Sunday, June 29, 2014

A salient point on survival

The following excerpt is from Cody Lundin, leading host of the TV series 'Dual Survival'. Although a survival tv host himself, he doesn't think much of the genre, and makes some very important points in this interview with The Master Woodsman. (Think how Doomsday Preppers is looked on by actual preppers...):

LUNDIN:  Remember when someone told you they were a doctor and that was enough? Now, it’s “what kind of doctor are you?” There are oodles of physicians in the yellow pages for my little town. There are foot doctors, eye doctors, skin doctors, heart doctors, lung doctors, bone doctors, allergy doctors, doctors for kids, doctors for older people, doctors for female issues, doctors for male issues, blah, blah, blah! While not as diversified, the survival profession is the same way. Modern survival is different from primitive living skills, which is different from urban preparedness, which is different from homesteading, which is different from wilderness living or “bushcrafting.” They all revolve around various aspects of self-reliance, just like all of the different doctors revolve around dealing with the human body. But one does not go to a foot doctor to remove a cataract. Even many survival instructors are unaware of the differences, and the media, not knowing the difference either, puts out whatever they think is valid. One of the biggest problems I see, even among the majority of survival instructors, is context. It is one thing to know a survival skill, it is quite another to recognize the correct context into how that skill should be implemented in an emergency scenario. This is critical if people want to live. The best way to have greater control of the context, into how to use hard and soft skills to defeat a survival situation, is through years of field experience and training. Many people have survived situations despite themselves, despite the mistakes they made, and fate, luck, karma, whatever you want to call it does play its role in whether people live or die. But training with skills in the proper context of the supposed emergency is always the best training option. Training intentions are very important when dealing with a professional in which people live or die based upon that training. How could it be any other way, right? A paramedic is trained in both how to maintain a patent airway and treat a lower extremity wound. Both are valid skills to know in emergency medicine. However, if the medic treats the nasty looking leg wound first, at the expense of gaining or maintaining a patent airway, their patient will die. The first-aid skills, although both valid in their own right, were done in the wrong order. The context was screwed up for the scenario and the patient dies. This lack of context is a huge problem not just on TV, but in all media regarding survival skills, including so called survival magazines. The author, producer, TV host or whoever, simply does not have the field experience to be able to put into context the survival skills they think they are teaching. This is true of many survival instructors too.

So the next time you think your the super survivor, remember: If you know how to find water to last three days, and get caught in the middle of an icy rain without shelter, you'll be dead before you have to worry about thirst. Kinda like stopping the bleeding when the patient can't breathe...

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