Survival 101: Focus on What Will IMMEDIATELY Kill You, NOT Irrelevant Details

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course

(Originally published December 10, 2019. Survival seems currently relevant.) I’ve written about survivalism vs. preparedness before. Today I want to talk about a major difference between the two.

  1. In one discipline, you can focus on the small details.
  2. In the other, you could die if you do that.

Preparedness is like getting a meal ready in the slow cooker. Survivalism is like the deep fryer. If you take too long to deal with things in a survival situation, you’re going to get burned.


Something I see far too often is people who focus on preparedness confusing these two things. In a survival situation, there is no time at all to deal with irrelevant details. The speed at which you act can mean the difference between life and death. And I’m not talking about slow death by eating processed food. I’m talking about immediate death, injury, or peril.

Your state of readiness needs to be able to adapt to this.

Irrelevant details

It never fails.

I write an article about an extreme situation without appropriate sanitation and someone comments, “We don’t use hand sanitizer or bleach. It’s bad for you.”

You know what else is bad for you? Sanitation-related illnesses like E.coli, cholera, dysentery, and campylobacter.

Or I write about building a fast kit for an extreme emergency when you’re at a tourist attraction and I suggest peanut M&Ms. Someone says smugly, “That’s not very organic.”

When you’re on the run for your very life, you’re probably not going to care about a little bit of high-fructose corn syrup.

The same can be said for articles about using Narwhal tusks to defeat a terrorist or breaking down an event that may or may not be a false flag. While I appreciate guns, organic food, fancy hand cleansers made from essential oils, and discussing conspiracy theories as much as the next health-conscious, red-blooded American, I also know that there are situations in which getting bogged down in these irrelevant details could be deadly.

If you’re caught up in a mass shooting, you won’t suddenly be immune to bullets if you spontaneously realize, “Oh wait. This is a false flag organized by the government!” Those bullets are still flying around you no matter who is shooting them at you.

In a survival scenario, you have to work with the parameters you’re given. When seconds count, fretting over the non-organic applesauce or the sunscreen with parabens is downright ridiculous. In survival situations, you have to focus on what will immediately kill you, not what might give you cancer in 30 years.

For the sake of survival…





Sure, in your day to day life you should make the best choices possible to support your health. You should eat whole foods that are free of pesticides and toxic additives. You should be a savvy consumer of media, thinking critically about what you’re being told and not just soaking up the propaganda.

But for the love of all things cute and fluffy, stop trying to make emergency survival fit in with your ideal world.  Emergency survival is not prepping.

If you’re in a situation where the S has truly hit the Fan, you’re going to have to eat things that may not be up to your standards. You’re going to have to push yourself when you’re exhausted. You’re going to have to sleep in places that do not have freshly laundered sheets. You may need to use bleach to clean up an infectious mess made by a person who is ill. You’re going to have to push yourself far beyond your comfort zone.

(Need more information on emergency evacuations? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)

You have to cover your basics in the most efficient way possible.

If you are in a survival situation, you don’t have time to putter around Whole Foods seeking out some delightful, raw vegan snacks for your backpack. You don’t get to select a nice sleeping bag stuffed with goose down with literally 40 pounds of feathers. You aren’t going to have a trail guide or a pack mule to carry all your stuff.

You want to have lightweight essentials. And forget two is one, one is none. This is survival. You’re either moving fast or you’re hunkering down and staying hidden. One is plenty in most cases. And with a lot of things you think you need, you don’t even need one. (Here are some survival products that we field-tested that worked and some that did not.)

If you’re bugging out, you are most likely not going to sit down and cook a nice meal at the end of a long day of evading zombies. You’re going to gnaw on some jerky and eat a granola bar and wash it down with water you filtered from a mud puddle. Then you’ll take turns sleeping and standing watch.

Survival is like prepping’s redneck cousin.


Efficiency is everything. You want the most efficient way to stay warm enough and dry enough to function, to communicate, to stay hydrated, to eat enough to keep your energy level up, to treat any wounds or illnesses you encounter, to navigate to your destination, and to stay clean enough not to get sick.

This doesn’t take 50 pounds of gear.

