The Rugged Life: The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance — by Clint Emerson

Title: The Rugged Life: The Modern Homesteading Guide to Self-Reliance
Author: Clint Emerson
Year: 2022
Publisher: Rodale Books


If you don’t have the physical conditioning necessary to get yourself out of trouble, the skills in this book won’t do you much good.” -Clint Emerson.

If the world stops, with no gas, and no electricity, would you be able to survive? In this article, I will share with you five points that stand out from the book “The Rugged Life: The Modern Homesteading Guide to Self-Reliance” that will help you survive any apocalypse!

Quick note; I will not write about the specific techniques detailed in the book (for that you must read it), instead, I will write about the philosophies behind them, the reason why you should learn how to do things yourself.

Let’s start with the first lesson.

Master the Basics

You want to be an entrepreneur, you want to be rich, you want to be this, you want to be that but you cannot do the simplest mundane things in life.

Clint opens our eyes to reality; you will not be able to run if you do not know how to walk. So, day after day, step by step, learn how to take care of yourself, learn how to do things for yourself instead of paying someone to do it.

Let’s think about cooking for example; learn how to cook instead of calling on delivery food every single day, at the end of the day you will save some money and you will develop a new skill that can be useful for the rest of your life.

Mindset is Key

It’s not new news that your mindset is everything. Stop telling yourself that you are useless and that you cannot do something because it is hard or just because you are lazy, it’s time to believe in yourself and do some work.

Some days are going to be hard, that is why you need discipline and you need to train it, how?


Start doing things you like, keep moving, it all boils down to the same thing, keep learning. The more you learn the better your brain will work! Make a routine that will help you stay on course even during the ‘bad days’.

In an interview with Evan Carmichael, Clint mentioned that he also has days where he does not want to do anything, or where he doubts himself, but he knows that is not an excuse.

Do it Yourself and Teach Your Kids Along the Way

Emerson mentions how the lessons in his book are basic information that every parent should teach their children. You can’t tell your kid not use his/her phone if you are always on yours! Teach by example, sometimes kids do not listen but definitely do watch.

Acknowledge the NAVY Spirit

Clint mentions how we all have this NAVY spirit; we only have to wake it up. We all have more potential and we all are capable of things that we cannot even imagine, like Socrates said…

It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”


This was a short and “straight to the point” article, just like this book; we don’t need to add more senseless stuff just to add more pages, we must be lean and precise.

This is a great book to open your eyes and realize that we live in a comfortable society, one that may be way too comfortable…We must learn basic life skills, in other words, we must learn how to interact with the real world, not just the digital one.

I hope these five points from Clint Emerson helps you in your daily life and I encourage you to take a look at the book and start moving toward your more constructive goals!

Favourite Quotes

  • “The goal in psychological warfare of any sort is to distort a target’s perception of reality in order to bring about a change in behaviour.”
  • “Lighters and cigarettes are always carried, even by non-smokers, as they may be used as a tool of escape or to create a distraction or diversion.”
  • “A knife that is not used safely provides no defence at all—it’s more likely to imperil the user than to wound his attacker.”
  • “Why waste the space on a stack of half-read books and periodicals, when you could turn your nightstand into a tactical toolbox?”
  • “In the absence of clamming tools, the operative can simply press the key against a soft patch of his own skin; the resulting mark will last several minutes.”

What are your thoughts on the ideas of Clint Emerson for living the rugged, self-reliant life? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram and, order your copy from Amazon

Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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