Survival Fitness brings to mind something you would encounter and endure (most likely) in a military program. Instead, Survival Fitness is something everyone should consider and embrace before a survival situation occurs.
Nobody even intends to or expects to find themselves smack dab in the middle of a survival situation. It seems to happen when we least expect it. Survival and fitness are linked in more ways and often, in different ways than you may suspect.
We are Outdoor Recreation Outfitters. Pioneer Outfitters are Horse-Outfitters and we live and operate in the remote mountain wilderness of Alaska. As Horseback Adventurists, Horseback Big Game Hunters and as Winter Excursionists, we live a life of survival fitness.
We operate most of the year with horses including the spring, summer and fall seasons and with snowmobiles during the winter and early spring. Survival and fitness are as much a part of who we are as what we do.
“There is a thin line between being in awe of an environment and being at it’s mercy.” ~ Colin Towell
Survival is the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances. Fitness is the condition of being physically fit and healthy. Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being or specifically the ability to perform aspects of sports or occupations. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest. (Wikipedia)
In any survival situation, a person is most likely to be at their best, both physically and mentally, just before the situation happens. From there, both will continue to deteriorate due to injuries, stress or lack of sleep, shelter or food and water.
The level of fitness a person may be is only one piece of the puzzle to survival. Knowing your abilities as well as your limits and those of those people who may be accompanying you on your outing or adventure will not only give you an idea of the realistic goals you may set but also help you to stay out of situations that may prove dangerous.
As horse-outfitters, we are doubly blessed. Not only are the horses incredibly valuable in allowing us to travel greater distances, faster, with more supplies but they also keep us out of dangerous and/or difficult situations we would certainly deal with on foot. The other huge advantage that horses provide to us is the advantage of the fitness they infuse into the bodies that ride them.
Survival fitness isn’t about how fast you can run a mile or how much weight you can lift. Survival fitness is about stamina and endurance; both physical and mental. It is about knowing your own limitations and being able to work with them to your advantage.
The physical fitness most provided to the human body from horseback riding is flexibility, endurance and strength. The mental fitness provided by horses and horseback riding is self-confidence, calmness and self control.
The benefits of physical exercise cannot be understated. Over time physical exercise induces weight loss, strength, posture and mental alertness. Flexibility and agility are also very important to your physical fitness and must not be forgotten.
Survival fitness also includes mental fitness. Understanding your own limitations (we all have them) and how to work with them and having a positive mental attitude is of the utmost importance in any survival situation.
Over the next few months we will explore and discuss the new series, Survival Fitness in depth. Be sure to stay in the loop! Your survival or someone else’s survival may depend upon it one day.
If you found this post encouraging and you were nodding your head as you read, you may want more survival fitness information now (!) instead of waiting for the next.
Here are some posts you may find enlightening:
- Women in the Outdoors, The Survival State of Mind
- Women in the Outdoors, Safety For Women’s Adventures
- Horseback Fitness Adventure (page on this website)
- Alaska Horseback Fitness Adventure
- Rejuvenation through a Horseback Riding Fitness Vacation in Alaska (guest post)
- Horseback Fitness Adventure! (guest post)
- Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Alaska Fitness Adventure
- Your Fitness Adventure
- Your Physical Fitness and a Horseback Adventure
- Monday Motivation, Get Committed