As much as I’d love to write a list of the perfect survival bag and recommend all sorts of expensive things every prepper should have, after taking Selco’s courses, I don’t believe that’s how it works.

I believe in having good basic tools that you know how to use, and the flexibility to use other things if your ideal tools aren’t available.

I want the highest level of germ-killing products available to me. I want sturdy tools. I want to stay dry. I want to have water that won’t kill me. I want something – anything that won’t make me immediately sick – to eat. Check out the urban bug-out kit that I put together at a foreign flea market in about 15 minutes.

Focusing on irrelevant details is another kind of cognitive dissonance.

I’ve written before about cognitive dissonance. In short, it’s the way your mind protects itself from something horrific. Your brain will stretch pretty far not to believe the evidence it is being faced with if that evidence flies in the face of one of your deeply held beliefs.  Your brain will distract you and try to let you think about more pleasant things. Your brain will lie to you about the things that are right in front of your very eyes. “No, that can’t be true.”

I think focusing on irrelevant details is the same thing. If I’m telling you that you’re faced with the choice of running away with only what you can carry or putting plastic bags over the windows so no one can tell you’re home, which of these things seems more desirable to you?

If you’re like most people, hunkering down with your carefully collected supplies will. Heck, I’d rather do that too if all hell broke loose.

But there comes a time when, unfortunately, the more comfortable route is not an option. In fact, it’s a death sentence.

Bugging out is not a camp-out during which you’ll sit around a blazing fire and roast marshmallows. In truth, it is an exhausting journey, often made under the cover of darkness in complete silence. Resting means sitting down someplace with your back protected for a few moments while you shovel some food into your mouth and wash it down with water you filtered. You are in maintenance mode – you will be uncomfortable.  Learning to embrace being uncomfortable can make this an easier adjustment.

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Training your mind for survival situations

The next time you read about a survival situation, let go of your thoughts about preps. Think about survival. Mentally put yourself through that situation in two ways – with your everyday carry kit and with nothing except what you can gather up.

  1. How could the person have used things in his or her environment to survive?
  2. What things in your EDC kit would have helped?
  3. What could you improvise from the environment?
  4. What are the most efficient things the person could gather up quickly for the scenario?

As much as we love being prepped, there’s a world of difference between prepping and survival scenarios. It’s essential that you stop confusing the two. If you’re a prepper, you’re halfway there. You already have the mindset that allows you to understand that things can go wrong. Now, just take that a step further and begin to work on the flexibility necessary to survive that thing without your stockpile, your basement full of tools, and your reference materials.

I know some of you are shaking your heads and saying, “Nope, I’ll never be without my supplies.” If that is you, re-read this article and then keep reading it until you comprehend that survival situations are completely outside the realm of everything you’ve considered. You’re being unrealistic and unwise to deny these possibilities. You are putting at risk your own life and the lives of the people for whom you’re responsible.

This is the biggest difference between prepping and survival.

Prepping is for the far more common events like bad weather, losing your job, having financial problems, or some reason you need to hunker down until the dust settles. Your preps can see you through a very long-term situation. I once went for 6 months spending less than $10 a week on groceries because I had plenty of preps for my daughters and me.

Survival is for something that is going to kill you immediately. It’s for bugging out due to a sudden, unforeseen event. It’s for evading the people who will want the things you have. It’s for figuring out a way not to die when something is coming at you fast.

In the prepping world, you want to go with the best choices. You can research them, save up your money for them, and store them away carefully.

In the survival world, you want to go with whatever you can get your hands on fast. Good enough is good enough.

Please stop trying to apply the prepping perfectionist mindset to survival situations. It’s dangerous and delusional.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Agreed. Sometimes you have to pack light and run hard. Pray that you never are in such a desperate position that your life depends on catching a Hail Mary pass, but someday it might.

    • Standard weight of containers of bleach is 8 lbs. Standard weight of containers of hydrigen peroxide is 2 lbs. 100% safe-to-consume food always without exception has more nutrients, thus making you “not hungry anymore” with less food down to 10% of the amount of compareable unsafe corporate-type, before you “feel not particularly anymore”. Thus also immense amount less weight if you have learned to eat solely for hunger, weakness, and medicine. Try again.

