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By the term 'Survivalism' we do not just mean the knowledge of how to survive in the wilderness, although this does form an essential part of this. This could be termed 'Bushcraft' which is a better term to use for the study and practice of the lost arts of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. By 'survivalism' we usually think of the training to survive by 'Special Forces' around the world but, of course, it does not follow that we shall necessarily need such training in civilian life. We thus think of 'survival' as being able to face any given situation and get through it without too many problems - this means not only acquiring the knowledge to do so, but also the 'Will-to-Survive' which counts even more than knowing how to survive. How we react to a given situation is what counts, and where as one individual will despair and panic, the one with the Will-to-Survive will act calmly and use the knowledge he has gained to get through it. 

We are not just talking about a 'social breakdown' or a 'natural disaster', although these should be kept in mind, and would certainly be the worst senario we could face, but about some of the far more everyday happenings that could force us to use the knowledge gained from education and training in Survivalism -

  • The possibility of being lost in a remote area with little or no equipment; this, of course, applies to the more adventurous types who put themselves in such situations.
  • The possibility of having one's car break down in a remote area - a less demanding problem since with foresight the car should already have some 'Survival Equipment' carried. But we still need to learn how to use it and also be able to face such situations with calm and without panic.
  • The possibility of a loss of services - gas, water, electric etc. Invariably we see individuals who are interviewed by the media putting the blame for their 'despair' on the authorities, when what they should first be doing is to use the alternative sources that they have already put into place in case of such a thing happening. 
  • The possibility of a shortage of food or fuel which in today's society could cause a big problem; here foreknowledge of having to stock up in advance makes the individual stand apart from the masses who never think anything will happen to them. 

These, and many more things I have not considered, are all forms of 'survival' but there is one more important point we need to consider here. There may never be a need to use the knowledge built up, but it is still there in case, and more than that, in regular training self-reliance and self-discipline will be built up to a high degree, and these two things are lacking in this cold, stale world of conformity. These things separate the Wolves from the Sheep, those who can fend for themselves and those who rely upon the State or Big Business for their survival. To some degree we all depend upon these, but when we aim to become less and less dependant we regain more and more freedom, freedom that we have lost through dependance.