You cannot allow yourself to get into a survival comfort zone. It’s easy to do. The best example is the time spent at the gun range. Are you sitting at the bench, firing round after round from the perfect position? Or do you test yourself in a variety of positions like prone, one-handed, and standing? Are you practicing your draw, or simply plinking away in controlled conditions? If you answered the latter, you’re in a survival comfort zone. And you need to break out of it.
A recent article in Guns America reminded me of the necessity of breaking out of your comfort zone. Jordan Voight wrote “Foolproof Field Positions,” about shooting game without the stability of something to rest on. The piece was a followup to one he had written earlier on utilizing your surroundings for stability. He writes:
A good rule of thumb for unaided (no bipod or shooting sticks) field positions is: the closer you are to the ground, the steadier you are. Using gravity to your advantage, you take out more variables that could adversely affect the shot outcome like wind gusts, a rapidly beating heart, or muscle fatigue. This means, when at all possible, get prone. Unfortunately, this is the least forgiving position in a hunting scenario because of the elevation of the rifle muzzle. What makes it stable also hinders your ability to see over grass, brush or a slight roll in the topography.
If the situation won’t allow for prone, a hunter’s next best bet is a sitting shot. Remember, the closer your mass is to the ground, the less you have to fight gravity. Keeping the weight of your pelvis and hips on the ground is still a very solid position to be shooting from. This will also give the hunter valuable inches of muzzle clearance that he wouldn’t have lying down. While there are many slight variations, the most important part of this position is to keep “bone on bone”, meaning elbows go on the inside or outside of the knees depending on the angle required for the shot. Using your skeletal system for support in lieu of big, blood-filled muscles, prevents the pulsing blood from moving the crosshairs of the hunter’s rifle and allows for a much steadier shot.
I like the phrase “the closer you are to the ground, the steadier you are.” It works for much more than just shooting. You can’t have your head in the clouds when it comes to survival prep. You need to worry about practical concerns first. What if something goes wrong? What happens if your generator breaks down? That’s not uncommon. Do you have a backup? How long could you make do without it? What if you run out of water? Concerns like these must be addressed.
You Can’t Set it and Forget It
Being prepared is not something you can “set and forget.” Water and fuel need cycling, food storage needs maintaining (i.e. don’t let the rats in), equipment needs maintenance, your skills need honing, etc.
In a preparation plan, maintenance is just as, or possibly more important than the initial setup. You should develop a schedule of necessary maintenance in order to keep your plans on track.
Also, just like finding unaided field positions, you need to keep challenging yourself. Test your skills, test your plans.
Don’t Overdo It
One caveat applies to testing and planning. Don’t waste your time on the end of the bell curve. What that means is, focus on the most likely outcomes of a disaster.
Are you likely to lose power? Yes. Is your house likely to fall into a sinkhole? No. So should you spend a lot of time preparing for an eventual sinkhole? No.
There is such a thing as wasting your time in preparation for something that is unlikely to come.
Get Your Training Now
The perfect place to start getting outside your comfort zone is by taking some classes in firearms handling that will get you off the bench and into awkward positions. If you haven’t already done so, get your gun and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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