Surviving the First Week: Summer

Things happen. It is possible that a collapse will occur before you are ready. Possibly you just do not have the time to dedicate to learning needed skills. Perhaps you don’t know where to start or where to look to learn those needed skills.(schools) Maybe you don’t have the money to invest in learning needed skills. Maybe you say to yourself, “Next month. I’ll start learning next month when I have more time/money/inclination.” It is possible that next month will be too late. What happens then? Survive as well as you can. Hopefully you’ll have someone with you that has been learning. It is likely that will not be the case.

  • First: Stay away from cities! Flee to the woods. You are much more likely to survive in the woods, far far away from the former civilization and other desperate people.
  • Second: Water! You need water to survive. If you are unsure of where the water is, watch the insects. They can’t stray far from a water source. They’ll lead you right to it. Of course, you’ll also want to know how to make your water drinkable. (Water in the Wilderness)
  • Third: Look around you. You are surrounded by food! Eat some delicious dandelion leaves. Have some wood sorrel (quite tasty, I have to say). Chew on pine needles. Use your nose and follow the wild onion smell. Even if you can’t take classes, invest in a wild edibles book and take a hike. You’d be surprised at the amount of wild edibles that surround you. Don’t forget the insects. Right now you might find the idea of insect eating disgusting, but you’ll get over that. Insects are full of protein and fats. Both are things you will need. Some good insects that would be good to eat are beetles and grubs that you find under a log. Not much effort or energy invested to get a decent meal.
  • Fourth: Depending on the season, a minimal shelter may be satisfactory. If you’ve ever been caught in the woods during a downpour, you probably already know that a grove of pine trees will provide an adequate shelter for a time. If you happen to get wet, make sure you are dry before the sun goes down. If you are wearing cotton, it will be safer for you to be naked than to wear soaking wet cotton. Hypothermia, even in the summer, is a serious threat when wet. Trial and error will be how you live during this time. Building a lean-to is not a difficult task. Possibly there are old barns or farmhouses in the woods, but be aware that others will have the same idea. Don’t worry. Use your creativity. Shelters are not hard to come by, and if you keep your eyes open, most of the time you wont even need to build one.
  • Fifth: Warmth. You have water, you have food, you have shelter. Perhaps you have gotten wet due to a downpour and now you are chilly. Maybe summer nights are just a little bit too cold for your liking. Maybe you need to cook your food before eating it. What you need is fire. There are several ways of making a fire. Maybe you’ll be lucky and have matches or a lighter on your possession. This will keep you going for the first little while, but not indefinitely. Keep in mind that if you can get a spark, be it from flint and steel, two rocks clanged together, or from a bow-drill, you can get a fire. It just takes time and effort. Right now, in the first week, is the best time to experiment with fire making. You might need it more later and you will probably have more energy in the first week than you will have for the rest of the month. The best woods for a fire are basswood, tulip poplar, and maple. For more information on fire making visit Primitive Fire.

With these things combined, you should be able to survive your first week without civilization.
Keep in mind to be cautious around other people should you see them.
Check back soon for Surviving the First Week: Winter.

– Miranda Vivian



  1. Aftermath said,

    July 19, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    And practice with it. Practice, practice, practice. It may not be as difficult as people make it out to be, but it isn’t exactly easy either. The guy who taught me said “when you make your own fire you warm yourself twice.” Once you can make it with the best stuff, practice making it with the crappy stuff. Practice making it with high resin woods like pine. Or harder woods like oak. Definitely practice making fire with wet wood (btw, best technique is to drill for speed repeatedly to dry out the wood before trying to actually start a fire). When you can light a fire with wet locust using a hand drill you know you will never be cold again.

    -Benjamin Shender

  2. Aftermath said,

    July 19, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    The reason I mentioned Primitive Fire was because there are videos on that website about making fire as well as other information…not to make people buy the bow-drill set.

    – Miranda Vivian

  3. Galen said,

    July 22, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Heh. I can strike a flint and steel fire in less than fiv eminutes, even under HORRIBLE conditions.

  4. July 22, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    […] crashes during the cold months of winter? It is much easier to survive during the summer (see Surviving the First Week: Summer), but things don’t always go according to […]

  5. Aftermath said,

    July 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Always nice to hear about people’s successes….

    – Miranda Vivian

  6. Lindsay said,

    July 24, 2007 at 3:13 am

    So glad you guys are posting again!

  7. March 6, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Won’t everyone else have the same idea about fleeing to the woods? What about the crazies that are already out in those same woods, won’t they be frustrated with the flash-flood of new refuges?

  8. Aftermath said,

    March 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Hardly anyone will think about running to the woods. People in this culture, for the most part, have a very “civilized” mindset. It’s not run to the woods for safety, it is run to the city for help! A lot of people don’t want to take control in a life or death situation, they want someone to make decisions for them. They think they can get that in a city, collapse or no collapse.
    After all…the forest is a scary place!

    – Miranda Vivian

  9. yvonne said,

    March 25, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    i live alone mostly i need to find genuine friends of any age iam 63 reasonably fit hoprefully live in australia possibly near townsville not essential.pweople who would like to talk of the looming terrors and how to support each other’ maybe i could help care for children grow plants share information be of some support love to hear from you male or female

  10. yvonne said,

    March 25, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I am looking for end time friends i am looking for someone to share how to grow plants grow food maybe you are alone and have children male or female please contact me i live outside townsville australia

  11. June 24, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    And why don’t people take at least a few survival items with them that stats are that 97% of those that get lost do not have anything along with them.

    I have been told its more like 99% by rescue workers…

  12. Aftermath said,

    July 2, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Probably for the same reason that people have lawns instead of food forests, don’t trade locally, shop at Walmart, and couldn’t pick their neighbors out of a lineup.

    People don’t think this way, because they’ve been trained not to. They have been trained not to ask questions and to dismiss people who do as crazy, or hippies, or commies, or liberals, or whoever else we’re supposed to hate this week.

    Besides, even if people carried a knife on them, most wouldn’t know how to use or sharpen one. The most important tool to make sure you’re carrying at all times, just in case, is your brain. Its unfortunate how many people let such an important tool become dull.

    – Benjamin Shender

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