Introduction to Survival Rules and Priorities.
Why is it that some people survive emergency situations and catastrophes while other in the same situation don’t survive?
There are many reasons for this:
1. The best predictor of survival success is your attitude.
Not just having a positive attitude, although that is very important. Having a “can do, never quit” attitude is the best thing you can do to survive. Having a can-do attitude will help you to stay focused on survival and will give you the courage and strength to carry on even when lost, exhausted, sore, discouraged, hot or cold, wet or dry, hungry or not. Think about it, even if you have all the latest and greatest survival gear, if you do not have a can-do attitude, that equipment will not be of much help. Ever survived a blizzard in the wilderness? What if you are tired, sore, lots of blisters, lost and cold, scared and hungry and just give up and sit down to take a break before you get your shelter and fire set up and going? That is very easy to do. If you are too tired to set up some shelter and fire, chances are you will freeze to death (hypothermia). A can-do attitude will help you to be able to do whatever it takes to survive and is critical for survival in any environment.
2. Being prepared.
No matter what your survival situation, whether stuck in the woods in a blizzard, a sandstrom in the desert, or in the aftermath of some cataclysmic SHTF event (EMP, nuclear war, zombie apocalypse, asteroid impact, alien invasion, etc.,) one of the best indicators for survival is being prepared. This means mentally, physically and equipment-wise. In #1 above I discussed mental preparation. Physical preparation is ensuring you are physically fit enough to handle the survival situations you will face.
How far can you walk without a backpack or some other sort of load?
What if the terrain in your area is mountainous?
Can you physically handle climbing up and down mountains, with or without a trail?
How far can you walk while carrying a 50-pound backpack?
Have you tried doing that lately to see what condition you are really in?
As for being prepared with the correct equipment, that depends a lot on where you live and what the likely conditions you will face to survive. You may not know what gear/equipment you will need, but you can research survival gear on the internet and read blogs such as this one to educate yourself. We will talk a lot about survival gear, tools and equipment in this blog, so stay tuned and sign up and I will give you the benefit of learning what I have learned over the years about survival.
3. What is the most important tool for survival?
Especially when scared, tired, discouraged, hungry, thirsty, sore, etc., take the time to calm yourself and think through your situation. Panic and the resultant poor decisions you will make as a result of that panic, kills lots of people every year.
Ask yourself some questions such as:
What are the most likely survival situations I will face?
What skills and knowledge do I have that will help me survive this situation?
What equipment do I have to help me survive this situation?
How long will this survival situation last?
Do I need to find or make shelter, or get water or food?
How do I get to a safe place from where I am right now?
Consider things such as the weather, what you are prepared (mentally, physically and equipment-wise) to handle, and what are the factors that will most likely affect my survival in this situation? Are you lost, or just stuck in place due to weather (snowfall, windstorm, etc.).
Consider 2 broad ideas here:
a. What are the most likely hazards or situations you will have to overcome?
b. What are the most dangerous hazards or situations you will have to overcome?
Once you have those figured out, think about how well prepared you are to deal with those hazards and situations. What equipment do you have with you?
Do you have shelter with you or will you to need to find or build an impromptu shelter?
Do you know how to build an impromptu shelter?
What tools do you need and have to do that?
Do you have enough water and food (in that order) to survive until you resolve your survival situation?
There are many more such questions you may need to ask yourself depending on the situation you are in. Taking the time to, as calmly as possible, think through your situation will help you focus on your survival and will distract you from panicking and doing something that will get you injured or killed.
It will give you the mental strength to continue and it will also help you to determine what your priorities for survival are!
Setting priorities is another critical key to your survival.
Remember: The most important tool to help you survive is your brain, so use it!!
There are other factors that will help you to be a survivor and I will discuss those more in future posts. These factors include:
What survival related training you have had.
What life experiences have you had that will help you to survive.
I will close this post with an introduction to the first set of survival “rules” I will discuss here – The Rule of Threes.
What does knowing the Rule of Threes help you to do to survive?
It helps you keep your survival priorities in mind so you can focus on what is most important to your survival.
The Rule of Threes
You can survive 3 minutes without air (or in freezing cold water)
3 hours without shelter in a harsh/extreme environment (heat or cold)
3 days without water
3 weeks or more without food
The Rule of 3’s is very useful when thinking about your survival priorities but keep in mind that the food and water rules of thumb may change depending on your situation. For instance if you are lost in a hot desert environment in the middle of summer, you may not last 3 days without water, especially without shelter/shade from the sun and heat.
My next post will talk about some more rules and ways to help you remember the things you will need to survive.
Please leave your thoughts, suggestions and ideas in the blog and I will talk to you again soon!