How self-reliant are you? Find out!


When people begin to think about survival and being self-reliant, a number of different things might present themselves at the forefront of their concerns.

I like to hunt remote areas and to hike and camp where I can leave the crowds behind. So, for me, survival evokes the need for the skills, experiences and tools I can use to get out of the woods safe and sound after one of my outings. Being self-reliant means I won’t need a search and rescue crew to come find me. I’ve been turned around in the woods a couple of times. It’s not a comfortable feeling, so now I rarely go from my bedroom to the bathroom without a compass and a flashlight.

I’m fortunate to live in an area where flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts and other natural events are rare to non-existent. Now, if you want to talk snowfall, that’s a different matter. I had a foot of snow in my driveway on April 19 but in the Northeast, those occurrences are so commonplace that they’ve become mere annoyances and moderate inconveniences. I’m thankful that I’ve never had to face the complete destruction of my home and the loss of all my possessions. But plenty of people do have to worry about those things.

A couple looking at destroyed property
Ways to prepare for a natural disaster or wilderness survival are pretty clear. But what can we do about threats from a declining society?

None of us can go through these times with blinders on if we really want to be self-reliant. We can’t let our attention be drawn to just one thing for too long. There are threats all around us and not all of them are subject to the whims of Mother Nature. Some of the greatest threats are those that inflict a slow death through societal decay.

Rising prices can present a real threat, especially to those on fixed incomes. Shortages of food and other goods should be a concern too, because things could get worse before they get better. Crime is rising across the country, our borders are wide open, and our schools have become socialist indoctrination camps. Large corporations, biased mainstream media, and left-wing social platforms are the henchmen who control what we can say and look to control what we think.

I always consider moving, but where in this country are the remaining safe havens? Too often, my attention has been drawn to the next survival gadget I can add to my daypack. I’m making a mistake if I don’t start paying attention to what’s going on around me. There can be no self-reliance if there is no freedom. It would be great if we could live for today and not worry about tomorrow. But I do worry. I worry about not only my own freedoms and ability to be self-reliant, but the freedoms and self-reliance of my grandchildren. So, readers, what do you suggest we do?

Steven Paul Barlow, Editor

Editor’s Note:

A version of this article first appeared in the May 2022 issue of American Outdoor Guide Boundless.

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