Survival Skills- Mental Preparation
We all know we need to practice our survival skills and carry a survival kit when we go into the wilderness, right? When you set off into the wilderness you would at least carry a basic survival kit containing such items as a knife, fire starting supplies, basic first aid supplies etc. But how many think about mental preparation as part of our survival skills? Do your survival skills include the mental fortitude to come through a survival emergency and live to tell about it? If not, here are a few mental skills you need to master to survive in the wild.
6 Mental Skills You Need For Survival
- A Willingness To Learn- Even if you know absolutely nothing about survival in the wilderness you can still make it out alive. You just need to possess a willingness to learn. Basic survival skills are all around you in nature if you are observant. For instance, squirrels will burrow under a pile of leaves to stay warm. You can do the same thing. A pile of dry leaves can create a thermal barrier between you and the cold air, similar to a blanket you use on your bed. See those deer eating acorns? Did you know acorns are plentiful and high in calories? They are bitter when raw, but there are ways to eat them that make them palatable. Observe nature and you can pick up some basic skills to help you survive until you can find your way out or are rescued.
- Do Whatever Is Necessary- This is probably the most important of the mental survival skills. You have to be willing to do whatever you must do to survive. You have to get over your squeamishness if you expect to survive your ordeal. Don’t let the fact that grubs are icky make you starve to death. If bugs are all you can find to eat, they are high in protein and most don’t taste too bad once you get over the thought. Learn some basic edible plants. In a previous post, I covered this in detail. Steel your mind to the fact you are going to do whatever it takes to get back home alive. If you and a buddy have to spoon to stay warm and live through the night, just do it.
- Keep A Positive Attitude- Survival is a challenge. Keeping a positive attitude, even in the face of daunting challenges can mean the difference between living through the experience or giving up and lying down to die. Knowing you can learn survival skills on the fly and keeping a positive attitude will help you through. In story after story of survival, the one thing that becomes clear is that those who kept their heads and expected to survive did so.
- Stay Inspired- Inspirational thoughts are helpful in keeping a positive attitude. Read stories of wilderness survival from others who have gone through it. If someone has lived through far worse than anything you are experiencing, then you know you can get through your current situation. If you are in a group and others start to feel hopeless, you can share the stories with them. Hopeless thoughts from someone in your group can start to infect the whole group and lead to disaster. You may need to be a leader and inspire others if the group is to survive.
- Remember Your Reasons To Survive- Everyone has reasons to live. It may be a loved one back home or simply a stubborn determination to beat the odds. Whatever inspires you to survive, hold on to those reasons and use them as motivation to do whatever it takes. Many survivors have attributed their survival to thoughts of loved ones they were determined to see again.
- Wilderness Survival Skills- Your willingness to learn doesn’t have to wait until you are in a survival situation. You don’t have to go through Navy SEAL survival training to learn a few things that can mean the difference between survival and death. Some basic research on the internet will tell you that every mammal in North America is safe to eat. Every bird and their eggs are also safe. Learning to build a basic snare, or how to catch fish without modern tackle can be invaluable when you are in the wild. Learning the edible plants in your area will help you find food should you not be able to trap or catch animals. Or did you know you can stuff your jacket with cattail fluff or dry leaves to help with insulation when it’s cold? Such basic survival skills can be learned with a few searches on the internet. Then you have them when you need them.
One of your most basic survival skills is the ability to use your mind and not lose your head in a survival emergency. These mental survival skills are every bit as important as the other skills you will learn. They may be even more important. Without the will to survive, it’s a good bet you won’t survive.