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Defining "Survival."

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Oft-times we have new people show up here on the forum who believe that, despite their young years, they know more about survival than those who are older, more knowledgeable, &, in some cases, have lived through a real survival situation. They often give themselves away with foolish statements like the following:

1.) I enjoy surviving.

2.) I would only want to survive alone, not join an organized group.

3.) I'll be a better survialist than all of you.

The problem here is that the individual in question is not talking about "true" survival, but rather, camping in the outdoors. Also, they probably think that Survival is what Les & Bear do on TV, & that's where they get the wrong idea of what the term actually means.

First, neither Bear nor Les are actually Surviving in the truest sense of the term. Bear actually has a camera crew & you better believe that they aren't drinking urine & eating bugs & poo. Les has also confessed that he has a back-up crew ready to pull him out if things get really hairy & has even used them at one time or another. The TV network cannot afford a monumental lawsuit & their insurance company that places the liability policy on them would require that the stars of the series stay safe! They are not "surviving", but rather, teaching survival.

2nd, remark #1 is silly; "I enjoy surviving." Yes, well I certainly hope so as the other side of that is "DEATH!" Simply put, you survive or you die!

Remark #2: "I want to survive alone, not with a group." Also silly. Theirs safety in numbers. 1 + 1 does NOT equal 2, it equals 11! A team is always much better than a solo jaunt; here's an example: Say you're lost & there's a dangerous predator in the area. As long as you stay awake you're okay, but don't fall asleep! with one or more people with you you can sleep in shifts & hopefully win the day. Chores can be divided, lookouts posted, etc.

Remark #3: This is the one that implies that the young member got their info off of the Discovery channel. What is your point of reference? How can you prove that? If both parties win then they're even; one of you has to die to prove you right or wrong!

Practicing your survival skills in never a bad idea; however, life sometimes has a way of putting you in situations that you may never have prepared for. For example, knowing how to start a fire in any conditions without matches will do you absolutely no good if you happen to find yourself lost in the North sea on a rubber life-raft, wet & cold from exposure. You can go on from there.

Finally, sometimes young members get their feelings hurt & leave for other forums that will be more than glad to let them believe what ever they will, as long as it doesn't get in the way of things. Sorry folks, Sarge ain't built that way!

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Updated 11-03-2009 at 09:16 PM by Sarge47



  1. Laviv's Avatar
    One critical reason one can try to stay alive in the wild is that not everybody is trying to do the same thing. If it were the case that %90 of ,say, the greater Salt Lk City headed for the hills, then there'd be too many people for the resources available. It may be a good thing that so many who truly think they could survive in the wilderness actually would perish within days. That is one advantage for me.