Not only was “The Hunger Games” an epically entertaining tale of defiance and sacrifice, but it also provided interesting teachable moments for fellow survivalists. Interestingly, this depiction of a futuristic gladiatorial event simply oozes with little survival lessons — especially since the other competitors weren’t the only dangers in the game.
Of course, you may never have to survive a Tracker Jacker acid trip, avoid detonating buried explosives, or outrun a wall of fire — but there certainly are real world lessons to be gleaned.
#1: Know the most common killers.
It is, perhaps, one of the most obvious survival lessons in the entire story:
“Portia: My advice is don’t ignore the survival skills. Everybody wants to grab a sword, but most of you will die from natural causes, ten percent from infection, twenty percent from dehydration. Exposure can kill as easily as a knife.”
Knowing the biggest dangers, what may be the most likely killer, should influence your entire strategy.
#2: Avoid unnecessary conflict.
In a survival scenario, avoid conflict whenever possible. Conflict draws attention, decreases survival odds, and expends calories. However, cultivating teams and friendships can have the opposite effect.
When the games began, most rushed towards the supplies — and the conflict. Katniss ran for cover. It just goes to show you, avoiding conflict is smarter than having even the best gear.
#3: Tool-heavy. Weapon-light.
Because we are taking number-one to heart, it is best to have tools that are multi-purpose. Try to find tools that can address both; survival needs, and also defense needs. A good knife can serve as a defensive option, but at the same time — knives are nearly indispensable for making life in the woods possible.
However, if it’s a question between a sword and a rope …take the rope.
#4: Bows are extremely useful.
A recurve or longbow is unbelievably helpful in survival situations for two reasons. First, a bow is excellent for wilderness self-sustainability. It will never run out of ammunition, especially because arrows are retrievable, and they can be manufactured with a little knowhow and very common resources. Be warned; do not attempt to manufacture wooden arrows for a compound bow. The velocity will shatter the arrow before leaving the rest, quite often resulting in injury.
The second reason is that a bow is a distance weapon. Swords are best used for force-on-force combat on a battlefield. Bows are excellent for a single unit who wants to keep distance between themselves and various threats. Distance killing capability will increase the odds of survival dramatically. Not only is it excellent for biped threats, but also it will beat a sword at hunting any day of the week.
#5: Use nature.
Not only was Katniss able to stop an attack by sleeping in a tree, but she was also able to disperse the attackers through dropping a tracker jacker nest on their slumber party. In addition, she used the mockingjay as a communication device, and poisonous berries as leverage.
When in a survival situation, nature is an invaluable resource. Sure it can kill you, but it can also be what keeps you alive.