The eight pillars of survival

A Core Tenet of Survival Homes & Gardens

By Mykel Hawke

Photo by Hakan Erenler

The topic of survival is nothing new. Humans have done it since the beginning of time. But times change and our core life skills have changed to reflect those needed for modern times. That has come at the expense of losing some other skills, such as those needed for primitive survival. In addition, there have been so many new technologies and capabilities developed in the last few generations that the very definition of survival has changed from solely primitive skills to the very highest levels of tech gadgetry designed specifically for the purpose of survival. Most of us fall somewhere in between on that scale. That is why we have created Survival Homes & Gardens.

We know many folks like to live off grid, or to develop their primitive skills for emergencies, and we love that. Most of our Staff is steeped in primitive survival; That is our foundation. Some fortunate and/or bold souls, have gone to living off grid completely, being entirely self-providing and self-contained, and we love that, too. Their experiences teach us much in these modern times.

However, the majority of folks have to balance real life and being prepared. We have our educations and professions that permit us to have homes and provide for our families. But it often means, we don’t get to go out and do as much in nature and the outdoors as we’d like to. So, some skills can atrophy over time without use. We are always looking for what advantages modern tech can give us to offset the perishing skills or to simply enhance our survival capabilities by fusing the old with the new.

That is what SH&G is all about, bringing together the time-tested old-world skills and the modern science and technology-new-world capabilities. It is a wise person who maximizes their survivability by exploiting both. We know folks are busy, and many don’t have the time to peruse stores or scour the internet to find the latest in new tech, good books, great products and sound teachers. That’s where we come in. Bringing you everything survival related all together in one place for your family.

My story is long and diverse but in its simplest form, I grew up very poor, often without food, water, power or even shelter. I had to survive a winter on the streets at 14 and from that experience, developed a lifelong passion for survival. This led to me joining Special Forces, learning about medicine, communication, intelligence, operations, logistics & leadership. From this experience, I started a survival company in the early 90’s to teach the public and have been doing it ever since. From this, I fell into the media by accident and before long, had made many survival TV shows, written survival books and made survival products. But my true love and passion, is teaching and helping others. That is what SH&G is about.

This brings me to the eight core tenets of survival. We all know about the four primary pillars of survival: Food, Water, Fire and Shelter. But most folks end up overlooking one of the four secondary pillars of survival: Communications, Navigation, Medicine and Security.

Now when it comes to the four primary pillars, I’d like to note that those shift in priority according to what resources you have and your situation at time of need. But everyone can see and agree, these are crucial for survival. Part of what SH&G focuses on with the basics is what kind of food you can grow at home based on your weather, terrain, space, etc. Best foods, devices for preparing storing and all in between. We will cover all things to do with water from purifying a canteen to creating an entire hydration and irrigation system that serves your needs. For shelters, we cover everything from bivy (bivouac) sacks and tents to how to make your home safer from environmental threats, fires, floods, hurricanes, etc. covering all the newest tech from fire resistant paint for homes in fire zones to tsunami balls for those in flood zones. For fires, there is no end to all the things covered under this topic. Not just old fashion friction and percussion fires but the best in fire starting tools, to stoves for camping all the way up to smokers, preserving and storing food.

The secondary pillars, cover everything else needed for and related to survival. The category names are all encompassing umbrellas for the many sub-component derivatives. For example, under Security, will be all your weapons and systems to protect yourself and your property. It also covers all the tools you need in survival for your security, such as knives, guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, blow guns, etc, etc, etc.

The secondary pillar of Navigation covers everything to do with movement. Not just maps and compasses or GPS’s, but everything to do with how to get from one place to another. That is everything from family and off road vehicles, to route planning and caches, and even LPC’s or what we call in the military, Leather Personnel Carriers (AKA- Boots).

Our Communications will cover everything from satellite phones and radios to primitive signals and everything in between. This also covers areas like lights for signaling (as well as other uses of flashlights), whistles and other sound making signal devices, to Apps, beacons and anything that could help facilitate rescues and communications for help.

Our focus on Medicine (Health) is a precious fundamental for SH&G. Not only are we all about teaching and learning new life saving skills, sharing the latest tech for trauma and helping folks best be ready for emergencies, but we are also about teaching the real medical skills like dealing with illnesses. How to diagnose, planning your aid bags and medicines, even growing your own medicinal plants and utilizing use them.

That said, from all of us here at the Survival Homes & Gardens Magazine, we look forward to sharing with and serving you. We thank you for coming along with us on our journey. We intend to earn our keep by proving to be the very best source of knowledge, know-how, strategies & technologies to help everyone and anyone who cares about survival for them and their loved ones by covering everything survival- from basics to beyond.