Two Misunderstandings About Survival Skills Practice
Because survival skills are a lot like any other physical activity, you need lots of training to improve your skills. However, there are two big misconceptions about training that you need to understand. Muscle memory and practice makes perfect are two common sayings that are not entirely accurate.
Practice Makes Perfect
Not quite. You would think if you practiced often and regularly, you would become perfect. But wait? Can you ever truly be perfect at anything? Exactly. What if you don’t practice the right way? When you put the art of practicing in context with survival skills, you have to consider how you practice. If you always build a fire by using your favorite knife, will you be able to build a fire when you don’t have the knife? One of the tricks of survival training is practicing a skill several different ways. Don’t focus all of your energy on one particular way of doing anything. Learn at least 3 different ways to start a fire and practice all of them with different tools.
You also must factor in the fact that survival situations rarely happen when it is a perfect 72 degrees outside and you are dressed for the occasion and have all of your gear with you. You need to test your skills under duress. Try starting a fire in the rain at night without a flashlight. Survival situations are usually filled with all kinds of stressors. Your kids may be counting on you to get a fire going and will be standing there watching you struggle. It is stressful and you need to be prepared through practice in various conditions. Practice under pressure and realize that when you practice in perfect conditions, you are setting yourself up for heartache and frustration.
Well, there is one major problem with this theory–muscles don’t have memories because they don’t have brains. But, I will admit muscles can be honed through repetitive motions. This is true of almost any physical activity like shooting free throws, throwing a javelin and bow drill fire making. Like any other physical sport, you will make mistakes from time to time. You need training and coaching from somebody who can teach you and correct you. Survival skills are no different.
There is one clear message you should take from this. You do need to practice your survival skills with your tools. When buying gear, buy items that can be reused over and over. You want to practice with the gear you will likely have in a survival situation. It just makes good financial sense to buy things that can be used more than once.
Thoughts from Beat The End
I believe this post while short and sweet gives one very important theme that I always try to push at Beat The End. Your knowledge is the most important thing as a prepper, but the other thing to remember is to get good and correct knowledge. Doing things the wrong way is really not going to help or be most efficient.