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Survival Tactics Used by the Military and the Navy SEALs


When you think of the word ‘survival,’ what usually comes to mind?  Making a fire out in the woods, setting up a lean-to shelter with vines and sticks, setting up traps and snares to catch small game, and procuring water might be a few things that come to mind, right?

Knowing how to do each of these things is incredibly important for any survival situation.  However, the advanced survival tactics used by the U.S Military (including the Navy SEALs) demonstrate that there’s much more to survival than just starting a fire and building a shelter.

The primary difference between these ordinary survival skills, and the survival skills learned by the servicemen and women of the U.S Military, is that the military’s learned survival tactics take personal protection and defense into account.

In short, the U.S Military and especially the Navy SEALs approach survival in a different and deeper way than most survival classes or disaster preparedness classes tell us to.  Let’s take a look at the biggest reasons why:


As a result of the advanced and complex training of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs, you may believe that the survival tactics they learn and employ are at least a little more intricate.

However, this could not be any further from the truth.  On the contrary, the military has learned that simplicity is required for survival.  If you want to survive, you have to keep things simple, and then become as good as possible at being simple as well.  By overcomplicating what needs to be done in survive, you’ll only waste valuable time and energy and be in a far worse state as well.

This could be fatal in a disaster scenario where you constantly have to be on the lookout for those who are harming you and are in a more vulnerable position to fight.


The military genius Sun Tzu was the one who said that war is not about fighting, but about deception.  A military commander can win against a materially or numerically superior force through deception and evasion tactics such as decoys, feints, disinformation, and diversionary attacks.  These kinds of tactics have been used for thousands of years and continue to be used to great effect today.  You can use them as well.

Finding yourself in an armed confrontation with another person or another group of people means that you are putting yourself in harm’s way.  And if you have a family to protect, that could mean that you are putting them in harm’s way as well.

It doesn’t matter what kind of weapons or training you have or how many people are on your side.  You should avoid armed conflict as much as possible.  Even though soldiers are trained for combat, they too follow this principle as well.

Just as each soldier fulfills a specific role in a military unit, each person has a specific role in your survival group as well, including you.  This means that you need to conserve as much of your number as possible in order for your group to remain as efficient as possible and stand the greatest chance of survival.

This is why evading is more important than fighting.  Granted, you should still learn how to fight should worse come to worse, but evasion skills are arguably even more important.  Learn how to stay away from those who seek to harm you, and strongly consider a temporary surrender if you are severely outnumbered or outgunned to the point that fighting is hopeless.

As we have touched on already, there are many evasion tactics that the military uses in order to avoid a fight until they find ground or a situation that is more favorable to them, and most of those evasion tactics come through what Sun Tzu said war was all about: deception.

Let’s say you have a relatively small survival group, and a hostile survival group who outnumbers you four to one is nearby.  Since you’re so heavily outmanned and outgunned, an open engagement is not an option for survival.

Instead, you have to look at the situation from a new angle and outmaneuver your opponents.  Keep in mind that since they know they have the numerical advantage, it’s more than likely that they’ll underestimate you.  You can use this to your advantage.

One evasion tactic you can use is to hide.  Camouflage yourself in with the environment and make your camp appear deserted.  In fact, camouflage and staying hidden are two skills that soldiers are taught often in training as a means to avoid capture.

Another evasion tactic you can use is to openly escape but deceive the enemy as to where you are going.  You can send one or two of your number into a car and send that car down the road and cause your opponents to launch a pursuit while the rest of your group makes the escape to better ground, where you can then rendezvous with the rest of your group.


Just because you’ve been captured and taken a prisoner of war doesn’t mean that you’re out of the fight.  On the contrary, the fight is far from over.

You should also learn different escape techniques so that you’ll be able to, for example, get out of your restraints when captured.  Keeping lock picks or small knives concealed on your person is another wise strategy.

If your captors are smart, they will separate you from the other captives so that you don’t have a chance to help one another.  However, it’s still more likely that most people in SHTF situations won’t be aware of this advantage.

