Originally appearing at Badlands Fieldcraft, BR answers a question that a lot of folks have. Just where the heck do you start? And wherever you think you are right now, how to your continuously self-evaluate? I say it begins with training. Buying stuff is fine, but knowing what you really need, and more importantly, how to use it, is critical. You can’t replace working knowledge and right now its more critical than ever. -NCS


The following is my response to a readers question on “where to start?” in reference to training.

You bring up a great point in “where to start?”

Forgive me for making any assumptions, but just for the sake of discussion let’s say you didn’t know anything. It can be like trying to take a drink from a fire hose answering that question.

I’d say first priority is just surviving nature itself, forget bad guys and guns for the time being. Nature was and still is our most basic adversary. Can you live out of a pack 3-4 days out in the bush without succumbing to hypo/hyperthermia and dehydration? Do you understand the natural resources available and how to utilize them? I’m a big proponent of adopting a sort of “modern frontiersman” mentality when it comes to my training. If I can’t/ wouldn’t do it in the bush, I don’t waste my time with it. That’s why you’ll never see me shoot from a bench.

Now I understand that’s a pretty big task to undertake, I’ve been spending years on it myself and still feel like there’s still so much to learn. But I do feel the knowledge gained is worth the effort and look forward to sharing it with future generations.

As far as shooting is concerned, I would suggest working your way out. From a self defense viewpoint, the biggest threats are typically the closest. I would strongly advocate learning to shoot and carry a pistol good as well as a carbine type weapon. Probably best to stick to an AR or AK. A 16” AR with a red dot zeroed at 25Y will hit dead on at 250Y with little deviation in between. It’s a stupid simple defensive weapon.

The point to all this is that you have to be able to survive the elements and the enemies at a fundamental level before you can begin moving into the “high speed” stuff. It’s the crawl, walk, run mentality. When cold, tired, hungry and scared a person definitely falls back to their most proficient skills, so make sure you are most proficient at the ones you’ll use most often.

Once again, please forgive me for any assumptions I’ve made, it’s just a subject I’ve spent alot of time on and that is my generic answer to that question.

Have a great day!

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