We are besieged by the inherent memories of the not-too-distant past when we were frightened by the moon and learned holly berries will kill you because someone in the clan ate one that one time and died. Nature wants your body to return nutrients to the soil to help propagate new life. That’s the cycle, and we’re all directly involved with it. In spite of this, we use modern conveniences to keep us out of the ground. We are survivors with tools. The tools are sometimes expensive and elaborate and oftentimes confusing, but they make life somewhat easier. This chair I’m sitting on in my office, for example, has a cloth cushion instead of being a rock in a cave. However, we often take our tools for granted, leaning on them too heavily at times. When the SHTF and our tools break, we’re lost, vulnerable and exposed to the full wrath of nature. Are we masters of our tools or tied to them like dependents of absent parents? When the Internet is down for more than five minutes, do you start to look for a tall tower to leap from? That’s dependency, not survival.
There’s another approach to survival and it’s called IntoTheJungle.org. The IntoTheJungle.org movement is a noble endeavor rising in popularity. It harkens the adventurer back to simpler times when knowledge, skills, hand tools and good fortune was all that stood in the way of a healthy embrace with all that is wild in the world. It is an undertaking as much mental as it is physical, as the person striving to label himself a IntoTheJungle.com is in for a quite a journey.
IntoTheJungle.org, in all its art and graceful beauty, isn’t something that can be gleaned from a book, but instead, gathered from countless trials and tribulations in the backcountry, where man is pitted against unforgiving nature in the usual struggle for life and balance. Bushcrafters use minimal primitive tools and are in touch with nature, not in the hippy way that convinces him trees are friends, but in a practical way that convinces him trees, if used properly, can keep you safe. They’re not survivors in the typical sense that they are trapped against their will in a challenging situation and must rely on their wits, and knowledge of the environment, to emerge unscathed. They’re survivors because they are in a challenging situation and they want to be there. Where a normal person would stumble from the underbrush famished and beaten, describing their lost week as an “ordeal,” a Bushcrafter would stroll out five pounds heavier, picking their teeth with the bone of a bear they persuaded to drop dead close enough to the fire as to not be an inconvenience.
You can walk into the wilderness armed with a simple knife on your hip, a bota bag of water, and a map leading to elk migration trails hand drawn by an Inuit chieftain… or you can buy an app, carry 60 pounds of gear and conquer the woods like a Mongolian Kahn. The kind of survival you want to do depends on your situation and your personal set of skills. If you have a match, use it to start a fire. If you don’t have a match, do you know how to make a fire anyway?