Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Survival VS Self Reliance

Survival VS Self Reliance:

What's the difference? This has been a debate among survivalists for a long time. I now hope to clear up these commonly confused topics. To be placed into a survival situation you are caught off guard and generally unprepared for what has just happened. Sometimes it is a slow process that is fed by personal denial of what is going on such as becoming lost while out hunting or hiking. By the time the reality of the situation sets in you must work to meet those immediate survival needs in order to maintain life. Other times the situation can be thrust upon you swiftly and violently without warning, often this results in injury, shock, trauma or even death. This is accompanied by a host of other survival stressors that must also be overcome. Regardless of the manner in which the situation developed the end result is you meeting those two basic needs IE: survival and comfort.

This phase of the scenario can be overcome quickly or extremely slowly, sometime in the direst cases they are not met at all and the result is almost always death. Rare is the occasion that rescue arrives just on time. However if successful in meeting the basics and creating a system to meet them on a regular basis you will have entered into a self reliance situation. For a trained and dedicated survivalist this can come very quickly and the self reliance situation seems almost automatic. That however, is not the case, it simply seems that way because the scenario is well rehearsed and the survivor is mentally prepared to meet his needs.

Long term survival needs: Although we refer to it as long term survival it is truly self reliance. The main difference is that in a true self reliance situation the survivor can slip back into a survival situation with nothing more than a change of the weather. After an extended period of time the survivor learns to read the patterns, the animal movements and is more like an indigenous tribesman than a survivalist. In that case he has moved into a long term survival situation or more appropriately a tribal lifestyle until such time as rescue or recovery occurs. In a SHTF situation this could mean the recovery of the normal support systems. In the most extreme situations this could be small communities reestablishing trade and commerce even if only on a local level. Eventually this will happen and when it does you will have moved to level three on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.


  1. Thanks Norseman, most folks don't realize the correlation between the two, glad you cleared it up for us!

  2. Norseman, Sounds good to me. Great Site, Love It. Vinny.