Welcome to being in a survival situation. You have gotten yourself out of immediate danger and are settling into the concept of what your current situation is. No two situations are the same. So in this case you must develop a system general enough to follow under all situations. One suggestion that is being adopted in the survival field is the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. 

  • Size up your situation.

                  Where are you? What is the environment?(hot, dry, cold etc…) Are you okay? What do you have on hand and around you as far as equipment or potential tools? Are other people injured? Are you well enough and educated enough to provide assistance?

  • Use all of your senses.

                  Stay calm. React slowly and methodically when evaluating your situations and surroundings. Use your most important sense, your brain. Allow for the information being fed to you from your eyes, nose etc… to be processed calmly.

  • Remember where you are.

                  Simple enough in most cases, but often taken for granted. When under stress we easily forget how we got there or where we came from. I experienced this when I responded to a truck flipping over on a snowy day in the middle of the Nevada desert. While calling 911 helped, the most important piece of information is the mile post marker for the authorities. But under the stress of watching the truck flip over and over, the mile post marker is quickly forgotten. In short, slow down and step back. Take in the entire picture, and then act.

  • Vanquish fear.

                  Fear is a natural response to the unknown. Any survival situation can be loaded with unknowns. Unknowns can equal fear but remember to be patient. As we methodically evaluate a situation we are eliminating those unknowns, thereby reducing the fear of a situation. This is a key point to remember. Please be patient as you educate ones self.

  • Improvise.

                  Earlier on there was mention of evaluating your tools, both in nature and what you have with you. Now is your time to match your needs with what is available. Shelter, water, fire all can be addressed in this stage in order of priority.

  • Value living and life.

                  Here is a big one. The will to live, the want to survive, the need to make it through. All those factors can pull even the most ill prepared through truly horrendous circumstances because they just would not give up on themselves or others!

  • Act like the locals

                  Look around and see how the wildlife has developed their own system of survival. In a desert, look for patterns of behavior (i.e. tracks) that can lead to water sources. In the city, where are the supermarkets, water sources, etc… that can be secured to maintain rationing. Patterns of behavior can also be learning to anticipate what people will do and when they will do it and how to interact with people to create the best results for everyone and standing for safety, wellness, and harmony at the same time.

  • Learn basic skills

Educate yourself before heading out into the world on what it takes to be a survivor. The more you know can lead to better outcomes no matter what comes your way.

Keeping these steps in mind can be priceless when fulfilling the definition of “survivor” So, good luck, of which you will need less and less of when you have acquired more and more knowledge of all things survival!




Gustave Thunberg II

Gustave Thunberg II is an outdoor enthusiast and takes to heart nature and her abilities to give us so many beautiful things. He also finds her unpredictable nature exciting and has come to respect her strength. He is a scientist as well as an events assistant in Salt Lake City, Utah. He actively enjoys nature via trial running, open water swimming, and mountain biking and cycling.  In all his interests he finds survival preparation to be at the lead of any outing. Do keep in touch with him on Facebook and follow him on Instagram @gofastgus.

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Written by Gus Thunberg — September 17, 2013

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