Pitching camp near a body of water is one of the best ways to ensure your capacity to survive. Water is necessary for the sustenance of life, and where there is water, there is the opportunity to snag supper on a reliably regular basis.
With that said, the key to surviving isn’t simply based on the gear you bring (or make when you get there). Instead, it’s primarily based in how well you can manage and leverage your time and energy in every task undertaken.
And I believe that fishing is an ideal way to accomplish this.
Pitching camp near a lake, mountain stream, or a large river can completely change the game in your favor. In modern terms, it’s a survivalist’s lifehack, but one that predates antiquity.
Water Is a Resource For Growth
In human history, it’s easy to see that access to bodies of water means everything. Empires have risen and fallen based on their proximity to a coastline or river, which is one reason why there was such a need for a dominant navy during military conflicts. There are several reasons why this was the case, as a large body of water offered:
- Clean hydration
- Effective means of sanitation
- Efficient transportation
- The ability to establish trade and communication
- First and foremost: access to a virtually endless supply of food.
That’s why some of the world’s most wealthy and largest major cities continue to depend on some body of water for development and stability. Even Las Vegas, Nevada, is dependent on the Colorado River’s Hoover Dam to power ye olde giant desert oasis of decadence. To take that point even further, the Population Reference Bureau states that:
Today, approximately 3 billion people — about half of the world’s population — live within 200 kilometers of a coastline. By 2025, that figure is likely to double. The high concentration of people in coastal regions has produced many economic benefits, including improved transportation links, industrial and urban development, revenue from tourism, and food production.
But let’s bring this back to lil’ old you and me, now. The reason why I talked about why humans tend to concentrate near (and even fight over) bodies of water is because they offer the means for a civilization to thrive and prosper. In light of that fact, I believe that there are convincing correlations in how humanity’s macro schemes translate to our own personal micro-survival situations.
And that brings me to the takeaway …
If you’re surviving, selecting a “bugout” retreat, or savoring the art of bushcraft on a week-long campout, then here’s what you should do: set your tent stakes somewhere near a fish-filled body of water.
Fishing is simply a massive advantageous survivalist’s lifehack, because instead of hunting, it allows you to relax and watch a bobber — so that you can expend less energy, use your time wisely, and sleep the night without feeling your gut gurgling. I’ve come to realize that this is a super-powerful wilderness provision for three reasons:
1. You Need a Water Source Anyway
As I stated above, water will offer you a bounty of resources. You’re going to have to find a water source regardless of whether or not you’ve pitched camp on a mountain, in the desert, or in a backwoods holler. Water is absolutely essential for life, and because survival is dependent on our ability to leverage and manage our time, you might as well kill two birds with one stone.
You’ll have two extremely critical resources in a single location, which means that you’ll spend less time and energy on acquiring both of them.
By the way, it’s no secret that critters have a tendency to congregate and travel near water sources. Since you’ll be near the water anyway, this even offers you an added advantage for hunting and trapping as well. Food for thought … literally.
2. It’s Easier Than Hunting/Trapping (For Better Nutrition)
One of the biggest reasons why I wouldn’t depend on hunting alone is because of its striking similarities with gambling. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t. When it comes to my survival, I don’t like those odds.
Also, you’ll be spending your energy and time in an attempt to take a buck, so that you can eat for a week. But what if you’re in the height of summer without the means to preserve the venison that you’ve just taken? Sure, you can jerk all of it simultaneously, but that’s another major time/energy demand. During warmer months, it’s just easier to take small game for that reason.
Also, when you’re hunting, you’re only hunting. You can’t do other things simultaneously, which is why you’ll need to be trapping WHILE you’re hunting in order to keep the food provisions topped off.
But if you’re depending on fishing, you can cast multiple lines simultaneously, using bait that you dug up five minutes ago. In addition, fishing requires far less knowledge, time, skill and energy in order to successfully reel in and process a meal for supper — in comparison to attempting to shoot and gut it.
Now here’s the kicker…
- In 100 grams of rabbit, you’ve got 173 calories and less than 5 percent recommended daily value of just about every vitamin, except for your B-complex.
- In 100 grams of salmon, you’ve got 179 calories and you have a spread of vitamins at more than 5 percent recommended daily value, including your B-complex.
And all you did was cast a line without tracking, smoke bathing, aiming, and telling everyone about your present location via .30-06 discharge. You got more for doing less.
Even so, you could still hunt while you trap and fish. Fishing for survival purposes doesn’t require your lines to be constantly tended.
3. You Can Reel In Small Fish To Drag In Big Fish
In the spirit of our newfound uses for survival leverage, let’s ask a simple question:
Just because you catch a small fish, does that mean you have to eat it? Well, if you’re about to succumb to starvation, then perhaps eating would be the best course of action at the moment. But if you’re not going to pass out within the next 10 hours, then what else could we do with our tiny snack? Simple: we use it to hook a bigger meal on the line.
Nothing gets big fish hungrier than the familiar scent of a wounded smaller fish — but it’s not exactly wounded in reality. Nope, instead of eating that smaller fish, you cut it into pieces and set them on the hooks that are attached to your trotline … using your three-inch morning’s Crappie catch to drag in the evening’s 12-inch catfish.
The coolest part is that you didn’t have to spend any time watching that trotline, and just let nature do its thing. And even though trotlines can be difficult to run, especially if you don’t have access to watercraft, then you can still employ your other set-and-forget option if you purchased Fishing Yo Yos and stashed them in your pack ahead of time. Here’s a video that will show you what these contraptions can do:
This way, you can collect a tiny unappetizing, yet edible, resource, like a worm…
To catch a smaller tasty, edible resource, like a bluegill…
To snag a multi-meal, scrumptiously edible resource, like a catfish or largemouth.
And you did it without using a single round or spending all day, praying to stumble upon a rabbit or a doe to stumble into your sight picture — all because you used leverage.
So be “shore” about your survival: Camp near a river and bring your fishing kit.
Do you agree? Is fishing the best method for survival if you need meat? Share your comments in the section below: