You eat, and by any means necessary, or you don't, and you die… Life is an endless search for energy. Do you know where your next meal will be from?

This quote from a new video by The Wooded Beardsman reminds us about the harsh reality of finding food in a survival situation. As survivalists, it's a topic we often insulate ourselves from. We may think: My bug-out bag is stocked with several days of freeze-dried food, I have a basement stockpile that'll last for months, and when those run out, I know several places to scavenge in a nearby town. I have firearms to hunt with, tackle to fish with, and traps for small game. I'm prepared.

Survival food psychology meat hunting roadkill 5

Roadkill isn't glamorous or fresh, but it might be a viable food source in emergencies.

It's reasonable to call someone who can make this statement “prepared”, assuming they actually have the skills and training to back up the words. However, there's no such thing as 100% preparedness. Real preparedness is realizing that these steps only delay the inevitable return to a total reliance on nature. In an indefinite survival situation — i.e. the complete breakdown of society as we know it for the foreseeable future — all of these caloric preps will be helpful at first, but the principle of entropy tells us that they will eventually falter and fail. Stockpiles run out, shelves get picked dry, traps break, fishing lines snap, and weapons run out of ammo.

Sooner or later, you might end up eating like you're back in the stone age. It's wise to begin thinking about food accordingly.


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As we've said before, one of the keys to survival is mental fortitude. When it comes to eating in a survival situation, that means overcoming your disgust to stay alive. Everyone has a different gross-out threshold. Will you forgo store-bought, sanitized, shrink-wrapped meat to hunt and butcher your own? Some would have a hard time with even this step. Will you eat sinewy sewer rats, wriggling grubs, or a cute animal which was once someone's pet? These are bigger mental hurdles to overcome. Will you scrape maggots off a roadkill carcass to find morsels of viable meat? It's a psychological battle to keep the dry heaves at bay and take that first bite.

With proper preparation, something which looked disgusting may become much more appealing.

With proper preparation, something which looked disgusting may become much more appealing.

The point of all this introspection is to realize that what you can do and what you're willing to do are two different things, even in a survival situation. If you can come to terms with this now, and gradually overcome the aversion to unconventional or unappetizing food, you'll have a valuable element of long-term preparation to complement your short-term survival food stockpiles and tools. That's what we call food for thought.


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