My time spent in the military as a Army Ranger taught me a lot about what my strengths and weaknesses were. I took those weaknesses and made them strengths. Being a Ranger required me to have a strong body but it equally required me to have a strong mind. My training in the Military prepared me for many things in life especially when it comes to wilderness backpacking in remote and rugged wilderness environments. In my Ranger handbook there is a section labeled Survival. In this section it breaks down the word SURVIVAL into an acronym that I want to share with you in this article.
S–Size up the situation by considering the individual, the country and the enemy.
U—Undue haste makes waste.
- Don’t be eager to move.
- Don’t lose your temper.
R–Remember where you are.
V–Vanquish fear and panic.
- To fear is normal.
- When injured, it is difficult to control fear.
- Panic can be caused by loneliness.
- Planning an escape will keep the mind busy.
- The situation can be improved.
- Learn to put up with new and unpleasant conditions.
- Hope and planning reduces fear and makes the chances of survival better.
- Health and Strength must be conserved.
- Hunger, cold, and fatigue lower efficiency and stamina.
- Remember your goal, GET OUT ALIVE.
A–Act like the Natives.
L—Learn Basic Skills.
COURTESY OF THE US ARMY RANGER HANDBOOK (SH21-76) Feb 1985
The above acronym is focused on your mindset and training your mind to adapt and overcome both physical and mental obstacles that you may encounter in the wilderness. Positive thinking with a plan is important to overcome fear and panic especially if you find yourself lost. Being prepared is important before you head into a wilderness but you must also have those basic skills such as land navigation to make it through those trying times. This type of thinking can also be applied to life in general when you are not on the trail bushwhacking.