First, I am not claiming any expertise just years of practice trial and error
and a little training. I was going to start by commenting on go packs as many
people are reviewing their contents or starting new but decided to let you
know a little about where I’m coming from.
I was born and raised in Michigan as was my deceased husband. We both made
trips to the northern East Coast, he to Maine me to New York and D.C. After
we married, we moved around the first decade, six months here two years
there. We did over a dozen tracker classes each in New Jersey, Florida and
California. We always took extra time to explore when we traveled in New
Jersey we camped around in the Pine Barrens near several of the places we
visit during classes also finding the pond and old town site, from the story
Tom Brown tells of the grave stone and the boy. In Florida we went down and
spent a week in the everglades. California we only where able to spend a
couple of extra days after class in, but they were educational. We stay to
enjoy the scenery but more to study the differences in everything, the
different plants that grow in different climates and temperatures. To
discover the various birds and their habitats. My daughter thinks it’s
funny I have taken photos of deer in at least twenty states. Yes, a deer is a
deer but they do vary greatly.
Shortly after we married, my husband Tom having barely survived cancer was
advised by his doctor to move to a more temperate location, due to a side
effect of the chemo. He had always wanted to see Alaksa so we started north.
We spent a great month camping in a gorgeous meadow down a two track in the
Yukon. We made Skagway Alaska and spent the rest of the summer in a card
board shack. We had the tent but it was only big enough for the sleeping bags
and Tom built us a round “home” three times the size of the tent. Using
long fallen tree branches as uprights, much the way a sweat lodge is
designed. We gathered card board boxes from around town everything was
shipped in so card board was abundant and was nailed around the uprights. All
we had to do was buy some plastic for the roof. Tom built an earthen stove
and stacked chinked rocks for the chimney, which became our primary cooking
place and also provided some heat for the moist chilly days.
The end of summer and another health crisis for Tom took us down to Juneau
Alaska. That night he was taken to emergency surgery. One of the places we
lived in was miles out from town and offered very few amenities. It had
electricity and a communal phone no water no sewer no heat and very little
insulation. We bought a wood stove and gathered a good share of the wood
ourselves, challenging with a toddler, his older sisters 4&6 were more help.
The sewer was a porta-potty taken out in to the trees weekly and dumped in a
hole I had dug; I just wasn’t running the little ones out to an outhouse
every time they needed to go. The ground near the old single wide trailer was
to saturated with ground water to put one in relatively easy distance. Water
we collected from the roof into a barrel (heavy duty plastic trash can) when
rain wasn’t sufficient, we went to a creek that flowed off a hill a short
distance away gathered it in jugs to take home and treated it appropriately
so it was safe to drink.
I haven’t lived primitively; I have had a lot of other experiences. To me
one of the most important thing for any survival situation is the ability to
adapt. Learn your surroundings and be aware. Be ready to make due if one plan
fails make another.
I haven’t said much about preparedness but it is as much about the state of
mind you go into it with as it is about the articles you have. We all have
had experiences that help us prepare for the challenges lying ahead whether
they be mental, physical or spiritual we may just need to review what we have
learned or gain a new skill or two to feel more confident going forward.