It's important to have survival skills, but when disaster strikes, your determination can also help you make it through a difficult scenario. Practice how to use your gear, but don't forget to practice your two most important tools: your mind and body.
After you finish preparing your BOB, develop a realistic backup plan. Consider your survival skills and prep a backup survival kit or “body survival kit.”
As its name implies, your body survival kit must be concealed on your person. It should also contain crucial tools for your survival in case your BOB is lost or stolen.
Keep a folding knife in one pocket and your body survival kit in the other. Your smaller kit can include useful items such as:
Use a small plastic bag to keep your firestarting tools dry inside the kit.
When selecting a survival hideout, decide on a location that will help you survive for at least a week. Go somewhere higher up and with a good vantage point. Choose a place with multiple escape routes so you can safely exit the area if the location is discovered.
Ideal locations should be near a body of water with common plants that you can forage. Your chosen spot should also have animals that you can hunt for food like deer and rabbits.
After you decide on a secure location, build a shelter so you can stay warm and dry. Save your energy by looking for natural shelters like a cave or a rock overhang.
When improvising, build something sturdy, keep it hidden, and make it waterproof.
You need to stay hydrated when SHTF. Look for low lying areas like canyons or gullies with small creeks leading to them.
Leaf-bearing trees in the area need more water to survive. You can also look for more insects in a particular area because they can point you to a small pond nearby.
If you're stuck in a dry area, look for water holes that may hide pockets of water. (Related: 10 Survival skills everyone needs to know.)
Foraging is a crucial skill and knowing what plants to avoid will prevent food poisoning or death when SHTF. Practice identifying common edible plants in your area like berries, broadleaf plantain, and cattail.
Use your knife to make a spear for hunting or fishing if you're in an area with a body of water.
A steady fire will keep you warm and help you boil water, cook food, and keep away wild animals. If you're hiding from someone, start a smaller fire so you can stay hidden.
Practice your current skills and learn new ones whenever you have the time. During the weekend, take your body survival kit and BOB then drive to a remote location to practice your backup plan.
Where will you go? Can you find water and food in your bug-out location?
Prepare a backup for your backup and hide a survival cache with gear and supplies that you may need if you need to bug out. This way, if you're left with just your body survival kit, you can replace the stolen gear.
Review your practice bug out and make changes to your plan to make it foolproof so you can survive when SHTF.