If ever you’ve been criticized for the amount of time you spend in front of the television, with snide comments passed on your failure to cope should the grid go down, we’ve got other news for you. Not only could this time spent watching movies and shows be valuable to you, but it could also mean that your survival skills are far better than your critics, and even you, may be aware of.
In an effort to help you take stock of the skills that sitting in front of TV may have taught you, we’ve compiled a list of survival skills that could see you live long and prosper in the event of the grid going down, thereby ensuring that time spent watching has not been time wasted.
Book of Eli
One of the most obvious messages of survival depicted in this film is that the pivotal aspect of survival boils down to one thing: water. While Eli only ever carries one canteen (which is woefully inadequate in reality) it proves that sustaining one’s self on the road is difficult. Because of this, the film illustrates that a Bug In or a Bug Out that secures a decent water source comes first place, even if you have to boil and filter the water to make it drinkable. Should things worsen and see the need for you to continually keep moving, then it’s important to fill up everything you have, ration it and keep an eye open for water along the way. Make sure you never miss out an opportunity to obtain water and, if needs be, protect it.
While we can hope that man-eating wolves won’t be a threat in our own survival situations, The Grey certainly makes for a worst-case-scenario. And despite the packing a survival kit that is readily available and possessing knowledge of first aid, one of the most significant survival lessons offered up by this movie is to take advantage of the resources around you. In the film, the crashed plane changes from a site of disaster into a source of valuable resources. It’s important to be able to scope the settings around you and collect items for various uses – chairs covers and headliners for canopies or bed rolls; oil for fire; items that can be fashioned into make-shift weapons, and even electrical wire for use as a cord. Keep an eye open for any opportunity to collect more resources that could mean the difference between life and death.
World War Z
As if man-eating wolves weren’t bad enough, the mere mention of zombies can make aspiring survivors quiver in fear (or jump for joy) at the chance to survive the odds. But substitute the zombies for a hurricane, tsunami or a financial meltdown, and you can easily gleam general lessons for survival from World War Z. Despite the obvious “don’t get stuck on a roof”, “pay attention to your surroundings” and “communicate by whatever means available”, there is one vital lesson we can learn from this film that is rarely touched upon in other survival films. This lesson is that “lifesaving” medications are just that: lifesaving. So find a way to not be without them. From asthma pumps to drugs for diabetes, there is no excuse not to keep these on hand when preparing for the worst case scenario.
A film adaptation of the chilling novel by Cormac McCarthy, The Road offers a sobering look at a dire future that could all too easily be our own. Following the progress of a man and his son, the film witness the two work to survive by any means possible. Besides exploring the darker side of humanity, it also offers us an introduction to some useful skills and tools that we ought to consider whenever we’re preparing for the unknown. While it’s easy to resolve to stock up on survival supplies, it can lead to an unforeseen issue which is the transport of these supplies. While the film sees them using a shopping trolley and later a wheelbarrow-like trailer, these are not the only methods of transportation when it comes to supplies. This film is a reminder that we ought to take this into account, especially when the road ahead may be uncertain and fraught with danger, in whatever form it may come.
One of the older films in the list, The Postman is set in an America that is destroyed by a war that decimates government and most of the population. Without order, people struggle to survive against rogue groups of armed men and the continual shortage of food. While the survival skills aren’t as practical in this film, there is one clear message: people who band together in groups have a better chance of surviving. Sticking together in a group can certainly make the job of surviving an easier one. Not only will the members of the group be able to share their knowledge amongst one another, increasing the knowledge of survival skills, but there are also more eyes and ears dedicated to scanning your surroundings for both opportunity and danger.
I Am Legend
Being the last man alive can prove to be arguably one of the most difficult survival situations to face. And while we wouldn’t necessarily recommend following in Will Smith’s footsteps and staying in an area filled with the ‘virus-infected’, there are some excellent lessons that can be learnt from I Am Legend. For starters, pets can prove to be invaluable companions. Not only as companions for detecting danger, but also as a lifeline to your own sanity. No matter where you are, it’s vital that you find a place of safety for the night. Human beings are not made to function optimally at night and it’s for this reason that we recommend survivalists stay away from the unknown (be it the outdoors or a new location) during the night, when you will be most vulnerable.
So, the next time you’re parking off in front of the TV, remember to watch the screen as a survivor would – on the search for resources and survival lessons, even if the only thing you can learn is how NOT to do it at all.
Robyn Porteous is the creative content manager for the Distilled Water Company, the UK’s leading supplier of distilled water to businesses and domestic customers. Her Google+ profile contains information on some of her other writing.