Friday, September 17, 2010

Survival the beginning and fluidity

Those of you that have the opportunity to check out survival check out Cody Lundin. He now has a show called “Dual Survival”. What I like about his stuff is his basic concept, which is maintaining your body core temperature.

If you can keep this as a basic concept setting up your priorities of work make more sense. Every survival guy and expert has his or her own set of rules about what order to do everything. Many of them keep this order as gospel. The truth is, the “situation dictates”. This is a saying we had in the Corps about everything. It is true, unless it is mechanical or building something that is not dynamic the order is dictated by A + B + C +D. Survival doesn’t work that way.

Survival is I need all these parts to keep my body operating in normal operating conditions. This means that if you are in 110-degree heat with no chance of rain, building a fire may not be a priority. Maybe a shelter is more important to protect you from the sun. If it just started raining and it is only going to get worse maybe a shelter and dry firewood/tinder is priority and water gathering is put on the back burner. This means that you cant live in a checklist mentality. You have to live in a freethinking mentality that allows for flexibility and being dynamic.

This also means that you have to have the basic skillsets covered. You have to be able to do them well. It also means that you should be good enough to use what you have with you to perform these needed tasks. It doesn’t mean that you need to be able to walk out with nothing and pressure flake a knife, start a fire with sticks and make cordage out what you find kill an animal and build a wikiup. These are great skills but they take time to develop. For example I learned how to use a bow drill at sea level in mild humidity and could get a fire started with raw materials (to include making all the parts and tinder with raw supplies) in 8 min. I practiced 3 or 4 times a day for 2 weeks, then went into the mountains and couldn’t get a fire started because of less oxygen at altitude. If that had been my primary fire starter I would have been screwed. Mountains at night are cold. My friend Ben and I were camping in the mountains and were using sparked based fire starting, ferrocerium rod and knife, in a place that had been raining for 3 days. 30 min later we had a fire that burned well until we put it out 2 hours later. Then I go to a super humid area and it was HELL keeping a fire lit with dry wood. It was so hard to keep that thing running it actually made me tired and grumpy.

So in short you have to keep your body core temp stable, and you can only do this by maintaining food and water intake, shelter, fire, and mindset/attitude.

You have to practice and use the stuff that you have with you.

You have to be comfortable with failing.

You have to have a plan B.

You have to be dynamic and willing to change your mind but at the same time don’t give up because you’re lazy or it’s difficult. Surviving is not easy but it is simple.

Find someone you connect with to teach you and practice in a controlled environment then take it outside. Once outside have more than one way to accomplish the task being practiced. Don’t decide to practice them all at once.

Make it fun!


  1. I appreciate all the great info.
    Great picture this time, too.

  2. Hey Adam! What backpack was it that you had in The Colony? The larger one. Could you post some pics of it at some point? Thanks.

    Love the show btw.

  3. Johan I will do a whole thing on the backpack. It is a prototype I designed there is only one of them I will give a detailed report later.

  4. Ok, sounds cool, looking forward to it. From what I could see from the outside of it, it looked very minimalistic, which I really like. It kind of reminds me of a backpack I recently bought, called the Milspex Recon.

  5. Adam, I sent you a post on Facebook re; observational training. Your post here is great. I am sending it to my friend, Lt. Fred Leland ( He is an expert on John Boyd's OODA Loop and will like what you have said her about adaptability. Great example of the OODA.