Survival and Military Experience

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posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:07 PM
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Survival and Military Experience



I’ve been thinking lately about what “really” got me interested in the subject of survival. I know that back in the 80’s I was concerned, as was most of the thinking world, about nuclear proliferation and the “Big Red Scare”. For me it was more than that; it was something I did that propelled me into a world of survival skills I would never turn from, not even up to today.

I joined the United States Marine Corps

I was 20 years old when I joined, a little older than most and that as much as anything helped me. I loved boot camp; the regimen and discipline just seemed like the right way to live. We got some rudimentary survival skills in “Boot” but more than that, we received a great gift.
The gift of self-reliance and self-discipline.
Priceless.

Having grown up on the farm in West Virginia and hunted since I was 8 years old, I was a good shot. I qualified perfect on the range and was asked to join a “STA PLT” after Boot. Being in that unit meant a lot of schools; many of those schools either focused on survival or were at least, survival related. The rest is as they say, history; I was caught in the spell of survival.

I tell you that in order to tell you this; that military training can be and often is, a great base for the survival skills we talk about here.

I still retain the knowledge, skills and idea that I can take a knife, and only a knife, into the woods, forest or jungle and survive for an extended period of time. Now whether I can for long or not at my age is something of a contention, but I am sure I can.

Why?

Because I have done it.

My point here is you can watch YouTube videos all day, read every survival manual in the world and unless you get off your duff and go outside and “do it” you quite simply CAN NOT…

Cases in point

1. Watch YouTube and they will tell you that “you cannot strike a Ferro Rod with stainless steel”.
a. Yes you can.. They have obviously never gone out and tried it.
2. They will tell you that “Tin Foil makes a good substance to boil water”.
a. NO it does not. It will burn through and leak into your fire.
3. They will tell you that a “small knife is the only knife you need in the woods”.
a. They are wrong as a small knife will not process firewood for your fire effectively.

All of these things and more are just further examples of why YOU need to get up, get dressed and get outside and practice survival techniques. If you have never done it, YOU cannot do it; that should be your mantra.

Plus it’s fun.

Check out some of our videos and then go do them!!!!!

Semperfortis

Semper
edit on 2/3/2014 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:14 PM
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Amen!

Growing up where I did, and all the hiking, hunting and camping I did with my Dad really showed me that what you *think* might be a good survival idea is just horrible.

My Dad and I were actually bored when I jointed the Boy Scouts in high school. LOL. I can still remember our first camp out, it was in the middle of the winter. The scout master kept running over to my Dad and I, checking on us to make sure we "were OK".

Of course we were! We had our tent up and ready to go before anyone else, and even had time to boil some water for hot chocolate while the other kids and their dads were fighting among themselves. It was then that all those weekend hikes and winter snow caves my old man taught me to make became valuable.

You'd be surprised how cozy a good snow cave is!



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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prior service, US Army. I'm a huge fan of anything outdoors. can't say i've ever made a snow cave but it sounds like something to put on my to-do.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Great read...I moved about a year a go and ditched/sold most of my prepping stuff....I keep downsizing more and more and I now I have limited an entire survival/living off the grid kit to one backpack. Ive found I carry too much stuff that i never use or carry it as a back up which isnt needed in an emergency situation.

I was going to do a new survival thread actually but ill add the premise here. We often talk about survival in terms of living off the land and things like that. I always think that if the shtf what about identity change? When we are all marching towards mexico or canada to get the hell out of the usa. I have thought about if America really goes to crap id rather just leave it. Seek asylum...have some gold/silver...drive on through seeking asylum or with a new identity and disappear.

Awhile back someone pointed out all the nuke plants we have in the usa which amazingly has shifted some of my prep. I always wanted to be mobile but now I look to be even more mobile...id rather flee to a country that is safe than grind it out here unless I really had some land in the middle of no where.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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semperfortis

Survival and Military Experience



I’ve been thinking lately about what “really” got me interested in the subject of survival. I know that back in the 80’s I was concerned, as was most of the thinking world, about nuclear proliferation and the “Big Red Scare”. For me it was more than that; it was something I did that propelled me into a world of survival skills I would never turn from, not even up to today.

