Welcome To Next Step Survival?
Next Step Survival is here to serve as both your library of information and a helpful guide to help sort out the truth from the fluff and help you focus on what you feel is most important.
You will find practical information, tactics, and resources for survival, bushcraft, prepping, homesteading, protection and gear reviews.
Why another Survival blog?
My first post just happens to address that very issue, Another survival blog? Really? Basically, I am convinced I can add value to an already crowded space by reducing the noise and guiding you in the direction you want to go at a pace set by you.
Who is behind Next Step Survival?
Hi, I’m Brian Hawkins. I’m a father, grandfather, Veteran, law-abiding taxpayer, homeowner, trucker, and a United States Citizen. Oh, and I’m also, since we’re applying labels here, a prepper, survivalist, responsible gun owner, and hiker.
I was in the Army during peacetime, in the 80’s, as a truck driver. For you fellow veterans, I was a 64C, MOS later changed to 88M. I never saw combat and I didn’t train with the cool kids for the Special Forces, Delta Force, Rangers, or even the Infantry. Nope, I was a gear grinder, and proud to support the 197th Infantry, 82nd Airborn, and The 3rd Ranger Battalion.
I wouldn’t call myself a wannabe but I was one of the guys that loved the field and to train in the woods. I loved the challenge, the gear, and the experience. Little did we know the next war, right around the corner, would have few trees and a lot of sand. I feel fortunate to have missed it but have the respect for the brace soldiers that did go.
I spent a little over six years in and left in 1989 as a sergeant with two honorable discharges. I wanted to try driving a shiny truck for more money.
It didn’t take long to start missing a lot of the Army way of life. The transition into the civilian lifestyle was difficult. It turned out I didn’t really care to spend a lot of time with the other truckers, still don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for those guys and, honestly, America would fall flat on its face without our truckers. True story.
I just wasn’t the perfect fit for telling trucker stories at the diners and spending days on end keying the mic of a CB. Nope, I was better suited to grab some gear and find a quiet spot in the woods to relax and explore. Antisocial? I guess, but it is what it is and I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.
For the next decade, I drove for several companies, coast to coast, including Canada, and spent many a weekend in the forests, mountains, lakes, and even the desert. I loved hiking and I loved the wilderness and I had no idea what a survivalist was. I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about if you started talking about prepping yet I squirreled months of food and supplies away, almost instinctively. This is before personal computers, cell phones, and GPS. But the top bunk of my truck cab was loaded to the top of the ceiling with survival and hiking gear.
Later, in 1999, I went local (driving locally) and discovered computers. I didn’t lose interest in hiking but the opportunities certainly dropped away, all the while I began focusing on new adventures – online. So I eventually lost a bunch of gear, gained a bunch of weight, and lived the easy life for a while.
A few years ago I started getting back into hiking and outdoor survival, only now it is complimented, and complicated, by a wealth of online information. Now I have enough gear, food, and supplies to fuel my renewed passion for a very long time. I’ve learned more in the last year than I have my entire life when it comes to survival – and I feel a very strong need to share it. Maybe it has something to do with 16 years of blogging, but that is just a guess. 😉
I hope you’ll join me as we sort through the confusion and make the best decisions based on our and our family’s needs. Especially if you’ve read this entire story because now I owe you – you’ll never get that time you just wasted back. LOL