Part 1 of 6 in the Survival Series
Preppers, simply put, are those who peer into the future and try to plan for contingencies. And there are so many possible contingencies, from accidents or natural catastrophes, to getting lost in the wilderness or hunkering down in your house in an economic meltdown.
While situations can vary wildly, some truths apply to all:
Fear is debilitating
Panic is deadly
The hierarchy of needs: air, shelter, water, food, etc.
No plan survives first contact! In other words, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and adapt.
This is the first of seven segments on surviving in a wilderness situation. We’ll cover Mental Preparation in this one, then specific topics in the next five: Shelter, Heat (fire), Agua (water), Food, Tools, (plus Kits, and Training), and Signaling, (which will be covered within the others). Do you notice the acronym? SHAFTS – easy to remember, especially if you make the song Shaft your training theme song!
There are several ways that you might find yourself in a survival situation in the wilderness: an accident (airplane or auto), getting lost hiking, getting stranded or abandoned, running away from another danger…. The cause is irrelevant unless you have someone maliciously pursuing you, which will not be covered in this essay, but your needs for shelter, etc., would still be the same.
The situation is simpler if you are alone, not necessarily better or worse, but you know exactly who you must rely on. It can be much better or much worse if you are accompanied by one or more adults and/or children, if someone is injured or handicapped, or if you are injured or sick. That is the meaning of “No plan survives first contact!” You prepare for surviving yourself, and then you might find yourself in a much more complicated situation, so you adapt. Invest some thought on those possibilities, then just make your preparations as best you can.