  • What a great article! I prepped for disasters which helped us out this year with a job loss. Building skills is this years focus.

  • Amen Sister! Battles are fought with what you have, not what you wished you had. And there’s a time to hunker down and a time to bug out. If it’s the former , you can observe the niceties, but if it’s the later then it’s about surviving until you can afford to hunker down again.

    • ….It is not a “nicety”, but rather, a literal requirement at all times in order to Not Die, to avoid the presence of bleach within several blocks or your location. Yoir comment is irrelevant to this post since the literal only “niceity” mentioned in this post was “fresh sheets”, and I am not sure why anyone would really care about whether sheets were “just washed” or not (how is that “nice” exactly compared to sheets that were washed 3 weeks ago?), or why one would posess sheets at all in such a situation, unless their purpose was something other then sleeping with. Literally everything else mentioned is mandatory for immediate survival, such as not being exposed to bleach (or air fresheners or perdumes or etc.) and not ingesting copious amounts of pure sugar during a time when one is moving/running for survival.

  • I don’t know who the author was, but this encapsulates the wisdom in Daisy’s article:

    Perfection is the mortal enemy of the good enough.


  • All true. Thankfully I haven’t had to make use of either mindsets yet. Survival is when your reptile brain tells your human brain what to do. Your human brain better listen.

  • I think there is a crossover place where you are a Prepper/survivalist.
    Although I tend to be a minimalist, I am also a long term survivalist.
    So do not discard the concept of Two is one and one is none”

    For instance, you can get by with a 99 cent lighter in an emergency, but they do not last forever.
    So you need a second way to make fire, that will last long term. Flint and steel is a good choice.

    Where the “Two is one and one is none” is best applied is in the area of basic survival needs; Fire, Water , Shelter and Food. Thus two ways to make fire, two ways to purify water, two ways to provide a shelter and more than 1 meals worth of food, ( not just snacks).

    Running for you life, in bad weather, requires far more calories than just M&M’s , Slim Jim’s or even Jerky can provide you with. They would be great additions, but not for the main course.
    I would suggest MRE’s or Survival rations as they do not require “cooking”.

    The second way to purify water might be a pot to boil water in. The two shelter items might be a large waterproof poncho and a space blanket. Both could be rigged as a shelter and both can be light weight and compact. Now if an item can be used as a multi purpose item, all the better.

    One thing that is highly overlooked is Breaking and Entering skills and tools.
    If you need shelter and find an empty house, it is better to pick the lock, than to ” break in”.
    If you damage the door or window, you can draw unwanted attention, and it might be hard to seal up and keep the heat inside and the cold out.
    Some of the same applies if you were searching for food, hiding from someone or a group, etc.

    i always pack a small lock pick set and a mini pry bar. As I can consider them a necessity for obtaining shelter in urban areas. post SHTF. It could be useful in gaining access into remote cabins also.
    Now in some areas, lock pick sets might be illegal, so make sure if you can have them or not.

    I would say a change of clothing or at least socks, underwear and maybe a Long sleeved shirt would be good to have along as well. The minimum is socks. Keep your feet clean, dry and healthy as they will be you most important survival item.

    Now some will say that knowledge could be your number “two” way, to do something. Well that is some what true, but you might not have the time or energy to constrict a debris shelter or to scrounge something to boil water in.
    So having a ready made back up is a good idea for the basic items you need to survive. Just don’t get wild with doubling up stuff.

    • If you’ve survived the immediate getaway there will still be some more surviving to do. So, making a plan for an ongoing survival is where a well-thought-out BOB ready-to-go comes in. The things that go in it should cover your basic ability to breathe, keep the right body temp and hydrate. Once we leave civilization which is designed for our best safety on a day-to-day basis, we need to stay as well as possible. So, I agree. Going lightly is a good plan — especially if you’re not fit.

  • I have spent most of my adult life redefining “good enough”. When the level of desperation is high the standards are low.

  • If you are getting into deep doo-doo faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle!” then you better be focused on the immediate until you can get some space.

  • Totally agree. Prepping is preparing for future possible emergencies. Survival is all about overcoming an immediate threat. The two are somewhat related but are quite different. Still, when all is said and done the prepared person is more likely to survive a threat or an emergency.

