained there until his senior years at which time he was forced to return to society because of health-related reasons. He lived off the land as a hunter gatherer built his own cabin surviving off his own efforts. It is possible but requires more than just showing up out there with a back pack full of food and a sleeping bag. He lived a life of survival training

Good information is out there

 There are many well experience survival training locations and individuals on the Internet and listed throughout Facebook under topic “Prepping” take the time to review them and attend one that meets your interest level. Reading a book about bugging out with a weapon, some gear and case of Pork and Beans will not be enough to save your bacon. It takes more training, experience, and understanding of what the environment has to offer.

I see it here in San Luis, Colorado each weather change or event presents a new obstacle to deal with. Sixteen years military and jungle training has not been enough for me. Working with and learning from people like my brother who has resided in this environment is what has pulled me through. Remember those names and read their stories. Each has something to provide on the topic of survival training. Let’s not forget their lessons.

One Facebook Prepper said “Knowledge and experience does not weigh anything”.

As always be safe and healthy my friends.

Ralph Tcat.

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