Real Survival Exercises… that you can do today

Know your limits and push them when you prepare

We are preparing for any possible scenario, buying things that we possibly gonna need, practicing skills that we gonna need, talking and discussing about scenarios. We are doing anything in order to be more prepared and less surprised when sky falls down, when trucks stop going and it is each man for himself (and family).

Rarely we are ready to admit that we can not imagine how things are going to be. I found that part of preparing very important.

It is hard to discuss about things that we can not imagine, but it is absolutely important to prepare your mind that lot of things are not gonna unfold on the way as we imagine it now. When this happens we push our limits. You might have to do things you never do, see things you can hardly believe.

We need to prepare ourselves that we will be confused because this is what happens when you cross limits and end up at place you never been before. We need to expect that. We need to be able to feel confident while being confused and in new situations.

I mention before my friend who went trough same SHTF situation like me, and in some areas he experienced much more things than me. We talk and laugh a lot, we spend lot of time together, many years. But still he can surprise me with some of his story from that period, i guess lot of years need to pass by in order to men can talk about some traumatic events.

He was wounded couple of times, his story about one of his wounds is quite good for understanding how things are going, and how little or how great you can do in some situations.

Prepare for confusion

They hold position in one of the ruined houses on far outskirts of city, more like a small settlement a bit outside of city, he was there with 12 more guys when attack came.

He says attack was so great that they fired few rounds only in response and then started to run, in very loud situation, with lot of firing and explosions they had enough time for very short discussion and plan, so they agreed that they run and retreat to a position some 2 miles from that house, if things get rougher they agree that backup position would be 1 more miles from first one.

They split in groups of 3 people and start to run trough ruined settlement.

I laughed when he said to me that after 1 mile he said to two other guys „f#ck the first place, let s go immediately to back up place“ But he said to me it was not funny at all.

One of them gets bullet in the head, and stayed there, they could not even check him if he is dead. After some time he said they were running through the woods, he asked me then „did you ever run through woods, in pitch dark, while bunch of the guys trying to shoot you?“

I did not answer anything.

On some small clearing he gets bullet in the thigh, and fell down, other guy helped him, while they keep running and he dragged himself through the woods, they start to use hand grenades in the direction where they tought attackers are coming.

Anyway they threw lot of that stuff, and after some time, everything went quiet.

They dragged themselves to back up position, he gets some more medical help there, there he realized that he lost most of his muscle on his upper leg, he said it did not hurt too much, not to mention that he managed to run over some time with that wound. Adrenaline and fear for your life does this to humans.

Little bit later 4 more guys came to that position, two of them wounded, nobody else came. Those two of them tell them that they get wounded with hand grenades that someone was throwing on them in whole confusion and dark.

They said that probably other guys from the group get killed on same area in the woods, maybe from the same grenades.

My friend and his colleague did not say anything. In that moment he started to feel pain from the wound, he says it still hurts him sometimes, even 20 years later.

Learning from your or others experience is important but practice too

The takeaway from this is if you train for SHTF put yourself in new situations. Start by running at night, when its raining on small dark paths (that you know in beginning). It takes time to get used to things like that and feel more confident when you hardly see where you go.

Survival is about advantages. If I feel comfortable in shady ruins or moving fast during pitch black forest that is a real advantage. You can imagine how to do this, but try doing this is much more important.

It feels funny to step into the darkness.

Simple things like running in the dark can be practiced and can make a big difference once things get tough.

Try this:

  • Run in the dark
  • Eat things you do not like to eat and try to appreciate them
  • Be able to get dirty without getting stressed about it
  • Walk different ways, get comfortable with unknown environments

Add your ideas in comments

Think about it this way, you are now in complete different world. Living every day like humans live. SHTF will be like moving on to a new, less civilized more brutal and unfair world. Like a fish in aquarium. When SHTF that aquarium breaks and you get flushed down toilet and have to swim in sewers. It is dirty and there are other predator fish out to get you. When the world changes you have to be ready to change too and from my experience many people could not.

If you hear this you might think, Selco has been in war so he describes very brutal situations I hopefully never experience. True, but in any crisis when people feel threatened they will turn unfair and every crisis will bring new situations. So when you practice this you will be better prepared not only for violent extreme SHTF, but for everything life can throw in your way.

If you are member of my course you will know from the interviews how unfair and wrong things can go. This helps to get better understanding of what to expect. Less surprises and hearing about successful ways to survive gives you a big advantage. But practice makes perfect so while theory is very important, a book warrior will never outrun someone who has real practice or experience.

Adjusting your life to do things not the typical human way and putting yourself in unfamiliar situations is one small change that can make you more confident when things get tough. Start doing it… better today than tomorrow. For some time now there will not be a better tomorrow.

Perfect Survival Shelter

For survival to have safe shelter was of course a priority once SHTF.

