Mastering Survival Series - Part 4
Welcome back to our ongoing series, Mastering Survival, where we delve into the profound art of wilderness survival. At the Woodsrunner School, we believe survival training goes beyond the acquisition of skills; it's a dynamic philosophy that empowers you to understand yourself and the world around you. In this installment, we're diving into the critical phase of "Lost-Proofing," the initial step in ensuring your survival during unexpected crises and survival situations.
The Philosophy of Survival
Survival training encompasses more than just acquiring skills to endure hardships. While constructing shelters, finding food and water, and building fires are crucial mechanics, they represent only a fraction of the whole picture. Survival is an art, a philosophy that opens doors to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world you inhabit.
Unraveling Crisis and Survival Situations
Before we embark on our journey into lost-proofing, let's establish a foundation. A crisis situation occurs when an individual experiences a breakdown or disruption in their normal daily activities due to stress. On the other hand, a survival situation is the act of enduring adversity, especially in adverse or unusual circumstances.
Various factors contribute to crisis and survival situations, such as lack of knowledge, deviation from a plan, accidents, insufficient experience or skills, miscalculated risks, panic, rushing, lack of self-care and self-awareness, irrational assessments of situations, bad attitudes, and ignorance. While the list is extensive, these factors often form the basis of most survival scenarios in the wilderness.
Common Wilderness Survival Scenarios
Wilderness survival is a multifaceted challenge, and the scenarios one might face can range from exposure to extreme cold, immersion in water, heat stress, dehydration, getting lost, spending an unexpected night outdoors, encountering moving water challenges, animal encounters, severe weather conditions, struggles to start a fire, and dealing with accidents and medical emergencies.
Research highlights the cognitive processes that can break down in crisis situations, leading to fatal outcomes. These processes encompass thinking, understanding, recalling, evaluating, and resolving challenges It's worth noting that in survival situations, the desire to live isn't solely about having the will; it's about having the want to live, driving one's actions and decisions.
The Mind-Body Connection: Harnessing Mental Endurance
Our personal experiences and scientific evidence underscore the powerful connection between the mind and body. Training conditions our minds to match and even challenge the body's endurance. This mental resilience keeps us going amidst uncertainty, exhaustion, and pain. By training our minds to persist, even in the face of adversity, we unlock the potential to push forward despite discomfort.
Preparing for the Unknown
The cornerstone of mastering survival begins with pre-planning, ensuring you're mentally and physically prepared for the unexpected. Here's a comprehensive breakdown:
Communication: Inform at least two people of your plans using various platforms. Keep them updated even if minor changes occur.
Terrain Familiarity: Understand the area you're exploring, and anticipate environmental challenges, hazards like rock slides, rough rapids, flash flood zones, drop-offs, and wildlife threats.
Carry Essentials: Your Tier 1 Kit, containing supplies for personal safety, self-care, thermoregulation, and hydration, is essential.
Weather and Terrain Check: Check weather forecasts and study the terrain using resources like Google Earth. Adjust clothing and gear accordingly.
Leave Information: Leave an I.C.E (In Case of Emergency) letter in your vehicle detailing provisions, gear, destination, route, emergency contacts, medical information, and emergency plans.
Signaling Preparedness: Be ready to signal for help using auditory and visual means if necessary.
Attitude Mastery: Develop a confident attitude to tackle challenges head-on and overcome them.
Survival Priorities: Learn the survival priorities: defend yourself, provide self-aid, STOP (Sit, Think, Observe, Plan), signal for help, master your attitude, seek or create shelter, stay hydrated, build a fire, maintain motivation, rest, and consider self-rescue.
Confidence vs. Cockiness: Understand the distinction between confidence, rooted in knowledge and skills, and cockiness, ego-driven and often leading to poor decisions.
Desire for Control and Rightness: Acknowledge the innate human desire for control and the need to be right. Embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.
A Path to Empowerment
Survival isn't just about enduring; it's about embracing challenges and adapting with a resilient mindset. Lost-proofing is the initial step in your journey toward mastering survival. At Woodsrunner School, our courses delve into these principles, empowering you to navigate the unknown confidently and competently. Stay tuned as we continue uncovering the secrets of mastering survival.
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Stay Safe, enjoy the wilderness, and together, we’ll RUN THE WOODS!
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Founder & Director of Operations
Woodsrunner School, LLC