  • Thank you for discerning the difference between the two disciplines Daisy. Sometimes I get confused trying to envision what might happen and how I might respond. The older I get the more I love my own bed, my own chair, my own hearth. I need to know what voice am I going to listen to when its time to act/react — that inner commander that makes me move. It’s a challenge to anticipate how my life may change forever in leaving behind everything we’ve worked for our whole lives. The contrast is very stark. It requires staking down the fact that life is the highest thing to preserve at all costs. Beyond rational and philosophical — it is a spiritual value that proves what is loved the most.

    I think I just talked myself out of my paper bag. 😉

  • I agree with all you said, but, not gonna lie, this article terrifies me. Am I prepared, good enough, strong enough? Will my family make it? Need to make this a strength. Thanks for sharing. (Must add more sanitizer to the list)

    • A few 1 lb sealed containers of dry pool chlorine, ( Calcium Hypochlorite), will go a long, long way for sanitizing purposes.
      One heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water.
      This is your stock slotion.
      To treat drinking water use one part of this stock chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. Roughly 16 liquid ounces of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water.
      To sterilize something following a contamination event, contagious vomiting/diarrhea/blood use the stock as is, but it is a quite aggressive oxidizer and may ruin organic materials, AND SKIN!!

  • Good article. I occasionally watch a program that highlights various real survival events, event details, and thiose who survived them. A survival “expert” then critiques how the people reacted and then recommends some actions the survivors could have done or done better. Problem is, some of the “expert’s” recommendations were not reasonable due to those involved not having the resources available to them at the time to accomplish those recommendations, i.e. not having a knife or other blade, not having a fire making ability, etc. “They would have been more comfortable if they had this nifty little tool I’m going to show you” type recommendations.

  • I suppose this means we have to embrace the concepts of having a Bug Out Bag, Bug Out Transportation, a Bug out Location? One reason I choose to bug in is to avoid the expense and worry. I have to have a walker and frequent rest to get more than 100 yards, or preferably a vehicle.

    However, I have thought about it. What could make me bug out? Some irresistible force headed straight for me: forest fire, Cat 6 or larger hurricane, military or well equipped brigand force, poison gas, civil war 2, atomic attack, unsurvivable freeze and probably more I haven’t listed.

  • Good article.
    I think it has more to do with what you can do with what you have and or know vs. that nifty gadget.
    Doing without factors in too. I know one guy who cannot imagine going more then 2 days without a shower. Out in the field, a week or two was not uncommon. Field expedient sponge bath was the order of the day. And we still had to shave.
    Being in reasonably good shape to carry your BOB for a long hump is good practice (aka Rucking). Though I know of another guy who insists on taking all his “kit.” BOB, body armor, comms, weapon, ammo, food, etc. Total weight it close to 80lbs. Humping that much weight not only tiring, but also is slower, reduced range and requires more water and calories.

    • “Humping that much weight not only tiring, but also is slower, reduced range and requires more water and calories.”

      in a stress event can cause a knee injury too.

    • 1MJH: I always appreciate your comments and insights. They’re insightful and add another POV that I sometimes don’t consider.
      I agree, as one trying to get ready for whatever future we have, that getting in good shape is necessary for prepping/survival! Many, myself very much included, have lived a very soft life here in the USA. Getting in shape, mostly physically but also mentally, is the difference between survival and not.

      • Howdy White Rabbit!
        Thank you.
        I have found that the getting in physical shape, also tends to help with the mental.
        When I was cycling, the first few times up that monster hill was a chore. But as I got stronger, I began to look forward to what I call “Hill work.”

  • Well, you gave me diarrhea eating M&Ms and anaphylactic shock with the applesauce. Sometimes the little things are ENORMOUS in a survival situation! ????

    That sort of thing worries me because I can be as prepped and ready to go as I can be…but if I have to scavenge for food… ???? So. I keep the trucks packed with stuff I CAN eat and have my BOB and a box stuffed too. I can make do with other stuff but real food is non-negotiable.

    • Just use organic “bars”. Larabrs, but they are not organic, I forget the name of the bats that are besides Bob’s, which sometimes contain oatmeal (otherwise known as a grain).

