Backyard & Camping Survival
By John D. McCann
The worst time to find out that some of your survival kit components are not what you expected, or that you can't operate them properly, is during an emergency situation!
I have always been a big advocate of, what I call, Backyard Survival. I discuss this several times in my book, Build the Perfect Survival Kit, and it involves using the contents of your survival kits in the backyard. Practice with the components until you are comfortable with them. This is also a great opportunity to test your other gear and practice your skills. If something goes wrong, or doesn't work, you can always go in the house.
However, once you have confidence in your kit, don't stop there. This a great time to go camping with your kit and all your other gear. Take the comfort items as well, and head for a regular camp site. You now have the opportunity to test your kit components further, but still with a backup contingency plan. Test that tent, sleeping bag, etc. while you're there.
While you're in the safety of a camp site, try setting up a survival shelter with your kit components. If things don't work out, you can always climb into a comfortable tent. Work on your fire making, signaling, and navigation skills. In other words, practice with a margin of safety. Don't wait until you're in an emergency situation to find that your kit, or other gear, is not adequate.
Analyze what components worked, and those that didn't. Be honest with yourself. Maybe it is time to substitute an item for something that works better for you. Be Critical! The items you choose for your kit have to work for you. Once you are comfortable with your items, you will be better prepared to survive an emergency situation.
Give Backyard and Camping Survival a try. It will give you more confidence in your survival kit components, as well as your skills using them.
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