Preparing to survive a cataclysmic event that might occur “someday” is admirable. But hopefully, you’re not spending all of your time agonizing about a dismal, hypothetical future and losing the great opportunities of living a great life in the here and now.

There’s a good way to make the most of the present while preparing for an uncertain future. Basically, it entails breaking out the gear and supplies you’ve been stockpiling and going out and using them every chance you get.

As you read through your issues of Boundless, you’ll find that we’re now including some outdoor adventure and travel articles in addition to our how-to pieces on survival and self-reliance. The reason is that we believe participating in outdoor recreation during a travel adventure can provide you not only with fantastic memories, but also valuable experience and skills practice that just might prepare you to be more resilient in a critical situation.

Additionally, staying active can increase your physical conditioning – always a good idea – and foster a better, more positive mindset if you ever face adversity. How so? In extreme circumstances, you’ll have less to worry about if you’ve regularly kept an eye out for sources of tinder, shelter locations, and edible plants during your outings.

You won’t be as overly stressed in a survival situation if you’ve started a fire, purified water, and cooked over wood coals many times while hiking or camping. Have you ever spent a night in the woods with minimal gear? Try it under controlled, safe conditions, and you’ll find how little you really need to get by. You won’t be as frightened of being alone in the dark with all of those unidentified, creepy noises.

So, get out there and have an adventure. But think about trying to right your capsized canoe or kayak when you’re close to shore with help standing by. Learn how to patch an innertube on your next bike ride. Determine what tools you need to make simple repairs. Test those boots, so if you do end up needing to trek miles on foot, you won’t be hampered by painful blisters. Try those emergency food rations, so you’ll know how to prepare them and how they taste.

I am writing this as a reminder for myself, too. I have lots of outdoor and survival gear that’s rarely, if ever, been used because I tend to stick with old favorites that work. Much of the little used gear has come as gifts from family members over the years at Christmas, Father’s Day, and my birthday because ordering a new flashlight, knife, or fire-starter makes shopping for me very easy. I need to get that gear into the rotation, so I know my best options should the situation turn ugly.

For a good number of the emergencies we might face in this country, staying in our well-provisioned homes makes the most sense. But the war in Ukraine has made us stop and consider otherwise and about how quickly our lives can be upended and destroyed.

What would you grab if you heard the air raid sirens sounding or the missiles exploding? Could you travel light with only the basics if you had many perilous miles to travel to the nearest safe border? Many of us in the U.S. have been conditioned to taking many comforts for granted. We need to get back to knowing how to master living simply before anything else. A good start is to venture outside of cell phone coverage to learn we can stand on our own with one less electronic crutch.

Enjoy the blessings you’ve been given now while you can,  and pray for those who aren’t as fortunate.

Steven Paul Barlow, Editor

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