fbpx

Posts

For many survival has become more than a hobby, it is a way of life.  The survival industry is a vast and ever growing community built around developing self-reliance skills and reconnecting with nature.  It is in this exciting pursuit many skills get overlooked and in some cases are underrated.  The thought of rubbing two sticks together is exhilarating… “I am man, I have made fire!”
tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img1
It carries this sense of accomplishment that I have not found in any other skill.  Then there is building this mansion in the woods from only what nature provided.  In comparison to our modern day homes it is nothing but some simple sticks put together to build a shelter, but that child like part of us sees an amazing fort capable of withstanding the weight of the world.  Each of these are vital skills as well as many others, but what about the ones that are just as essential, but not as popular.  Are we setting people up for failure, or maybe even… injury or death?  These are the Most Underrated Survival Skills that I think everyone should be implementing.

tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img2
#1 SAFETY – I am not talking about creating safe places in the woods where everyone wears a bubble suit, although I could see that happening in today’s society.  I am referring to teaching people good body mechanics as they move through the woods, safe food handling practices,  proper knife/axe/hatchet/saw techniques, developing solid communication chains (filling out an ISOPREP Report, and leaving with someone you trust), and understanding one’s own capabilities.


tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img3
#2 SECURITY
– Many times we associate the term security with tactical or firearms training, and in many ways those are vital to security, but what about the soft skills such as shelter location, perimeter alarms, predator deterrents (bear bags, bear spray, etc), how to respond to predators, and then the most dangerous animal in the woods… man.  Knives can be carried where guns cannot.  I highly recommend you develop some knife fighting skills.


tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img4
#3 SELF-AID
– I just spent 8 days training in some intensive wilderness medical skills, and realized that my knowledge of proper wilderness self-aid was sorely lacking.  I am grateful for this eye opening experience, and plan to make it a priority in my training.  I think every individual should at least know how to control/stop bleeding and create a sling, splint, and sprain wrap.  Want a real challenge? Try putting a splint and sling on your own without any assistance.

Vital Items every medic pack should contain:


tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img5
#4 SIGNALING/SELF-RESCUE
(NAVIGATION)  – With some basic navigation training there would be far fewer people getting lost in the woods.  Even something as simple as terrain association could make a huge difference.  I have been an avid woodsman for over 10 years, and I have been known to get turned around from time to time myself. I have found that just taking a few seconds every 100 yards to identify key features in your surroundings help immensely.  Carrying a good compass and understanding how it works is important as well.


tp_undrrtd_srvvl_img6
#5 SANITATION
(HYGIENE) – Last but not least sanitation and hygiene are rarely if ever talked about in the survival community, and the lack of sanitation is probably the number one reason for stomach bugs and infection.  Keeping your camp clean and tidy will promote good health and morale.  Designate areas for waste elimination (restrooms) at least 75-100 yards outside of camp.  Properly wash your hands when possible.  Even some coarse sand in the creek rubbed on your hands will help.  Bring toilet paper and bury/burn, or make sure you understand which plants or rocks work great for wiping.

I hope you enjoyed this post, my intentions were not to educate you in each of these areas; however to bring them to your attention so you might research and seek out proper education in these areas.  Please show your support Sigma 3 by sharing this blog post, and shopping with the provided links in this post.


etdable_bgs_img4
Justin “Sage” Williams

Director of Operations/
Lead Instructor
Sigma 3 Survival School

The Shocking Truth About Survival TV Shows

Being someone who has dabbled in survival TV and had a lot of experience in dealing with Hollywood producers, I feel more than enlightened to the ways of the Reality TV world. And since I’m not under
the_shkng_trth

contract, like so many people on TV, I can actually tell you how it is behind the scenes. No confidentiality contracts here! So many people watch TV and see these so called survival shows and think they are learning realistic skills. When in reality almost everything on reality TV is faked and the people producers pick for the show are based on character content and not for their actual survival skills. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but not many! Producers couldn’t give two shits if you have real survival skills and experience. Their vetting process is ridiculous! For instance, a recent show that I was picked for had a recognized survival expert call me and ask me about 10 questions over the phone to determine if I could survive. None of those questions related to any technical skills, just really broad questions that wouldn’t really determine anything about what I could do at all. And then from those questions I would be touted as a top tier survival expert that you should listen too. Well, maybe they are right that I’m the best of the best, but they sure as hell don’t know that from proper vetting. They see me on camera and say “this guy will make good TV, lets pick him and pair him with his total opposite so that there is controversy.” That is how it works folks! Really, the only thing they care about is how you’re going to interact with other members and if are you going to do something crazy from time to time. Because if you do that, they are going to get the ratings no matter what your skills are. So that is why I tell people that there are only a few real deal guys on TV and they are few and far between. I am personal friends with a lot of the TV personalities that you have seen out there, and even many of them will admit openly that they don’t know a ton about survival. Just the broad strokes, their claim to fame is TV personality and not a survival expert.

