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Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2019
Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival

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As someone who has been prepping for awhile, I cast a wary eye on new books and new websites that re-hash the some old stuff I have been both learning and writing about for these past three and a half years.  This is not to say that I am a know it all – I am not – but that I have eyeball fatigue with an inability to focus my attention on those things I know well.

What all this means is that when something comes along that presents survival and preparedness in a new context, I pay attention.  Thus, after a hiatus, I have started to once again devour survival and post apocalyptic fiction with a view for learning additional lessons that will help me survive if I am ever faced with a SHTF event.


With that introduction, there are some important lessons of survival that were reinforced while reading Richard Broome’s Leaving the Trees.  I hope you will learn from them as well.

Eight More Lessons of Survival (including Some You May Not Have Thought Of)

1.  Hoard heirloom (non-GMO and non-hybrid) seeds even if you are not currently gardening and growing your own food.  Those seeds, when brought into a survival community, will be worth more than gold.  Don’t worry if you do not know how to use them.  Others in the community will likely have gardening skills and together you can prepare the fields, sow the seeds, tend the crops and bring in the harvest.  But you first need seeds that will reproduce themselves as true, year in and year  out.

2.  Wolves arrive in sheep’s clothing.  Trust is something earned and even though it may feel instinctive, be wary.  It is okay to put strangers through some tests and even then, be conservative in doling out trust cookies.

3.  In every situation there is a moment where you may have the chance to turn the tables.  Learn to take advantage of those moments now, while you can hone your skill at recognizing those opportunities.

4.  Total inaction is not going to save you. To do nothing is to die.  Sorry to be blunt but making decisions and following through with a plan of action will give you at least a 50/50 chance of survival.  Do nothing and you become a target.

5.  Take whatever strengths you have and teach others.  Remember that children are like sponges and can be taught survival skills at a very young age.  Take them under your wing; they represent the future.

6.  No matter how well you know how to do something, keep training and keep learning.  Practice what you know and learn what you do not know.  Read books about life and about history.  Discover how others have responded to adversarial situations, whether in ancient history or as a fictional manifestation of a talented author.

7.  There are leaders and there are followers.  Or, as I like to say, do-ers.  No one is more important than another.  The leader is important, yes.  But so are the teachers, the scouts, the cooks, and the laborers.  All are equal in importance within the context of the survival community.

8.  Firearms are not the only weapons you need to survive.  Sure, they help but the most important weapon you have sits between two ears.

The Final Word

It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote the article Eight Uncommon Lessons: Preparing for an Apocalypse.  Had I read Leaving the Trees first, I may have combined the two into a single list.  That being said, I was so taken by this piece of survival fiction that I just had to get my thoughts down in writing before I moved on to something else.

And then there is the most difficult lesson of all.  For me that is #3; recognizing that small moment when you can turn the tables and change the outcome of the crisis at hand.  Listening, watching, and learning – what else can we do to hone this skill?   It you have some thoughts, please share them in the comments below.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Spotlight Item:  LEAVING THE TREES by Richard Broome

LEAVING THE TREES is a fictional account of the meltdown of our global society, as we know it. It has at its root cause a malevolent cyber attack on the global financial networks and systems by China that finally causes everything to spin out of control. It is initially set in Washington D.C. with political leaders who do not deal effectively with this calamity.

As things begin to unravel, and society loses the ability to cope, things just stop working. At this point he novel sharply transitions to the future and the aftermath of this global meltdown. The last two thirds of the book focuses and how a small community in Montana must pick up the pieces and learn how to survive, with what they have left and how they must live. It is suspense novel about trust, deception, betrayal and revenge that is filled with many twists, and turns.

Bargain Bin:  Something I don’t do often enough is take a peek at the top items Backdoor Survival readers are purchasing for themselves from Amazon.  These are items that show up on my Amazon affiliate reports (I do earn a small commission) and other than the item itself, there is no identifiable information on the report.

These are the top purchases for May. Interestingly enough, the only item I do not own is the sliding door and window lock – something I am going to look in to.

Enjoy the list; perhaps you will find something to add to your prepping library or prepping gear.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
Book 2: Olive Oil Lamps &c. (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)
Leaving The Trees (The Leaving The Trees Journey)
One Second After
Portable Extra-large Head Windproof Waterproof Matches
Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Light Lamp
ProForce Commando Wire Saw Bulk, Ideal For Survival Kits
SE – Whistle with Compass, Thermometer & Lanyard
SE – Battery Tester (Tests Batteries From AAA AA C D 9V)
P-38 Can Opener & P-51 Can Opener
Solar-powered LED Flashlight w/ Keychain
Ultra Hardware Aluminum Sliding Door and Window Lock

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6 Responses to “Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival”

  1. I have read The Patriot series and One Minute After and was hoping Leaving The Trees was that type of book where you could pick up some good ideas for prepping in day to day living but instead I was very dissapointed in Leaving The Trees. One minute you have a lazy teenager and the next he is a full blown warrior. Don’t think I will read #2

  2. I feel the need to offer some explanation about some of the themes, accurately described by Gaye, in Leaving The Trees. Yes. These were, indeed, some of the things I wished to bring out.

    I have experienced now three different standards of conduct in my life: military, political and business. The military has both a formal, written standards of conduct for all the military to follow as well an informal one you learn to follow as you serve. Both are centered on trust, integrity and personal behavior that have to be above reproach.

    The political one is centered on winning. You do not win, you are out of power, and it is that simple. I don’t have to explain this too much. Just sit and watch the political campaign ads these next few months and you will get how the truth gets a little stretched by everyone.

    In business, it is again about winning – deals, clients, market share. I would use an old boss of mine, Ronald Reagan’s phrase: “Trust but verify.” Those of you in the business world know exactly what I am talking about.

    In Leaving The Trees, I believe a fourth standard of conduct will emerge centered on personal survival and this one will super cede any of the other ones. The shocking actions some take in Leaving The Trees are my way of raising that possibility.

    In the sequel to LTT, Good Crazy, that I hope to have out later this summer, you will even see more of this kind of behavior, plus more time spent on excellent leadership.
    One of the courses I teach at Montana State University is leadership.

    Richard Earl Broome

    P.S. It was quite nice of Gaye to do her write up, so I asked Amazon last evening to lower the prices of both the hard copy and kindle version for anyone interested in the book.

  3. #5 is my passion with my 7 year old grandson. He is indeed a sponge of the video game variety – until the last month. I’ve gotten him interested in cutting tools (splitting kindling safely), archery, and camping! When he comes over now we chop wood, shot bows, make leather craft, and he never once mentions or asks to go inside to play with one of his video games. Makes me smile and put some thought into his next foray into self-reliance!

    Keep doing the stuff, Gaye!!

  4. wow, been awhile since I’ve commented too. I just finished reading “leaving the trees” need to get the next book. the most important lessons I learned, save this for the long term, seeds, leatn broad scope of things and practice them. and never wholly trust anyone that isnt in your family already taking part in preps. and if it seams off, or too easy, or the people are way to nice, be on guard. As in this book.

  5. I especially like #2, beware of the wolves arriving in sheeps’ clothing. It is so easy to believe some folk’s stories and to open up the door to your world to them…be careful about opening that door too quickly and too widely. Be gracious, but be cautious. It’s much easier to close that door when it is only open a crack, than when it is stands wide open. And be aware that others will probably be treating you in the same way.

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