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#26705 - 04/08/04 01:53 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

Some thoughts in no particular order.

The name of the site is "Equipped to Survive" not "Trained to Survive" or "Fit to Survive". There are many issues involved in survival that go beyond tools. Any set of skills properly practiced and combined with whatever extensive set of tools imagineable will do little good for an insulin dependant diabetic who is long separated from his medication or the extremely overweight individual who can't walk a mile a day without compromising his cardiac health.

There is no human survival for long without tools. The only reason us small, week, naked mammals are at the top of the food chain is that we learned to make and use tools. Without that one talent we are doomed. The question is more rightly put - Can you make the tools you need if you aren't carrying them?

There are situations that are dire enough that we will not be able to prepare for them in anyway - skills, training or gear. When armeggedon / nuclear war / asteroid strike / extreme tectonic activity / TEOTWAKI finally comes it will be few who survive and it won't be through prior preparation but grace / luck / coincidence.

There are situations that (due to our own circumstances) we consider unlikely enough that we won't bother to prepare for them. The urbanite in Manhattan will not suddenly find himself so distant from society that he needs to fish for survival unless he has planned a trip out of the city. The rural farmer will not suddenly find the need for rapelling out of a skyscraper.

The basics of Warm, Dry, Fed and Whole are required for any human to survive. For each of us we must look at what we have and who we are and best determine how we are to prepare to maintain the basics in the face of whatever potential disasters we may think are likely enough to be bothered preparing for. For some of us the idea of learning to rapel from a burning skyscraper or base-jumping is a more valid survival skill of everyday need than the ability to make a fire by rubbing two boy-scouts together. For others the ability to stay hydrated while lost at sea is far more important than anything else. For some, loosing a hundred pounds and getting strong enough to lift our BOB and carry it for a mile is more important than even having the BOB. For some, the most important part of the kit is a months supply of a needed medication (insulin, nitro-glycerin etc.)

I often think that a good side forum here could be "Fit to survive" where we could focus our discussions on the physical training aspects of being ready to survive in a stressful survival situation. Another could be "Survival Skills" Where the focus could be on urban and wilderness skills that are needed to get by without gear or to properly use the gear that we are collecting. As we discussed on this forum recently in a thread on fire-starting, even a pocket full of gadgets won't make a fire for you if you haven't practiced using them in adverse conditions. Even using tools requires a bit of skill and to rely upon the gadgets is similar to blaming the gun for the homicide. It is the will and skill of the sentient being using the tool that determines the outcome of tool use.

#26706 - 04/08/04 02:36 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
My personal preference is to limit the number of forums to the current ones. I think the survival forum is perfectly named for a variety of issues ranging from equipment, supplies, tools, skills, training, etc. Individual threads can allow those individuals to focus in on specific topics of interest. I generally read all of the postings, if a particular thread is not holding my short attention span, I can just skip over that thread. I find that sites having numerous forums for specific topics more time consuming to navigate. Just my 2 cents. Pete

#26707 - 04/08/04 03:20 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

I actually agree with you that a site with more forums takes more time to navigate and it seems that this community and it's moderator / owner also agree that we have enough forums. I make mention of the split because every so often we have some new member join who brings up our obsessive focus on gear and raises the question of why we don't bother to discuss or focus on skills, training and conditioning. Seems a common newbie question. While we don't ignore these issues it is clear that we don't give them anywhere near the same attention as we do to gear. If there were forums that focused on these issues perhaps newbies who were interested in discussing those issues would feel more welcome and stick around discussing them. Rather than coming here, raising the recurring question, getting told the obvious - "gear is important (and fun to discuss) - and then going else where to discuss primitive skills, survival training, physical conditioning thus leaving our community poor in those areas because they aren't here maintaining an lively discussion on those topics.

The evidence that we are not retaining these new members is clear in that time and time again other new members show up and point out our communities lack of discussion of these topics.

If we wish to support discussion on these topics we might find that individuals interested in discussing them would find it easier to ignore our gear centrism if they had their own place to discuss skills and training.

In anycase, I am perfectly happy with the focus and navigation of the topics that we have here and I am not a moderator or owner of the site so weighing the competeting desire to better welcome discussion of skills and training against the desire for swift navigation and tighter focus of content is not my job.

#26708 - 04/08/04 04:49 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

If I've missed a post or two that covered these points, I apologize, but from what I've read, I think there are two key points that haven't been brought up.

One: The name of the site is "EQUIPPED to Survive", and that's obviously deliberate. The focus of the site is what the founder of the site wants it to be, and that's as it should be. The original focus, as I understand it, was equipment to help downed pilots survive until rescued. It still concentrates on short-term survival subjects where the object is to get back to civilization in one piece, not to walk away from it forever. That may be pretty narrow from a broad "survival" viewpoint, and it isn't exactly the focus that it would have if it were my site, but, precisely because of that focus, this site is unique, and uniquely valuable. Every other aspect of the broad term "survival" seems to be well covered elsewhere. How would any of us benefit from yet another site that's got exactly the same information as 20 other sites and 30 magazines?

