Basically it means that you need the right attitude to survive. The positive mind-set is not enough; you will also need different skills to survive.
I’m concentrating on seven skills to survive. Some might say there’s more and that could be true, but the following skills should be adequate for anyone to survive in the wilderness.
Survival Psychology (Positive Mental Attitude)
Medicine and 1st. Aid
Signaling and navigation
These seven skills are put in a random order, except the positive mental attitude (PMA), which is the catalyst for your survival. Loose your positive mental attitude; chances are that you will loose your life.
Although you may be stressed and not able to think clear in the situation you’re in, there are 2 acronyms that can help you in a survival or stressful situation: STOP and SURVIVAL.
The acronym S – T – O – P is very useful in a stressful situation but can also be used in a survival situation, as it’s really easy to remember.
S – Stop. Don’t do anything without thinking
T – Think. What is your situation? How can you improve it? What way to move?
O – Orient yourself. Where are you? Where should you go?
P – Planning. Do your planning thoroughly.
Use the acronym S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L during a survival situation
|S||Size Up the Situation
(Surroundings, Physical Condition, Equipment)
|U||Use All Your Senses,
Undue Haste Makes Waste
|R||Remember Where You Are|
|V||Vanquish Fear and Panic|
|A||Act Like the Natives|
|L||Live by your Wits, But for Now, Learn Basic Skills|
Is there any immediate danger to my or others life? Do I need to move away immediately, to avoid the flames or something else? Do I need to rescue some equipment? If your car is burning, do you have time to reach for your survival pack? These and a lot of other questions will emerge when you are in a survival situation. Your reaction and prioritizing will determine what the outcome of the situation will be.
Size Up Your Surroundings
Determine the pattern of the area. Get a feel for what is going on around you. Every environment has a rhythm or pattern whether it’s in the forest, mountains, jungle or desert. This rhythm or pattern includes animal, bird and insect noises, sounds and movements. It also includes lakes, rivers, traffic, buildings, roads and railroad tracks. These signs can lead you to your rescue or provide you with shelter and food
Size Up Your Physical Condition
The stress and pressure of the situation you’re in may have caused you to overlook wounds you received. Check your wounds and give yourself first aid. Take care to prevent further bodily harm. For instance, in any climate, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you are in a cold or wet climate, put on additional clothing to prevent hypothermia.
Size Up Your Equipment
Some of your survival equipment might be lost or damaged, or the only equipment you have, is what’s in your car or backpack. Check to see what equipment you have and what condition it is in.
If you act in haste you might take the wrong decision. You have to consider all aspects of your situation before making your next decision. Of course you should react fast if your life is in danger. Without using all your senses to evaluate the situation, your next move could result in your death. You could easily forget or overlook some useful equipment or signs of shelter, water or food if you move without looking, using you’re hearing and smell. Be observant at all times.
If you have a map, find your location and relate it to the surrounding terrain. Study the map carefully as it can provide you with information for sources of shelter, water, food, roads and houses. If there are more persons with you, make sure they also know their location.
Pay close attention to where you are, where you are going, and constantly orient yourself. Try to determine, as a minimum, how your location relates to:
The location of built-up areas.
The location of local water sources (especially important in the desert).
Areas that will provide good cover and shelter.
The greatest enemies of survival are fear and panic, which can stop your ability to make an intelligent decision. Fear and panic may cause you to react to your feelings and imagination, rather than your situation. Survival training and self-confidence will enable you to overcome fear and panic.
As you are living in a buy-and-throw-away culture, your ability to improvise is somewhat degraded. You should learn to look at and use natural objects around you, for different needs, or take a tool designed for a specific purpose and see how many other uses you can make of it. No matter how complete a survival kit you are bringing, it will run out, or wear out after a while. Your imagination must take over when your kit wears out.
We have all, more or less, become used to the easy life and have become creatures of comfort. Refusing to give in to the problems and obstacles that you face, when placed in a survival situation with it’s stresses, inconveniences and discomforts will give you the mental and physical strength to survive.
The natives and animals of a region have adapted to their environment. By watching the animals, you can find sources of shelter, water and food.
L –Live by Your Wits
But for now, learn basic wilderness skills. Without training in basic wilderness skills your chances of surviving a life threatening or survival situation. Learn the skills before you find yourself in a survival situation. What equipment you will bring will also impact your chances of survival.
You need to know about the environment to which you are going, and you have to practice those skills suitable to that environment. If you are traveling to a desert, there’s no reason in training on how to construct an igloo.
Practice basic wilderness skills at every chance you get. Survival training reduces fear of the unknown and boosts your self-confidence. It teaches you to live by your wits.
These acronyms are only to be used as a guideline, and I recognize the difficulty of remembering the meaning of all the letters, especially in the acronym SURVIVAL.
By using STOP in most situations, you will have the advantage in surviving, instead of just acting without a plan.
Now that you have sized up your situation, surroundings, physical condition and equipment, you are ready to make your priorities of work. In doing so, keep in mind your basic physical needs — shelter, warmth, water and food.