I joined the United States Marine Corps

I was 20 years old when I joined, a little older than most and that as much as anything helped me. I loved boot camp; the regimen and discipline just seemed like the right way to live. We got some rudimentary survival skills in “Boot” but more than that, we received a great gift.
The gift of self-reliance and self-discipline.
Priceless.

Having grown up on the farm in West Virginia and hunted since I was 8 years old, I was a good shot. I qualified perfect on the range and was asked to join a “STA PLT” after Boot. Being in that unit meant a lot of schools; many of those schools either focused on survival or were at least, survival related. The rest is as they say, history; I was caught in the spell of survival.

I tell you that in order to tell you this; that military training can be and often is, a great base for the survival skills we talk about here.

I still retain the knowledge, skills and idea that I can take a knife, and only a knife, into the woods, forest or jungle and survive for an extended period of time. Now whether I can for long or not at my age is something of a contention, but I am sure I can.

Why?

Because I have done it.

My point here is you can watch YouTube videos all day, read every survival manual in the world and unless you get off your duff and go outside and “do it” you quite simply CAN NOT…

Cases in point

1. Watch YouTube and they will tell you that “you cannot strike a Ferro Rod with stainless steel”.
a. Yes you can.. They have obviously never gone out and tried it.
2. They will tell you that “Tin Foil makes a good substance to boil water”.
a. NO it does not. It will burn through and leak into your fire.
3. They will tell you that a “small knife is the only knife you need in the woods”.
a. They are wrong as a small knife will not process firewood for your fire effectively.

All of these things and more are just further examples of why YOU need to get up, get dressed and get outside and practice survival techniques. If you have never done it, YOU cannot do it; that should be your mantra.

Plus it’s fun.

Check out some of our videos and then go do them!!!!!

Semperfortis

Semper
edit on 2/3/2014 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)


Good points all. S&F. I went through Paris Island and SOI in 1986. Good post, Marine!



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


I guess its a mindset thing.

I have never been in a military organisation, mostly because even at a very young age, I did not, and do not trust my government to utilise the men it commands in war, in a way which is comensurate with the wishes and ideals held by the people, or in a way which honours those who have already served, and/or fallen. Further to that, my experience in the Cub Scouts, was one of suspecting our leader of being a kiddie fiddler (which was later proven, thankfully after I had left) and wanting to plunge our flag staff directly through most of the total morons I was in a group with. There is something about teaching a bunch of kids like the ones which were in our "pack", how to survive in the wild, which runs counter to good sense, because they were a total bunch of bastards.

However, neither the depravity of our leader, nor the overwhelming need to bludgeon my fellow cubs to death with their own shoes, was able to crush my intrepidity. My family took a trip to Colchester, which is one of the more ancient settlements in England. It has a castle which is built on Roman foundations. Its a pretty awesome edifice, simple now, but for its time no doubt impressive. I was twelve, and thought to myself upon seeing it "That looks like it would be fun to climb!".

Half an hour later, I was on the roof. We went to Wales on one of our camping holidays (an annual habit when my parents were still together), and my father and I decided to scale Snowden. Father took the pig tracks, the walking route. I, with a backpack which contained only a thermos of tea, and a pack of corned beef sandwhiches, and wearing nothing but a t-shirt and a pair of shorts (aside of course from good walking boots), I decided that Dad (who was, and is the biggest wuss I have ever met, and was none the less training for the Three Peaks Challenge www.thethreepeakschallenge.co.uk... ) could go fly a kite for all I cared, and I took a straight course from the begining of the walk, straight up the side of the mountain, a route which required me to navigate my way up consecutive thirty foot plus, near vertical ascents, around several pretty impassable areas of sharp rocks, and so on and so forth.

