In this post I am going to share with you the all-important fundamentals of what I call: “Self-reliance Strategies.”

Self-reliance is the word I choose to use more than “survival” or “preparedness” training.  Self-reliance is proactive rather than reactive. It couples itself with on- going and daily habit forming measures.

The typical preparedness or survival adherent typically (certainly but not always) will gather gear and some training and then sit and wait for an event.

Self-reliance, in my opinion, is an active, daily style of living in which you are regularly and continually looking for ways to rely less on others and more on yourself. Let’s break it down into four distinct sections: mindset, skills, tactics, and gear.


To survive a trying situation, your mindset must be right. There must be a voice inside of you a ‘force’ that spurs you on, a voice that triumphs over fear and discouragement. Having the right mindset can literally mean the difference between life and death.

What you think, how you think, and how you internalize a particular situation is critical to survival. It is important to remain calm in order to think clearly. A calm mind allows for strategic decisions to be made. Have you checked your mindset lately? There are many books and resources that can help you develop clear thinking ability under stressful situations. For example, read Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life, by Richard Paul & Linda Elder; or The Art of Thinking, by Rolf Dobelli


Self-reliance skills need to be practiced. This includes the hard skills like fire building, shelter building, water and food procurement along with other skills that are necessary for survival. You

need to practice your skills with little to no gear, in all types of weather and assuming you have injuries.

This monthly publication will help you develop a key new skill every month, so be sure to follow the trainings.


Tactics is just a sexy word for strategically working with others. The term notes the use of military or weapons-related strategies to most, but that is not always the case.

Learning how to develop yourself as a leader and an excellent communicator are good tactics for self-reliance. In today’s industrialized society where nearly everything that keeps us alive comes from someone else, including our heat, and food, learning how to work well with others is a necessity.


I suggest you have as much gear as you feel you need. As you get further along you should take items away from your gear list and practice without them. In this manner, you teach yourself to not be gear dependent.


In conclusion, to be self-reliant you need to get your mind right, learn necessary survival skills, get along with others and know how to identify and use essential gear.

Getting these four things developed in your life will help you to come out on top in a difficult situation. Stay safe out there!

Like this article? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and with our community in the FPA Facebook Group!

You must Sign up to join the conversation.