Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Survival Mindset

There are so many disasters going on that I could write four or five blog posts a day on different survival topics and never run out of things to warn/prepare you for.  In just the last few days there has been a school shooting, an ambush shooter who is still on the run, a maniac running people off the road and beating them with a hammer, a nurse from the Ebola hot zone who doesn't want to be quarantined, a handful of law enforcement deaths, and people just being crazy for no good reason.

Kind of makes one want to fortify their homes and never leave...

In light of these and many more incidents that have the (albeit very minute) possibility of throwing you into a disaster situation not of your own making, here is an overview of the survival mindset.

The entire purpose of this blog and the CNI website is to help you develop a survival mindset.  Even though thousands of posts can be written on various survival topics and a myriad of posts can be written on survival gear, your survival mindset is of the utmost importance.

The survival mindset kicks in when you are thrust into a disaster situation and need to react quickly.  The survival mindset kicks your 'spidey-sense' up a couple of notches when you enter a situation that could go sideways in a minute.  The survival mindset helps you mitigate disasters before they even happen by being prepared for anything.  The survival mindset means you make a plan that will be useful in a variety of disaster situations.  The survival mindset means you are versatile enough in your thinking that you can use survival lessons from one situation and carry them over to a totally different situation and make them work.

In essence the survival mindset means:

  • That you know most survival situations can be cured or helped along greatly with money so you live frugally and have enough financial sense to have an emergency fund, investments, material goods that can be sold or bartered, and a variety of income sources.
  • Your situational awareness is top notch.  Yes you can go to a vacation destination with the family and enjoy the trip but in the back of your mind you have already figured out a half dozen escape routes from your hotel, you know where the nearest US Embassy is, you've made friends with some of the locals, and you have studied the area (and the most recent news of the area) in depth.
  • You study survival like most people study NFL brackets.  Everyday you are adding to your survival knowledge by reading articles on current news, perusing survival blogs and websites for useful information, catching a couple of "how to" YouTube videos, and checking out survival forums without getting too deep in the weeds or going off the deep end.
  • You buy and use gear that is equally useful for a day hike in the mountains or a TEOTWAWKI situation.  But you don't buy every new, shiny item on the market.  You buy a tool for life--whether it be a firearm or a screwdriver--and take care of it.
  • You do a quick in-depth study of pertinent issues so that you have a pretty good idea of what the truth is in the midst of media-induced hysteria.  And you act accordingly.
  • You aren't an armchair survivalist.  While you read a lot and make wise decisions on gear, you also exercise daily to keep yourself fit, build stuff in your workshop, backpack in the mountains, experiment when in doubt, participate in activities that increase your skills, and help others when you can.
  • You use information effectively.  You can efficiently use all of the information and skills you have amassed to improvise in a variety of situations (ie: the skills you use when backpacking in the wilds for a week are the same skills that come in handy when the power goes out for a few days).
  • You don't put yourself in situations that have a higher than likely chance of causing you problems.  The people you hang out with, your judgement, the activities you partake in, your impulse control...all of these have a greater impact on the possibility of finding yourself in a bad situation than the random weather disaster or the chance of being in a mass shooting incident.
  • You can do anything.  "I can't" doesn't even reside in your vocabulary.  If there is something that needs to be done, you will, eventually, figure out how to do it.
  • You take basic preparation efforts as naturally as breathing.  You home is well enough fortified, you carry concealed, you wear a seat belt without fail, you have a stockpile of food, water, and supplies which is automatically rotated, you know CPR, you can barter with the best of them, locking doors behind you is automatic, etc.
  • You are constantly playing the "what if" game in your mind.  What if someone comes in and starts shooting this very minute?  What if the storm that is predicted for this weekend is ten times worse than what the weatherman says?  What if you are laid off from your job next month?  While it may sound like "the sky is falling" thinking, it is actually a bit of exercise for your brain to keep you sharp.
Basically the survival mindset means that no matter what happens, you will be much more prepared than the average person even if all you have are the clothes on your back and the few items in your daily carry pouch.  With the knowledge and skills you have, you will be much more likely than average to survive the disaster at hand and come out well on the other side. 


  1. I visit your site and blog regularly. Just yesterday I noticed that your site forwards to Were you aware of this?

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I did know about it and it looks like a new website build is in the making. I appreciate the note though.