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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Survival Mindset and Keyword received the following comment on the post concerning Wilderness Survival Skills: …….”Ken said,…..How about being in the proper mindset for a survival situation, navigate around obstacles and crossing those obstacles, blend in with the population, and predicting the weather.”

UrbanMan replies:….. Ken, good comment! I’ll try to address some of what you say here and the rest in another post.

A proper mindset is absolutely necessary,….you know that or would not have mentioned it. The military uses “key words” so soldiers will remember a key word, such as S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L with each letter meaning a helpful phrase or reminder in order to think and perform your way out of a survival situation. I think the value in these key words, is not in remembering what each letter stands for, but in the process of trying to remember which will help calm down the survivor and get them to use their brain.

This guy did not survive....

The U.S. Army S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L key word means the following:

S – Size Up The Situation. Take stock of the environment. What are your immediate needs? What are the immediate dangers? Is it get out of the weather? Dry you and your clothes off? Find water? If anybody hunting you? Find a safe location and inventory your Survival Gear and Equipment. Do a mental inventory of your skills.

U – Use All Your Senses/Undue Haste Makes Waste. Think things through. Consider disadvantages and advantages of each course of action you are considering.

R – Remember Where You Are. Do you know where you are at? Can you develop a mental map of your surroundings and the landmarks from which to navigate by? Can you tell direction, day and night, without a compass using the stick and shadow method (day) and/or bearing on the Northstar (Polaris) at night?

V – Vanquish Fear. Erase all doubt. Believe you will survive and you will. Think you are going to die and it is now a foregone conclusion.

I – Improvise. Field expedient use of all resources is both a learned skill through survival training, and, a deep seated characteristic or trait of inquisitive people. Tree branches become bedding; large leafs become funnels for water; large rocks become heat reflectors for fires; flat rocks becomes knives and long straight ticks can be sharpened with knives to become spears for hunting or defense; bird or rat nests become fire starters.

V – Value Life. Too many people give up then die. There was a case of two young men hiking near Carlsbad Caverns , New Mexico . They got lost for two days then laid down to die. One told the other “please take this sharp rock and cut my throat, I can’t go on any longer”, the other did it and rescuers found them within the hour. He just plain gave up. Rather than giving up, just give the middle finger to your situation and drive on.

A - Act Like The Natives. This is useful for blending in and surviving the elements. Americans traveling overseas are extremely easy to pick out. The professionals wanting to blend in and not draw attention to themselves are not; In the Middle Eastern deserts you find all indigenous covered head to foot in clothing items – there is a reason for that and that is not ration their sweat rather than their water. If natives can eat it, so can you albeit probably in much smaller quantities until you get used to it. I know a guy who spent three weeks every other year in Namibia ( Southwest Africa ) with the famed Bushmen. He said he over came the language difficulty and challenge to survive by just looking at and replicating what the bushmen did.

L – Life By Your Wits. Your best weapon or tool is your mind – always keep it engaged in drive and think through all planned actions.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that post. On a different note, I have a Marlin 9mm carbine, a Taurus 9mm semi-auto pistol, a 12 gauge shotgun (bird hunting type), and a 7mm Mauser rifle from WWII. Do you think that with sufficient ammunition stockpiled this is a decent armory?