When you’re looking for a particular organization that embodies the entire spirit of survival we live by, there’s no better example than the military. Green recruits come in fresh out of school, emerging years later with the fundamental knowledge, and first-hand experience of what it really takes to survive anything. They’re taught practical skills to outsmart the enemy, outlast their foes in any environment, and come out on top of every encounter. There’s a reason the U.S. military is one of the best in class examples of this in action, and there’s a handful of techniques taught to new recruits you should know, to help you survive.
Being ready for anything
It’s an ideal as well as a technique, because it means that your brain is “always on” as you analyze and seek out solutions for whatever situation you’re in. Soldiers are trained to be fastidious in their appearance, following strict routines and procedures to really drill this home. It might seem petty, but the more you do things the right way, over and over, it drives this home. Becoming almost a second nature, that you’re always ready for anything.
You can practice this at home by developing your situation awareness. Use your imagination to consider emergency scenarios in your day-to-day life, and think about what you would do next. Where would you shelter from bullet fire? Where’s your alternate exit? The more you think about and strategize, before an event occurs, the readier you will be.
Being able to move unseen
I’m sure you’ve heard the phenomenal stories of the army snipers who have moved into position in the middle of the night, taken their shot and returned without the enemy ever even knowing they were there. Like the Finnish White Death,” Simo Häyh. Camouflage and concealment is a skill that allows you to avoid a fight, pass by unseen, or complete your objective without risking your life. It’s a critical survival skill to have.
You can practice this at home by learning to use different styles of camouflage. Downtown, it’s adopting the “Grey Man” look so you can easily blend into a crowd. In the woods, it’s the use of ghillie suits and netting so any structures you’ve built for survival are basically invisible to anyone who is looking. Hiding is far less risky than a full-on confrontation.
Being able to navigate the wild
It seems like common sense to many people who have relied on hard-copy maps their entire lives, but there’s a generation growing up now who know nothing but smartphones and GPS assistants. Of course, the military uses these tools as well, but part of every basic training are the navigational skills that allow soldiers to read a map, plot a course, and make their way to their destination along the most effective path possible.
You can practice this at home by getting out in the wild and using a map to navigate. For basic orientation you just need a compass and a map, and while it is worth watching a YouTube video on how to use these (if you never have before), it’s a straightforward skill you can master in just a couple of hours.
Being able to defend yourself
Learning to fight goes hand-in-hand with the military, because as a soldier you need to be able to defend yourself against your opponents. More than just firearm training, soldiers learn different martial arts for use in a variety of different situations, and regularly put themselves through intense physical exercise to keep their bodies in peak physical condition. You don’t want your fitness level to let you down in a confrontation.
You can practice this at home by keeping yourself in shape, running regularly and taking self-defense classes at your local community center or gym. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for years, and not only is it a great stress relief, it’s helped me to maintain a level of “fighting” fitness impossible to do otherwise, and I’m more than confident if a fight ever breaks out.
Being able to communicate
Cutting off communications is the go-to strategy when any military unit is moving in to strike, because it leaves your opponent’s unable to coordinate their response. In the field, this might be radio equipment that can broadcast a message, or something as simple as a signal fire or flashing mirror to let the rest of your team know something is amiss. The trick is to set clear guidelines beforehand on what all the signals mean, so you can still communicate no matter what obstacles your opponents are throwing up.
You can practice this at home by learning how to set signal fires and communicate with flags and mirrors, and it might also pay you to learn Morse code. Setting up your own HAM Radio network is another great step, as well as outfitting your team with the radios and gear they need to stay in constant contact after the SHTF.
Being able to heal others
Finally, comes field medicine and first aid. Every soldier has a working knowledge of basic treatments and medicine, so they can help patch up and care for any wounded members of the team. And in addition, are usually carrying with them the bare essentials needed to stop serious blood flow, until they can return their colleagues to proper medical care.
You can practice this at home by learning how to stabilize a patient, taking first aid courses at the Red Cross or other professional training centers, so you have the skills you can rely on whenever a crisis hits. Because one thing is for certain, and we saw it in the pandemic. When the SHTF first responders will be overwhelmed, you can’t rely on them to help you.
There’s a lot of good examples you can adopt from the military to make you a better survivalist, and if you start practicing these six fundamental techniques, you’ll be in a much better position to survive whatever comes your way. How many of these will you start living in your life?