      Dried coconut/kale/etc. is also good.

      Mushrooms also can be dried (are sold in dried form) although they taste terrible. They can be eaten directly or can be re-constituted in water.

      Also, there is a brand called “Go Raw” that sells pre-sprouted pumpkin seeds, preserved by salt (but not too much).

      Dandelions are edible although I don’t know how filling. They do not have oxylates and all parts are edible. Of course many other common-everywhere plants are also edible, but dandelions are recognizable “for certian” by absolutely everyone, and the parts I have eaten raw also don’t taste the worst – most commonly it would be the leaves – the big pointy leaves that are seen next to “extra tall” dandelions. The most common use of roots is to roast then use to make “coffee”, and the most common use of the rest of the plant is to use all non-root parts to make tea (boil for EXACTLY 10 minutes); the coffee and tea are both also detoxifiers. However the entire plant is also safe to eat directly.

      • I always have a large supply of bars since we’re k. The go a lot. Larabar is my fave.aunt Clif was the othe one you were thinking of? They have a huge variety and all I’ve tried are great!

    • She wasn’t talking about people with food intolerance but those fluffy folks who think that food which doesn’t fit their 1st world preferences is toxic waste. They are going to be in for a rude awakening when suddenly there isn’t any vegan, organic, handcrafted fad foods available anymore.
      My mom and brother are allergic to gluten and my daughter can’t tolerate cows milk. This changes what we buy for prepping but we are aware in an emergency that people may be stuck eating much less because of allergies

      • Sorry, was that directed at my comment? Mine is a real problem. I’m extremely allergic to apples, and most of the Larabars they suggested I eat are packed with them too. Food allergies for me are a REAL problem..and getting worse all the time. *head shake* I am coming to realize that for a BOB bag type situation, I’m going to have to do a scout of stores and make a list to keep on me “just in case”. It’s absolutely NOT a “good enough” issue for me.

  • …Of course, in actual reality, whether or not you are physically able to move or breathe, which geberally requires, obvioisly, the complete absense of physically cripplong toxing substamce choking you such as chlorone bleach, is very obviously EXTREMELY relevant to your immediate survival, as is fully functioming skin, liver, etc., EVEN MORE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT in a sotuation where you can not lay down to recover for four days and have no valid heat or air conditioning etc. “Freshly washed sheets” have literally nothing whatsoever to do with basic survival, such as not having arthritis, not having seizures while you are supposed to be running or evacuating, and physically breathjng air at all times. Especially when exposed to something that is extremely unlikely to kill you, like e-coli, and especially in comparison to a more effevtive plus possible-to-make-yoirself disonfectant like hydrogen peroxide – not to mention cheaper if yoi do buy it.

    …Additionally, the only way to obtain chlorine bleach in a scenario like this is to BUY it, so obvioisly, YES, entering a store to buy things that are safe to consume and use, such as thibg that are sold at Whole Foods and Jewel and WalMart, is 100% entirely possible assuming that you either posess money or currenxy or are looting, considering that you literally just told us to enter the store to BUY FUCKING BLEACH, which very very obviously means that you can simply buy hydrogen peroxide instead, thus saving both money as well as your literal existence (i.e. YOUR LIFE), and if $4 was all the money you had while buying, you can now also buy a 100% safe-to-consume food or two, such as 100% organic grain-free sugar-free protein bars, thus also preventing immediate lethargy and weakness due to ingesting sugar sso that if you are physically running at this exact moment and need more nutrients in the body to continue your oace, eating this bar will now give you energy and stamnia instead of immediately crippling your ability to run due to sugar ingestion of you are the author of this blog and ate a $1 bag of MSG chips or a $1 bar made by Quaker instead of actual valid food, a $1 100% organic grain-free sugar-free 100% safe-to-consume “snack bar”! Not to mention that if you had bought the bleach and used it to immedoately and severely inhibit your ability to breathe air for the next several hours, you also wouldn’t have been able to buy any food at all since bleach is more expensive!

    • BTW, both bleach and hydrogen peroxide degrade and break down over time, especially if stored where it is hot. peroxide to just plain water and bleach to plain salt water. Rotate those regularly.

