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Combat Survival

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The art of living in the wilderness armed with nothing but knowledge, wits and a big fuck off Rambo knife. Forget E&E, Combat Survival is about staying alive rather than running away, though obviously all disciplines can work in concert with each other and very often do. After all, there's not much point in constructing a solar still or a deadfall trap only to have your miserable arse caught by the baddies.

To some, combat survival is akin to spending the weekend away on a TA FTX and surviving on nothing but Mars bars. To others it's spending a day out airsofting in the woods and realising with horror that Pot Noodles require boiling water to consume - both are arduous and possibly life-threatening scenarios.

Real exponents of the art are the likes of Ray Mears, Bruce Parry and Bear Grylls (in that order). But for those of a certain generation, there can be only one: the eponymously named Lofty Wiseman. Lofty is an ex-SAS survival instructor and is revered by many to almost God-like proportions. He is a veritable compendium of arcane survival knowledge - much of gleaned in-theatre from ancient civilisations. Nails!

Some pay to go on courses and some get sent on them by default of their 'trade'. Though aircrew types are taught to survive with the kit they're supplied with in their survival packs, they're also taught a range of basic skills that are applicable to a range of scenarios and climates - and generally enough to keep them alive long enough for rescue.

Surviving indefinitely - and without any specialised kit - requires a mindset and knowledge that cannot be picked up on a one week course. Real survivalists can survive in the Arctic tundra for months on end... naked. They eat raw meat from creatures they've slaughtered with their bare hands, wear their pelts as clothing and drink their own urine. Whilst this is Day 1 stuff for the likes of Spetznaz, for others such levels of proficiency can take years to achieve.

So if you've come to ARRSEpedia looking for gen on how to catch rabbits and light fires then you'll be sorely disappointed. There's no easy way of learning the skills you'll need to survive in the wilderness. Buying a book is no good either. Get out there and get on a course and you'll never look at the landscape and its contents in the same way ever again.

Lofty Wiseman The Man himself.