Survival Skills: Have a Survival Mentality

People with no skills and no gear have survived seemingly insurmountable scenarios, simply because they had the right mindset not to become a casualty.

Here are three vital aspects of the survivor mentality and three pitfalls to avoid.

Mental Toughness
The strength of your will and the toughness of your mind can trump physical prowess in some survival situations. You must learn to tolerate the intolerable, suffer through the insufferable, and overcome your weakness and your desire to give up.

Be Aware of: Panic
This is one of your worst enemies. Panic costs people their lives because it blocks logical thinking and allows your imagination to influence reality, which can be dangerous during traumatic events. Stay positive and maintain a firm grip on the situation. Carefully monitor yourself and other survivors for depression, anger, frustration, hyperactivity, feelings of intense guilt, ideas of suicide, and irrational behavior. Lend others as much support as you can, and don’t let a negative mental state sneak up on you or worsen your situation.

What motivates a person to stay alive when everything has gone wrong? Many survival stories speak of the survivor’s devotion to a higher power or their intense desire to get back to family, friends and loved ones. Motivation is the mental aspect that keeps people going beyond all hope or reason.

The author says many people today couldn't survive even a minor emergency.
The author says many people today couldn’t survive even a minor emergency.

Be AWARE of: Ignorance
Despite the wealth of information available to the world today, there are a lot of people who couldn’t survive even a minor emergency. Most people assume that survival skills are easy, because they look easy on TV, and overestimate their own abilities. You need to know what to do and how to do it, and you need to have done it before in order to really possess the skills to survive.

Survival and adaptability have always been closely related. The ability to adapt to changing events, situations and environments is one of the most impressive and necessary parts of a survivor’s mind-set. You must be able to recognize what’s worth continuing and what needs to be abandoned.

Be Aware of: Stubbornness
Being stubborn can be a real stumbling block for some people, and it’s often confused with tenacity. Don’t be afraid to change the game around. If something isn’t working, change it up. Don’t let your stubborn side get you or someone else killed.

This tip, and 337 more survival tips, are in MacWelch’s new book Prepare For Anything. This latest Outdoor Life survival manual is available at Amazon.

Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch  And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.

Shop Sportsman’s Guide for a great selection of Survival/Tactical Knives and more tactical gear.

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