Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Causes of Survival Situations

Today’s post will examine some of the most common reasons people end up in a backcountry survival situation. Most individuals don’t have the realization of their dangerous predicament until it’s too late, increasing situational stress and preventing an adequate response (i.e. shelter, fire construction….etc.) to the impending problem.

The skills taught by the majority of “Outdoor Survival” schools and media neglect to take this into account, for example: The bowdrill fire technique which is commonly taught, while a valuable skill to own, in an Emergency situation there are simply too many variables and possible mistakes to be made(humidity, tinder sources, physical ability), making the bowdrill an unreliable fire starting method to depend on when the chips are down.

Prior preparation is your key to overcoming an unexpected emergency, having an adequate kit and resources on hand (the ability to make a fire effortlessly and crawl into a shelter within a matter of minutes) is crucial to you making it home alive.

The following are the leading cause of most Emergency situations in the backcountry:

• Fatigue, fitness level (both physical and mental).
• Shame.
• Dehydration.
• Unrealistic goals, “summit fever” or "get-home-itis.
• Ego, forging ahead, overconfidence.
• Over reliance on technology.
• Shortcuts, change of plans.
• Lack of awareness: weather patterns, terrain & potential hazards.

Stay healthy, mind-body-spirit! -Z

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