I imagine it’s difficult for most people to identify exactly when a passion began for them, but for me 1 event stands clearly as a catalyst for my passion for all things “survival”. In 5th grade while I attended a tiny public school in north western Connecticut we began a lesson on Hatchet by Gary Paulsen My English teacher was amazing and the school granted her permission to take our class of 12 into the forest across the street and try to build shelters like Brian did.
The group I was in built a lean to over an outcropping of rocks “for protection” obviously, the teacher had to explain to us that it would probably be very cold and drafty and there was no real way for a fire to be inside our structure. It was all constructive criticism, we weren’t the best shelter, but I wanted to be, so I dove into every survival book I could find, fiction and non fiction. I found more of the Brian Saga from Gary Paulsen, I then found The Island Series by Gordon Korman, they all sat on my shelf beside Army Manuals and SAS Survival Guides, many of them sit there to this day.
To this day, I surround myself with books and magazines hi lighting survival, wether the situation is short term like being lost or stranded all the way to long term subsistence in the case of an economic collapse. I horde information of all kinds, I have a problem, I have so many interests that it’s difficult to sit down and master one area of expertise, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It’s a blessing and a curse.
Survival, I’ve found, isn’t just about building a fire and a shelter, it’s about knowledge, and it’s about surrounding yourself with the right people. I dedicate myself every day to learning; sometimes it’s a new skill, sometimes it’s a project, often I find myself brushing up on math or science because as I return to subjects I struggled with as a teen with a new sense of purpose, and from a different mind set I find the information more enjoyable and sometimes easier to comprehend.
Now there are obvious flaws within the current education system, most of them won’t change or go away, I’m creating The Stunning Survivalist as a way to fill in the gaps. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how you got here, you are here, looking to better yourself and your situation.