Survivorman

Probably the most popular show among survival enthusiasts is Survivorman. While I consider Les Stroud to be one bad-ass mofo, I don’t think that even he would say he is a bushcraft expert. He has trouble with even the most basic of skills such as primitive bow drill fire. I have beginner students that are more proficient than he is at bow drill. But do you know what? Les Stroud has an amazing mental survival game and sometimes that is all you need. That guy can just about endure anything and many times that is all it takes, especially if you combine it with some very basic skills. But you won’t learn much in the way of bushcraft from his program, so I recommend that everyone take everything they learn on TV with a grain of salt. It might be good stuff, but it also might get you killed! So Caveat Emptor or buyer beware!

Man vs Wild

Man vs Wild is a great example of a show that is entertaining but will probably get you killed if you take it seriously. Just look at the name of the show and you will know that this isn’t about true survival. Hell, I’m not even sure that Bear would call it a survival training show if he wasn’t under confidentiality agreements. The show is about doing stunts related to survival skills to get awesome ratings and showcase Bear’s amazing physical skills that he demonstrates over and over. That is more the basis of the show; doing exciting stunts and not real world survival. That is why Discovery Channel is always looking for the next Bear Grylls, because his show lasted the longest and smashed the ratings. It is stunt based TV that gets viewers excited and keeps them entertained, while showing very little real world skills for survival. And its all done under the guise of being a documentary, when its really not. That’s a perfect blend in most Hollywood yuppy producer’s minds. Honestly, Bear is a bad-ass and one of the strongest guys on TV but even he will admit that he isn’t a bushcraft expert. He is a great TV personality with a skill for presenting things in a fashion that everyone wants to watch him. Remember the talent controls no aspects of how the show looks or really what is done. As a TV personality  you are a subcontractor of your production company and are required to perform the tasks asked of you.

Naked and Afraid

the_shkng_trth_img2

I’d say the only real deal survival show out there right now is Naked and Afraid. It’s about the most hardcore show that has ever been on TV and there was no faking anything with the exception of some serious medical emergencies. You know you got a real survival show when the producer almost dies from a snake bite, another guy almost dies of dengue fever, one got extremely sick from food poisoning, and another almost most bites the bullet from infection. But even Naked and Afraid has its limitations on skill demonstration and many of the people on the show aren’t true experts. Or maybe they thought they were experts and found out differently under stressful survival conditions. Then again, some people on the show are amazing and you wouldn’t even know it because of editing. Many of the shows like this one actually down-play the success of the survivalists to make it look like they struggled a lot more than they did. Because suffering and problems is more interesting than winning and kicking ass in the bush. They pick and choose the winners based on how presentable they are on TV. You have to remember that every show has a story line and that the producers need to tell you a story filled with drama and then show a couple of skills on the side. That is the winning business model for survival TV. Drama, stunts, entertainment, and then education in that order of priority. Also, remember that even the best survivalist can get a bad edit. Many times when doing these shows I am asked what is my biggest fear. Every time I tell the producer my biggest fear for survival TV is getting a bad edit. I could literally go out there and live like a king and they can edit you to make you look like a total jackass! So when watching these shows you need to remember that some of the people that looked bad on the show actually did good, and some of the people that look fantastic actually sucked at the skills.

I have found a few exceptions to the rule about TV personalities, because I know some instructors on TV that are the best of the best. And guess what; I hired them! Laura Zerra and Eugene Runkis are the real deal and have the legitimate experience to tout their resume and what they have done. Not only on TV but their entire lives has been a journey of self reliance and testing yourself against the wild. That is the way real survivalists are forged! Laura completed 21 days naked in Panama under some of the worst conditions ever with the worst bug bites I have ever seen, and they didn’t even show the worst of it. Not only did she have amazing mental fortitude, she had the bushcraft skills to eat well while there on the island. They don’t show it, but the team actually ate really well and Laura only lost 12 lbs because she was eating crab/lobster, coconuts, and various other wild foods most of the time she was surviving! That is how you separate the winners from the losers on the show. I always tell my students what separates the men from the boys is the ability to eat well while in the bush and Laura lost the least weight of anyone of the show under some of the worst conditions. That is how you know she kicked ass!