So in the best case scenario, you can communicate with your fellow captives and come up with an escape plan.  In fact having an escape plan set with your fellow team members BEFORE you are captured will give you the best advantage possible.


You may believe that you’ll be able to defend yourself with nothing more than a scoped bolt-action rifle.  You figure that you’ll be able to keep yourself far away from your opponents while pinning them down.  The truth is that if you honestly believe this is how fighting is going to be in a SHTF scenario, you’re going to be one of the first ones killed.

The soldiers of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs are taught to engage targets at within twenty to thirty meters at most.  Engagements up to a hundred meters or more are left to the marksmen.  If anything, any kind of an armed confrontation that you find yourself in that requires you to use deadly force is going to be up close and personal.  You may end up using your fists rather than your gun.

As we have seen in all of the wars and armed conflicts going on around the world currently and within the last few years, combat is up close and personal.  That’s why detecting a threat before they come to close to you is going to be imperative to your survival, and it’s also why evading instead of fighting like we just talked about is so important as well.

Train yourself in hand-to-hand combat, in using a knife for immediate self-defense, and in close range scenarios with your firearms.


The military is all about team strategy.  One soldier never goes it alone. Even snipers have spotters and have to rely on coordinates and instructions given to them by a far away base.

Your strategy as a team, even if it’s only you and your immediate family, should be no different.  Yes, you’ll have to strategize things much differently than if you were on a ten to twenty man team.  If no one else in your family is capable of handling weapons (perhaps you have young children, for example), then the job of self-defense and security is going to be left to you.  You can still assign other important tasks related to your survival to others, but the weapons handling and defense can be left up to you.

If you do have people in your survival group who are capable of handling weapons, then you can easily come up with a fighting strategy with them as well.  If you have four people in your fighting group, for instance, you can make a diamond formation (one person up front on point, two behind them and to the side, and then one more person forming the rear directly behind the first person) when advancing through unknown territory.


There’s a reason why the military equips its soldiers with weapons that fire lighter rounds like the 5.56×45 over larger ones with more stopping power: when a man is hit and wounded, it doesn’t just put him out of the right, but it puts one or two other men out of the fight as well because they now have to tend to their wounded comrade and carry him away.

All the same, not only should you deeply consider having to go to war rifles that fire lighter cartridges, but aiming to wound an opponent rather than kill him outright will force one other opponent to tend to him.  Essentially, you can take two opponents out of the fight with one shot.  Knowing this tactic will give you a strong advantage when multiple assailants are attacking your property.

In the end, though, you should strive to avoid an armed confrontation in the first place.  We’ll talk about this later.


Ultimately, having the right survival mindset is everything.  It doesn’t matter how much survival gear you have or how well trained with it; if you aren’t in the mindset that you need to survive, nothing else matters.

Throughout and well beyond their training, soldiers and especially SEALs are constantly taught to be in the right mindset.  Contrary to what many people believe, the instincts that you have naturally will not be enough.  In order to get yourself into it, you need to constantly improve with all of the survival education that you can get.  And when we say ‘survival education,’ we mean much more than simply starting fires and setting traps and snares.

Educating and then training yourself based on what you learn is what will put you in the right mindset to survive.  In other words, your survival preparations must be an ongoing process where you are constantly learning new things.  It’s not just a read a survival book and maybe take a class once and call yourself prepared kind of deal.


There are a lot more examples that we could give for how military survival tactics enhance the survival skills that we commonly read on the internet or learn about in classes, but space does not permit us to go into those now.  What you have read about here in this article are the most important ones.

To sum things up, the biggest difference between military survival skills and civilian survival skills is that military survival skills go beyond simply learning how to build a fire and, instead, tackle serious disasters and critical events that threaten our everyday existence, such as terrorist or EMP attacks, instead.

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How to survive in the wilderness and mountain-military techniques


Necessary elements of life

One of the most important things to survive is water.