Two: Look, I have tremendous respect for the primitive/aboriginal/historic skill sets, more than I've let show here. I've been a reenactor, I subscribe to Backwoods Home and The Backwoodsman, I shoot flintlocks and I start my wood stove fires in the winter with flint-and-steel just to keep in practice. I think these skills should be preserved for their own intrinsic value, for the knowledge it brings of just how many layers of engineering separate us from our roots, and for the knowledge of the past, that gives a sense of direction to the present.

BUT... it's only reasonable to expect people to be interested in the survival scenarios that they think are likely.

If you're seriously proposing that survival might depend on being able to walk into the wilderness naked and make anything you need, then you have to define the scenario wherein that would happen, and show that it's likely.

With all due respect, we're edging up to 6.5 billion people on this planet. Without a pretty high level of technology, the planet is not going to support half that, and probably not more than 20 percent or so. The lower the level of technology, the lower the population that the planet will support. Any survival scenario that really RELIES on primitive living skills depends on no less than FOUR things happening:

1. Removing at least two-thirds of the current population, maybe four-fifths or more.

2. Removing virtually all of the artifacts of civilization as it exists now (to make it worthwhile reinventing everything from scratch).

3. Somehow leaving all the wilderness resources intact to be exploited.

4. Leaving YOU alive to do it.

I've read a LOT of apocalyptic science-fiction since my teens, but I've never seen a single believable scenario that does all that.

If you remove the technology that supports the population first, then the population will shortly remove what little is left of the wilderness in it's effort to survive. I know, just from talking to people about their Y2k ideas, that there would be at least 20 would-be deerhunters out there for every deer alive, and if you cut off the power for any length of time, you can forget about firewood. Think six BILLION hungry, cold people.

If you remove the population first, there's an excellent chance you won't be here to worry about the afterwards. If you are, the artifacts of technology, if dented and corroded, will still be around for many, many lifetimes. You won't be needing a stone axe in the "rust belt" of North America, there's a reason it's called that. You won't need to find flints to knap in a landscape littered with broken glass. Do you really expect to ever see a world where even every rusty, empty Bic lighter has disappeared?

So, your individual feelings might be different, but for a lot of people, the obvious answer to the question of how they'll get by without even a minimal survival kit seems to be "I won't have to". By having one with them when there's a possible need for it, they feel pretty sure of that fact. If you don't think so, that's fine, but I think it's more up to you to make that case than it is for them to defend theirs.

Just my thoughts, no offense of any kind intended toward anyone.

#26709 - 04/08/04 04:58 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

The reason that there are so many “lurkers” in the forum, who are afraid to contribute and be a part of the community, is because of attitudes and comments like yours and Paul810.

There are people in this forum from all walks of life, with different experience levels, from different parts of the world. Not everyone is from your hometown or your country for that matter. And not everyone has your sense of “humor” or cynicism.

When someone stated that they could “start a fire without any tools,” I prefaced my inquiry with the phrase, “in the spirit of friendship,” so that they would understand that I was NOT being sarcastic or facetious. I wanted them to share their story with the forum so that we all could learn.

If you would clear your minds of sarcastic and facetious thoughts and realize, that as experienced as you think you are, you haven’t seen it all, you might learn something here that could save your life.

And isn’t that the point.

#26710 - 04/08/04 05:39 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

actually since everyone here seems to really like to be technical, c hughes, paul810's post was much more understandable as non-threatening than yours was. maybe you need to reread the post.. i never said i COULD start a fire without any tools... i said id like to be able to do that... by which i clearly meant if i was without a lighter, or string, or flint or something like that. i took your remarks to be a hostile attack on my ideas and my post.

second, i think its foolish to argue whether or not we should be talking about whether its knowledge or equipment we should be talking about here, it clearly should be both.

the only point i was trying to make was (although im sure people will have technical problems with this also):

equipment and tools are not a substitute for knowledge, and im happy that both are taught here. without a basic understanding of the world around me, the equipment or tools i may have would be a lot less helpful.

that is all.. sheesh


#26711 - 04/08/04 05:54 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?-Fantastic logical post
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
Presumed Lost:

Fantastic post with great logic, and the most sense I have ever seen on this issue.

I do have one question, and I hope it does not exceed the parameters of this site. How many people would kill one of their comrades to extend their own survival with dwindling resources wheather for the short or long duration of survival?


#26712 - 04/08/04 05:55 PM Re: Too Many Dependencies?

You said: "i would much rather be the person who can start a fire without any tools, rather than a guy with a bic lighter."

I said: "In the spirit of friendship, I would be interested to learn how to start a fire without any tools."

This one sentence, was not "a hostile attack" on your ideas and your post. It was an interest in knowledge you might have to offer and hopes that you would share it with the forum.

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