Women in the Outdoors: The Survival State of Mind

The Survival State of Mind: Keep Your Head in the Game! Your total enjoyment of your adventure depends upon you experiencing it all, seeing it all and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Keeping your head in the game at hand is the key to survival and surviving anything unexpected. We call it the Survival State of Mind.

This is the 8th in the series of posts for Women in the Outdoors and today we are going to review the previous seven as well as talking about keeping your head in the game.

Survival State of MindFirst, let’s go back and review the previous posts to help you get into the wild places and wilderness that is calling you.

Introducing, Women in the Outdoors

Do you want to feel more confident and secure exploring and adventuring in the wild places around you? Yes? Good. (Keep reading….)

Women in the Outdoors ~ Your Health Outdoors!

You have to know your own strengths. Being outdoors will make you stronger, each and every time, but it takes time. Don’t go on a ten mile hike if you haven’t even walked a block in the last ten years! If you think you should, for any reason, check with your doctor and let him or her know that this is something you want to start making a part of your life.

Women in the Outdoors: Six Steps to Safety First

You have to have a “check-in” person. Have to, have to, have to. The first time, the next time and the millionth time, you go into the wilderness, forest or out on an Adventure, you HAVE TO HAVE A CHECK-IN PERSON.

(Any questions on how often you need a “check-in” person?. )

Women in the Outdoors: Make a Plan

Survival State of MindYou have decided to get into the outdoors, into the wilderness and you have taken steps to add to this wonderful life change.

Think about what you are aiming for. Do you want to feel more confident and comfortable camping with your family, accompanying your friends on a fishing trip or hanging out with me in Alaska, out on a Horseback Adventure in our nation’s largest National Park, experiencing the most wonderful, untouched wilderness anywhere?

Then you need a plan. Practice. Ask tons of questions (even here!) from as many different people as you can. Put your equipment together and practice some more (even a walk around the block) and ask more questions.

Remember, there are NO stupid (or silly) questions. If you don’t know, that’s why we have “questions”!

Women in the Outdoors: Your Outdoors Checklist

This is it. This is your outdoors checklist. This is what goes into your backpack, fanny-bag, camera bag or some other sort of bag that is not in your tent or saddlebags. It is not the one you leave in the back of your car. This is the one that goes with you, ALWAYS.


Women in the Outdoors: Adventure Begins in Alaska

You have a Plan now. Learn as much about the Adventure that you’ve chosen. Enjoy every minute leading up to your Adventure, as well! The planning and working towards this will not only make the time go by faster, but you will learn so much!

Women in the Outdoors: What To Do When You’re Lost

It can happen. The most important thing to remember is that YOU CAN DO THIS. Stay calm and take stock. Follow the steps.

The Survival State of Mind: Keep Your Head in the Game

So why the long explanation before I get to my tips for today? Because as I was writing What To Do When You’re Lost it reminded me of the most important key to survival.

The Survival State of Mind

I feel the need to add this topic to Women in the Outdoors series, because when it comes right down to the nitty~gritty, whether this is your first wilderness experience that you are planning or your hundredth, the will to survive is the most important skill to have.

Why am I going this direction with Women in the Outdoors now? When the Survival State of Mindcomments that were shared after the last post, I realized that I could move past them without reminding you, someone who is new to the outdoors and wild places around you, that YOU CAN do this.

It is a Survival State of Mind.

Whether you are visiting the wilderness or the next snow-apocalypse hits your town, YOU CAN survive. All the skills and preparation in the world will do nothing unless you have the will to survive.

The first step in any “situation” that you may encounter, is to stay clam.

(We spoke about this.) Panic, succumbing to stress, poor choices and giving up will not get you through a survival situation.

A positive attitude, a faith in that you will make it through the situation, no matter how bad it can get, good judgement, creativity and motivation will help you get through any wilderness emergency.

You can do this.

A positive attitude is a must. (I know, I keep saying that, but it is the most important thing to remember.) Ok.

You are alive.

