Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Urban vs. Wilderness

There might be some who wonder if there's any correlation between urban survival and wilderness survival. I assure you there is. That's why the information you gather about wilderness survival will stand you in good stead if you ever find yourself in an urban survival situation.

Of course there are obvious difference between the two.
  • Wilderness survival usually involves only a small population, or maybe even just you alone.
  • Urban survival situations impact large populations, and those people all need help at the same time.
  • In a wilderness setting, a very minor danger might involve encounters with predatory or poisonous wildlife, but probably not.
  • In an urban setting, one of the most dangerous elements is the desperate or predatory human population.
  • Those who go into the wilderness and, for one reason or another, find themselves in a survival situation often (but not always) have some knowledge about how to stay alive.
  • Most urban dwellers have very limited knowledge about how to take care of themselves when a disaster shuts down all the normal services that society depends on. 
So, with so many differences between the two, why am I saying that knowledge of wilderness survival will be valuable to you in an urban survival incident? It's because, to a certain degree, survival is survival no matter where you are. 

Once you learn the broad concepts, you can apply them in any situation.
  • You learn how to assess the situation and determine what the real threats to life are. 
  • That helps you set priorities that will lead to your taking care of the most important issues first, while leaving matters of lesser importance for later. 
  • You keep yourself alive by addressing the most immediate dangers first, rather than scrambling around in a frenzy looking for your next meal. 
In the wilds, you wouldn't hunker down near the grizzly den, because you recognize the danger. You can take that same concept into the urban jungle and purposely stay away from the bad folks who might do you damage. 

Your wilderness training teaches you that shelter is vital, that you need clean water, the ability to maintain your body core temperature, that you need to watch your step so you don't end up injured. 

In very fact, the urban setting is only civilized until something bad happens; then it turns into a form of wilderness that requires all your skills in order to survive. The line separating urban from wilderness is only as wide as one earthquake, or one hurricane, or one tornado, or one infrastructure failure, or one chemical/biological/radiological disaster.  In a few heartbeats, civilization can descend into the dark ages where virtually nobody knows how to take care of themselves. 

Your mission (if you choose to accept it - to quote a famous movie line) is to become knowledgeable, trained, equipped and experienced in the arts and sciences of staying alive when the world runs amok. By doing so, you relieve the pressure on relief organizations, and you can reach out and help others who are not so capable themselves. 

Take every opportunity to learn more, and then to teach more to others. Spread the word, spread the knowledge, spread the hope that comes from realizing that you can make it through the tough times no matter whether its in a teeming city fallen into chaos or a lonely wilderness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment