The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
For those of us who find nature to be both aesthetically beautiful and life-sustaining.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Is The Survivalist Prepper A New Breed? Bringing Survival Tactics, Bushcraft and Preparedness To a Whole New Level

The ability to adapt to changing circumstance and to become self-reliant is something that we should all strive for.
I happened across a survivalist forum that asked a general question regarding whether each visitor was a survivalist or a prepper. After some time spent skimming some of the answers to that intriguing question, I set out to read other blogs, forums, social-media sites and discussions on this topic. Eventually, I was able to deduce that there is a historical divide between the two groups for some people, but not for others. I discovered a new, and rapidly-growing group of individuals who appear to label themselves and identify as both a survivalist and a prepper.

Although it appears that this fairly-new, mixed-breed, known as the survivalist-prepper, identifies with both philosophies, they do tend to model skills and information which leans slightly more toward survivalist or slightly more toward prepping. But, as time passes, the philosophies are steadily morphing into an entirely new concoction. The individual that practices outdoor survival skills and bush-craft, believes in home defense, values having food, water and other necessities stocked up for "just-in-case events" is now doubly prepared. This person has an overall worldview that puts a high priority on being prepared mentally, physically and has the skills and knowledge to adapt to changing circumstances whether those circumstances equate to being lost in the wilderness or an economic collapse. This person is self-reliant.

The self-reliant individual is not unlike this multi-purpose tool.
Self-reliance is a term not used enough in the survivalist, outdoor survival, urban survival, prepping or bushcraft genres. It is used with more frequency in off-grid, permaculture and other self-sustaining groups. But, self-reliance and self-sufficient are not the same thing. One can be self-reliant without necessarily living a self-sufficient lifestyle. Generally, I would say that anyone that is able to live off-grid and practices permaculture and self-sustaining homesteads is very much self-reliant in most or all areas of survival and preparedness.

Self-reliance is something that every individual should strive to become. The term denotes that you are capable and able to take care of your self. Self-reliance is saying that you can rely on ...you. This is not to say that you will never need others. A fully self-reliant person is capable of utilizing any skill necessary to accomplish the mission at hand to include social skills if need be. To be self-reliant is to be adaptable to changing circumstance. To be self-reliant is to be capable of navigating the terrain and improvising and adapting when the terrain suddenly or drastically changes. To be self-reliant is to know that you are ready, willing and able to do what needs to be done to acclimate and systematically overcome the odds even when those odds are seemingly stacked against you.

Shouldn't we all want to be able to rely upon ourselves? Yes, we are social creatures and we do need people and we do need groups and communities. Yes, your odds of survival if you are socially adept and can acclimate your social landscape successfully and with ease are increased. But, what if you are ever in a situation where all that you have is yourself? Would you feel safe with you? Would you depend on you? Do you have the knowledge, skills and abilities as well as the mindset to navigate your way through emergencies, disasters or catastrophic events? The confident, self-reliant individual would have adequate knowledge and skill in areas that cover the gambit of survivalist, hunter-gatherer, bushcraft, tactical, home defense and prepper.

When preparedness meets survivalist 
This new breed of prepared-survivalist is not the militant-survivalist of decades past nor the apocalyptic prepper highlighted recently on television, rather something in between the two. And because of this clear delineation that appears to come with differing perspectives that are a combination of multiple lifestyles and philosophies, the survivalist-prepper both needs and deserves a new name that highlights this belief system and the combined knowledge, skill and ability which is exponential when you bring philosophies together. This new breed is deserving of being coined as self-reliant. With self-reliance comes confidence and competence. Who wouldn't be proud to call themselves self-reliant. There is no doubt that when it comes to everyday life events gone awry or serious life-changing events, I want to either be self-reliant or be right beside someone who is.

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