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10 Commandments of Survival You Need to Know About

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
10 Commandments of Survival You Need to Know About

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These days, it’s easy to go about our business of survival and preparedness without stopping to think about the rules of engagement. For most of us, these rules are not written or spoken, but are simply something that has evolved over a period of time.

As I have expressed many times in the past, the burden of knowledge, or perhaps I should say the burden of truth and knowledge, can be a huge weight to bear. That, coupled with the crazy busy task of life during these uncertain times, can be overwhelming. Getting up each day, going to work, doing chores, balancing the checkbook, taking care of family members – it’s all a big job.  Add prepping and learning new survival skills to the mix and you have a recipe for exhaustion – and perhaps even a bit of depression and gloom.

The 10 Commandments of Survival | Backdoor Survival

To help overcome my own dizzying sense of having too much to do and too much to prepare for, I sat down a couple of years ago and attempted to put my own rules for survival into words. I called these words the “10 commandments of survival”.  At the time, they brought focus and meaning to preparing for hard times.

Now, two years later, I find they still apply.  I am bringing them back newly updated as a reminder of why we prep as defined by the prepping rules of engagement.

10 Commandments for Survival

Commandment #1: Have the will to live, no matter what.

Having the will to live requires a strong sense of self-preservation and is something we must all work at on a daily basis. To fall into despondency will sabotage our efforts to prepare for that time when supplies are short, when chaos rules the streets or when economic collapse has bankrupted the world.

Now I am not saying that any or all of these things will happen. But on my own risk-meter, these things are right there at the top along with a regional natural disaster such as an earthquake.  The only question is when.

Commandment #2: Be self-sufficient and self-reliant, without wanting or needing excessive government assistance.

When chaos reigns the land or a natural disaster strikes, we need to do our darndest to take care of ourselves. We need to have our own food, our own source of clean, purified water, our own medical supplies, and most important, a robust skill set that will allow us to live quite comfortably without electricity or petroleum products.

There will still be a need for government assistance but that assistance should go to those that are truly needy through no fault of their own. That includes the wounded, the sick, the working poor, the elderly, children, and the disabled. This may be a pipe dream but in my sense of right and wrong, taking care of the truly needy is something that governments should do provided that these same people have gone as far as they can to take of themselves.

Commandment #3: Seek knowledge as a solution to problems.

There are so many free or almost free sources of information these days but the tough part is determining who is credible and who is not. Luckily, it is pretty easy to  vet the reliable members of the alternative press.  These reporters attempt to tell the news without fear-mongering and without getting you to spend money (unless you want to of course).

Even before seeking knowledge as a solution, some effort has to be put into both identifying and prioritizing of the problems at hand. Why not identity five or six problems and find good solid solutions to those before moving on to the next group?

While we still have a reliable power grid, download free e-books or visit survival and homesteading websites to pick up skills. Take advantage of the wealth of DIY information at your local library for free.  Learn do-it-yourself skills, then continue to practice and to drill and to learn some more.

Turn problems into solutions by using knowledge as your tool.

Commandment #4: Adapt to the surroundings, wherever they may be.

As comfortable as we may be in our homes, the time may come when you have to evacuate and leave. Your house may get destroyed in a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake. Or, due to the woes of the economy and unexpected unemployment, you may have to sell the four bedroom ranch house and move to a modest apartment.

The house in which you live is built of sticks and cement and bricks and mortar. Your home, on the other hand, is where ever you happen to live and if you are lucky, where you are surrounded by loved ones, even if they are the four legged type.

Learning to adapt to your surroundings – the people, the geography, and the social milieu – will allow you to embrace change as an adventure even when the causative circumstances may not be pleasant.  And that all translates into less stress.

Commandment #5: Embrace decisiveness as a core value.

Avoiding a decision when the choices are poor to begin with leads to complacency and even worse, doing nothing. On the other hand, making a decision and then pursuing that decision with decisiveness and gusto will likely lead to positive results. Sure, the result may not be perfect, but the willingness to make decisions, even in the face of uncertainty, means you are taking responsibility for your actions and for the outcome of your decision.

And right or wrong, you will learn from the experience. Doing nothing is simply not acceptable.

Commandment #6: Channel fear into positive actions.