But these shelters do not always look like you maybe imagine.

At the beginning of everything, when all the shelling and shooting started most of the folks wanted a secure basement. Those who had one, often moved there permanently, to avoid hell outside.

Other folks started with all kinds of ideas how to create their own little fortresses. First thing was to secure any kind of openings of houses. Think about those scenes when people flee from hurricane and nail their windows with wood planks, just in case of SHTF you have to protect all openings not only from wind but from bullets, shrapnel and people who want to get in.

In most of the cases people used sand bags, dirt bags or any kinds of junk piles combined with plywood over that. Then they added a small hole for something like an exhaust pipe or chimney and attached some kind of improvised or real wood stove etc.

I remember story that if you used two pieces of plywood, and put pillow between that you made perfect device for stopping smaller caliber bullets, and smaller pieces of explosive devices. The cushioning did the trick. People used that a lot.

After some time when people started to learn from bad experiences and stories they heard about things changed. Folks realized that being in the basement is not a good option, because they can be easily trapped inside.

I am talking about situation when you and your family are hidden inside basement, even if you have enough food, water, even if you are pretty good with weapons and have enough ammo, it can be tricky if you do not have few more exits from the basement, you could be easily get caught there and killed (or like in some cases burned or smoked out).

In some parts of the town, depending on situation and if they were under heavy shelling or not, people chose to stay sometimes on top floors of higher buildings of partially destroyed houses. They used these places as their base, and moved through destroyed apartments to other houses.

Over the time when you get to know enough that building with all holes and passages between apartments you could easily be something like a „king“ of the place.
I mean it would be nightmare for someone, or even a group of people to attack you there, especially because the whole building was changing almost every day when things broke down or new shells hit. I mean new holes and passages would open, old ones would closed etc.

If you saw the video in the course area in which I visit one house at frontline with Jay, these houses also have many small holes just big enough to push rifle through and shoot people. Now imagine not knowing this building and having to go through at night in complete darkness…

I had a relative who had an apartment in building of 10 floors. Due to heavy shelling building was partially burned, some floors completely destroyed, from the outside building looked like it is gonna fall apart at any moment, actually it looks like it started to collapse in the middle of the building and suddenly stop. Most of the folks run from the building, he stayed, for months, and survived.

He told me that even with all horrible things going on he had some kind of feelings that he was a rich man, he had all the building for himself, all of the normal entrances and exits were shut down, buried under rubble, mostly because of the destruction, but he also moved a lot of dirt and garbage to some in order to shut them down.

While others were in their small little rooms, whole families huddled together, he had a whole apartment complex for himself. He inspected his “kingdom” every day during daytime to look for changes and check his traps.

He made primitive traps and few explosive traps, most of the time he was left alone by anyone. He never had problems with gangs. Only few desperate people wanted to enter a ruin that looked like breaking down anytime.

When someone entered building in order to check if there is anything useful inside he just used holes between apartments and floors to move away from them. Nobody tried to come up to higher floors.

It was impossible to move trough the building and especially higher up for others without knowing it and probably because people constantly feared it would collapse nobody took time to find out my relatives secret ways.

After everything ended and we get in contact, he gets me to that building and took me on some kind of tour.

He had his own whole new system how he can get from first floor to 8th floor where he had some kind of base. Normal entrance was buried, we used one balcony, then covered hole to another apartment, then disguised hole and rope to second floor etc. like a big adventure playground, just that all dangers were very real.

To get up to his base it took us some two hours of crawling, uncovering holes, climbing, he said it was so long because he watched me so I would not run into the traps that he made, mostly peaces of big rocks that he put so if someone walks or crawls or puts hand on some place and they get buried under junk.

It was smart idea, because whenever someone ran in one of his traps it just looked like accident and if that person was with small group they left quickly in fear this can happen to more of them.

He said for him it took some 20 minutes for him from base floor to his base on 8 floor.
On the roof of the building he had something like playground, I guess, because he said that whenever he felt down he goes there at night and ride bike that he took from some apartment. Creepy and a bit crazy.

He would not go out so often, he said, I suspect that had something to do with fact that he had a lot of opportunity to trap people when they came to check the building and collect their supplies. He never spoke about how he got his supplies to survive but he was alone and that is only way I see.

Funny thing is that building did not collapse due to damage and shelling, but after everything ended authorities leveled it with explosive and built mall there.

I lost contact with my relative, I heard that he became weirder and weirder. I guess that has something with waiting for months every day that building gonna collapse on your head.

Point of everything in this story is that perfect shelter does not need to look like perfect shelter.

Sometimes perfect shelter does not need to look like shelter at all, and still it is just perfect shelter. It can be a place where nobody else can and wants to be except you.

Perfect shelter can be a place where in all of the chaos you make the rules.