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Basic Survival

Updated on April 17, 2012

Education equals survival

This hub is part one of a five part basic guide to surviving some common dangerous situations.This will be a general self preparedness guide to outline the recommended minimum of common survival tools as well as how to react to unforeseen emergencies and tips on how to condition yourself physically and mentally to overcome many of the fears and problems in survival situations.

If you were put in a life and death survival situation could you survive?

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Being human

The ability to adapt to and survive adverse situations are one of mankind's amazing attributes.Although many people today have been conditioned into an existence where basic survival skills are a lost knowledge.The human body is the ultimate survival tool when combined with knowledge,preparedness(physical as well as psychological),and by practicing some simple habits.

Many view the human being as weak and frail when compared to other mammals,but this is a misconception.Humans are adept at not only adapting to most any situation that can be found on this planet,but have the uncanny ability to thrive within some of the most hostile environments imaginable.The weakness comes only from inherited(or learned)fear and lack of education,along with self pity(which is also a learned emotion).

Being human in reality means being the dominate species on the planet and with a little education and preparation survival skills soon turn back into instinct.

The Boy scout motto

"Always Be Prepared"

This simple phrase is profound when faced with a dangerous or unfamiliar situation and this could be anything from a flat tire to being lost and alone in the wilderness.Having the tools necessary for survival can determine whether you live or die,literally.Everyone should make a habit of keeping a few common items either on their person or readily available in a kit that can be taken along anywhere.

  • High quality locking blade knife or multi-purpose tool such as a Leatherman
  • Cigarette lighter,waterproof matches,or emergency fire starter
  • Small but certified first aide kit
  • Emergency rain poncho
  • Small flashlight
  • Survival handbook such as the Boy Scout's Wilderness Handbook.
  • Simple but functional compass

These simple tools can easily fit in any lady's purse or man's coat or pants pocket and can be used in many survival situations from mountains to the urban jungle.

React with confidence and caution

With any emergency situation,the first priority is to remain calm and make a conscience evaluation of the situation.Evaluate your physical condition first.

  • Are you injured?
  • The type and extent of the injury
  • Is there any pain
  • Are you bleeding and how severe is the blood loss?

After assessing your physical condition It is recommended to follow the US Army survival system.


  • "S" - Size up your situation. Take a focused appraisal of your immediate surroundings and take note of threats to your survival.
  • "U" - Use all of your natural senses,they are there naturally to help you.Listen,smell the air,closely look at your surroundings.Is it hot or cold?Light or dark? This will help in prioritizing.
  • "R" - Remember your present location.Many people that have become lost would have easily been found if they had remembered where they were when they realized they were lost and either remained at that location or if you have to move remember where to return to once any danger has passed.
  • "V" - vanquish fear,panic,and resignation.Depending on the situation you may have to literally block fear and or panic from your mind.Make the decision to become stubborn.
  • "I" - Improvise.Think about the task or challenge directly in front of you and try to devise ways to utilize any tools or materials from the surroundings to help you accomplish the task at hand.
  • "V" - Value your life.Place your survival at the very top above all other thoughts and actions.
  • "A" - Act like the natives. Whether it be native people or animals,cautiously observe the behavior of the large or small animals you see.They will provide you with many tips for living in the surroundings in which you find yourself.Watch their feeding and drinking habits and pay attention to their threat alertness.Most animal's senses of hearing,smell and sight are superior and can provide advanced warning to threats.
  • "L" - Live by your wits and learn to trust gut feelings,they are natural instincts which you may not realize you have,but make an effort to learn and remember everything that you experience.

Reaction to the data

After carefully and calmly assessing the situation be decisive and cautiously take action to counter any threats to your survival.There is set of rules that will help in prioritization that is also taught by Special Forces Survival ,The rule of the threes.

  • If injured,without first aide you can die within three minutes.
  • You can die from exposure to the elements within three hours.
  • You will die of thirst within three days without water.
  • You can survive without food for three weeks.

This may sound unpleasant and does so for good reason,because if these rules are not respected survival is doubtful.

Repetition equals action without thought

In today's world very few people are taught these basic rules and guidelines as they were throughout the past.It would be a very responsible and wise decision to practice and teach these rules and skills within the family group and set regular survival and emergency plans.With very little practice these type of skills and rules are the easiest lessons to remember because they are to a degree already hard wired into our brains.Lack of necessity have dulled these natural instincts to some degree but of all lessons these snap into place effortlessly with some education and practice.

In the next part of this Guide for Survival we will cover basic wilderness survival.Which with give tips on primitive fire starting,locating and sanitizing drinking water,primitive shelter construction,and more.


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    • mrshadyside1 profile image

      mrshadyside1 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you sir,I appreciate your comment and it's always good to meet another Georgian.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      As a fellow Georgian and survivalist, I appreciate your thoughts and common sense attitude towards basic survival. Welcome to HP!

    • mrshadyside1 profile image

      mrshadyside1 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Blawger,I hope I may be able to provide you with useful information.

    • Blawger profile image

      Bahin Ameri 5 years ago from California

      Great Hub! Most people, including myself, lack the tools and skills to survive off the land. This hub is a great starting point for learning such skills. Your advice is practical and easy to follow. Thank you for teaching me something new. I look forward to reading the rest of your series. Voted up!

    • mrshadyside1 profile image

      mrshadyside1 5 years ago from Georgia

      rahul0324 thank you.Yes even with all of our flaws and weaknesses mankind is still extremely remarkable.I'm humbled by the accomplishments and greatness of our ancestors.

    • mrshadyside1 profile image

      mrshadyside1 5 years ago from Georgia

      ata1515 thank you.Sometimes I think that the achievements and abilities of mankind are not truly appreciated.I do understand how and why we can sometimes lose track of the reality of life with all of the modern conveniences we enjoy.Although I voluntarily placed myself in primitive survival situations,until then I never really appreciated my own abilities and the almost unimaginable obstacles that mankind has navigated.To be removed from the modern marvels and placed in an environment were you live moment by moment and all you have are the materials nature provides in it's raw form, brings a total revelation and understanding to the true power of mankind.As well as the tremendous will required by our ancestors to accomplish something like building a home and clearing of land.It gives new perspective.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Great hub! Cannot wait for the next part! Humans can certainly adapt under the most dire of circumstances... after all... we are the most advanced life earth has to offer!

    • ata1515 profile image

      ata1515 5 years ago from Buffalo, New York.

      Great hub, I can't wait to see the rest. When I came across the line "Being human in reality means being the dominate species on the planet" I knew the rest of the hub was going to be excellent. Voted up and sharing!