Learning Survival Skills



If our modern conveniences were suddenly stripped away, would we survive? I think that, as man has grown increasingly detached from nature, this question has become subconsciously present in the minds of more and more people - as is evident from both nonfiction informative books on the subject, and fiction in the genre of post-apocalyptic survivalism (including a new novel by yours truly, Wild Children, written under the pen name of Hannah Ross).

It all seems to be asking the following question: if the world is turned upside down and we can no longer rely on the fancy tools of modern man, do we stand a chance?

Well, do we? Honest introspection leads me, and many others, to conclude that we are less resourceful, resilient and capable than our forefathers. We do less things with our hands. We walk less on our feet. We don't exercise our minds as much, because the convenience of the Internet is just too alluring. Many times, when struggling to remember a piece of information, I open up Wikipedia at once rather than strain my memory.

During WWII, after my grandparents were stripped of their belongings and put on a train to Siberia, along with a bunch of other people who fell into disfavor under Stalin's rule, they were plunked down in the middle of nowhere and told to build a settlement and work, all with minimal resources. Cutting through an inch-thick layer of ice to get drinking water and fending off hungry howling wolves became everyday routine. Many died in the harsh conditions, with inadequate food, housing and medical care.

Grandma and Grandpa were educated people, but all this education wasn't worth very much out in the middle of nowhere near the Arctic Circle. Chopping firewood, basic building and carpentry skills, animal husbandry, sewing and knitting were far more useful. It was a harsh life, but they adapted. They had a far better starting point than most people today would, however. They grew up in homes where gardens were routinely tended and animals kept and bred. Grandma, a big sister in a family of five boys, was used to patching up clothes and letting down hems. They knew how to work with their hands, which enabled them to live.

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