Remember this. Take outrageous comfort from this. This will boost your positive attitude, it will help keep fears at bay and keep your head in the game. Taking comfort in the smallest blessings will also help. Observe your surroundings, take in the natural beauty that surrounds you, take pleasure in the heat from your fire, acknowledge the creativity or skill it took to make a shelter and protect you from the elements.

Believe it.

Help is coming. It is that simple. Don’t doubt it for a minute. You can do this, you can do this.

Stay busy.

Gather more firewood, improve your shelter, build another pile for a signal fire (please don’t burn down a forest or get yourself caught in a forest fire ~ choose smart and safe spots for this), stretch and exercise to stay warm. Keep your water bottle full as well as your pot (if you had one in your pack), so that you will always have water to drink. Staying active, busy, will help keep your head in the game and fight off stress and defeat.

Avoid fatigue.

Yes, I just told you to stay busy! However, fatigue can lower your defenses and make you less alert. Take the time to rest your body AND your mind. Rest, sleep and calmness are also essential to your survival. Make sure you drink enough water. You CAN survive much longer without food than you can without water. Try to conserve the food you have, but eat enough to keep your energy up and your mind alert.

Fear is your enemy.Survival State of Mind

Fear is the first cousin to panic and both are your enemy. Fear is a completely normal reaction, but can be controlled with a positive outlook and reason. You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t make mountains out of mole-hills” right? It applies.

Imagination and stress can twist your fears and take away your confidence and logical thinking. Fear is also a very natural reaction. Don’t let it shame you or give you a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness. Accept it for what it is, your natural instinct to protect yourself, and move past it.

Survival State of Mind

Remember! YOUR will to survive is the most important thing to have in any situation and I completely believe that YOU will be fine.

Do the steps. Make a plan. Make sure you have a “check-in” person. Take your pack…EVERY time. Stay calm. Enjoy yourself!

One last thing. We are always here for you. Always feel free to talk or ask anything. If I don’t know or have the experience needed to answer you, I promise that I will find the answer for you.

And don’t forget! I can’t wait to meet you! Let us show you our wilderness, the Alaska wilderness, on horseback and make us both some memories to last a lifetime!

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Related posts:

Friday Facts: Alaska Critters & Native Folklore
Suddenly Sunday: What are You Waiting For?
Walking the Walk with Alaska Chick

4 Responses to Women in the Outdoors: The Survival State of Mind

  1. Read this twice. So much to take in that applies not only to survival in the wild but leaders inside of an office. The parallels are immense – but one feels like life or death and one IS life or death.

    There is a lot to do to prep and remember but i appreciate your last statement – “Enjoy yourself!” too often that gets lost on the mix.

    Thanks for this!

    • Alli!
      Hey, I am so glad you visited!

      I know! Exactly what I am coming to realize… it is ALL connected.

      Enjoy it! I tell my children that daily…you are as happy as you choose to be. All the training I have been through, in the military and as an Alaska Guide, stresses that mental attitude is like “extra credit” that actually makes a difference. Even in terrible situations… there is something to remember, something to learn, something to see… and there are at least as many positives as the negatives, if you look. (And yes, I realize sometimes you have to look really hard to see the positives, and sometimes you choose not to look for them at all because your emotions are whacked…but they are there.)

      And remember… someday, you’ll look back and see them… why wait?
      Thanks, Alli, and not just for reading it twice!
      ~ Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

  2. This really is a Great series Amber. I like the links to go back and refresh my feeble mind about what came before being in a total panic. All so important! It is so easy to get turned around in the woods where you’ve been a hundred times, but anyone who has followed your instructions should if nothing else be able to stop and think. Ahh..but that is why you’re a Professional Guide and in a wild and untamed place!
    I just can’t share these enough and not only here but wth my G’sons who love to wander and explore.

    As Always ~*~

    • Ann,
      Yes, the G’sons for sure! I think it is important to read this (and these) for anyone. I know that writing them has really made me think back over different situations that I have found myself in… and it’s also important for you and I as well as someone new to wild places to read these because if you read them (or others like them) when you need the information, after you calm down, it will be inside you. You will know… just follow the steps. Help is coming. Stay cool, stay smart.
      Thank you Ann, for all of it.
      ~ Amber-Lee

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