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