I imagine most have either watched or heard of the television reality show “Doomsday Preppers.”
The show centers on people who demonstrate how to survive when the world, as we now know it, comes to an end for any one of several reasons, such as a terrorist act, economic collapse, fuel shortage, and pandemic.
Essentially, the show’s underlying theme is about being forced off your high-end, gated home and, subsequently, forced to flee to a rugged rural area and totally live off the land, minus the amenities and technological luxuries we currently enjoy.
Though some allege that “Doomsday Preppers” is an over the top, right-wing, conspiracy show full of contempt for mankind, others argue that it offers a common sense crash course in addressing a stark reality.
In no way attempting to incite undue worry and anxiety, however, I must ask: How would you fare if forced to flee to the mountains with only the clothes on your back and survive solely off the land? Could you take care of yourself, much less your children?
If answered honestly, I wager the majority of you would answer, “No.”
With that said, let me propose an idea, something I have somewhat written about in the past – something others and I feel make total sense and is achievable.
We should lobby our legislators to draft and enact a bill that makes survival skills mandatory curriculum in Tennessee schools.
A teacher who agrees with me said the best age group probably would be middle school kids, which is generally sixth through the eighth grades, because there is too much going on during high school.
Some of the mandatory survival skills that could be taught are:
If financially feasible, they would learn how to assemble, keep on hand, and put into use a basic survival kit for every household member. That kit would include a flashlight with batters, high-caliber boots, full-body rain poncho, bandages, gauze, sterile dressings, rubbing alcohol, knife, and matches in a waterproof Zip-lock container.
Students would also be taught how to make and utilize a splint for a sprained or broken limb. When fleeing from a hostile, threatening situation, injuring an anatomical extremity like a leg or arm is not only a common occurrence but most likely happens sooner than later. A well-positioned splint very well could aid the victim in aiding you, the rescuer, help him to safety.
Of course, knowing how to stop bleeding from a severe wound is also important. This does tie in with No. 1, assembling and utilizing a survival kit, but some hands-on instruction in a classroom environment about how to properly apply direct pressure and utilize a tourniquet could prove life saving when major blood loss is a factor.
Shelter is also a key skill students would learn. If it’s extremely cold, locating or being able to produce adequate heat is crucial to separating life from death, as is staying cool when it’s extremely hot.
And none of those skills would be useful unless students knew how to obtain food and water. In a doomsday situation, as your gut is growling and dry throat is throbbing with Wendy’s and Domino Pizza having been afterthoughts for a days on end, creek water, rabbit, squirrel – even a small deer – might become more desirable than any five-star meal you have ever consumed.
Do you know many students who have the skill sets to take down wild game, dress and cook it, and purify the creek water, in order to sustain themselves and others for at least one more day? I doubt it.
OK, we have named just a few of many survival skills that could come into play in terms of surviving off the land without any form of modern technology.
Parents, legislators and concerned citizens, does it not make sense to ensure that the younger generation has at least a rudimentary grasp of the skills mentioned?
And when I say ensure, I don’t mean these skill classes are merely offered in a school curriculum; I mean that taking and passing these skills courses would be mandatory.
Do you want your child wandering the wilderness in a school-daze fog, scared to death, or do want him to be Rambo ready?