If you are into the prepper and survivalist lifestyle, then you probably spend a lot of time planning and strategizing what you would do when SHTF. The good news is that there is a lot of great advice out there online. But there is also a lot of really, really bad advice out there too. Some of this bad advice could get you killed. So, think twice before you follow any of these bad survival strategies.
1. Bug Out into the Wilderness When SHTF
This advice is incredibly common and there are entire websites and forums dedicated to the topping of Bugging Out. There are definitely some situations where you might need to Bug Out into the wild but, in most cases, Bugging Out is a very BAD IDEA.
Bugging Out is not the same as a camping or hiking trip. After the first few days, the survival food you packed in your Bug Out Bag will be gone – and you won’t be going home. How do you plan on finding food? Eating bugs is one option, but it isn’t exactly the glorified survival life you envisioned when you pictured Bugging Out.
And let’s not forget that the safest place is usually the one you know best. When you Bug Out, you leave behind your home territory and all the advantages which come with its familiarity. If it is security that you are worried about in a disaster situation, you’d be better off making a survival plan with your neighbors than fleeing into the unknown.
This said, I still do have a Bug Out Bag packed. I just don’t plan on using it unless I really have to.
2. Hunt for Food
As someone of the survivalist mentality, I love learning wilderness hunting techniques as much as the next. But, after trying a lot of these, I know that hunting your own food isn’t easy. And it would just get even more difficult in a survival situation.
Sure, I might be able to hunt down a deer in the wilderness now. But imagine a disaster scenario where there is no food left and people have fled into the wilderness. A lot of other people will have gotten the same idea as you, and soon there will be even less food to hunt.
3. Bugging Out Alone
Our society glorifies the “lone wolf” character, and there are certainly a lot of advantages to Bugging Out alone – like being able to make your own decisions, being able to move faster, and being less likely to get spotted. But there are a heck of a lot more disadvantages.
The obvious disadvantages of Bugging Out alone include things like:
- Not having anyone to care for you when you get sick or injured
- You will have to carry all of the gear; you can carry more when divided between more people
- You have to do everything yourself
- There will be no one to stand watch while you sleep
Let’s not forget that humans are social animals and we survive best when we are in groups. We make better decisions when we have someone to talk it out with. We become mentally stronger when we can share our emotions and doubts with someone else. We can share our skills sets and assets. So, while I love the solitude which comes with a 3-day hike alone in the wilderness, I know I wouldn’t like to be alone in the long term. Which is why I wouldn’t Bug Out alone, especially in a survival situation.
4. Stockpile Lots of Guns and Weapons
This is good survival advice, but only if YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THE WEAPONS! Simply having a lot of guns around isn’t going to do you jack if you haven’t practiced using them.
And why would you need to stockpile dozens or even hundreds of guns? Yes, I can imagine a scenario in which there is a major gunfight and you don’t have time to reload, so you’ve got all your guns around you. But let’s look at this logically. Guns are heavy and bulky. If a gunfight were to break out, how do you plan on moving all of your firearms to your location?
Or maybe you plan on getting a survival community together after SHTF, so you want to have spare guns around for them. But handing out guns to people who have no experience is a bad idea.
5. Hide Supplies from My Neighbor
On the surface, this is really good advice. If your neighbors know that you are stockpiling food, water and other disaster supplies, whose door do you think they will come knocking on when SHTF?
But much better advice would be to create a disaster plan with your neighbors. Not only does this mean that your neighbors will be prepared (would you really turn them away?), but that you can pool your resources. For example, one neighbor might have a great garden, another might have a lot of tools, and yet another might be a medical professional.
6. Suture Wounds
I get a good laugh each time I read that “you can use the threads from paracord to suture wounds in a survival situation.” Haha! Sure, you could suture wounds with these threads – but it doesn’t mean you should!
Only a trained medical professional should ever suture wounds. If you try the DIY suture method, the patient will probably end up with sepsis and die this way. Instead, keep some butterfly bandages or skin glue in your first aid kit.
7. You Need to Plan…
Planning is NOT enough! If you want to survive through a disaster, you need to PRACTICE your plan. Here are just some of the ways you need to practice your plan:
- Do drills of your communication plan
- Do drills of your Bug Out plan
- Take a first aid course
- Make MANY trips to your Bug Out location to get familiar with it
- Practice living off the land
- Practice making a fire under multiple weather conditions
- Practice making a survival shelter
- Practice hunting and gathering food
- Practice walking and hiding in the wilderness (are you really as fit as you thought?)
- Practice going without electricity in your home…