Why Now is a Good Time to Get in Some Practice
Cabin fever, and all of the pent-up energy that goes along with it, is usually at its worst during the early spring. This is the time of year when temperatures go from freeing to mild before returning to freezing again. One way to savor those initial nice days of the upcoming season is to get out and spend some quality time with fresh air. This is also a good time to think about brushing up on some of your skills, re-evaluating some of your survival plans and putting your skills to the test.
In other words, take advantage of those nice, warm days, and use them to get rid of some of those cobwebs that have formed over the winter hiatus. Whether or not you’ve been keeping active during the winter or hunkering down, we can all benefit from getting out there and putting in some good practice time.
Test New Ideas
Chances are that you’ve learned a thing or two over the winter, whether it’s a new method of starting a fire or a better way to stock and pack your backpack. This is a good time to put those changes to the test and see how things work out. It’s also a good time to re-evaluate your bug out plans, get re-acquainted with escape routes and discover any changes that may have occurred since the last time you were drilling or practicing last fall.
You’ll quickly discover what works and what doesn’t. This gives you the chance, early on, to be able to make any changes and adapt accordingly. It will also help you to avoid going off half-cocked later on and discovering problems at a less opportune time.
Brush up on Rusty Skills
Take advantage of the first really nice days, grab your backpack and get into the wilderness. Build a fire, set up camp and run through the basics like where to find sources of food and water. Practice orienting yourself with a map, compass or the sun. Get your body used to the rigors of hiking, and ease back into the swing of things. These don’t need to be major expeditions either. The aim is to just get out there and make sure that your skill set is as sharp as ever.
Getting Back into Shape
The first few times you get outside and exert yourself are going to be challenging, and we all know this. However, it’s important to fight through the urge to procrastinate, and taking advantage of those early, warm days can make things a little easier. Take it easy the first couple of times you head out, and move into more challenging activities once your body loosens up and energy levels increase. This is also the time to start working on those new goals that you set for yourself over the winter as well.
Bug out routes are not the only things that may have changed over the winter. Trails that used to be your first choice of escape may not be available. Resources that you thought you would have may be gone. Your supplies in your shelter or bug out location may be compromised. Maybe your emergency contact list changed.
Use the spring thaw to re-examine what options are still available to you as well as exploring new alternatives. You’ll be surprised at how your strategies will change from year to year, and it’s always best to get a jump on adapting to those changes as early as possible.
All survival strategies involve some kind of outdoor or bug-out component to them, and the more practice you can get, the more confidence you will have during a real crisis. The spring is a great time to get a head start on perfecting your plans, so we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity as much as possible. Chances are that you’ll be glad that you got in some extra, early practice once the summer months arrive.