Over CommunicateThis one is so basic it should be second nature, but so many people leave out this one thing that could save their lives. If you are traveling alone make sure you have a check-in buddy. This person should know how to contact you (if possible), where you are going (as specific as you can be down to trail), when you are going and when you are expected to be back. Every detail that you can give them is important and could be the piece that leads to your rescue should you become lost, injured or incapacitated in the wild.
Carry a HandkerchiefThis simple and classic item should be in every preparedness-minded person’s pocket or within easy reach. It is the very spirit of the multi-tasker, and it is one survival item that is appropriate and accepted anywhere. Your handkerchief can serve countless purposes:
- Carry Container
- First Stage Water Filtration
- Fuel for Fires
- Dust/Debris Mask
- Oven Mitt
- Cold Compress
- Sling Shot
Use EverythingWhen you are in survival mode, everything is useful and nothing is sacred. Understanding that things can be replaced will help keep you in the mindset that you are staying alive and ensure your priorities are in order. Whether it is stripping out the interior of your car for materials that can be used for clothing or shelter or busting up a dead phone to get a fire-starting spark from the battery; nothing you own is more important than staying alive. Many people have failed to survive catastrophe while they carried the very keys to their salvation literally on their back.
Don’t Ration WaterMany a stranded man and woman have been found dead of dehydration, their bodies found parched- next to a half-full canteen. Sound crazy? It’s more common than you might think. It’s a commonly held belief that you need to make the water last as long as possible, so you start to ration out whatever supply you have. This mistake is 100% fatal. Your body requires 2 liters per day- minimum. Taking a few sips to preserve the supply will do nothing but quench the superficial thirst. The saying is true, once you are thirsty- you are already dehydrated.
Water is one of your critical needs, and you should always be on the lookout for a clean or cleanable supply. Drink what you have to stay hydrated, or your brain and body will cease to function at a high level. Eventually, they will cease to function at all.
Relax, SeriouslyThe last thing that most people in a survival situation think about is relaxing. It is a critical life and death struggle; there is absolutely no time to stop focusing on survival, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. Your mental well-being and morale are critically important. Most experts will tell you that your bug out bag should include a book, or a notebook and paper or some playing cards. It is these small things that will allow you to keep your mind from going into panic mode. Just like you take breaks from any work or project, so much you from survival. It has been said that survival is 90% mental, and that has been proven in survival stories time and time again. Take some time to breath, take a nap or hum a song- anything to clear your mind. Your focus will be stronger, and your morale higher- giving you the greatest chance of survival.
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