A survival situation can pop up at any time. Especially if you are like most stay at home dads and you never know where you are going to be from one day to the next.
In my day to day life I can go from the woods one day to lounging around the house reading the next so, I make sure I am ready for that change. I keep survival items like a lighter and a knife on my all of the time. Be advised though to check your local knife laws before you get into trouble.
That being said your mindset is of the most important thing that you can have. It is also the most important thing to teach your children. There are stories in the news often that detail of children getting lost in the woods or otherwise getting themselves into a survival situation. Teaching your children how to care for themselves in an emergency always starts with information and mindset.
Here is an acronym that will help your children remember what to do. This works better if they are lost. For example, if they wonder away from you on a day hike. This information will help them out more.
A note here is, This is general information that helps prepare their mindset. This is not a step by step survival method.
Size up the situation.
Undue haste makes waste.
Remember Where you are.
Vanquish fear and panic.
Act like the natives.
Learn basic skills.
Size up the situation
Making decisions on what to do before you have a solid grasp on your situation can lead to doing more harm than good. You always need to begin by gathering intelligence. This can be anything from turning on the radio or TV to listen to the news or simply assessing your physical status. If you are injured medical attention will have to come first. Any other problems will have to wait until your life and safety are secured.
Next, you can gather intelligence on what is going on around you. Are you lost? Is anyone else missing? Is it a disaster that you need to bug out? Ask as many questions as you can. You can never know too much. The more knowledge you have, the more informed decision you can make.
Undue Haste Makes Waste.
This is a simple rule to follow. Taking action just for the sake of doing something is not always the right thing to do. You could tire yourself out before you have done anything to better your situation.
Example: Let’s say the “what if ninjas” have put you in a survival situation. You are low on food and water. Do you wander around wasting calories trying to find something to eat or something to drink? Not all of the time. Sometimes just slowing down and moving methodically and with a clear purpose is better than just acting to act.
Remember Where you are.
Remembering where you are is a very important step. The moment you figure out that you are lost is the moment that you must start doing whatever you need to do to remember where you are.
Sometimes this simple act can lead you back to where you were supposed to be. Meaning you can affect self-rescue. If you are unable to affect self-rescue then marking your location can help you to not get further lost.
Using a map and a compass is a great step to remembering where you are. Just because you are using them already doesn’t mean you won’t get lost but, maybe they can help you from getting further lost.
Vanquish Fear and Panic.
This is the step that most people get stuck on. Especially people that do not like change in their routine or environment. I am one of those people. I find it helps to know what is going to happen.
Make a plan. The plan doesn’t have to be detailed. Just having a plan of action can allow you peace of mind. If you practice your plan and know what to do that alone can greatly reduce the fear and panic people will feel.
No matter how prepared you are something is going to go wrong. You might be lost and separated from your gear or a the what if ninjas might have stolen your gear. Either way, the ability to improvise might be the difference
Improvising might mean changing your plans at the last minute. It could also mean adapting items to fit your needs. Gathering items that other people would call trash, and using them to your needs is sometimes the difference between life and death.
Value living ties into your survival mindset. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, cherishing life and having something to live for is essential. People that hold onto something have a better chance than someone that has given up.
Having a picture or other memento in your survival kit can help you hold onto those things that you do hold dear. Things that you can keep in your mind is family, friends, or even pets. Anything really can help you hold onto hope.
Act Like The Natives.
Acting like the natives can mean any number of things. Originally this rule had soldiers in mind. Behind enemy lines or on a covert mission it is essential that they not draw unwanted attention to themselves. By observing what the people are doing around you and acting like the natives can keep you under the radar.
Acting like the natives can also be applied to the animal kingdom. Game trails are one example of this. Game trails will usually lead you to and from a water source or feeding grounds. This also increases your chances of running across an animal. If you are in desperate need of a water source taking a lay of the land and seeing where the animals are going can be a solid indication.
Learn Basic Skills
In today’s modern age a lot of basic skills have fallen away to modern convenience. Believe it or not, but there are a lot of people today that cannot even start a fire. Learning and practicing ways to make fire are paramount. You need to learn methods that require no supplies. Meaning you need to learn to make fire with the methods our ancestors did. This can be very important if you are stuck out somewhere and you do not have any modern means of a sure flame. Primitive means of making fire can include bow drill or fire plow.
Other skills that are just as important are water, shelter, and navigation. Learning how to gather and purify water, make a shelter, and use of a basic map and compass can make a huge difference between life and death. The golden rule to remember is The more you know, The less you have to carry.
Children especially the younger ones are very restricted in what they can carry and what they can use. Things like a knife and a lighter are not good for them to carry but, knowing how to use them if they need to are very important.
Basic map and compass skills are another thing that has fallen away to modern convenience. Teach your children what a map is, how to read a map, and how to navigate using only it and a compass. The problem with most adults today is they do not know how to do these things much less how to teach them.
You can find classes in your area for most of the things on this list. That way you up your skills from knowledge to actually practice. It is a huge bonus that you can take your entire family through these courses and you all can learn at the same time.