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Message Subject Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
Post Content
Personal Assessment

Don't you wish you could have graded yourself in school? Boy that would have made things easier. Just kidding, I was an exemplary student.

Now that things are unstable, it's a great time to read and learn about survival skills. It always is. Taking a self-assessment is the best way though to see the depth of your learning.

Survival skills are not like book learning. They're based upon practical skills that build on each other. These work synergistically for feeding yourself, building shelter, making tools, defense and offense, and stealth. The idea to become as one with the forest as any other animal. Tom Brown used to have an ultimate course. In it, the goal was to be so still and stealthy, that you go up and touch a deer. The idea was that if you could do that, you could have taken the deer, but chose not to. That idea still amazes me today. It is similar to the idea of counting coup by the Lakota. [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Book learnin' is great. It's just not practical at all. You can identify a plant easily in a book, and then consume the wrong one and die. Just watch “Into the Wild”. We all can identify with that young person. Anyone who's ever wanted to live in the wilderness, knows the calls of her voice. Alaskan citizens will discuss him in disdain though. He need not have died. Not at all. It was a foolish death. [link to en.wikipedia.org]

The way to assess your skills is by practicing them. Anyone can slip off for a weekend, pack a backpack, and step away from their urban setting, and immerse themselves into the woods. It is easy to take a little food, build a shelter, build a fire, collect some water and purify it, cook a meal, and feel the interconnectness of all things. Some Native Americans called the Source, the Spirit-Who-Moves-In-All-Things. I don't know how they defined it. I do know, that I feel God's presence in Creation. God is not Creation. God is apart from it. But looking at it, you can see the work of the Divine.

Some people say that it's all an accident. Sounds like something my kids used to say about the puppy peeing the carpet. Well, I can believe that about some people. They're just an accident. Just kiddin'.

Assessment can happen in many ways. Maybe you can't take off this weekend. Maybe you'd like to try not eating for three days. If you can go a week without eating, and I've done this so many times, then you will feel so empowered that your spirit will soar like an eagle. Don't tell anyone either, unless in poor health. Celebrate by eating a simple meal after. It will taste so delicious, you will savor every mouthful, and experience all the textures of the food. The first two days are hard the first time. We're not used to denying ourselves. That's a very good way to do an assessment.

Tom Brown said in his first book, “Why not try not complaining for a whole day?” That's an excellent first assessment. Why not try not talking for a whole day and listening to your family instead and not giving advice. That's a very hard assessment for men, and I'm a guy and I know that it's very hard for me.

You can try making a fire with only one hand. How about making a basic snare in so many minutes? What about, listening for a bird with cupped hands, and tracking them, for as long as you can...even if if for an hour?

It's very easy to make up your own assessments. They measure how well you've mastered your art. Anyone can do it. If you fail, then big deal. Work on it. Hone it, like you would a knife.

Try being stealthy and following some hikers at a distance without being observed. Try being stealthy and following an animal through the forest and not being seen or smelled or heard. Try just walking quietly, but for a mile. Hold your breath for progressively longer and longer periods of time while staying relaxed and calm.

Become one with the forest as if you had always lived there, and always will live there.

All of these can be done with family members. They will remember it always, in loving ways, in funny ways, in poignant ways. They will feel closer to you for taking the time to play with them, and simultaneously learn and test your abilities.
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