The human body contains 70% water, and the loss of 15% of this amount causes death. Without water you can not survive more than 4-5 days, the body loses fluid due to heat, stress, colds and fatigue, fluid to be topped up. Even in cold places you need at least 2 liters of water a day to be effective. Almost anywhere in the globe there is water in one form or another (snow, ice, dew, etc.)

Do not substitute water with the following liquids:

Alcohol – dehydrate the body even more

Urine – contain substances hazardous to organisms

Blood – is salty and is considered food, but require additional liquid to be digestible, can transmit diseases

Seawater – accelerates dehydration, can cause death

There are many ways to acquire water (meaning the cases when there is a river, stream, lake or other natural source of water) depending on the city where you are in the wilderness act one way in jungle otherwise, etc. I will describe several methods of gaining water in forest areas or where there are trees.

Sweat method

You need a plastic bag that you dress a twig with leaves (make sure the tree is not poisonous otherwise water is not drinkable), the bag must be tightly tied with a rope or you around the branch, after several hours leaves sweat and water accumulates in bag.In  hot summer day you can gather up to 300-400 from a bag. You must to use your bags to accumulate the required amount of water

Dew gathering: early morning or late evening tie a piece of cloth clean on foot, walking or on a stick and walk through iarba. Cloth will gather water (dew) from grass, periodically drain into a bowl, certainly is the slowest way, but safe.


30 days is the maximum period that can withstand a man without food.

In an extreme situation you will need every drop of energy, food being the only source. Natural resources can save in any case only have to know how to use them. I have several recommendations in this case, some more important than others but the main rule is:

Do not eat if you do not have WATER

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Human digestive organism needs water, if water is a problem eating you will become dehydrated and harder, which can cause death. Few are places on earth where you have to go more than 30 days without going to civilization .Calculate the distance and time to the place where you arrive, the food divided as follows: 1/3 2/3 in the first half and in the second half of the road.

Make a regular habit to eat every day  (lunch at noon ex.o), chew food well as the organisms they support it.

In the wild can eat what nature gives mushrooms, nuts, fruits, herbs and roots of edible plants, small animals or large (if you manage to catch them), fish, lizards, snakes, snails and will advise if you have insects. If you have not experienced hunter I will advise you not to try to catch animals, you spend useless energy.

Careful with mushrooms and fruits, if you are not sure do not eat, the result can be fatal.


The shelter must protect you from rain, sun, wind, help to survive; -in some parts of the world you need to shelter more than food or water.

For example prolonged exposure to cold can cause fatigue or weakness and a weak person has no desire to survive.

The most common mistake in the construction of the shelter is that you do too much body heat and fails to heat it;

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Shelter should be large enough to protect you but also the need to be small enough to preserve your body heat, especially in cold climates.Different types of shelter after the place where you are for example, the arctic or desert, jungle or forest, every time you build something else.Different also the seasons, winter snow or summer heat are so many types of shelter types cite season.

The importance of fire. Types of fire. Methods and tools for fire ignition

Modern man does not like fire. Fire historically has become more of a tool than salvation.In dawn of human civilization killer fire was the most important thing in human life, loss of fire was a tragedy for the tribe and punishable with death who had to take care of the fire, and fail.

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The principle of ignition-fire is to start with small twigs and slender, gradually passing on higher. began ignite paper, dry bark, moss or fir branches on a short time they give a strong flame to ignite the branches of 3-5 mm thickness and then the thickest. The secret is to put the wood gradually from the smallest to the thickest. Paper or branches are lit from the bottom up, not vice versa, because fire spreads from the top down hard.

Fire with fire is used for drying clothes, heating and preparing food; the flame for light and food preparation and the smoke is used for signaling. Division is relative, you can turn any fire in fire smoke if you throw him green grass and branches, if a fire with embers increase the distance between him turn wood fire flame converts into large, etc.


The knife is king arms without knife is no survival with a help of a good knife can do everything or almost everything, can build shelter, can make weapons, you can defend yourself or you can hunt without it you’re dead in the wild, so if you have not – the important thing to know how to do one of the materials that are found around you.

