Just about once a week, sometimes daily, I drop into Ivarr Bergmann’s “Evasion Survival, Alaska” website (http://www.the-edelweiss-never-quits.net/) just to remind myself of reality. Ivarr doesn’t have every new “Gucci” piece of kit, but what he does have is the intestinal fortitude to go outside, try things and develop, learn, improve his kit and abilities. Take a look at his site. Looks pretty harsh and lonely to me. I respect him and his efforts. I know what I have works, yet I am still every week R&D’ing a new idea to make what I have better. You don’t need the latest and greatest, you need what works, and to know what works – YOU HAVE TO GET OUT THERE AND DO IT! Individually, Family and Group.
Did you buy your LBE, pack, web gear and did you make it better, tailor it, alter it…or just assumed what the manufacturer put out is right? Take a look at the mods Ivarr has done. Take what you will, discard what you will, your kit is just that – your kit, make it right.
There is a difference in basic Bush craft, and E&E Survival. Between a group or family situation and being on your own. Selecting and setting up your equipment or physical preps is sort of fun. We get a little rush out of how prepared we are, and the self-satisfaction of, in our minds, being able to help our families. Heck, it’s even a family bonding time. But going outside and practicing the preps, and skills? We don’t have enough time, or we don’t have enough money, etc…
Yes we do have the time and the ability. Most of the schools I am familiar with will work with you if you are serious and get you in on a package deal. And what’s wrong with going out on your own. And don’t just use the public areas such as national forests and parks. You neighborhood is where all this is going to start, be it work place or home. Better know how to escape thru private property. Leave no trace isn’t just a saying by the way.
It jars our western Judea/Christian precepts to think of the harsh realities of absolute survival – much less thinking, planning and actually doing the preps, pre scouting, PT, and gear selection. What! Go and scout escape routes, lay-up sites – but that’s someone else’s property and we would be trespassing, or I can’t do that, that’s not right….. and what about taking a life?
We had a night navigation field exercise last night, and then we hung around and chatted with some friends taking the class. The moon was full, there was a thick layer of wood smoke in the air from the forest fires in the area, moon was more red than yellow. Temps were still about 70 at 11pm and things were eerily similar to a possible post collapse event. We got to talking about escape and evasion, bug out kits, and all manner of things. There was quite an awakening with them. They are all young men, college age, who are basically starting life and preps.
When various scenario’s were laid out about what might cause a collapse, and then with the aftermath situations that are potentially present; there was a noticeable tightening of faces and postures, even in the dark of the outdoor site we were in, about the stark realities of what a post collapse might look like and the hard choices we will have to make.
We are hesitant about gearing up, applying the camo cream and walking into the woods to see what we can see, plan what we will do, and practice not being noticed by everyone else. Ivarr has embraced this and I learn every time I drop in. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and am quite good at it myself. New perspective’s never hurt, take what you can, discard the rest. The very vast majority of our students are reluctant to put on the camo cream, get down and dirty, or actually do a low crawl. “I feel silly”, “I got to drive home and don’t want to get too dirty”, etc… Yet when it happens –someday – you are not going to rise to the occasion and survive – you are going to sink to your lowest level of competency…and if that is staying clean….well, good luck.