the_shkng_trth_img3

Now, I’ve been on more than one survival TV try-out and I was the only real survival expert there on the final cut. You get all types, but rarely do you get the true sage bushmen on a TV show. Most beginners don’t know how to tell the difference because you will only see it in the minor details of the skills demonstration because editing really is a magical art. I’m just telling you this from the perspective of a full time survival instructor; take what you see and hear on TV with a grain of salt because most of it is faked. The number one rule to remember when watching these shows is that they are for entertainment only! The only way to get real survival training is to get some instruction and then get out in the woods and get some dirt time. Dirt time is the only thing that will lead to a truly well rounded survivalist that can live off the land indefinitely. And that is our ultimate goal as instructors, to pass on the old school tribal knowledge that will enable you to live like a king in the bush. So if you want to learn survival, don’t do it on TV. Get training, get dirt time, and get in the woods!

What is survival gardening? Survival gardening is making your garden invisible to those in your area by means of spreading the plants out over large areas and hiding them in spots that most are not likely to find. If you find yourself in a shtf situation, then you will not want your neighbors to know you have a huge garden and that you are eating good when they are starving. That is calling unwanted attention to yourself. Your goal is to be stealthy about all things and never let those around know you are fat and happy. Jealousy insights violence, so it is best to never let them know what you are up to. Never clump a bunch of the same crop all in one area. You have to use deceptive techniques such as hiding a small batch of plants behind vegetative barriers.

Plant species that are conducive to each other such as planting ivy type plants next to corn so that they can use the stalks to grow towards the sun. Underneath the corn you can plant sprawling plants such as squash which can actually help keep critters away from the corn. But you need make sure these clumps of plants are not noticeable and hidden in corners that get plenty of sun and nutrients. You can even use man made materials to funnel more rain water to individual areas.

Another extremely important factor is to consider animals and critter control. One way is to use chicken wire to wrap a fence around the circumference of the mini garden. Another more camo-ed version is to make a natural barrier with trees or debris. No matter how cautious you are about blocking these things off from the animals, it is inevitable some will get in. So, I suggest letting the garden act as bait for certain animals and then trap the heck out of the area. This will not only make this a vegetable source but it will also begin producing meat for you! In a shtf situation, you will not have the option to be picky about your gathering methods. So you have to optimize each food plot accordingly. And don’t forget to pick heirloom seeds only and make sure you always dry out plenty for the next year! Make your own fertilizer by mixing moist decayed leaf debris and scat to increase your yield! These methods should keep you fat and happy in bad days and come take a look at some of the courses we offer in this area if your interested in learning more!

Summary: Plant in a stealthy manner, use man made or primitive materials to funnel water and nutrients to plants, fence off from animals, plant like types and utilize ground area to the maximum, trap the area for large and small game, use heirloom seeds and dry out your seeds for next year, make your own fertilizer!

Have you ever watched the wise animals of the woods? Have you ever noticed that the smarter an animal is, the slower they usually move in there everyday activities? A wise ol buck is usually the last to enter a danger zone and the first one to leave. We should all take lessons from the sages of the woods. An old animal has to be incredibly diligent and mindful to survive many years in the wilderness. You will notice that other than moments when animals are playing that they are always conserving energy. Animals do not concern themselves with petty endeavors, only those that will sustain their life longer. Survival is all about expending less calories than you consume and as survivalists we should try to mimic the masters of the wilderness by following there example.

All creatures in the animal kingdom understand that for every extra movement or exertion of energy means they will have to find and consume more food. The old wise buck moves slowly and we should take our model from God’s creations when I say that we should slow down and be like the Ole Buck. Most animals you see killed are as percentages go, mostly from the very youngest of the harvest. The old Buck lives to be old because he moves slow and is prudent before he takes action. He thinks before he moves and is always aware of his surroundings.

As survivalists we must surrender to that code when we are immersed in the bush. Slow down and absorb your surroundings! Read the landscape so that you know what bounties it holds. That is why we practice the skills we teach heavily because when the time comes to survive then you must have mastered the technique in order the keep the Law of conservation of energy. The scout is deliberate and does all things with forethought. When you look at the woods open your eyes wider and don’t let yourself focus too much on one thing. By focusing, you cause your mind to be tunneled. If your vision is always tunneled then you will miss much of your environment. Focusing your mind on one thing is fruitful in modern endeavors but can be a liability in the woods. You should practice absorbing all the things in your environment like a computer, seeing all and hearing all but not focusing your attention to one specific thing. When you focus your thoughts to much on one thing you will miss other things happening in your area. See as the owl does and move as the wise ole buck.