Glass, tins, hard stone, bone, pieces of metal – are all possible materials to your future personal knife. Personal I would not go anywhere without one in my pocket …

I could not tell you the exact name of it ideal knife, but there are a few requirements; a knife to be:




If you go into the mountains for a long time you need two knives. One to be great, the type layout, replacing the ax and one smaller for peeling potatoes, etc.

Each of survival as on the website or its praise his wares or merchandise company that has a contract to report. American and options in Bowie until you can tangle easily mock. A high price does not always look good quality. There are several criteria in choosing a knife: blade length, knife or blade stable miner, double tais or not, it is made of metal (steel, titanium, nonferrous metals, etc.)

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The knife that you take with you in the wild is the most priceless object that you possess. Regardless of the nature of the trip that you always need to have a knife on you. It can be used in different situations, not only in extreme situations.

Sun tracking, star tracking and compass tracking

The simplest way of finding the direction is sit back to 12 day in the sun, the north is exactly the direction that shows your shadow.

There are a few rules that must be remembered:

Winter sun rises southeast


Summer sun rises northeast

sets northwest

Spring sun rises at EST

sets in the west

Of course these rules are valid if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you have good sense of observation, then you know that: more snow melts in the south, all in the southern part of the tree is more pitch. Ants make their anthill in the south of trees or house. Birch bark is darker in the north and more open to the south. Tree trunks, stones, rocks in the north are covered with moss.

Survival in mountainous terrain

Survival in the mountains involves techniques and procedures characteristic.

Mount, as we know and the people, has its unwritten laws, which if not respect them, pay, and the price in such a situation can be even life.

Preparing to survive in the mountains must focus on that mountain environment is extremely unpredictable.Weather has special features: in a single day, the mountains may fall several types of precipitation (rain, drizzle, sleet, snow); temperatures are much lower and rainfall more abundant than in other areas; the higher the altitude, the colder temperatures. Therefore, when such actions envisaged in the village, the soldiers must have their protective equipment against the cold and rain, even if they are planned to take place in summer. An extremely important piece in the mountain environment is sleeping bag. A good sleeping bag will give the military the necessary comfort for rest and strength to take it to an end the next day. If there is a sleeping bag, it can be improvised from dry leaves, pine needles, Parachute material. survival are necessary: a waterproof jacket, a knife, matches kept in a bag not to wet a quality compass, a map, a flashlight, rations for emergencies and signaling means (mirror, smoke grenades etc. ).

Nature term is another important factor that influences the chances of survival of the military in the village. Large level differences, rugged terrain covered with dense vegetation, specific mountain environment, hinder much movement. Moving the mountain environment requires permanent existence of the risk of injury. Sprains, fractures, sprains could and limbs are the most common. Also, observation and orientation are more hampered. This could cause delays in movement military and fallacies. Lack of landmarks for orientation can cause frustration and irritation, and these negative feelings contributed to the worsening military situation. Therefore,  to survive in the mountain, the military must observe a few rules:

– “Equip yourself properly” in the mountains !: survival requires appropriate equipment;

– “Do not go in the dark” means !: If you do not have night vision do not move in the dark because it will increase the risk of injury;

– “You do not build shelter the valleys‘ !: As I mentioned, the weather in the mountain environment can change very quickly and after rainfall forming torrents may surprise you;

– “Moving up the line share ‘!: Try to stay on the same altitude to ease your moving.Any survival situation involving the purchase of food and water. Characteristic mountain environment temperate and tropical areas offer plenty of opportunities for procuring food and water. However, the military must be cautious when choosing a certain plant or animal to feed. Most nuisances disappear once boiling or cooking with their fire. However, there are no toxins that disappears with cooking (see mushrooms) and they can endanger the life and health of the military. A plant consumed by animals is not necessarily an indication that it would be edible and humans. To be sure food is edible, it should be cooked very well. Before you consume, the military must taste the food and wait a few minutes to see if any side effects, then you can proceed to power. Water is preferable to be boiled before being consumed.

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