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.
First, let’s go back and review the previous posts to help you get into the wild places and wilderness that is calling you.
Do you want to feel more confident and secure exploring and adventuring in the wild places around you? Yes? Good. (Keep reading….)
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.
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?.… )
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”!
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.
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!
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 comments 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.
Help is coming. It is that simple. Don’t doubt it for a minute. You can do this, you can do this.
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.
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.
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!