An Urban Survival Course with Selco: Noise, Light, and Your Mind Playing Tricks


by Selco, The Organic Prepper:

NOTE: If you missed the first article in the Urban Survival Course series, go here to read it. Today, we’ll continue on with Selco as he teaches us the lessons students learned in his last course in Croatia.

Urban Survival: Keeping a Low Profile
Hollywood industry, fiction survival books and our imagination over the many years kinda taught us to expect big things and to think in big terms when SHTF.

As a result, a lot of preppers forgot to use common sense in preparing and thinking. Actually, they forgot to be aware and to notice little things around them. They were expecting big things so they forgot small things and techniques that are actually important. That can eventually get you in trouble or get you killed.

To understand better how things can be hard when SHTF you need to put into perspective how noise and light work in different situations, or in other words how light and noise can be your enemy or friend depending on what situation you find yourself during SHTF.

Often you have seen in the movies or read in a book how someone sneaks up on someone or through some building.

In reality, students are shown that there are no ninja warriors. Remember we are talking about average folks here. If they are forced to survive in some dangerous situations they simply need to know:

some basic technique of walking (sneaking)
a lot of time and patience
proper clothes (not noisy definitely)
proper preparations before taking action (checking for things in pockets that make noise, etc.)
a lot of practice
But the highlight is on time; you need time to do it the safe and secure way (even if you are highly trained). So, in reality (if it is dangerous) it may take you an hour to cover 20 meters sometimes.

Definitely, it is not like in the movies.

You can use sounds in surroundings (or background) to cover your movement (for example in this photo, it may be the sound of waves or wind through the trees) but again, you need a lot of time, and skill.

Now put that in perspective of real urban survival, and a situation where you need to check some building (for example to take shelter) that looks abandoned, with things on the ground that simply make too much sound. Sometimes it is impossible; sometimes it does not make sense to even try.

Moving in a group and staying quiet is a skill that is possible to learn, through the familiarization of group members, the use of hand signals, and proper preparing (again proper equipment, footwear, clothes). That technique makes sense to be put to the test in a hard situation like dark and bad weather (rain, wind) where you can try to use that weather and night in your favor. It’s also important to see how everything can easily go against you (conversation-signals in pitch dark, loss of orientation, losing group members.)

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