Adopting a Survival Attitude – You Know it Can Save You

By Ian Kershaw
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Adopting a Survival Attitude – You Know it Can Save You

Ian Kershaw
 
 
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Perhaps the most important survival strategy of all is to adopt a survival attitude when you find yourself in a survival situation. This is something that wilderness-survival and disaster-preparedness experts are able to master, but something that the ordinary individual doesn’t often think about.

There’s a reason why we’re talking about this:

If you fail to adopt a survival attitude, then the rest of your survival efforts could be for nothing.

Keep yourself calm and don’t let stress overwhelm you
Keep yourself calm and don’t let stress overwhelm you

 

It really is that simple. Will failing to adopt a survival attitude guarantee that you won’t survive? No, but it will definitely decrease your chances of surviving.

You probably have two questions on your mind: “What is a survival attitude?” and “How can I adopt it?”

A survival attitude consists of four distinct steps:

  1. You recognize that you are in a life-or-death situation where EVERY decision you make matters
  2. You keep yourself calm and don’t let stress and anxiety overwhelm you
  3. You plan out what you need to do to survive and make a list of priorities you need to follow
  4. You execute the plan by following your priorities

That’s what a survival attitude is. Now, how can you apply it? Let’s answer this question by creating a hypothetical survival scenario that you find yourself in.

Recognize that you are in a survival situation
Recognize that you are in a survival situation

In this scenario, you’ve gone for a leisurely hike alone out in the woods. By afternoon, you decide it’s time to start heading back.

But, there’s just one problem: you don’t know how to get back. Just like that, you’re now lost and stranded out in the wilderness.

The first instinct of any average person in this situation would be to panic and let their stress overwhelm them. This would greatly harm their mental and physical ability to survive.

However, by adopting a survival attitude, you can avoid this pitfall.

First, you need to recognize that you are in a survival situation. Accept that you’re lost, but don’t beat yourself up or blame yourself for it. Just accept it and affirm that you are in a life-or-death situation and that every decision you make from now on increases or decreases your chances of survival. Your first decision needs to be that you will do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

You need to remain calm to think clearly and operate at your very best
You need to remain calm to think clearly and operate at your very best

Next, don’t let your stress overwhelm you. It’s very easy to let stress and anxiety take hold of you, but you need to remain calm to think clearly and operate at your very best. To do this, sit down, close your eyes, and inhale and exhale very slowly. This may sound very basic, but the truth is that breathing slowly is a very powerful way to calm your emotions and get you thinking straight.

Sit down, close your eyes, and inhale and exhale very slowly
Sit down, close your eyes, and inhale and exhale very slowly

Once you’ve calmed yourself down and lowered your accelerating heart rate, the next step is to formulate a plan. First, analyze each of the survival items that you have with you: clothes, water, food, fire-starting devices, tools, and anything else you have.

Then, prioritize what you need to do to survive. As it’s afternoon, your first priority should be to locate a suitable campsite for the night and to build a shelter and a fire.

Locate a suitable campsite for the night and build a shelter and a fire
Locate a suitable campsite for the night and build a shelter and a fire

To this end, you need to begin assembling the necessary materials. Your next priority after that should be to find clean water and edible food, and your next priority after that should be to navigate your way out of the wild.

The final step is to simply execute your plan by completing your priorities one at a time. Don’t just think about building a shelter: actually build it! Don’t just think about finding a source of water: actually find it!

A crude log shelter
A crude log shelter

And that’s it! This is a survival attitude and how to apply it. These techniques can and should be easily applied to ANY survival or disaster situation you find yourself in.

 
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