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Five Principles Of Survival

Basically, Prepare, Then Just Keep Your ‘Cool’

Five_Principles_Of_Survival1.jpgPhoto Credit Robert Cooper - BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY -- that demands respect. It is easy to get lost in Arizona's wilderness, and Superstition Search and Rescue members have every chance of finding and rescuing you IF you follow five basic principles.

By Mike Wallace
Superstition Search & Rescue

Editor’s Note: At the recent International Sportsmen’s Expo, it was our honor to listen to the presentation on the basics of survival in the wilderness given by Mike Wallace of Superstition Search & Rescue. We have asked him to just list the basics for this issue, expanding on each in future publications.

Thousands of people are lost or injured in the outdoors each year. The common attitude of those we have rescued is of both surprise and embarrassment that this could happen to them. Most expressed the fear they felt and their frustration for not being better prepared.

Five_Principles_Of_Survival2.jpgPhoto Credit Robert Cooper - LOST AND FOUND -- This young man is carried by a Superstition Search & Rescue member to safety. Being lost in itself is not the main enemy. It's some of the reactions that people have that cause problems for the rescuers -- and, ultimately, for themselves.

I have observed and learned many things over the past 10 years. I have witnessed the common mistakes that people make when found in a wilderness crisis. It is a subject that has been written about before but is worthy of repeating.

There are five basic survival principles that, when practiced, will allow an individual to stay alive long enough to be found by search and rescue — a benchmark number of hours is 72. The first principle is one of the most obvious: Preparation. Being prepared physical and mentally is again an obvious advantage in a survival situation.

The second principle is fear management. Fear is the leading cause of fatal choices that lead to death by exposure.

The third is hydration, and the fourth is body-core management; vital body functions fail if both are allowed to get out of control.

The last principle is one that is not normally talked about in a survival situation: how to be found. All of these principles, if practiced, will save your life if you find yourself in a wilderness crisis. And, all will be written about in more detail in future issues.

For more information, e-mail Wallace

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