We actually had quite a bit of success with the prepper resolutions we laid out for ourselves last year, managing to make at least some progress on all 5 points.
This year, we’re sticking to the theme of a small number of really specific goals, while shifting gears temporarily away from prepping, and more toward wilderness survival skills, which would certainly help in a SHTF situation anyway.
Take a look below and to see if there are any resolutions you’d like to adopt.
1. Diversify fire-making skills by mastering at least 2 new ways of making fire.
Now this one shouldn’t be too hard, but it’ll require a lot of practice. While it’s not difficult to make fire if you’ve got a few matches, a lighter, or a firesteel on you, it’s safe to say that there will likely be times you won’t have any one of these (unless maybe you carry your firesteel around on your everyday carry keychain daily like Thomas does).
Don’t need to be too picky about your method of fire-making; if you feel you need some work on friction fires, start off trying to master those and move on. Needless to say, the more methods you’re versed in, the higher your chance of being able to make fire in the wilderness.
2. Learn about at least 10 new edible plants in your geographical region and be able to identify them accurately.
While plants don’t offer quite as many calories as animals do, foraging requires a lot less calorie expenditure than hunting or trapping, and is a lot less risky too. You may spend a lot of time trying to hunt an animal that you never catch, and your traps, which may take you a while to place, may come up short of catching any small animals at all.
Knowing at least 10 common plants (within your geographical region) that are edible is a huge benefit to you, therefore, as you’ll be able to get your calorie count up in case you don’t luck out and snag an animal to eat. Edible plants are even great calorie boosters that can be used in between the time it takes you to get a trap up and catch a small animal.
3. Increase personal stamina by taking extended hikes a minimum of twice a month.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s going to be difficult to get far while lost in the wilderness if you just can’t walk any farther. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to find a body of water in the wilderness, and there are quite simple steps to locating these bodies of water, but you can’t do any of that if you’re too exhausted to keep yourself moving in water’s direction. Do yourself a favour and increase your stamina. You’ll certainly be increasing your chances of survival in the wilderness.
4. Make 3 different kinds of shelters from scratch using only one survival tool.
You could knock this resolution out in just one full day if you tried your hardest. Though it may be easy to write off shelter in the wilderness, stating you’ll find a cave or something equivalent to sleep in, chances are, nature won’t be as giving as you hope it will be. Learning how to make your own shelter is important, especially if that shelter’s the only thing between you and some terribly cold rain. Hypothermia is one of the most dangerous factors of outdoor survival one can face, and so shelter is much higher up on the urgency list than eating, and it’s many times even more urgent than even attaining drinkable water.
5. Master at least 3 traps. Make them with natural resources.
It’s easy to say you’ll be able to trap your food in the wilderness, but when was the last time you practiced making those traps you learned? Can you still make them if you don’t have string on you? Spend time practicing making at least 3 different kinds of traps in the wilderness this year – using only the cordage that nature provides.
6. Learn about at least 5 new medicinal plants in your geographical region, and be able to identify them accurately.
What happens if you get hurt, sick, or ill in the wilderness? Sure, you may know that aloe can cure that burn you’ve got, but can you find aloe in your geographical location? I sure can’t.
Learning about medicinal plants native to your geographical region will help you only if you’re able to identify those plants accurately. You don’t want to be rubbing the wrong plant into your skin. You may end up with a rash on top of that burn.
Bear in mind, you should always take precautions, even when you’re only practicing bushcraft in the wilderness. While you want to be actively practicing bushcraft and survival skills, you don’t want to put yourself into a situation where testing yourself becomes a real survival situation. Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Take water and food with you as back up. Remember, testing yourself should not involve actually putting yourself in harms way.