Wilderness Living Skills

fire sticksWilderness living skills differ from survival skills in that the first is a knowledge-based way of living in ongoing harmony with the natural world. Survival is inherently an acute, short-term perspective; it is a strategy best applied for when you get lost or hurt and need to find a way to survive through difficulty until you can get rescued.

Wilderness living takes practice— it is how we as humans have lived and thrived for eons in a sustainable way, the way that many indigenous cultures still live today. It is a natural way of living as a part of nature. If you want to learn how to get back to your roots of connection, wilderness living skills are the place to start.

On Survival

IMG_3260Shelter, fire, water, food and hygiene are the classic five priorities to staying alive and well in both a survival situation and in wilderness living. Immediate concerns need to be addressed right away. These include personal safety and security, first aid, and if needed, personal protection.

What is the most important skill to understand for survival? Number one is your psychological state; your attitude and mindset affect your choices and actions, which in turn are reflected in your quality of life. Nature can be the greatest teacher of the importance of this lesson. For instance, if you are fearful and rushing when you set up a shelter, chances are that you are not fully aware of your surroundings. When exposed to the elements, this is at best a recipe for cold, wet, uncomfortable nights and put you at risk to true danger at worst. In a survival situation, staying positive and therefore attentive to your own wellbeing is key.

“Research suggests that how a person views his illness may play a bigger role in determining his health outcomes than the actual severity of his disease…” Read more on the Association for Psychological Science website »

In this way, mind over matter works– it even helps with illness. I have found this to be true in my personal journey with MS and also in survival situations. A positive attitude allows room for discernment and leads to better decisions. In my opinion, hope and positivity are two of the most important survival skills you can possess.