Buying books is great but you need more to actually survive. You need 'experience'. I don't know the ages of your children and if they are
pre-teens, I'd suggest you let them stay home with Mom while you go out and get a LOT of real, first-hand experiences. Survival was a hobby of mine
three decades ago. I'd go on 'survival trips'.
1. Leave the books at home - you only get to use what you have remembered from those books.
2. Choose your destination - a beach where nobody goes, a desert area, wilderness thicket or woods etc. In the end, you should have tried all the
different types of areas, in the four different seasons of the year.
3. You get to bring along only what you can carry - and NO water or food! This means your packing tools like the military surplus shovel that has a
retractable handle, compass, WIRE for snares, a handaxe, tool sharpeners, first aide kit, long-handled spoon, knife, string for a fishing handline and
a paperclip, compass, a piece of canvas, a THICK piece of plastic, and an iron pot.
(It's you're trip, so, you make you own equipment list rules based on what you THINK you know how to do. Take matches in a waterproof jar until you
master other techniques. Later try flint and steel, and handdrills are the most difficult, thus, the last to master.)
4. Be sure to have somebody know where you are and when to come looking for you in case you failed miserably (which I did once, no twice actually
) Drive to your destination and park the vehicle. No listening to radio!
Besides survival trips, you MUST do backyard gardening at home. It's one thing to read about gardening, and quite another to get in SHAPE.
Last, your book learning should include your local native edible plants! In some areas, you can live off of nothing but the native plants. In other
areas, it's not feasible. Get to know your local 'weeds'. My spouse knows to jump to attention when I say, "You're stepping on tomorrow's
Another thing to learn for meat-eaters and hunters are which seasons to avoid certain animals. That holds here in Texas USA anyway. Rabbits have
worms in the Summer. Over near the Mississippi they eat possum and sometime armadillo. Besides rabies and leprosy, there is also a seasonal advice
on them. To get local seasonal advice, talk with hunters in your area.
Fishing is another thing you can experiment with in your area. No tackle boxes, nets, lures etc. ... learn how to fish as if you'd never see a rod
and reel or pole again in your life.
edit to correct typo
[edit on 25-4-2008 by Trexter Ziam]