All survival situations are different regarding the order in which you need to use the different survival skills, but a general guideline is to think in blocks of time.
The first 24 hours of survival are critical. You have to make an initial estimate of the situation, weather, terrain, time of day, available recourses and a lot of other things. This evaluation will determine which tasks need to be accomplished first.
You have to turn your mindset into survival mode, and recognize that you are in a survival situation. Get your thoughts sorted by using the S-T-O-P and S-U-R-V-I-V-A-L acronyms and identify any survival stressors that are present. Don’t start out thinking; “This is not happening to me”.
You have to adopt a positive mental attitude fast, and focus your physical strength and emotional recourses on the situation, as they are at their strongest in the first three days of a survival situation.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself In A Survival Situation
You will probably be overwhelmed by questions in a survival situation, but you should try to stay focused on the basic requirements for survival and ask yourself;
Do I have any injuries and can I treat myself?
What kind of shelter do I need?
How much food and water do I have, and where can I get more?
Will I need to make a fire for warmth, and what will the temperature be during the night?
Can I signal with the equipment I have now, or do I need to fabricate something?
Will the signalling be effective from this place, or should I move to another?
Should I move to another location for better possibilities regarding shelter, water, fire and food?
Survival Situation Acceptance
To accept that you are in a survival situation can be very hard, but is basically a logical process of reasoning. The aim is to determine, from the known and assumed factors, what course of action must be taken.
To help you accepting that you are in a survival situation, you should focus on the following elements:
- Review your situation.
- Determine your aim.
- List the factors affecting your survival.
- Identify all courses open to you.
- Select the best course of action.
- Make a plan.
Second 24 hours.
After the first 24 hours, you will need to expand your knowledge of the area. In the beginning, by travelling short distances from your shelter, you can locate more resources for water, tools, weapons and noticing game trails and other food sources.
When expanding your area to employ traps and snares, you will be able to identify likely paths for a rescue force when it approaches your shelter. This way you can start preparing means for placing signalling fires or find places where you can use your signal mirror. It will also give you an idea of how visible your shelter is to a rescue team.
Remainder of your survival situation.
This time is spent on continuously improving your survival situation until your rescue.