Roughly half way through the climb, I stopped, wedging myself against two sides of a cleft in a cliff, ate sandwhiches, drunk tea, and continued on my way. I overtook the mountain rescue fellows on my way up, who shouted at me alot, which slowed me down not one bit, and I beat my father to the top by an hour and three quarters. I had never done anything quite like that before, but even when there were thirty mile an hour gusts of cold mist up the legs of my shorts, or rain smashing my face, I never felt more alive.

What I am getting at, is that while there is no replacement for training I am sure, there are people abroad in the world, who while having no training in anything particularly useful for when the faeces hits the rotary airflow regulator, find themselves able to adapt to nearly any situation, without having to be told what needs doing, or how. I taught myself several ways to make a fire, and how to cook without pans, how to collect water from natural sources, and a whole plethora of other useful bits and bobs, including being able to knock up a half decent shelter built out of pretty much any detritus I could lay my hands on (which I learned when I lived on the street).

I think its pretty important to gain these skills, but there are several routes by which one can come upon the information necessary to teach ones self, and I think that it is equally important to recommend such information and experience to others. Frankly, one never knows what tomorrow might bring, and things being what they are, the possibilities strike me as ever grimmer as the days wear on. That is why semperfortis, I think that its worth my pointing out, that your efforts, and those of other initiated members of this site, to spread such information as you have, is possibly one of the most important things you could be doing with your time, and I am grateful to you for that, as I am sure many other members are. This is all information which our modern way of life has taken away from the majority of us, information which ought to be natural to us, but to many is now alien, and correcting that is a goal most high and worthy.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 05:02 PM
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Ex navy here

with NBC warfare school
and many years in the hills and desert as a miner and prospector.
vol firefighter/EMT with mine and heavy rescue experience.
worked mines in the sierras where you had to walk in and out in snow shoes and in the desert within rifle range of Death Valley National Park.

been trapped by flash floods and breakdowns.

I always carry a survival vest/bob with Camelback.



posted on Feb, 3 2014 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 

Am replying to TrueBrit's post as a nod to his enviable talent for writing.

In regards to the thread specifically, what I took away from my military career was the knowledge that survival is possible. The best 'preps' one can develop, IMVHO, is a list of people you plan to survive with. I once spent 91 days in the field alone. It was admittedly one of the worst experiences in my life ... and it was only 3 months. Would'a been a lot worse if I had to do more than operate a set of field glasses and a radio ... things like finding food and water.

If anyone knows the definitive book for surviving a SHTF scenario, I've got a 'friend' who would like to read up on the subject.

Thanks for the thread Semper.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 01:17 AM
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Practice makes best, you can read all day but without actually putting the techniques to use they'll be next to worthless when they actually matter. You don't have to be in a life threatening situation to practice your survival skills, put yourself outside of your comfort zone. Next time you camp, try to start a fire without using a lighter or matches, bring a book that details edible plants in the area and identify them. Camp in the winter, build a snow cave in addition to your tent and make sure you actually know how to do it. Make sure the techniques you research work, and if they don't figure out why they didn't. Was it something you did, or was your source wrong? When it comes to survival we're talking the difference between life and death, so practicing ahead of time when the conditions are safe will ensure that you can actually perform these acts when they truly matter. If you have a family, take them with you, make sure everyone can perform the techniques they need to know. I learned a good portion of what I know in the Marine Corps as well and they make you practice, practice some more and practice again until everyone can do what they're taught. I've got far too many friends who have books upon books about survival and yet never practice any of the techniques within those books. Surviving in a bad situation is difficult, it's far better to practice ahead of time than to find out the things you read about are either BS or you're unable to perform them when your life is on the line.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Semp I completely agree.

I've spent many years in the Nevada wilderness. I have researched and put to practice the many skills I have picked up along the way. But for me, the training I have received in the Army(training I continue to receive as my military career progresses) has been extremely eye opening and helpful in my survival tool box.

