The Five C’s of Survivability

Running to the hills because of Trump? If so, be sure to pack these five tools so you can stand a chance in the unforgiving wilderness.

By Jeffrey Cope, Texas State University


As Trump takes office, many people fear that the end of the world has come.

And, if society does collapse, the last place you will want to be is in the city. Before heading off into the woods seeking refuge though, it’s important that you pack a bag with a few key items to help you tame the unforgiving wilderness.

Depicted in TV shows such as “Survivorman” and “Dual Survival,” there are a few common lessons to learn before attempting to survive in the wild, much less staying there for four years, possibly eight. Unfortunately, these lessons in basic survival skills, such as reading maps, starting fires, building shelters or catching food, are unfamiliar to younger generations, particularly millennials.

A Survival Checklist for Fleeing a Trump Apocalypse

Les Stroud from “Survivorman” (Image via Gear Junkie)

According to recent British and American studies, researchers have determined that, compared to older generations, a majority of today’s young people are not only weaker, but are wholly inept at outdoor survival.

Advancements in technology and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are said to be the likely culprits behind the domesticity of modern life. Given millennials’ general lack of survival skills, the least you could do before hightailing it to the mountains is get the appropriate tools.

The list of items mentioned below were made popular by the Discovery Channel’s previous co-host of “Dual Survival,” Dave Canterbury, who also runs and operates the Pathfinder School LLC, a school that teaches people how to survive and thrive in an outdoor environment.

The significance of these tools is that they are the hardest survival items to reproduce in nature. They don’t replace the knowledge you’ll need, but are a simple start for any millennial planning their escape.

1. Cutting Tool

A knife is perhaps the most crucial tool to have with you in the wild. No, not to fight off roaming bands of Trump supporters, but because it alone can produce just about all the other survival items that you’ll need.

A Survival Checklist for Fleeing a Trump Apocalypse

Image via iOffer

It can’t just be any knife; it must be a knife designed for multiple functions. In general, the knife should be able to complete small tasks, such as carving wood and processing game, as well as larger tasks, such as hunting, chopping down trees or defending yourself against large animals.

Ideally, the knife should have a thick, full tang, which means that the metal extends all the way through the handle and is thick enough to resist easily breaking. Also, depending on the type and quality of the metal, the blade should be able to hold an edge. That being said, you’ll need to be sure to bring along a sharpener.

2. Combustion

The ability to start a fire absolutely cannot be understated, and believe me, it is not as easy as setting a limousine on fire. No matter what gear you have with you, if your core body temperature drops too low, you’re likely not going to survive very long.

So, whether it’s a simple Bic Lighter, Ferrocerium rod or matches, be sure you have some, if not multiple, means to start a fire. Not only will a fire keep you warm, cook your food and boil your water, it will also provide an important psychological boost to any survival situation.

3. Cover

Otherwise referred to as shelter, or perhaps even a “safe space,” having some way to shield yourself from the elements during an extended period of time outdoors will make all the difference between life and death.

The clothes on your back are your first line of defense, but when deliberately heading into the woods, you want to be sure that you can further protect yourself from above and below. You will need to prepare for low temperatures, rain and the coldness of the ground, so consider packing items such as a tent, tarp, space blanket and a sleeping bag. You will not regret it.

4. Container

If neither exposure to inclement weather nor Trump pressing the big red button kills you, drinking contaminated water will. Therefore, it is certainly a good idea to bring at least one 32-ounce stainless-steel canteen in order to boil and/or treat water. Depending on the type of container you bring you though, you may also want pack a secondary pot or cup in which to cook.

A Survival Checklist for Fleeing a Trump Apocalypse

Image via Square Goods

Also, just to double down on the importance of fresh water, bringing a quality filter with you, such as a LifeStraw, would be tremendously useful, as doing so will allow you to avoid having to start a fire every time you want a drink. By bringing a water filter, you’ll be able to suck the water straight out of the many puddles of liberal tears, which were left behind after Trump’s victory.

5. Cordage

If you’re planning on heading outdoors and building a long-term shelter, make your life easier and pack some form of cordage. String, preferably paracord or bank line, might seem unimportant, but will definitely go a long way in maintaining a positive mindset in a survival situation.

Cordage will help reduce the difficulties of building shelters, setting traps, catching fish, starting fires and hanging your Trump effigy. Yes, with the appropriate knowledge and a lot of time and effort, cordage can be made from natural materials, but it won’t be nearly as effective.

With these five tools in hand, running to the hills to survive the Trump presidency will now be far more feasible. Millennials may need to take a few more personal items merely for comfort and convenience, such as their cell phones, but what’s listed here are the absolute essentials.

There are obviously many more useful tools you should consider taking with you during a survival situation, but for the sake of promoting basic survival education, which is, without a doubt, the most important tool to have with you, I will instead encourage readers, primarily millennials, to go and learn about them on their own volition.

Although it’s unlikely that Trump himself will bring about the end of the world, these items can just as well be used for camping. As long as you make sure to check off on these five C’s of survivability, you can be fairly confident that you’ll survive your wilderness asylum, no matter what your reason is for going in.