How to Train for a Worst-Case Disaster
How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.
These true words are the basis for “High Suck Factor” training for you to follow. What does this mean? No, fear not: we’re not going to siphon gasoline or another volatile fluid with a hose! No, this means that you need to train under the similar conditions (that “suck”) that you will be faced with in real life. This is an all-inclusive concept that does not just refer to the weather or training in miserable outdoor conditions. We will elaborate on what this means and how you can jump on this wagon to get the maximum, realistic effects out of your training time.
Firstly, anybody can disassemble a weapon on a clean, neat, dining-room table under a big light where there’s a cozy heater keeping your house nice and warm, with no distractions. That is not realistic for what you’ll need. Unless you’re on a range when you have a misfire and need to clear the weapon? When rounds are whizzing by your ears and overhead, that is not the time to wave your palm out vertically before your face and call for a ceasefire. You have to clear that weapon yesterday. The bad guys don’t stop shooting at you or making noise.
Train under the most realistic conditions possible. When you disassemble your weapon for time…practice until you can do it, first off. Then practice it blindfolded, or with your eyes shut until you need to look. Until you can do it completely blindfolded. Why? Because when an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) sings “Boom-Boom, Out Go the Lights,” you may not have any time when that jam occurs.
Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong at the most inopportune moment.
You need to learn to disassemble that weapon blindfolded…then with the loud music cranked up right next to you. Then outside, when it’s raining, with no clean, “Holly-Hobbie” table to rest on. Yes, it will suck! The weather will suck! But you will overcome it and learn to do it with a clear mind…never allow it to take you from your task.
Inclement weather, low-light levels, and noise. These are all very good things to use. Same for excursions in the field (or “camping” if you prefer). Why just wait for that perfect two or three days that the smiling weatherman assures you of? No, go out when it’s raining hard, or you’re threatened with alternating temperatures and weather. That will test you: that will take you to your limits. Anybody can walk all over the happy park with a GPS. You need to practice with that Lensatic compass…day and night, in difficult terrain.
You need to prepare your meals over an open fire when it is pouring down rain to test yourself. Learn! You won’t die, and if you feel as if things are too much, “can” the exercise, regroup, assess yourself, and learn from your mistakes. Then get back up on that bull and ride the next chance you can. You need to challenge yourself and see what you can do. If you don’t succeed, then go back to the drawing board and plan it out until you overcome it. Pretty soon, you’ll have (if you keep training logs, which are very, very beneficial and I strongly advise you to) all kinds of successes.
You should take your weak points and make them strong points. That is how we triumph as a species. You’ll be amazed at what you will be able to do under pressure. Break out those firecrackers, and on the 4th of July, instead of just sitting around blowing off M-80’s, turn it into a training event. Set up a land navigation event complete with an “ambush” by a family member with the fireworks. Of course, be safe, but use your imagination! Try disassembling that weapon, identifying the parts groups, reassembling it, performing a functions check…all blindfolded. Then fire at a target. All of this while the firecrackers are going off all around you.
The more realistic you make your training, the more relaxed you’ll be when it all goes to pot when the SHTF. You can make it real. Just use the planning and organizational skills you have, and outline your tasks beforehand. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you overcome the obstacles and take your training to levels you had not previously imagined. Only imagination limits us. Keep in that good fight, and train to win. The training may be simulated, but in the long-run, you will face the real thing someday. Be ready when that day arrives. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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