Survival skills are more important then survival gear. When you have used up all of your gear, your skills are all you have left.
There is an entire industry built up around the survivalist lifestyle. We carry our EDC bags everywhere. We have our bug-out bags well stocked with everything we think we will need we’re forced to leave our homes. But there’s something more we need to consider.
During a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, I stopped by some of my favorite stores. Bass Pro, Smoky Mountain Knife Works and a few others have tons of gear. Its easy to get all googly eyed looking at all the gear I want. I usually pick up a thing or two while I’m there.
It is very easy to go gear crazy. We buy more and more things that we think we need. I’m guilty of it myself. Many of the things I buy are more about convenience in the wilderness than need.
The true test of a bug out bag, your EDC bag or any piece of gear you have is getting it out into a real-world situation and see how it, not only performs, but how long it lasts. There’s a lot of nice gear that works great for a short period of time but eventually breaks down and becomes useless. We need to ask ourselves if a piece of gear is worth the cost and the extra weight in our bag.
Try to look at the different gear to use and the techniques others try to teach through experiences with them. Some gear is unnecessary and some of the techniques taught are over complicated and only contribute to physical exhaustion during an extended stay in the wilderness.
I grew up in a very rural area of Kentucky. I would regularly go camping out in the woods with family or friends and had some of the best times of my life doing it. If you didn’t want to carry something into camp or carry it out, you didn’t bring it. Extended distances of hiking will make you think even harder about the items you bring. You learn a lot of things doing that and you build skills that can last a lifetime.
Some of the gear that is on the market is more about selling a gimmick. Focus instead on gear that will give you the service you need. If you’re new to the survivalist lifestyle one thing you need to learn as early as you can is that the more knowledge you have the less gear you will need. It’s that simple.
Our ancestors didn’t have the tactical or survival gear we have today, but they knew how to survive in those harsh conditions using a minimum number of tools with a lot of skill. Relearning many of those skills is important. Someone who has the knowledge they need to survive will do much better then another person who has a lot of gear and few skills.
It is a good idea to take your gear out and test them in a real-world situation. Take your bug out bag and camp with only the items you have in it. This one simple thing will show you what you may need to add and what you can easily do without. Everyone who tries this has made changes in the gear they use.
Work on building your skills more than building your gear collection. Once you’ve used up all of your supplies, your survival skills are the only thing you will have left.