An Interview with Glyn Smith from UKSN
Tell us about UKSN and what makes it different from other survivalist/preparedness groups out there?
UKSN means a variety of things to many different people. Predominantly we are an online and offline community of like minded people who not only prep but simply enjoy being outdoors, be it alone, with friends or close family.
We are by no means a hardcore group and are here to promote prepping, bushcraft and survival skills to the public. Its something everyone should know to a degree and not fear.
Times are changing and everyone should be a little prepared, even a small amount of first aid knowledge you might have learned from a post or from a subsidized course could save someones life! Natural disasters such as floods & fires, terrorism, pandemics – All plausible threats and happening all around us.
If you have the knowledge and the equipment you are far more likely to come out of the situation alive – That’s simply what we are promoting within a family friendly environment.
Additionally we do lots of other things:
– We are a support network and help our members in times of crisis.
– We subsidize events and training such as first aid courses.
– We hold events and have Regional Reps who help organise regional events
– We have many UK Charters – These are local groups who hold events, training and other related activities
– We have a group radio licence allowing members to communicate and are additionally rolling out a much heavier network within 2018-2019
– We have an online shop that sells tried and tested products – Some at great discount for SN1 members
– We run something called Nexgen which gets the kids involved in outdoor activities with the family.
– We have many competitions and giveaways
We are simply so much more than just an online group!
What advice would you give someone who wants to start becoming more prepared?
My top tip would be: Start small – You dont need to be spending a fortune. Instead of 1 tin of beans, buy 3 and slowly stock up, rotating and using what you purchase. Dont buy stuff you wont eat as it will simply go out of date!
In regards to kit, Buy the essentials and think about the environment you live in. If for example you live on a potential flood plain – invest in protection for your home. Its very unlikely that you will ever need to bug out so invest in things
closer to home first. Once your ‘core’ is sorted at home think about creating a bug out bag just in case. Ensure it includes the basics and not a ton of luxuries. Keep your kit light and dont forget to include things like pictures of family, important documents and a bit of cash. If you have children ensure they have things to comfort them such as there favourite teddy, a blanket and some treats that make them feel a little more at home.
How and why did you become so involved in the survival and preparedness field?
I simply wanted to get people out experiencing the outdoors and to become a little more prepared for possible eventuality’s. You have house insurance – This is no different! From being a child spending everyday in
woodlands to joining the Combined Cadet Force and later becoming a Scout leader for a brief period – I have been enjoying being outdoors. This all led up to me forming UKSN.
Why did you set up UKSN? What are your aims for the group?
I founded UKSN at the end of 2014 after a news report on flooding made me realise how unprepared we are. This led to an eye opening journey across the web were I found that other people had had the same epiphany: we need to be prepared for the ‘unknown. From this UKSN was born…
My aims for the group are simple but ever growing – in a nutshell we want to offer advice, help and support to those who need it, form a communication network that can operate without infrastructure and allow everyone to access affordable courses and training.
In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to life as we know it right now? What should people be preparing for?
People always think the worst but its the simple things that kill more people in the UK – Winter is coming and snow will be falling. Ensure your car is prepped for winter, the elderly have enough fuel and support throughout the colder months and you have enough food and supplies in case of store closures. I would also advise purchasing a gas heater which will be a lifesaver if the electric was to fail and temperatures plummet.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of UKSN?
The support network – It has such a family feeling and the majority of us are simply friends. Its great to get out with everyone and sit round a fire just looking at what we have achieved together.
What is next for UKSN?
I dont want to give to much away but have lots being planned. One of the more interesting things is a UK wide communications network that will be receiving a lot of investment throughout 2018-2019.
What kit do you recommend people have to increase their chances of survival if the worst happens?
This is a hard question without knowing what has happened but to survive you need 4 core things to live (Breathable air being a given): shelter, fire/warmth, water and food.
– Shelter I advise a large tarp such as the ‘DD 4X4’ as it has a variety of uses and is highly multi purpose.
– Fire – A firesteel such as as the ‘Grizzly Bushcraft Easy Spark Firesteel’ – it can be used thousands of times without failure.
– Water – A ‘lifesaver bottle’ ensuring clean water for many thousands of liters.
– Food – This ones a little harder as you could either hunt or utilize food stores. I would personally advise ‘HUEL’ – Its a complete food substitute which would keep you going for a good while.
On top of this a good quality multipurpose knife – Not a tactical one – Think Bushcraft and hunting/Skinning like a ‘Mora’, an axe from a reputable manufacturer like ‘Hultafors’, high quality paracord such as ‘atwood rope’ and a compact cooking system like a complete ‘Pathfinder cooking kit’ which has everything you need.
This all needs to be stored inside a rucksack for which i recommend the ‘ 5.11 rush72’. Don’t skimp on a bag as this needs to be very robust and feel comfortable after many hours hiking.
What is your favourite survival/preparedness quote or motto?
My high schools motto really sticks firm in my mind and is a perfect quote for prepping: “ut severis seges” – as you sow, so shall you reap!
To find out more and to see for yourself what UKSN is all about, find UKSN on Facebook here