My advice to all survivalists is to remember to watch the animals more in their daily pursuits. Notice how efficient each species is at surviving in their environment! Most people forget that the animals live in the wilderness all the time, and that they should be our true teachers on how to survive!

Sigma just completed our first shelter building class and we got rave reviews from the guys who participated. They seemed to enjoy the experience and I was even told by a guy that he learned more about survival in that one weekend then he had learned in his entire life. And this was not a rookie in the woods. We really do strive to go the extra mile to teach you as much as we possible can in each course. I believe in coyote mentoring to a degree but I also want people to feel they learned a hell of a lot when they come out! So, I find a happy medium!

Anyways, now that I’ve plugged the school, lets get down to the brass tacks of what went down at this survival course. The first and most important shelter to learn for any survivalist to learn is the debris hut. If you don’t know how to build this shelter then you haven’t even scratched the surface of wilderness survival. This is the shelter that will save your life if you become stranded in a cold weather enviroment. The insulation on a well built debris shelter is so thick that you can sleep in below zero conditions with no sleeping bag! We added a little something different to this debris hut. The number one complaint in debris huts is that you don’t get much sleep because you are completely cocooned in leaves and aren’t very comfortable.

Comfort is a relative statement depending on who it comes from in my opinion. But I wanted to teach people how to build an internal heating system in their shelter that was not only efficient but extremely warm in the coldest of conditions. The shelter temperature can be controlled by the amount of heated rock, insulation, and air opening you leave in the shelter. You can always raise or lower the temperature by adding more or less hot rocks to the rock pit. At the front of the shelter is a rock pit that is roughly a foot deep and completely encased with stacked rocks around it. When you put the heated rocks into the pit and close the door behind you, it will radiate heat into the space and get it cookin in a real hurry! The rocks will stay heated for a very long time, usually till morning and into the next day.

Comfort is king in survival! Discomfort decreases your chance of thriving and that increases your chances of not surviving. A comfortable survivor is a happy survivor and a happy survivor is one with a positive attitude. It is absolutely essential to retain a positive state of mind in a survival situation. The brain is like a computer and if you continually program it with negative thinking then you will create a self fulfilling prophecy in your survival scenario! So freakin stay positive no matter what and use your head!

Just remember that shelter is numero uno! Then you need to worry about water, but you always build your shelter within reasonable distance of water. The two go hand in hand! Fire is the next key variable in the equations and one of the more difficult to master. Food is the final element that you must be concerned with, but of least importance in the short term. Master the sacred order of survival and you will be fine anywhere you go.

I’m not going to talk about the jungle hooch construction to much but I want to tell everyone a little bit about. Its based on an A-frame design that keeps you off the ground in a platform debris bed. This is bar none the most comfortable survival shelter I have ever constructed and I think people even with the worst of backs could sleep comfortably in one of these. It is a foot thick leaf bed and the debris conforms to your body. I call it primitive survival memory foam and its patent pending :)! I personally like it better than my mattress at home but I am a survival school instructor, so you might take that with a grain of salt! But to back up my claims we have had others sleep in it and they gave me great reviews. So I’m self proclaiming it worlds most comfortable Sigma Survival Shelter!

We all had a lot of fun that weekend and all the students said they were definitely coming for the next course. I want to thank everybody for coming out and it was a pleasure to host something that’s been a dream of mine for many years now. My hope is that we can create an unsurpassed training environment for those interested in survival-ism in all its forms. Whether you are worried about being lost in the woods, or handling an altercation in an urban environment; Sigma III Survival was designed to meet that need. If you have a desire to train the skills necessary to survive in a hostile world, then come join us today! Please help support Sigma so we can create something for everyone to enjoy!

Andrew McIntosh said on 11/3/10 – 02:01PM

Comment: The shelter class was great. As a former member of the SWAT team I can say that all my survival skills were very short term and mostly tactical. In this class I learned how to think about turning a short term survival situation into a long term prospect. Another words plan for long term and hope for short term. Also Robert instructed us in some tactial shelters that could be used by anyone ( Hunters or Combat ). The point is that I learned more in this class about surviving than I have any where else.

Recommended Shelter Gear:

Warbonnet Shelter System

Aqua Quest Tarp Kit

ENO Eagles Double Nest Hammock

Events

This survival trapper course will cover absolutely every aspect of trapping that you need to know for your survival and bushcraft needs. Survival is very much a lazy man’s game because of the necessity of conserving calories. For every calorie we burn, there is some kind of food source that must replace that. That is why trapping is King when it comes to eating in the wilderness.

TRAPS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN HUNTING!

