Are you a survivor or a potential casualty? A true survivor will continue no matter what the odds. He will not look at what he hasn’t got and despair, he will look at what he has got and work with it. It is this quality of life that has helped people face survival situations in the past and gave them the energy to not only survive but also to live. Knowing how to do with little will make you appreciate what you have whether it be a little or a lot. In a survival situation, whether it be a collapsed economy, stranded in the wilderness or whatever the case may be, will demand courage, determination and perhaps something more. You are capable of much more than you probably give yourself credit for. You can survive!

As much as is possible, plan ahead. Train yourself in the skills you think you will need. Challenge yourself by testing what you know under controlled circumstances. As much as is possible, prepare. Don’t wait until you are thrust into a situation and then have to learn or wish you would have taken the time to learn.

Take time to master your skills. Take your tent but build an emergency shelter and stay in it instead. Use your tent if you have to though. Always be safe. Test your skills little by little. Allow yourself to experience survival skills. Take some classes in survival skills. Never purposely endanger yourself. Always have a back up plan and inform others where you will be and what time to expect you back. That way a search party will know where to look should things go badly. You will find you don’t need the entire outdoor store catalog on your back to enjoy yourself. You will quickly learn that the more skills you have, the less stuff you will need.

No matter how experienced an outdoors-man you may be, you could become lost in the woods. It could happen to anyone. Most are not prepared. Families out on a day hike get off the trail and become lost with inadequate supplies. Many people have died from exposure, when something as simple as being able to build a fire without matches or constructing a simple debris shelter could have saved their lives. Mother Nature is unforgiving but will yield her resources to anyone who knows how to access them.

Modern outdoor conveniences make recreation in the outdoors very pleasurable, but the survivalist will have a backup plan. Taking a survival skills course and a first aid course from an experienced teacher is a wise thing to do, nothing can replace hands-on experience for learning lifesaving skills. You must be able to survive with only what nature can provide.

The first thing to remember, remain calm. Panic leads to death in many situations, you cannot think clearly with the anxiety brought on by simply not calming yourself and using your head. Panic is the number one killer in a survival situation. Exposure is number two. Sit down, calm yourself. Do whatever you have to do to get control of the situation. Rely on the knowledge and skills you have. You can survive!

Assess the situation for what it really is, not what your panicked mind is magnifying the situation to be. Observe, look in your pockets and look around you at what you have that would be useful. Do you have a pocket knife? A pocket knife is much more practical than a large sheath knife and can accomplish most tasks. Do you have a canteen on your belt or a survival kit? Survival kits are good, if they are well thought out and remain on your belt where they cannot become separated from you.

Plan to stay alive. What are your priorities? You must plan on staying a long period of time, even if it so happens that you are rescued quickly. Set up a permanent camp, don’t try to find your way out, unless you know where you are going and it will not require more energy than you have to give and can supply yourself for such a trip.

Don’t get caught unprepared in the dark. The darkness changes everything. Temperatures can drop rapidly. You can’t see as well. Nocturnal animals that have superior night vision come out at night. Depending on how you use your brain and survival skills you have acquired will determine how high on the food chain you remain. As soon as possible, signal in some manner. Three is the universal distress signal, whether it is three gun shots, three fires or whatever the case may be. If you do decide to hike out clearly mark your trail so searchers may track you easily.

Your top four priorities, in order of importance, are as follows: SHELTER, FIRE, WATER, then FOOD. Most people who die when thrust into survival situations die of exposure, not hunger or thirst. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, shelter yourselves somehow, out of the wind and insulate yourselves in some manner, with natural debris or some material. Build a fire as soon as possible. In some situations, such as this, the fire may actually take a higher priority than shelter, acquiring shelter as soon as possible.


Be resourceful. Be creative in a survival situation. Think. The life you save may be your own or someone close to you. Control your circumstances as much as is possible. Don’t let things get out of control. Think ahead. You can survive!

Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”

Comments are welcomed and accepted.

Michael Vinyard,


How to Survive for ourselves and our families is a decision we need to make and take action on now!

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