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At the risk of sounding a bit like a popular series of credit card commercials, we at American Survival Guide have to ask, “What’s in your pocket?”

Figuratively speaking, your “pocket” refers to your plan—your blueprint for personal preservation. Whether your primary concern is devastating winter weather or finding yourself in the crosshairs of a variety of man-made, life-threatening situations, you should have a good idea of the most likely threat scenarios and how you will address them before you put anything in your pockets.

Literally speaking, the contents of your pockets might be all you have to separate yourself from danger or death. When you do load them, do so with your plan in mind. Determine your everyday-carry items beforehand, and make the process of gearing up as natural as the muscle memory you have for other critical skills.

The key that connects the load in your pockets to success is a combination of your knowledge and skills, a positive attitude, your will to survive and the ability to adapt to a dynamic environment. Let’s call all of this “survival mindset.” And you can quit looking for this in your pockets—because it’s not there.

We get so fixated on the “stuff” of survival that we often overlook the “stuffing” that should be filling our heads and guiding our thought processes, constantly, endlessly, relentlessly. We hear all the time that it’s not enough to just have the toys and dress the part. It’s actually a matter of “practice makes perfect.”

So, at this time of year, when there is less competition for your time, go through the motions of how you’ll deal with your top several concerns. Whether it’s practicing your route to your bug-out location or spending a weekend living on survival rations with the thermostat set way low, take advantage of this time to sharpen your survival “muscle memory” and channel your survival mindset.

Another way to make good use of this time is to check out our growing library of information online at American Survival Guide. Whether you’ve got an epic collection of American Survival Guide issues or you’re new to our community, there is always something to be gained by browsing through the articles, reviews, how-to stories and information on a wide variety of gear.

And, when you stop by our website or visit our Facebook page, be sure to let us know what else we can do to help you make the most of what’s in your pocket.

 

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February 2017 print issue of American Survival Guide.

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