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Thread: How to Get Started: Advice from one Newbie to other Newbies

  1. #1
    110 degrees in the shade TucsonMax's Avatar
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    Default How to Get Started: Advice from one Newbie to other Newbies

    How to Get Started: Advice from one Newbie to other Newbies

    I have no camping, military or survival training and am unquestionably a newbie. I’ve spent significant time reading and thinking about the topics on this site... here’s what I’ve learned, in hopes it will help you get started on the road to peace-of-mind and general preparedness:

    1) You need to get a clear handle on what you want to prepare for and what concerns you have. Preparation for a “winter storm: 3 days w/o power” is different from “3 weeks w/o power” which is mighty different from “3 months w/o power.” Your decisions will be much easier and results better if you internalize your concerns rather than just “jumping-in.”

    2) Emergency, wilderness and survival preparation is an art, not a science. There is much more grey-area than black-and-white answers. You need to understand that. You can’t expect to read one book or website to find all of your questions neatly packaged together… there are simply to many variables and opinions.

    For example, to a newbie, the question: “What is the best way to prepare for cooking w/o electricity?” seems perfectly reasonable. But what you will learn is, there are at least 5 methods, all different, some overlapping, all with passionate defenders. The best method for you depends on personal preferences and circumstance. It has helped me to think about these topics as I would think about a serious medical condition. I would do plenty of reading and research and gets lots of opinions before forming my own opinions. That’s how these issues work.

    3) When using this site, the first thing you must do is Register. The SECOND thing is go to the Introduction thread
    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...splay.php?f=14 and introduce yourself to the others. Why?

    A) So that the Super Moderators don’t have a cow (or a calf :-)
    B) So that the people who are going to help you, can find out a little bit about you. No one is interested in your resume… but a little bit of information like: where you live, your age and any special skills or training you may have will help the teachers better teach.
    C) This is a very intelligent and helpful community… but you are stranger, so YOU should take the first step.
    D) Oh yeah.. I’ve read this maybe 50 times: If you have a website or want to promote something, KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR POST! (No one really cares, especially if you are a Newbie.) You really should try to contribute something to the Community FIRST, before trying to sell it something.

    4) Read! Before my first post, in fact, even before I registered, I spent several weeks reading through hundreds of threads and literally thousands of posts. I spent an hour per day, probably 100 hrs total, getting educated. (Thanks to all of you!) (And, yes, my wife was a bit concerned, at first.) So now, I’m a hellova lot smarter than when I first meandered onto this site.

    And to make the most of my reading/research, I created many word docs on different topics (water, gas, candles/light, food storage, food prep, etc.) Whenever I found some useful info (very often) I summarized or copied it to my docs. And whenever I found a new topic of interest, I created a new doc. Later I organized the snippets and before long, I had complete 1-page strategies on all sorts of topics. You can’t remember everything and it is easy to get overwhelmed with the breadth of information and opinions. This method helped me a great deal.

    5) Ask intelligent questions. Think first about your question and then ask it completely. Here’s an example of what I mean:

    I’ve seen lots of Newbie questions like “What is the best way to store water?” That’s a legit newbie question that will receive many different responses. But, I suspect will be ignored by some senior members and those you really want to hear from. Why?... because the question is incomplete. What you should have asked was: “My family of three lives on the 10th floor in a small apartment in a very old building in the middle of a big northern city and I’m concerned about pipes freezing or water-main breaks and loss of water for 2-3 days, what is the best way for me to store water?” Now, that’s a question that will get direct and specific and very helpful answers.

    Appreciate, if you live in the desert (but don’t tell anyone) and ask about food storage; then get answers from experts living in Alaska about "burrying supplies under the tundra for the long term"... how helpful is that? There’s an old computer term “GIGO” stands for “garbage-in, garbage-out.” It’s fully applicable here too.

    Remember, we were all Newbies once… so go forth and learn and then contribute whatever you can to the Community.

    I hope this helps.

    PS: Special thanks to: Rick, Crash, Chris, Ken, Bulrush, Beowulf, Trax, Sarky, Ole Coot, Pict, Sarge, Wareagle, Remy, Nell67, Owl Girl and Hopeak for getting me from bumbling idiot to Newbie.
    Last edited by TucsonMax; 08-20-2009 at 10:47 AM.
    Chance favors the prepared mind.


  2. #2
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Sticky???
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Done did it. TM - That is one of the better posts. Well thought out and nicely done! Contgrats!!!

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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool What?

    Who's gonna have a cow? We just direct them to the right thread or turn 'em over to the Sergent-At-Arms? Hey! Who's the Sergent-At-Arms?
    SARGE
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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    Proud father of a US Marine....SEMPER FI!

