Wilderness survival skills have many practical applications outside a wilderness theater. One of these applications is with emergency preparedness or disaster preparedness. The best way to prepare for a disaster or emergency is to train yourself in wilderness survival. A person who is skilled and educated in wilderness survival is going to be less inclined to panic and more inclined to take care of himself and others if an emergency arises. Because of the training and education that a survivalist has acquired, questions like, “How do I stay warm? or “Where can I find food? become less intimidating. This reduces stress and the natural tendency to panic. By studying basic needs and how to satisfy those needs out of the natural products around you one is able to prioritize necessities.
Wilderness survival teaches preparedness principals in shelter construction, finding and purifying water, food gathering and hunting as well as food preparation and preservation. Wilderness survival teaches one how to improvise and use whatever there is around you in a practical and useful way. For example: I have a plot of my yard that has not yet been landscaped yet. My wife hates it. For her it is nothing but a weed patch. For me it is my favorite part of the yard for one simple reason. 80% of the “weeds” in this little 8′ by 8′ plot of ground are edible! I have done nothing to promote any certain plants to grow there, I have not weeded any plants out of it and I have not sewn any seed in it. This area’s plant growth is completely natural. Not only are the plants delicious but nutritious and prolific.
The plants are as follows:
Mallow: A very common plant in most garden areas. The leaves can be cooked and prepared as you would spinach. The seeds can be eaten raw or dried and ground into a powder then added to a soup or stew. The young and tender roots can be cooked as you would a carrot.
Mustard: One of my favorites. The roots are terrific cooked in butter and the leaves and seeds are great even raw.
Sour Dock: Is a plant that I let grow in the shade and the leaves can reach 2′ long and 6″ wide. Even the bigger leaves are very tender when cooked. They make a great additive to dips and sauces. The immature stalk is my favorite part. Cook it up in butter and garlic.
Purslane: Is delicious cooked or raw.
Shepherd’s Purse: These plants do not get very big for me but the flavor is peppery and great. I like it better cooked.
Plantain: Is one of my favorites. I like them battered and fried.
Field Pennycress: Is just OK, I like it’s flavor but the plant doesn’t grow very big.
There are a few more but I think you get my point. We have more resources than we realize, even in our own yards.
By study and practice anyone can learn basic survival preparedness and life sustaining skills. Start in your own back yard. Shop for a plant identification book that will help you learn and properly identify plant species in those areas. Explore empty lots and fields looking for edibles as well as objects that may be useful. We offer a Wild Edible Plant Class that will teach you everything you will need to know, and even offer it in different seasons so you will learn what is available any time of year. What ever avenue you take to learn survival you will be learning skills that are fun and practical in any situation.