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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Survival - Eight Deadly Dangers of Survival

When faced with an Urban or Wilderness Survival Challenge there are many dangers. The result of not dealing with these dangers in a successful manner can and will be death. We are calling these dangers, the Eight Deadly Dangers of Survival.

• Fear and anxiety. Humans will be fearful of any new situation outside of their comfort zone. Have a decayed or non-existent infrastructure; being unsure of your very survival on a day by day basis; and, fearful for the future of your children are all factors that can drive even the most mentally sound people into paralysis. We are really going to be challenged in faith. Our belief in a higher authority; our beliefs in our abilities and the overall belief that a day by day scrapping to survival will be worth it. Knowing that fear and anxiety will be dangers is half the battle. Keep observation on your survival group for people giving into fear and anxiety. If you watched the movie: “The Road”, you’ll remember the mother of the young boy not being able to deal with the situation then walking out into the cold to presumably die (from Hypothermia)

• Cold and heat. Hypothermia and Heat Stroke. The components of battling cold are clothing, shelter and a heating source. The key here will be preparation. Be equipped with Survival Gear and Equipment such as fire starters, good clothing including rain gear and the ability to make or build a temporary shelter or even a fixed substantial structure. In very few instances will we be naked in a desert devoid of anything at all. If we find ourselves in a very degraded environment with little Survival equipment, then the improvisational part of our nature, enhanced through training, will be the difference in our survival,….or not. Rocks, terrain and depressions become ways to get out of the wind to minimize the cold and tree boughs and other plants become insulation. With the danger of Heat, causing heat injuries leading to heat stroke and death, we have to minimize the loss of our sweat. Too many people have been found dead with water still in their canteens. Don’t ration your water,..just use it wisely.

• Thirst. This danger goes along with thirst,’ll drive a person crazy. Crazy enough sometimes to drinks sea water without distilling the water from the salt (drinking saltwater will kill you); thirsty enough to drink polluted water. You need to know enough to, again ration your sweat, limit your food consumption…you can go along time (many days, even weeks) without food; but 2 days maybe 3, without water.

• Boredom and loneliness. Being separated from family and friends, a lack of normal communications means such as cell phones, e-mail, facebook, etc., will be hard on most people, but doubly so for children, teenagers and young adults who have grown up with this technology and will at a great loss without it. The hard work of daily survival may leave little time for fun and pleasure. If you are leading or managing a survival group you will need to consider how to alleviate boredom and loneliness. You may even be faced with a situation where there are more men than women and the potential trouble that may cause. You will have to deal with this swiftly and decisively.

• Fatigue. Hard work and lack of nutrition will bring on fatigue. There also is mental fatigue to consider as the daily grind of survival will weight heavily on people. With inadequate rest comes bad decisions,…ensure you and your people are getting adequate rest to be up to the challenge of hard physical work and the mental challenge of making well informed decisions.

• Hunger. Like I said before, you can go along time without food. You don’t necessary want to. Upon the immediate knowledge of a collapse or ability to procure commercially available foods, the Urban or Wilderness Survivalist or Survival Group should implement food rationing. Smaller meals twice a day are much better than one bigger meal a day. Gives people something to look forward to more often in a day as well as is better for the metabolism. Most of us could afford to lose a few pounds anyway. If you are in a decayed situation, understand that you have several days of not eating and still have 100% physical ability before your physical abilities start to degrade gradually or in some cases a little faster than gradually. Adjust your physical work accordingly. Work slower and work smarter.

• Pain and injury. Although when placed in a survival scenario whether it’s a collapse of the infrastructure or placed as an individual in wilderness survival situation, pain can be good,….it’s show us we are alive but can be a warning that something isn’t right and that we have sustained an injury. Be very careful not to let pain develop into an injury especially when our ability to seek and get medical care is greatly or totally diminished. Same of illnesses,…do not let sniffles and a head cold develop into a chest cold then pneumonia. Death follows pneumonia with high powered anti-biotics. Be prepared. Learned alternatives treatments.

• Poor security. Survival is a team sport. Security is not just an LP/OP or lookout providing forewarning of the approach of an outlaw motorcycle group or a bunch of armed zombies. Security is not just your ability to defend you and your group, your home or base camp. The exception to the Survival team sport rule is an individual survival situation in the wilderness,…and in this situation you probably won’t have people hunting you. If so, they take appropriate precautions. Have cold camps. Dry tinder/dry fuel fires during the day only, perhaps heating rocks for nighttime warmth. Be careful crossing linear danger areas/natural lines of drift (roads, trails, power lines trails, dry river beds, etc) and sterilize the signs of your passage to avoid detection. Skirt open areas (we call them irregular danger areas). Have light, noise and litter discipline as to not provide any clues where you are at.

These are the Eight Deadly Dangers of Survival. Being aware of them and the counter measures may make the difference between staying alive or being eaten by animals or cannibals.

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