SurvivalCommonSense.com was in the development stage long before anyone ever heard of the internet, reality TV shows or preppers.
by Leon Pantenburg
My wildest dreams never included editing a wilderness/survival website.
But I’ve been an outdoors enthusiast as long as I can remember (Here’s my bio), and for years I was a Boy Scout and Girl Scout volunteer. In those capacities, I taught survival and various wilderness skills. I took part in these activities because I enjoy them, and never thought about how the skills might be important down the road
In my current day job, I am an instructor/mentor for communications students at Central Oregon Community College, in Bend, Oregon. I don’t claim to be a survival expert. I am always learning, and always looking for new information related to wilderness/urban survival. I spent most of my career as a journalist, and for years, I was an investigative reporter.
Indirectly, that lead to this website. In 2006, I was working for The Bulletin in Bend. Within a one-month period, two people died of hypothermia after getting lost in the backcountry. Subsequently, I was assigned an investigative assignment that would result in a winter survival guide for Central Oregon.
The research opened my eyes. I couldn’t believe the mis-information and just plain BS that was promoted as fact. The winter survival guide was published in 2007, went over very well, and received several awards.
Concurrently, I continued teaching scouters and kids wilderness skills. After one session, a parent commented:
“What you teach is simple and easy. It’s just common sense survival.”
And also, I was getting increasingly concerned about the proliferation of “survival” shows on TV. While they did get people interested in the concept of survival, most of these shows sacrificed valid information for ratings. Some of the hosts’ shenanigans were dangerous, and provided a very bad role model for inexperienced viewers.
I guess my wife, Debbie, got tired of hearing me rant and rave about dangerous advice, non-realistic programming and charlatan survival instructors. She lined up the initial website, and Debbie’s comment was essentially “Put up or shut up.”
So SurvivalCommonSense.com came on line in late 2009. Initially, I intended it as a resource for scout volunteers. To my amazement, people from all over the world started following the site, and today, SurvivalCommonSense.com gets thousands of views daily and has reached millions of people. (Check out the YouTube page.)
Here’s why it works. I never claimed to know everything. But I do know a lot of survival subject matter experts, and my interviewing skills and investigative experience means my BS alarm is finely-tuned. I question and test everything
And that’s what you’re going to get on this website – factual, proven survival techniques and equipment that can help you survive any emergency. And thanks to our sponsors, this information is available, free of charge, to anyone who is interested.
Thanks for stopping in, and welcome!