Practice Makes Perfect

It has been stated here before that just having equipment stowed in a pack is not enough. Skill is involved in using most of the equipment you may be preparing. Repetitive use of these items will allow you to operate them during stressful times.

Despite what most online sources will tell you, you don’t need to trek into the wilderness to practice. While that is ideal, it is far from where to begin. There are many chances in your daily life to practice your skills. Fire starting is a good one to look at. The next time you need to start your charcoal grill or burn some yard waste you can practice. Hold off on the disposable lighter and pull out your ferrous rod. Given a few strikes and some dry tinder you should be good to go. If you find that too easy, you can always wet your tinder or introduce other complications to simulate harsher conditions. The picture below is of a relaxing fire started with a ferrous rod. It is intended to burn out a stump that is in the way, but gave several opportunities to practice.

Another skill that can be practiced easily in your backyard is water purification. Practice can be as simple as setting out some buckets to collect rain water.  This will give you a chance to experience using different water filters, water purification tablets, and boiling. It can also give you insight into how your body will react to this water. Even though it is perfectly safe, some people can still have varying degrees of adverse reaction to water treated by these means. It is better to find out now than after you are stuck in a survival situation far from modern facilities.

On a daily basis you can also practice your first aid. Practicing applying tourniquets, splints, and compression wraps. It takes a bit more work to practice this, but can be a helpful skill even before a S. H. T. F. scenario. Any practice with usage will vastly improve your skills. It will also let you determine what equipment works best for you.

So take some time to sit down at your kitchen table, on your porch, in your backyard, or wherever and work on important skills. It does not take long. You just have to repeat it for it to become ingrained. In the end it can pay high dividends in return when you need these skills. By all means though, if a chance arises to practice these far from civilization, take it and enjoy.

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