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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Excellent post, Max! Excellent!
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

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    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    There IS intelligent life out there!!!
    I know what hunts you.

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    TM,that was an excellent post!!!!I think you have officially graduated from newbie! Congrats on the sticky!
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Lest we forget...!

    This is one of my blogs that should be on here:

    For The "Newbys"; Part II.

    Posted 01-27-2008 at 01:11 AM by Sarge47
    Updated 01-27-2008 at 01:14 AM by Sarge47
    Here are, in my personal opinion, some mistakes made by a lot of new-comers to this site as well as to the field of Survival:

    1.) Oft-times we 1st hear from a "Newby" regarding the most facinating piece of Survival equipment imaginable, the Knife! the allure of a large bladed knife, in some cases, sporting a hollow handle to stash more Survival stuff, seems to draw the new-comer like a magnet, adding fuel to their great belief that they are the next "Rambo". When-ever possible, please don't make this your 1st post, and if you do, please don't start out by saying something like:
    "What do you think is the best Survival Knife? I just bought the...." or "What do you all think of this knife (usually includes a photo or a link to a web-site showing the knife.) I just bought/ordered one." Now if we answer that question in a negative then you will either get angry at us or feel bad about your purchase.

    2.) The 2nd most popular topic is for a Newby who desires to put together a survival kit without ever having any previous experience in the field. You need to learn "Survival Priorities", & they are as follows: FIRST; you're mind. Train it right and it will take care of you better than a lot of other stuff. SECOND; Study, then put what you've learned into practice. THIRD; Learn the basics 1st, & that includes 1st aid, the proper clothing, & a bunch of other stuff way too numerous to mention here.

    3.) The 3rd most popular thing a Newby does is try to impress us with the highly questionable desire to show us all what a tough, macho, Hombre they are by dashing off into the Wilderness with nothing more than a loin-cloth and a head full of good intentions. You WILL impress us, but not in a positive way. So do yourself a favor; if your planning on running off into the Wilderness with nothing more than your
    underwear and a pen-knife, keep it to yourself unless your a full-blown masochist as you won't like the response you're going to get. We don't want to hear it any more. If you can read and follow the 3 things here, then you'll wind up making a lot of friends; if not then prepare for negative criticism. SARGE.
    Last edited by Sarge47; 08-19-2009 at 10:49 PM.
    SARGE
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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    Proud father of a US Marine....SEMPER FI!

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

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    Lone Wolf COWBOYSURVIVAL's Avatar
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    I concur .... This is a great post 'n' should be the introduction to this site.. or at least consider it...
    Keep in mind the problem may be extremely complicated, though the "Fix" is often simple...

    "Teaching a child to fish is the "original" introduction to all that is wild." CS

    "How can you tell a story that has no end?" Doc Carlson

  10. #10

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    Being Fairly new here myself I want to say I'm mad at you. You could've done this weeks ago and saved me some headache!!!! Just kidding TM - It is an excellent STICKY that says a lot to me. I like the way you and Remy Organize your thoughts.(Yes I said that) that organizational skill is impressive. I can tell a story well but it is all ad lib I just start writing at point A and go from there. You OBVIOUSLY spent a lot of time,effort and thought in starting this Thread/Sticky - impressive, very impressive.

  11. #11
    Horse Lover equus's Avatar
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    yes that is a great sticky TM.
    Proof of a higher power, is the power of a horses stride. Line for line, grace and majesty, taking me for a ride.

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    Light at the end of the tunnel!! Nicely done, TM.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    I like the post. It doesn't only apply to this site and this topic, but probably all others. I have seen the bad behavior mentioned on many other sites that cover different topics. Well done.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    What other sites?
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
    General John Stark

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jonesy's Avatar
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    TM that is a great piece of advice. Maybe that should be an automatic PM when a person registers.

    When you find that you have dug yourself into a nice hole in a thread simply lay down the shovel.
    -Jonesy

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    Senior Member NightShade's Avatar
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    I agree completly!.. a great post Tucson!.. I also agree with Sarge, especially about the knife.. I cant help but shake my head when people talk about the "awesome" hollow handled "survival" knife they just bought...Anyone who has owned one of those realizes they aren't all they're cracked up to be... and it could be too late in a survival situation..
    "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?" - Patrick Henry

    A quest for knowledge is never complete.

    The only easy day was yesterday.

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    Great post TM, this post will hopefully stop alot of the Super Mods headaches.

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    Naw Lorna, the SuperMods will always be headaches.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I second that...

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