12 Survival Lessons From Active Duty Infantry

active duty infantry
070403-A-3887D-003 U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007. Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division are patrolling the streets in Dora. DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army. (Released)

Our nation’s active duty infantry has fought for our country for years, and are still fighting for our freedoms today. Not only are these incredible individuals, but they’re also exceptional role models for preppers like you and me to look up to.

That’s because these brave men and women know a thing or two about survival. They have been preparing for the absolute worst, and have been living in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth in order to keep our nation safe.

As a result, they have some pretty insightful tips for civilians like you and me on how to survive in case SHTF.

Each of us have a job: to prepare for the absolute worst. And that’s why it’s crucial to remember these…

 12 Survival Lessons From Active Duty Infantry

1 – Keep Your Courage

Courage doesn’t mean being completely fearless. Courage means being absolutely terrified – and moving forward regardless. Whatever is challenging you or blocking you from obtaining your goals, it’s important to face it head-on. It may be scary, but it’s the only way to accomplish your tasks and survive.

2 – Integrity Is Key

Integrity is a key value of those who serve, and it should be for preppers as well. Always do the right thing, and do unto others as they would do unto you. Also, always be honest, and never steal. The infantry has a saying “Never steal a dead man’s boots. If you do, you’ll most likely end up in his shoes.”

3 – Maintain Structure

Structure is key for success in prepping, and in life. Keep your focus, and don’t let distractions deter you from your goal. Also, get organized by buying a planner or notebook and making yourself deadlines to get things done. This will help keep your energy, focus, and motivation up.

4 – Memorize Things Easier

Writing things down is helpful for memory. However, writing down sensitive information easily runs the risk of it falling in the wrong hands. It’s easier to remember words than a sequence of numbers, so you’re better off writing down the numbers.

If you need to memorize a lot of words, try to make an acronym out of it. It can also help to think up ways all the items are connected – this allows your brain to remember them better.

5 – Set Short-Term & Long-Term Goals

One way to organize your life is to create goals for yourself. Be sure to include short-term and long-term goals, and create a short list of each (no more than three). If the list is more than three items, it’ll become overwhelming.

6 – Learn How To Hug

An SHTF event is rarely fun, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose hope. That’s why it’s important to “embrace the suck” and hug it. What do I mean by that? I mean take everything as it comes, and find hope and joy in the small things. By simply raising your eyes and looking around you, you can find things – even tiny things – that remind you there is still hope, and there is still good in the world. This alone will help you get through anything.

7 – Use SLLS

SLLS is an acronym from the infantry for “Stop, Look, Listen, Smell.” This alone is incredibly helpful if you find yourself in an unknown environment, such as the forest.

When you STOP, stop for a few minutes and let your brain process your environment. Gather your bearings, and figure out your next step.

When you LOOK, observe the area around you, and look up. This will help you search out any potential threats. Use binoculars to search far-off distances.

When you LISTEN, be completely still and silent. Listen for abnormal noises, such as twigs snapping or movement. This will heighten your awareness of what’s going on around you.

When you SMELL, smell the air around you. Smells of smoke, cologne, etc. are signs that a potential threat is close by. Remember – if a human is nearby, that doesn’t guarantee they are friend, and not foe. SHTF situations cause people to do unspeakable things.

8 – Exercise

Survival situations demand a lot from your body, and you won’t be ready if you haven’t been preparing your body with exercise. Prepare your legs, core, and upper body with both weight-lifting and cardio.

9 – Sleep

True, you may not be able to get a full 8-hours rest once an emergency hits. However, you need to take time to sleep as much as you can in order to survive.

At absolute minimum, allow yourself to sleep for at least 3 hours every night. Six to seven hours a night will yield optimum results (so take advantage of it when you can).

10 – Use Proper Hygiene

SHTF events will remove a lot of the hygiene practices we use today. However, an emergency is no excuse to not prepare for proper sanitation.

Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Pack baby wipes and use them to wipe down your hands, feet, face, and body. If you’re conserving wipes, hit the major areas: armpits, groin, chest, and toes. Wiping these areas will help reduce the risk of rash and infecti0n.

Also, make sure to wear clean socks and pack a bunch of extra pairs – you’ll need to switch them out every 48 hours. This is one of the most crucial ways to stay healthy in a crisis.

11 – Maintain Your Weapon

Your survival weapon is useless if it’s constantly dirty and malfunctioning. Clean it, sharpen it, and take care of it as much as possible to yield the best results in the field.

12 – Keep Your Priorities In Order

Many things are important in an emergency, but it’s important to keep your priorities straight in order to make sure the MOST important things get done first. I won’t make you think too hard – here’s the priorities you should have (in order) when SHTF (according to the infantry):

  • Security – aka setting up a secure defense. Look for threats, prepare to fight back, and engage them if necessary. You’ll sleep more soundly and relax more if you know your area is safe.
  • Weapon Maintenance
  • Sanitation
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Sleep

Take these survival tips to heart and use them in an upcoming emergency. You’ll be glad you did! Remember – Prepare Now, Survive Later!