  • Excellent points.
    The one thing that most preppers need to realize is that any event, is a survival event.
    Let me repeat that – Any event is a Survival event. It is not limited to SHTF.
    Prepping is what you do Prior to the Event, Survival is what you do during it.

    Survival is doing whatever is necessary to Survive, sometimes in spite of your preps.
    Preps are good to have, Comfort items are nice also. But sometimes you must forget about those things in order to Survive.

    If there was an Earthquake in your area and your preps are inside your home, but it is now to unstable to safely enter, then survival dictates that you go on, without trying to reach them.
    Dying while trying to reach them, is not survival.
    So you better be prepared to make do with what ever you can find, have cached outside your home, in your bug out bag, etc.
    I know, many will say they do not live in a earthquake area, but insert any disaster; flood, fire, tornado, hurricane, etc.
    Being Prepped, means being able to Survive, without your Preps!
    With knowledge and a few common resources, you can make crude tools and things that will keep you alive.
    It is not a Plan A scenario, But it should be a Plan B or C scenario.

    • We have a lot of tornadoes in my area so anytime there’s a warning I put on my shoes and gather my bag that includes our wallets, car keys, flash light, etc. we also have a small safe with a gun and ammo, cash and credit cards we don’t use but keep for emergencies. our emergency stuff is in the basement so I don’t have to take much. Shoes on in case we do get hit by a tornado I’m not running around barefoot, car keys so we have a way to leave after if needed. Small things like that people don’t think of but probably wish they had. Had some recent storms so was able to teach this to my son. He asked why I put on my jewelry and I said I don’t want to lose it because it’s sentimental and also great value. He proceeded to gather his Pokémon cards ????

  • excellent well written article,Thanks,
    im trying to be a good prepper,and make it alone.had to move from B.O for medical reasons. tough some times a disaster like this past yr. for me im staying in city now, neighbors have no clue about being able to cope in this past yr disaster. taught 1 neighbor to grow some strawberries & Tomato’s. they did well she’s all excited.she since planted cukes, & they are alive. so happy .I helped.

    • “taught 1 neighbor to grow some strawberries & Tomato’s. they did well she’s all excited.”

      “teach a man to fish ….”

  • A thousand times I have asked what is the ABSOLUTE bare minimum I would need. for me that last item and first item on my list is some kind of knife. So no matter where I go or what I do I am never without that. Yes, often times I have much more at hand but I never have less.

  • Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a new company that makes incredibly lightweight backpacks, tents, tarps, etc. Waterproof and superstrength. Helps a lot for grab and run.

    • What a fantastic article, much needed reading.

      I find prepping and survival planning overwhelming at times. Even planning for possible home invasion scenarios, the day-to-day edc, always being in code yellow at times is exhausting.

      Your practical advice is so welcome.

      • Holy cow!
        The one that I would opt for, twice the price of much as my current pack, and half the space.

  • Great article. People are funny. “we don’t use bleach, it’s bad for you”. It reminds me of what Selco said about small infections. They can kill you. I bought his 3 books. They’re great! I wish he had a class in IL. There’s so much useful information that I never considered before. Keep doing what you’re doing. I read all your articles.

  • I Went 27 days, in winter (January) paddling or pulling a canoe on ice down the Mississippi and over rough terrain, for fun, eating oatmeal, Mac and cheese, Jerry, and m+most.

    I cleaned with wet wipes, or a soap bar and a sock dipping ice water out of holes chipped in the ice.

    I lost over a pound a day for 17 days due to a massive calorie deficit. I lost muscle mass as well as fat.

    I came back, ate tons of food, lifted weights, did a cycle of TRT, and I’m bigger and stronger now than before the trip.

    I clean with bleach.

    I’m alive and well.

    Relax. Its gonna be ok.

  • Excellent differentiation between preparedness and survival. I no longer think I could possibly make it if I had to leave my house – I am too old and no longer have the strength. If it got apocalyptic, I think I would have a talk with Mr. Colt… better than being a victim!

    • “If it got apocalyptic, I think I would have a talk with Mr. Colt”

      any thought of helping someone else instead of checking out?

