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    Advanced Survival Skills: Challenges for Experienced Preppers

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    Advanced Survival Skills: Challenges for Experienced Preppers

    Prepping is like anything else, there are levels. If you have your survival basics covered, you have done some training, found a BOL, and maybe even met some people then you are well on your way.

    One of the next things to happen is the F word. Fatigue. Prepper burnout is real. It is most frequent when things aren’t going to hell in handbasket but prepper fatigue can also take the wheel when you have reached a certain level of preparedness.

    How do you keep pushing to get better? What types of things should you even be doing? We have compiled a list of some advanced survival skills and challenges for experienced preppers. There is a big wide world out there and, like John Paul Jones said, ‘you have not yet begun to fight.’

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    Advanced Simulation

    Let’s face it, we can only go so far with basic prepper training elements. One of the most beneficial things you can do is put your collective skills to the test in a simulation. Now, there aren’t a ton of these that are written down or conducted regularly.

    These take a little creativity and care to put together a safe but challenging simulation. If you have no one to help you conduct a simulation then you can always head out into the woods for an extended period with an established safety and rescue protocol in place. In layman's terms, take only a knife into the woods and don't come out for at least 3 days. You’ll learn alot about yourself and your skill set.

    Over the President’s Day weekend we conducted 4 person bug out simulation:

    • 8 mile hike
    • 3 Hidden Caches
    • 1 Overnight in the woods at 22 degrees

    We did it all with just what we found in the caches and what we could scavenge from trash and donation stations in the area. Advanced preppers should be testing their might, safely.

    Planning and Placing Survival Caches

    In your early days of prepping you might have crossed paths with the concept of caches. Survival caches that were created to hide preps elsewhere can be literal life savers. Most new preppers don’t have the resources or the understanding of how to properly locate an area to bury a cache and even how it would be useful.

    The route to your bug out location should have some hidden or buried caches. It's a good idea to store things like food, supplies, and clothing around your property. If you have a lot of good hiding spots it might also make sense to bury some weapons nearby.

    Areas near your job might benefit from a cleverly hidden cache that could provide you with the things you need to get home or get from work to a bug out location.

    • Identify the Location
    • Weatherproof your Caches
    • Notate the Location without Using Electronics
    • Check Them Regularly

    Attending Prepper and Self Reliance Events

    Every year for the last 5 years I have attended Prepper Camp. This is a 3 day campout in Saluda, NC the last week of September each year. Here I am blasted with a 60 class schedule over 3 days and you better believe I am going to have learned something new.

    There are more and more events in this vein popping up all over the nation. There is no better opportunity to learn something new, meet new people, and ask questions than doing something like going to a prepper, survivalist, off grid, or homesteading style event.

    Mark your calendar!

    Routine & Regular Training

    One of the first things that happens once you start to make some serious progress as a prepper is your desire and drive will begin to wane. You will find that it is a lot harder to get excited about training and spending money on preps. Even keeping up with the preps that you have on hand can be a struggle.

    The moment you add routine and regular training to your life prepping becomes LIFESTYLE and that is what we should all be after.

    Start Training Others

    From storage, to shooting, to bushcraft, to emergency planning, as a seasoned prepper you have the answers to many of the world’s concerns. People are worried about things like violence, access to resources, WWIII, and so on.

    The best way to get really good at something is to practice it. The way to become a master is to teach it. You are a teacher now. You can teach on a variety of subjects and you probably don't even realize it. If given the audience, what could you teach people about food storage, EDC, situational awareness, OPSEC, foraging, growing food, hunting, trapping, and home security? All of these are incredibly valuable skills in this day and age.

    Not only is teaching a good way to get better and a way to help someone out, you might be training the person who has your back in an emergency. Should the day come when America does face some kind of attack, you will wish the people around you had some of the skills you already possess.

    Your Group and Other Groups

    Let’s get real about finding people in your group. It's hard, right? There is no clear formula for building a group of preppers or even neighbors who will band together in the worst case scenario.

    The variables are numerous. The area you live in, the demographics and politics of where you live, the rules and restrictions of the state/county/city, even the people you live with can have a huge effect on your ability to make and keep up a group of like minded people that plan and train together.

    For those of you who already have a group, there is the next step. How about finding an adjacent group in somewhat close proximity. For things like force on force training, there is really nothing like having a couple groups who can work together. In a real event you will have another group you can mesh with, communicate with and so on. There is power in numbers.

    Reformat Your Neighborhood

    This is a step that is necessary but can really be terrifying to some people. Get a Google Map of your neighborhood. Zoom in as far as possible and then zoom out 4 times and center your home. This is the view you are after.

    What I mean by reformatting your neighborhood is to take this overhead view and then imagine what it would look like to be in a collapse of society where you live. Consider things like:

    • Defensive Positions – How would you defend your neighborhood?
    • Medical Care/Infirmary – Where is the best location for people who are sick or injured?
    • Command Center – You will have meetings with others in a collapsed society, where does that happen?
    • Strategic Exit – If you and your fellow survivors are met with overwhelming force you may have to flee. What's a good route that would be easy to follow with vehicles?
    • Roadblocks – Could you slow down an enemy with strategic road blocks?
    • Resources – Do you have wild foods and water in your neighborhood?
    • Guard PositionsSecurity will be a thing. Consider vantage points and establish a few guard positions.

    Consider all of these things and then annotate them on the map. Once you have your neighborhood reformatted for collapse make a bunch of copies but hold onto them until they are needed.

    Address and Attack Weakness

    In the early stages of preparing most people are completely overwhelmed. People don’t become preppers because they have this overwhelming need to ‘sure up’ their water preparedness. They arrive at the prepping world out of concern or downright terror of what is happening around them.

    Prepping is an after effect of the realization that you are on your own and the world is a much less stable place then you had originally thought.

    However, as you begin filling the buckets of basic preparedness your capabilities and your limitations begin to show. You find that you are really good at some things and downright awful at others. 

    It never feels good to recognize that you have some weaknesses in your game. In many cases these weaknesses are no surprise because they are likely things you have dealt with in the past. Maybe you are out of shape, or you are horrible at gardening. The good news is that all of that can be fixed. Almost every weakness can be strengthened.

    The first step is recognizing where you are weak and then going back to our training and routine section to work your way out of that situation. In many cases the fix is just more reps. You might need to take a class or learn a skill and then practice relentlessly. Make changes, make improvements and before long you will see those weaknesses start to disappear.

    The World is your Playground

    In the beginning we prep inside our home. We prepare to meet the needs of the people in our home. The truth about prepping is that it is a river of many tributaries. Once you transition from prepping as a to do list to prepping as a lifestyle, the world becomes full of opportunity.

    Guerilla gardening is a concept where you plant food producing crops in road medians, public parks, abandoned lots, and so on. You can build a survival network as large as you’d like. Start a 501c3 for just training people to be more prepared.

    Start a blacksmithing or woodworking business to hone your skills and make some extra money. Contact your local Farmers Market and propose a bartering stand where people can trade goods without cash or card.

    Advanced survival skills and prepping really have no upper limits. Your time, effort and creativity are the only limiting factor.

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