Survival stratagies

Hopefully disaster will never strike but if it does we need a well practiced, well thought out plan or strategy to help us overcome those initial moments of panic and black hearted fear!!

A strategy which is both flexible (to allow for any situation we find ourselves in) and yet good enough to cover all likely situations.
Two strategies I like are remembered by the acronyms - PLAN and STOP

P - Protection
L - Location
A - Acquisition
N - Navigation
This is what the Military are taught and works well - tried and tested!

S - Stop
T - Think
O - Organise
P - Priorities
This is a civilian version and takes into account the fear and panic factor....................

Both acronyms work on their own but each has its limits as either or neither offer the total flexibility we really seek.

But bring them together - Stop - Think - Organise - Prioritise - Location - Acquisition - Navigation and we have a good working strategy - so let’s look at this!

Stop - don’t panic, sit down and think - calm down.
Think - where are you roughly - what skills do you have (wish you'd done a SurvivALL course now don’t you!) - will rescue be coming or are you on your own?
Organise - now’s the time to empty your pack and pockets - do a stock take - the amount of 'goodies' you find will surprise you and give you more confidence - and if you have a survival kit that you know how to use .............................................
Prioritise - Shelter - fire - food - water - what’s your situation?? Maybe signalling for help is most important - work out your priorities and get to work
Location - As a civilian location means we need to start marking our location to aid rescuers as well as to recce the location - make small circular patrols around the site and as you grow more confident make these wider and wider so you slowly discover the local resources without the risk of getting lost!
Acquisition - Having discovered the resources in your area now’s the time to being foraging and harvesting - DO NOT - pick it just because its there! Plan for the long haul - take what you need and no more - remember we can go a long time without food, that why its always better to carry a spare pound or two around the waist! Consider it emergency rations - we'll talk about fasting in a survival situation and the body’s response another time!
Navigation - Never is it advised for someone to Navigate away from a survival situation the advise is ALWAYS stay with the vehicle but if the time for rescue has past and none is forth coming then you may have to navigate out - if so ensure you can navigate, understand how to use natural compasses and map your terrain - again form a plan and ensure you leave signs indicating your direction of travel a good idea is to also leave a note on the vehicle telling rescuers when you left - where you plan to go - what you plan to do - what you have with you - what signals you will leave ect - the more information the better.

A survival strategy gives us a solid foundation to work from and prevents PANIC. Survival is more a mental exercise than a physical one and the mental exercise, as with all things starts at the planning stage.

But remember skills and knowledge build confidence once the worst happens and these are the buttresses upon which our mind can depend, these are our fall back positions and having these in our armoury means we can confidently plan our strategies!

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