I also place a great deal of importance in physical fitness. Even wrote a thread about it in the Survival forum. It is my belief that if you spend all your time buying gear, watching youtube videos, and reading army survival manuals, but not one day doing a sit up, a push up, or increasing your endurance with running and cardio exercises, your first encounter with a survival situation will likely be your last. Even the most fit survivalist would find it difficult in a harsh situation if injuries, lack of food and sleep, or exposure to the elements(or the combo of the three) is experienced. Someone who is NOT physically fit would find it impossible and would not be able to endure it at all.
edit on pTue, 04 Feb 2014 09:40:35 -060020144America/Chicago2014-02-04T09:40:35-06:0028vx2 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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Marines are different. Outside of special forces, the most roundly prepared branch. "Figure it out" seems to be something that was trained in.
On a few expeditions to the woods I've had to unlearn a couple guys on some things they were doing. Small things like how to build a fire that will keep you warm all night and cook your food. They wanted to build a bonfire.
"Where did you learn that?"
"[Insert branch]"
For most people in the service, the only type of fire they learn how to make is a rescue fire and, because of light discipline, they don't practice even that after basic. They are counting on a supply line of folks to come get them.
Other things I notice a bit are waste. Things thrown away that could be used later.
Which is all fine. We all have things we can learn to do better but don't let the pride of your past be the stumbling block of your now.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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Oh you forgot: Cotton kills in inclement weather.
I had been an avid camper and worked with BLM in the mountains,never shot a large food animal.I get by with a little help. That is why I need no shelter,my buddies will either die with me or we make.



posted on Feb, 4 2014 @ 11:28 AM
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projectvxn
Someone who is NOT physically fit would find it impossible and would not be able to endure it at all.


Thanks for the reality check. Now I'm depressed. But it is the truth.

Until a little more than a year ago I had no doubts as to my being physically fit enough and smart enough to travel great distances on foot, off the beaten path. Now that I've injured my back severely, I have my doubts (strong doubts) about getting anywhere at all.

Now I’m just saving money to get out of where I am and getting closer to family where I can at least hunker down if need be. They live waaaay off the beaten path.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


Oh come on. You know as well as I do people can adapt to AMAZING things,MY lazy ass made it through basic after all.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by cavtrooper7
 


Yeah but it was Army Basic....




posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 06:07 PM
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ah yes...army basic, I experienced both extreme cold and intense heat during basic, ugh.
The field is pretty cool, aside from your assigned duties, hanging out with old school NCOs an learning about survival out in the woods was pretty cool an in depth.
Got my assault packed full with gear specifically for the wilderness, everything except a firearm...that'll be my 249 Ha!



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 06:35 PM
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Having been camping with some ex-military people, I'm very unimpressed. I can't imagine how awful they would have done in an actual survival situation. One of the guys was picking on the younger, slightly mentally challenged brother of a friend, this skinny kid choked out big bad army man.

I'm sure the more elite military members can light a fire with a single nose hair or something along those lines, but from experience, I know having military in the background doesn't immediately make someone good at anything. You can go to college and still be an idiot, and go through basic and still be a goof.

Military doesn't always mean (and usually doesn't) that a person is a green beret, although some think it does. Going through basic and then playing xbox for a few years probably isn't going to help you. Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, going through basic and then playing xbox for a few years is a exact quote from an MP friend of mine, you got a problem take it up with him.
edit on 11-2-2014 by James1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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semperfortis

Survival and Military Experience



I’ve been thinking...

Semperfortis


Mmmm...Pink and tasty...



On a more serious note, previous military service certainly can be of beneficial, but that doesn't preclude someone who was in the Air Force or Coast Guard from successfully negotiating survival situation...




posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 01:22 PM
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My favorite is military guys hyping 500 mile an hour tape. Course, since they never bring any, I guess we'll have to make do with duct tape





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