Survival Scholars



“It is not the truth that a man possesses, or believes that he possesses, but the earnest effort which he puts forward to reach the truth, which constitutes that worth of a man. For it is not by the possession, but the search after the truth that he enlarges his power, wherein alone consists his ever-increasing perfection.” –Gotthold Lessing

         It’s understandably stated over and over again that actions speak louder than words. This is a strong expression, one that all should strive to adhere to. However, I am going to up the wager and go one step further. Applications speak louder than verbs. Anyone can take an idea or behavior and go through the motions but to really understand and apply that behavior to your life is something entirely different. For example, you could read survival blogs or financial advice columns and stash money away or stockpile food and supplies in a closet. Those are crucial beginning steps and indeed are strong actions that are miles away from just talking about being prepared. However if you don’t understand the “why’s” and “how’s” then the “what’s” don’t really matter. You must realize why you are saving money away, becoming aware of the effect it’s having you. Further, you need to be able to have the wisdom when to use the emergency funds you have tucked away. You must also understand why you are stashing survival supplies and, more importantly, how to use them. It doesn’t take much to stash away some paracord or containers of flint and steel. But do you know how to tie a proper knot? Do you know how to start a fire in a wet environment or during a snowstorm when your fingers are too numb to properly function? It’s for these questions that we must not only become survivors but also learn how to survive. It should always be a requirement to learn a skill and then apply that skill to our life. Not just going through motions but ingraining the knowledge of survival and the confidence with knowing what to do, when to do it, and why it needs to be done.

         I would recommend that once every three or four months you assess your skill sets. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What areas do you need improvement? Go through your supplies and ask yourself if you know how to use everything. Look at your tools and assess your skill level with each item. What can each tool be used for? What would you do if the tool broke and you needed a makeshift replacement? Look at your finances and decide where you are going and where you came from. Determine your monthly budget. Figure out what you are wasting money on and how you can plug the leaks in your financial stronghold. Research investment types and what the pros and cons of each are. Calculate your retirement and keep yourself on track. By questioning yourself every once in awhile you sharpen your skills and hone in on areas that need correction. We must never let complacency dull our senses because when we least expect it the unthinkable could happen. Prepare yourself for that day and you can build your confidence to new heights. Be aware of what you can and can not do, and then expand your skill expertise to make yourself worthy of survival.

         Independent studies are vital to increasing the knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. Go to your local library and check out instructional books. See if you can find free books there that teach about wilderness survival and financial development. But don’t just read the books and take notes. Pick activities and go practice them. This will help you assess your current abilities and enable you to make goals for improvements. Learn new skills and then master them through practice. Get your brain active. Teach your muscle memories the hand-eye coordination needed for each movement. Don’t just learn a skill, apply it by using it as often as you can. If you can’t find any good survival or financial books through your library, the internet is an endlessly free encyclopedia for the hungry scholar. You can do a quick search and find information on any project you can think of. But don’t just read it and think it’s correction information. Try the activities for yourself and see if they are valid or if they can be applied to your particular skill set and local environment. The skills you learn should be able to be readily applied to you and where you live. A skill someone in Florida has might not be useful for someone living in Indiana.

         Don’t be afraid to try out do-it-yourself instructional videos on YouTube. There is a huge collection of very reliable information on the internet. Just be sure it’s valuable to you and what you would need to do during an emergency situation. If you’ve exhausted all the free resources you can, you can still find additional help for fairly cheap. Used book stores are great bargain shopping for the frugal book hunter. I am constantly finding discount financial books for $1 or less at stores like Half Priced Books. Look for giveaways or cheap prices on sites like Craigslist and eBay (but be cautious and always protect your personal information). Check your local paper for workshops and classes being offered locally. If you can afford it, get yourself into a relatively cheap vocational school where you can learn all sorts of useful skills. Make survival your hobby and make learning new things something that is enjoyable. It shouldn’t be viewed as a chore. Get excited for expanding your knowledge of finances and survival instincts.

         It’s important for your financial security and emergency survival that you acquire knowledge on what needs to be done. If you want to retire young, your financial know-how needs to be strong enough to learn how to save, why to save, and what you can expect once you reach the age of retirement. If you want to survive an earthquake disaster situation, your skills need to be molded around the steps it would take to recover, adapt, and survive long-term. Learn the skills, acquire the knowledge, and put it all into action. Apply what you know from all areas and develop a learn-and-do mindset. Nothing could be worse than having a disaster strike and standing there in the rubble surround by tools you have no idea how to use and having those you love look to you for guidance when you are unsure what to do. Become aware, be prepared, and never stop learning. Become a survival scholar and sharpen the edge of your mind as often as possible. Never stop learning, applying your knowledge, and having the wisdom of when or why to use it.

Spend Money To Make Money

       First things first, and this may be the most important thing I tell you ever, so listen closely. Yes, this blog is combining survivalism with financial independence. And yes, having an emergency fund of money stashed away is important. BUT, in the event that the government collapses, what good will that money do you? Absolute Zilch is the correct answer. Money is only as good as the government backing it. Gold and silver will still probably be a commodity, but maybe not. Coins may also still be worth something, but there’s no way to accurately predict that. So before you do anything else, spend your money. Yes, that seems counter intuitive to what I am trying to do with this site. But spend your money. Spend it on supplies, on stockpiling food, on getting training for necessary survival skills. Spend it preparing yourself for a day when money won’t exist and where trading for goods or services will be the new economy. Once you have a stable survival kit and pantry together, then you save your money away. Don’t think just because you have thousands of dollars saved in the bank that you are safe. What happens if the economy collapses and the government folds, you think the FDIC is going to keep your money insured? What happens if they entire power grid goes down and the computer servers that held your account information are wiped cleaned? Always invest your money. First, in yourself: skills, classes, training, supplies, books, etc. Second, in your bank: get a savings account and stick money into it! Third, if you feel brave enough, try your hand at investing in some mutual funds, stocks, CD’s, or an IRA. Money might make the world go around now, but if the world as we know it ceases to exist, cash will no longer be king. So prepare yourself for that scenario as best you can, and then save away for a rainy day. Don’t get caught out in the cold with a fat wallet and a hungry stomach.