Being fearful and running scared is what the PTB wants you to do. Fear translates into submission and submission results in being controlled. Add a bit of brainwashing and the result starts to sound like Hitler’s Germany.

A good way to avoid fear is to be prepared to fend for yourself in all types of situations.

Go back and analyze the most likely risks within your sphere of life and prepare for those first. Go back to commandment #3 and seek knowledge as a solution to problems. Take control of fear by channeling your energy into positive actions.

Commandment #7: Defend your right to freedom and the tenets of the US Constitution.

Embrace freedom and defend your right to liberty. What is liberty? How about:

  • The power to do as one pleases
  • Freedom from physical restraint
  • Freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
  • The positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
  • The power of choice

We currently live in a world of airport pat-downs, forced healthcare, mandatory vaccinations, and the unauthorized surveillance of our whereabouts and our communications. If many politicians have their way, soon we may lose our right to bear arms and defend ourselves.

Don’t give up your rights without a fight. And don’t be so afraid of the power elites that you fail to speak up to defend those rights. Some people will cower and hide. Instead, why not band together with like-minded people and make your voice heard. If we don’t do it, who will?

Commandment #8: Respect others and their right to privacy.

Notwithstanding #7, everyone has the right to their opinions and their right to privacy. There are some things that people simply do not want to talk about or share. Move on and respect their privacy. The time will come when you will want them to respect yours.

Commandment #9: Pursue love and laughter on a daily basis.

We all need a break because, truly, it is all too much these days. Call it down time, call it personal time. Whatever the name, love a little and laugh a little each and every day.

Love and laughter are a big part of living a strategic life. As difficult as it may be, especially during a crisis, take ten minutes or take an hour but do take some time each day to embrace survival in this most essential manner.

Commandment #10: Be authentic and real to yourself and to those around you.

One reason kids matter is that they are not spoiled by life. When they are very young, they only know truth. They don’t understand deceit and lies.

When things are not going well, it is easy to pretend and fantasize that things are different. There is nothing wrong with that as long that you know in your heart of hearts that reality is quite different. You cannot make reasonable, practical and viable decisions based upon myth. You need facts. To survive, you need to acknowledge these facts and accept the truth.

Truth will lead to trust, and trusting your decisions is paramount for others to trust you as well. To be real means to be true to yourself regardless what others think. And without being real, the other commandments just don’t matter.

The Final Word

These 10 commandments of survival were set down to help me cope with my own anxiety and sense of uncertainty about our future as citizens of the world. As a prepper, I know I cannot prepare for every single one of our global problems, nor can I prevent Mother Nature for doing what she is going to do.

At best, all I can do is to continue to learn to be self-reliant and independent so that I can keep my sanity and my ability to think rationally under stress.  Some days it is difficult.  On those days,  I will look at these 10 commandments and will continue think of ways that I can do more. At the end of the day, that is all I can do.

The world is still scary and I  still believe that the worst is yet to some.  Sadly it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Preparing for hard times requires so much stuff.  Just where do you start?  How do you know whether what you have will do the job?  I always like to recommend that you start by taking inventory of what you already have on hand.  Check your closets and cupboards and don’t forget to dig out that old camping gear to see what might still be usable.

And then?  I would choose light, warmth, food, water purification, the means to cook food without power, and of course, something to keep yourself amused when traditional forms of entertainment were limited. My current top picks for each are shown below.

Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater:  Of course you are going to need a heat-source.  With the Mr. Buddy heater, you can use propane indoors safely.  It features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home.  To learn more about propane, read the series Propane for Preppers.

Buy Emergency FoodsLegacy Foods has an outstanding product that is also Non-GMO.  They have a line of gluten free products as well.  Their meal pouches are some of the best out there and on a price per calorie basis, quite reasonable.  This is the food storage I have chosen for myself.  Shipping is always free.

If you are new to freeze-dried foods, you might want to investigate their 16 serving Sample Pack.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise.  Did you know they only weight 2 ounces and fit in the palm of your hand?  The price is right.  Be sure to also check out the Family Color Coded Gift Pack which looks nice.

Volcano 3 Collapsible Cook Stove: The Volcano Collapsible cook stove is so versatile; it works with  charcoal, wood, or propane.  I like that it collapses down to 5” making it transportable.  I also have the older model, the Volcano 2.  Anytime I own two of something, you know it is a favorite.

