One of my favorite activities, when I was younger, was Mountain Climbing. It was on these expeditions that I learned a lot of important lessons that I have been able to translate into prepping. In this article I want to discuss 7 prepper lessons I learned from mountain climbing.
On my first mountain climbing expedition, we did Tabeguache and Shavano Mountain in Colorado. The following year I climbed Mountain Elbert which is the tallest mountain in Colorado. My 3rd year, we were going up Mount Sherman when we got snowed out. Then I returned a 4th year to do Mount Elbert again. I’ve also climbed Mount Baldy in New Mexico twice, once in full gear.
Here are 7 lessons I learned from climbing these mountains.
#1. Know your gear
It’s easy to purchase survival gear, make a bug out bag, pick up a new rifle but if you don’t have experience with them, during times when you need them the most, especially times of stress, you may realize you have things setup incorrectly or realize you’re missing important items you left out. If you’ve got a Bug out Bag, make it a point to take that bug out bag for a night or two and learn what works and what doesn’t work. You’ll probably come to realize that some expensive, heavy piece of gear you thought was important to have in your bag is better left at home and replaced with an alternative that is lighter and cheaper.
Take that gun to the range and learn how to work through gun malfunctions, not just shoot paper targets at an indoor range. Probably one of the best things I ever did with my pistol and rifle was to take a 3-day course on how to properly use them that taught me how to work through problems that arise under stress. I came out with a new appreciation for my firearms and gained a whole new level of confidence in using them.
Know thy gear.
#2. Teamwork = success
Going alone into the wilderness also represents a very dangerous threat. You could easily break an ankle or get injured and without any around to help you out, you’d be in a lot of trouble. Working as a team was important for survival for the environment we were in.
I often hear comments about lone wolves in the comments section of my youtube channel. But in order to survive long term, you’ll need others to help, even if it’s just extended family. I know this is a very touchy subject in the prepper community as people often mention they’d prefer to be a lone wolf. But who is going to watch over your house at night if people aren’t working in shifts? Being the only individual handling these tasks will lead to exhaustion, which will impact your health and well-being and lower your risk of long-term survival. Being exhausted will make you an easy target to those looking to attack you and in addition your immune system will get compromised making you a prime target for infection and illness. While the lone wolf may be able to live a difficult life by themselves in the wild, in order to thrive, you’ll need to learn to work with a team.
#3. Have people around you that know more than you
You’ll do well to find others around you that have more knowledge and wisdom than you do and learn from them. For example, I have a 79-year-old neighbor that lives across the street. I hang out with her from time to time and turns out that as a child, she did a lot of canning. That’s a skill I’m going to work on next year and guess who is going to be helping me learn.
This principle not only applies in prepping, but just everyday life in general. I own a business and I’m constantly looking to bring on talented individuals that know more than I do to our team. It’s enabled me to grow my company leaps and bounds in ways I couldn’t do when it was just me doing everything.
Also, try to actively learn from others. I recently wrote an article entitled, “How to Meet Other Preppers”. I’ve met some great individuals who I’ve gotten to know that have helped me tremendously.
#4. The wilderness is unforgiving
Mother nature can turn on you quickly and is unrelenting. The most important thing in survival if you’re caught outdoors is shelter. In the survival rule of “3”s, the first rule is that you can only live 3 minutes with oxygen and the second rule is that you can only live 3 hours without shelter. As mentioned in point #1 above, know your gear. It’s critical if you’re in a situation where you had to bug out to have the proper gear. You should Google “Dave Canterbury’s 10 C’s of Survival”. You’ll learn the 10 survival items you should have which all my Bug out Bags and Vehicle E.D.C.’s contain. These items help ensure you can face what mother nature may throw at you.
5. Take care of your feet
I’ve seen this same story play out many times on expeditions with individuals who didn’t take care of their feet. If you’re in a situation where you have to bug out, you’ll want a good pair of boots that are broken in. Wearing them for the first time when you’ve got to head out of dodge is going to be a problem. In addition, keep your feet dry and have an extra pair of socks. And regarding socks, have quality hiking socks in your inventory and in your bug out bag. If you Google “hiking socks”, you’ll find solid options that are not just a pair of cotton socks, but the kinds that prevent blisters and hot spots.
Your words carry weight. Someone that complains non-stop hurts everyone. Watch what you say. If you can’t be positive, then it’s best to keep your mouth closed. Morale can literally mean the difference between life and death. One of my favorite books is Unbroken. The movie wasn’t that great, but I highly encourage you to read the book. In the book, the author is stuck in the Pacific after their airplane crashed and of the 3 that survived, one guy simply gave up on trying to live. While they all 3 faced the same challenges, he ended up dying simply because he lost the will to survive. Morale during a time of stress in a scenario like a post-SHTF situation could mean the difference between those that will live and those that do not.
7. Stay in shape
As a prepper, it’s easy to focus on keeping all your gear in order (which is important by the way) but yet neglect yourself. In a post-SHTF situation, you’ll probably be forced to perform a lot of manual labor to survive. If you don’t have a gym membership, you should consider getting one. Also, a great resource is the website bodybuilding.com. They’ve got a section of their site where you can pick a plan and it will walk you through the steps you need to follow to reach your goals. I’m not suggesting you have to become some gym rat, but take care of yourself and get in shape. Your body is your #1 prep and if you neglect it, you stand a good chance of dying if you have to put it under stress.
Hopefully, you can find some useful information from this article. As always, be safe out there.