Saturday, September 29, 2018

We have plans, but do we have experience?

A mistake some of us in the prepper/survivalist community make is confusing knowledge and even skills with actual experience. But there is a huge difference between book-learning (or blog-learning, or video-learning) and real-life practical experience. Books give us knowledge (useful). Skills give us abilities (more useful).  Experience teaches us wisdom - how to put all that knowledge and all those abilities to the best use (wisdom). We cannot get experience and wisdom from a book, article, or video. We can only get it from doing.

There's nothing wrong with reading books, watching videos, or even taking classes. Those are good things to do, and we can learn a lot. But those things are no substitute for actually doing things in real life. Real life is different from books. Life has a different feel. It's messier for one thing. And there is more stress and pressure involved. We rarely get to put book learning to use under ideal conditions.  Books tend to teach us the "rules" but usually gloss over all the exceptions to those rules. And they never teach us when to ignore the rules (and sometimes we should). We cannot develop a "feel" for things or gain intuition by reading a book or taking a class. We need the real-life experience of actually doing.

Here is some good news: Getting experience is easy. We just have to start doing. 

We can get the experience (wisdom) we need for difficult times by actually doing things now - gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, collecting wild edibles, canning and preserving food, sewing by hand, and doing our own home & auto  repairs, just to name a few of the many things we can do.

Now, during these normal and relatively good times, is the perfect time to start doing because there is no pressure. If we mess up, so what? If our garden is a bust, we can still buy food at the grocery store. If our car still won't start after we've spent all day trying to fix it ourselves, we can just hire a mechanic. No pressure. Once SHTF happens, it will be a very different story.

Here's a great idea: get a lot of practical experience by volunteering to help build a house with Habitat For Humanity.  Also, check out local gardening clubs for both training and volunteer opportunities. We will learn lots of useful skills while actually helping people in need. 

The Bottom Line: With this article, I hope to encourage myself and other folks to put all that theoretical knowledge we've been collecting to use now, and develop the actual skills, and especially the experience, we will need later on.  

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