At least once a day I see a post on Facebook or one of the several online prepper forums that talks about living off the land once the SHTF. Living off the grid should be easy right? I mean people did it for thousands of years before modern conveniences came around so how hard could I really be?
Well the truth is that there are very few people that are truly ready to live an “outdoor survivalists” lifestyle. Most of us would probably be fine for a couple weeks, but the majority of people today have lost the skills and mindset that made life before the grid possible. There are however, 2 key skills that we could focus on that could prepare us for living this type of lifestyle that would at least keep food on the table.
Can you REALLY forage your own food?
A lot of preppers assume that nature will simply provide them with more than enough food to survive in a disaster or grid-down situation. The truth is that this is actually true. Nature is a virtual smorgasbord of edible plants and wildlife, however let’s be honest. Most of us can’t even walk down the street and identify most of the plants we see in our neighbor’s yards, let alone be able to forage enough to keep us alive. Do you know what plants are OK to eat vs. the ones that are poisonous? Did you know that most plants have a very specific period of growing time where they can be eaten?
Foraging is a great skill to learn because it really can prepare you to be able to procure a nearly unlimited amount of food…but you have to know what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to do some research on the wild edible plants in your area and put together a small reference guide that you can keep in a bugout bag or even in your vehicle in case you need it. Here is a great little guide to identifying and preparing some of the most common wild edible plants.
Are you a hunter or do you just think you are?
Hunting is a skill that most preppers think they can fall back on when times get tough, however many of them have never actually hunted before. This isn’t a skill you can just pick up and do. You’re not going to go out to the woods for your first time and bring home a 10 point buck for the stew pot. There are literally hundreds of strategies that hunters use today to increase their chances for bringing home game. Remember, it’s not called “shooting” or “grocery shopping” …It’s called hunting, and even master hunters will tell you that there is no such thing as a successful hunt and only experience is going to improve your odds on bagging game.
As a new hunter, it is best to try and find a group of people that can help you with specific questions and possibly even take you scouting. The best place ive found to meet fellow hunters are gun ranges. There’s something about that ever-present crack of gunfire and the smell of cordite that gets people talking. It’s hard to go to the gun range and NOT get into a conversation with a fellow shooter. So if you’re a beginning hunter, get out to the range and talk to some people. Now only can you get help with your hunting questions, but you just might meet your first hunting buddy!
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