Surviving Distressed Environments Demands a Mastery of First Aid Techniques

In a true survival environment, the ability to render useful first aid to yourself, your family members, and those in your immediate community will be no less important than the ability to procure food. While it is easy under normal conditions to take for granted access to health care, including access to highly-trained physicians, prescription medication, and testing facilities, your ability to utilize those kinds of services and products can be quickly compromised in a distressed environment. Maybe the drug stores won’t exist for a time…perhaps the hospitals will be shut down or otherwise unavailable; even if medical and pharmacy facilities are open and functioning, what about your ability to get to them? Perhaps there will be no means of convenient transportation available for you to go where you need to for any kinds of services like these.

Given all of the unfortunate possibilities that can affect you in a distressed environment, it is imperative that you have the practical knowledge necessary to administer first aid. When I say practical knowledge, I’m specifically referring to that which is learned in a hands-on environment from competent instructors, and where you have to actually show competency in the various tasks in order to pass the courses. Trying to gain your training from books and videos may be better than nothing, but not by much; this area is just too important to be left up to reliance on passive training tools.

For starters…literally…look to an organization like the American Red Cross ( for training in basic first aid. The Red Cross offers an 8-hour live training for about $65 (at this writing) that gives solid instruction in a variety of first aid essentials, to include CPR and the operation of the automatic external defibrillator (a piece of equipment you might want to have on hand for emergencies).

If you’re interested in taking your training a step further, think about signing up for a course at Medical Corps ( in Marietta, Ohio. Medical Corps is a unique facility; staffed by a medic, doctor, dentist, and other health care professionals, it exists expressly to provide in-depth training in field medicine to “regular folks." The tuition, at this writing, is $350, and the course is several days in length. A variety of technique and procedures are taught, and the instruction is more involved than what you will encounter at the local Red Cross: plan to learn about suturing, dressing broken bones, pain management…even anesthesia and field surgery.

In a distressed environment, survival will depend as much on the ability to maintain good health and physical viability as on having enough food and water. That may not always be easy to accomplish, but the person who has taken the extra steps necessary to gain solid, functional training in first aid will be way ahead of the others who neglected to plan ahead.

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Survival Schools: Essential Training in Bottom-Line Skills

When distressed conditions overtake even the most urban of areas, one’s knowledge of outdoor survival skills become exceedingly important. When we talk about distressed conditions, we’re referring to a lot of different kinds of challenges that typically don’t confront us during normal, societal circumstances. One of the common threads that binds those conditions is a lack of power; power to operate home heating and air conditioning units, appliances, and motorized transportation vehicles. The upshot of these kinds of impacts is that people will find themselves having to exist outdoors, and so learning how to best thrive outside and without the aid of any modern conveniences becomes an extremely important skill set.

Most people come to learn what they know about outdoor survival from books and videos. That’s to be expected; any sort of circumstance or task that is not common to our daily existence is not usually one with which we have the opportunity to become directly acquainted. As it is, even the number of people who take the time to properly study books and videos is, sadly, far too small.

Unfortunately, outdoor survival skills fall into the category of those things that are just not realistically mastered from passive training materials, and make no mistake…when it comes to outdoor survival, anything short of mastering the required skills is not sufficient. Navigation, finding food, shelter construction, basic first aid…these are just some of the subject areas of outdoor survival on which you will be happy to have received the proper, hands-on training when your need to rely on these skills moves from “maybe” to “definite.”

Note that not all survival schools are exactly the same in makeup and theme; for example, some emphasize wilderness survival over survival in other kinds of environments, while some focus more on so-called primitive skills training than on the specific environment in which one might find himself. There are some great schools to be found throughout the United States; here is a small sample of three of them:

Jack Mountain Bushcraft ( – Located in Maine; offers a wide variety of courses that last anywhere from a couple of days to many weeks, and which cover a wide variety of wilderness survival scenarios and circumstances.

Primitive Survival Skills ( – Located in Florida; offers courses in basic and advanced wilderness survival.

Ancient Pathways ( – Located in Arizona; offers courses in wilderness survival and primitive skills that range in length from two days to three weeks.

Of course, selecting and attending a quality survival school is but one, important aspect of preparing to persist in distressed conditions. Still, it’s one not to neglect, as the skills, techniques and strategies you learn could well save your life should you need to truly survive your surroundings. 

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