Coloring Books for Grown-Ups :  This is the latest addition to my list of amusements and comfort items.  I hope you don’t think I am being silly because there really is something quite relaxing about coloring books. Don’t forget the crayons or Colored Pencils.

Note:  If you prefer to print your own, check out this eBook that includes a link to a PDF version for printing on your home printer:  Adult Coloring Book: 40 Relaxing And Stress Relieving Patterns.


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Preferred by Backdoor Survival.  This is the Emergency Food I buy for my own use. It is non-GMO and MSG-free plus there are 100% Gluten-Free options.  Shipping is always free.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

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9 Responses to “10 Commandments of Survival You Need to Know About”

  1. I love the old skills and techniques. My favorite methods of fire making are fire bow and flint and steel (both modern and new). Making string and cordage is also one of the most useful skills to have in my opinion. One thing a lot of people don’t focus on though are the fire structures themselves. Two of my favorites for cooking food are the Swiss log style (I love it!) and the Dakota pit style. I have a video (the link below) on one of my youtube channels of the Dakota pit if anyone is interested. I also have some other related videos up. Stay safe friends. //

  2. Here are the other reasons government should not be taking care of the truly needy, substitute any “help” program and the result is the same:

    Socialized Healthcare vs. the Laws of Economics

    “The […] end result is one big government monopoly which, like all government monopolies, will operate with all the efficiency of the post office and all the charm and compassion of the IRS. […]

    government-owned or -controlled healthcare created a situation whereby increased “inputs,” such as expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, and the salaries of medical professionals, actually led to decreased “outputs” in terms of the quantity of medical care. […]

    Costs always explode whenever the government gets involved, […] Whenever anything has a zero explicit price associated with it, consumer demand will increase substantially, and healthcare is no exception. […] The result of increased demand and reduced supply is shortages. Non-price rationing becomes necessary. This means that government bureaucrats, not individuals and their doctors, inevitably determine who will get medical treatment and who will not, what kind of medical technology will be available, how many doctors there will be, and so forth.

    All countries that have adopted socialized healthcare have suffered from the disease of price-control-induced shortages.” …


    “The problems with our health care system are not the result of too little government intervention, but rather too much.” – Ron Paul.

  3. What does the acronym PTB in #6 refer to? Not all of us out here know every acronym that people throw around. If you use them please define them.

  4. Thanks for all your hard work this year to provide us with useful and purposeful advice. Yours is the only site I visit now for all my prepping g needs. When I started on my adventure some years ago I tried to read every site I could. Most, and I mean MOST, are all about fear porn. Even the sites with religious slant are dishing out fear by the shovelful. I was always in a panic and filled with anxiety. Although we live in a world that is changing right before our eyes I believe we can control our fears and even make peace for ourselves and our loved ones by using common sense, seeking good advice, and acting on that prepare as best we can.
    This year and many to come will be a challange for us all. Being prepared makes going forward a little more comforting.

  5. RE: “in my sense of right and wrong, taking care of the truly needy is something that governments should do”

    Oh, you kind of lost me there. You’re saying the theft of taxation is ok, and it’s ok to rob from Paul (The power of choice?) in order to help out Peter who is in need?
    If it was by willing charity, I’d say good and well, but as I read through the Constitution I don’t see where the government is authorized to do this. But, that never stopped anyone. Afterall, it’s just a piece of old paper meant to be ignored. Or so it seems, anyway.

    You write that, “There will still be a need for government assistance” I think you’re confusing need, with want. And, altogether ignoring the tale of the ant and the grasshopper.

    Yup, “you need to acknowledge these facts and accept the truth.”

    The rest of it seemed pretty good.

    • Helot, I am confident that she agrees with you more than you think. I don’t think it’s a matter of politics here. Which it sounds to me like you are interpreting her message as. Not everyone will agree on this, I know. But there are those, in times like now, that even if they do not agree with government assistance, they have no alternative. I know one or two in that very boat, myself.

      Gaye, once again, great article!

    • It’s about, what is right, and what is wrong.
      There are always alternatives.
      There is nothing new, now, under the Sun.

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