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Should You Become Ambidextrous to Survive?

Recently I watched a video on Why a Weak Hand Backup Carry and it got me to remembering another video I watched some time ago about Ambidextrous – Urban Survival (both are YouTube videos) and I thought “I’ve never had that problem”. The thing is that I would be in big trouble if I did and I suspect you would too.

Obviously, most of us have a dominant hand, one that we’re heavily reliant on. And, considering that there are so many tasks that we’re accustomed to performing in a particular manner with one hand, the lack of that hand–especially in a survival situation–could be life-threatening. I would assume that anyone who has hand their dominant hand or arm in a cast for several weeks can attest to the difficulties of “missing” that hand.

Start to think about the basic skills you’re used to doing with a dominant hand, such as writing, eating, or changing channels on the t.v. remote (oh, wait… I can do that with both hands). Now add in critical skills for survival such as shooting a gun, cutting with a knife, or chopping wood (usually needs two hands anyway) and it becomes clear that we’re heavily reliant on one hand for sure. And, let’s not forget about all of the times that two hands are very useful [you fill in the blanks] but that’s not what this post is about.

The question, then, is: what skills–especially those critical to your survival–are you heavily dependent on with a dominant hand? What’s your plan if this becomes a reality? Should you begin to practice using your off-hand so you’re at least capable? How about other family members?

Try this exercise: for the rest of this day (or tomorrow if you’re reading this late) consciously think about what you’re doing anytime you grab something with your dominant hand and consider if you can perform the same task with your off-hand right now if you had to. If not, write it down and begin to work on that skill. I would love to know what you can add to my list!

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