  • I have a 2-sided round mirror that my folks used to keep in their bathroom. It has an unexpected way of illustrating this article’s message. It’s about 5-1/2“ in diameter with one flat side and one slightly concave and magnifying side. For a guy it’s a good shaving mirror. For a gal it would be good for cosmetics. On the prepper issue, it’s helpful to clean up one’s appearance before attending a meeting of fellow preppers (or anybody else), but what’s the survival connection?

    Much to my surprise I just recently saw a demo on YouTube where the slightly concave magnifying side of such a mirror was used to reflect and concentrate enough sunlight to set fire to a handful of dry tinder (leaves, pine needles, newspaper, a feather-stick, etc).

    Does that not fit the concept of “making do with whatever is handy”?


  • Ah yes…I always love these articles because they are so true! I froze my ass off so many times in the field I have lost count! My gear is based on personal experience and it has served me well. Compromise is the name of the game! Are you willing to suffer some things? I know I am! Food, water, and shelter…those are the priorities…and keeping them. How you do it is based on what you “know.” I do not play the “what if game.” I do the best I can based on the best planning I can do. That’s about it…All the other BS is not even a consideration. But….I have an advantage….Experience is the harshest teacher. If you don’t have the experience then do the best research you can and live with the results. White Lightning 3 out!

  • Thanks, Daisy!! Another great article! I really like that you point out the difference between survival and prepping. I think we’re all preppers here for the most part. Survival is prepping kicked into hyperdrive, transporting you through time and space and possibly another dimension, and you’re going RIGHT NOW with whatever you have. That’s a good reminder to be prepared for anything right now — keep improving, get fit, learn, and practice those skills in good times so you can perform under bad/stressful times.

  • Just a tip and something I recall from one of Daisy’s articles about training with Toby and Selco: Dry sacks/bags.
    IIRC, Toby and Selco would take their packs and dunk them in a river/body of water.

    • My friend taught me about the existence of dry bags, and I got a few small ones and one big one, on the way. I am looking forward to packing it and trying it out, dunking it in water. Summer or Winter, i don’t want my items wet or mildewy or frozen. Great tip; thanks!

  • I totally agree….survival and prepping are similar but one MUST be ready to hit the trail immediately if at all possible with a bug out bag of essential supplies….if everything goes to hell and it is NOT safe to stay at home. Two thumbs up!!!!!!!

  • Daisy, just want to THANK YOU for all the amazing things you’ve taught me. Being prepared for anything beyond a snow storm had never crossed my mind; but now, thanks to you, I’m making progress a little bit at a time every day. My very best to you! -j

  • I was asked a week or so ago on here why I read this site if I so vehemently disagree with some of the articles and POVs here. Well, a lot of what I see on here is IMHO alarmist nonsense based on fear and largely fact-free and pretty divorced from reality. Tinfoil hat stuff. Especially the political stuff — ooh, Biden is a corrupt child molester, Trump is our savior, etc. Balderdash.

    But articles like THIS is why I read this site. Useful, practical, thoughtful… it’s made me think about things differently. Practical advice on “how to” survive and even thrive in different terrible scenarios, and how to think about it all and order it in you mind… that’s great stuff.

    Not everyone swims in the same stew. I am in a place where every single one of my family and most of the other people I’m close to are nice and comfy, with multiple degrees and great jobs and paid-off houses and nice IRAs. They think nothing can happen to them. My own parents, in their late 70s/early 80s, are big believers in JIT, in never buying anything before they absolutely need it. They are certain of a predictable world where things work as they should, where they can fix anything with money, and where no harm will ever come to them.

    Me, I’ve grown increasingly uneasy at the world in the last few years. I’m not going to be a fool or a Pollyanna. The wolf is closer than any of my circle thinks. Maybe it’s due to being the oldest child, the super responsible one, or having lived on three continents including third world countries (where my family were not present). I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. And so I am a baby prepper, and am trying hard to shift my way of thinking and perspective. That’s a lot harder than just buying extra boxes of pasta.

    Anyways, these are the articles that make me come back here. Thank you, Daisy. A very different audience than your usual one is also listening and hoping you will speak to them, too.

  • There are now 3 commenters’ names I skip right by (all female; I’m sure you know who you are) . I want to thank you for coming right out in the open with your bile. No more time wasted on reading your rants.

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