5 Survival Lessons Learned From the Book of Eli (Movie)

Warning: Massive spoilers! Stop reading now if you have yet to watch this movie!!!

The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic thriller starring Denzel Washington. Eli (Washington) has been wandering the barren earthscape for the past thirty years, protecting the last and only remaining copy of the Bible. Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the leader of a ruthless gang of marauders, will do anything it takes to get his hands on the Book.

Zombie flicks and post-apocalyptic thrillers are my favorite kinds of movies. They often pose the question: How independent are you now? Do you have the skillsets to survive on your own? Do you want to get experience doing something new? I often learn a new, manly skill as a result, which makes me a better person and a more productive member of society, brain-eating zombies and post-apocalyptic considerations aside.


Be Proficient With Arms

As Eli wanders from town to town in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world devoid of life as we currently know it, he encounters roving gangs of marauders, rapists, and raiders. His proficiency with arms of all types—firearms, the recurve bow, and the machete—saves his hide and the Book he is protecting on more than one occasion. Learn to be proficient with the maintenance and usage of arms before you really need to use them. In addition, learning how to hunt will provide you with a valuable food source. Remember: Limited vegetation grows in the barren soil of a radiated world. All joking aside it is a useful skill to be able to grow or gather your own food.

Know Where to Look for Water

Water is king and currency during these times. He who controls the water controls the general populace. Would you know where to look for water should you ever get lost while camping or hiking? Learn how to extract water from various sources, such as building a solar still or extracting it from a water vine. Learn how to sanitize your drinking water chemically or by boiling it.

Learn a Specialized Skill and Always Be in Demand

When Eli accidentally drained the batteries on his iPod, he had to travel to a nearby town to seek out specialized skillsets to have it recharged. People, such as engineers, doctors, and mechanics, will be the ones in demand. Specialized skills in any age are always useful. You will be a valued asset and contributor to society as it struggles to rebuild itself. The locals will even provide protection, housing, and commodities for you, as you have a skillset that is truly unique and hard to replace.

Stay off the roads when traveling between towns

As it was true in Eli’s time, it is still true in modern times, especially in third-world countries. In the lawless post-nuclear world that Eli occupies, roving gangs of marauders, rapists, and other undesirables will always take advantage of the weary traveler, robbing them of their possessions or worse. If you decide to travel to third-world countries, such as Brazil, be leery that robbers often stalk the remote roads in between cities, stopping whole busloads of passengers and robbing them at gunpoint. Visit sites, such as Wikitravel, especially their Stay Safe section.

Learn How to Build a Fire

Starting a fire with matches or a lighter is easy. Starting one with sticks is a whole different story. Up your man skills by learning how to start a fire with a fire plough or a bow and drill. Better yet, make it easy on yourself and get a flint striker. A man truly feels connected to Nature when he is able to build a fire from primitive sources, nurturing that glowing amber until it ignites some tinder into flames that in turn fuel kindling. Big fires start from small ones. Most importantly, your friends or your kid will thank you for making it possible for them to grill dinner or toast some marshmallows.

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