Trapping is such a pivotal skill because traps will work for you while you’re sleeping and when you’re at camp doing nothing. While hunting requires a great expenditure of calories in order to procure that meat. The survival trapper will always eat better than the hunter because it’s a numbers game. With hunting you can only be in one place at a time. With traps you can be in many places gathering food at once.

THESE SKILLS WILL MAKE SURE YOU EAT! ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

This is the most important course you can take from us if you want to eat red meat on your wilderness adventures. We will cover the use of modern steel traps as well as primitive traps that can be constructed with just sticks. Both are highly effective and we will cover the most relevant skills that you need to survive and eat good!

THE MOST SUSTAINABLE FOOD SOURCES ARE FROM TRAPPING!

This is the checkout page. If you need more details, check out the actual class page. Or better yet, just call us, the phone number is listed below.

Difficulty Rating: Level 3

The survival instructor course is hands down the most difficult and grueling course we offer. It includes everything we teach at SIGMA 3 and will prepare you for anything the outdoor world has to throw at you. This course is designed to immerse you into the wilderness where we will teach you everything you need to know about bushcraft and survival skills.

YOU WILL SLEEP IN PRIMITIVE SHELTERS FOR 45 DAYS!

You’ll begin with the survival standard course and work your way through the entire program of courses we offer, with much more included than our regular standard programs. We get much more in depth and add difficulty elements to all the classes for instructor candidates.

This survival instructor course also has the opportunity to teach for us and make money. But most students take this course for the other benefits it offers. There is just something that can’t be explained about what 45 days completely immersed in the wilderness will do for your soul. But this is definitely a life changing course. You will never look at the world the same way after we open you up to these survival skills.

COME TEACH FOR US & MAKE MONEY!

Survival truly is the martial art of freedom. And nothing else out there can empower you to travel and adventure more than these skills will. Come join the SIGMA tribe and gain the skills that will enable you to survive in comfort anywhere you travel!

For more info, make sure to visit the class page. This is the checkout page and has limited information. Or better yet, give us a call. The number is listed below. We can’t wait to get some dirt time with you! Call today for more info.

This survival trapper course will cover absolutely every aspect of trapping that you need to know for your survival and bushcraft needs. Survival is very much a lazy man’s game because of the necessity of conserving calories. For every calorie we burn, there is some kind of food source that must replace that. That is why trapping is King when it comes to eating in the wilderness.

TRAPS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN HUNTING!

Trapping is such a pivotal skill because traps will work for you while you’re sleeping and when you’re at camp doing nothing. While hunting requires a great expenditure of calories in order to procure that meat. The survival trapper will always eat better than the hunter because it’s a numbers game. With hunting you can only be in one place at a time. With traps you can be in many places gathering food at once.

THESE SKILLS WILL MAKE SURE YOU EAT! ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

This is the most important course you can take from us if you want to eat red meat on your wilderness adventures. We will cover the use of modern steel traps as well as primitive traps that can be constructed with just sticks. Both are highly effective and we will cover the most relevant skills that you need to survive and eat good!

THE MOST SUSTAINABLE FOOD SOURCES ARE FROM TRAPPING!

This is the checkout page. If you need more details, check out the actual class page. Or better yet, just call us, the phone number is listed below.

Difficulty Rating: Level 3

The survival instructor course is hands down the most difficult and grueling course we offer. It includes everything we teach at SIGMA 3 and will prepare you for anything the outdoor world has to throw at you. This course is designed to immerse you into the wilderness where we will teach you everything you need to know about bushcraft and survival skills.

YOU WILL SLEEP IN PRIMITIVE SHELTERS FOR 45 DAYS!

You’ll begin with the survival standard course and work your way through the entire program of courses we offer, with much more included than our regular standard programs. We get much more in depth and add difficulty elements to all the classes for instructor candidates.

This survival instructor course also has the opportunity to teach for us and make money. But most students take this course for the other benefits it offers. There is just something that can’t be explained about what 45 days completely immersed in the wilderness will do for your soul. But this is definitely a life changing course. You will never look at the world the same way after we open you up to these survival skills.

COME TEACH FOR US & MAKE MONEY!

Survival truly is the martial art of freedom. And nothing else out there can empower you to travel and adventure more than these skills will. Come join the SIGMA tribe and gain the skills that will enable you to survive in comfort anywhere you travel!

For more info, make sure to visit the class page. This is the checkout page and has limited information. Or better yet, give us a call. The number is listed below. We can’t wait to get some dirt time with you! Call today for more info.

© Copyright - Survival School Site Built By: Overhaulics