Are You Lost? How to Survive
When an outdoor accident occurs
no matter how slight, or when you realize you are lost, panic is the first
reaction we all must encounter and defeat before it brings on more harm. How
you handle the effects brought on by panic can determine your rate of success
or failure in any outdoor emergency situation.
Anyone can become lost,
separated or stray too far from camp as night sets in. Just remember that you
have within you the ability to protect yourself. Survival is a common element
in all human beings, we do it everyday in the concrete and asphalt jungles of
now you have to do it in the wilderness. The premise is the
same, keep your wits, use your brain. DO NOT PANIC
let your positive self
rule your decisions.
To emphasize the effect that
panic has on an individual, let me familiarize you with the "RULES OF
3." Experience has shown that you can only expect to survive a panic
induced emergency situation for 3 seconds, you can only survive without oxygen
or from severe bleeding for up to 3 minutes, you can survive exposure to excess
heat or frigid cold for up to 3 hours and you can survive without food and
water for up to 3 days. Panic is your major enemy, panic is the one thing you
must overcome at once because panic can and will harm you.
To help you deal with panic lets
look at a simple method of handling an emergency situation. Remember the
acronym S.T.O.P. Sit -Think - Observe - Plan.
When you realize that you are lost take
the time to sit down and collect your thoughts. You are not lost, you are right
where you are, your camp, vehicle and everyone else is lost.
What do I have at my disposal both
physical and mental that can help me in this situation. Take an inventory of
your survival kit items and how you will use them. Take an inventory of your
mind, remember what you always thought you would do if you got lost. Most of
all remain positive, you will survive.
Look around, is there shelter, water,
high ground, an open area so the searchers can see you. It will be easier for
those searching to find you if you can stay in one selected location that will
allow you to build a fire, provide shelter, set out signals and be in an area
that can be seen at a distance or from aircraft .
Now create your plan of action. Be
positive and take care of yourself. If it is late in the day, build a fire for
heat and signaling, find or make a shelter against the weather, and most of all
remain positive, you do have the ability to survive. You have conquered the
major danger of not allowing panic to cast your fate, you can now conquer
anything else that confronts you.
This is only a suggested
outline for a personal outdoor survival kit, customize your kit to meet your
detailed trip itinerary with someone you trust*
A. Never forget that your
brain and your ability to remain calm and not to panic are your most important
B. Make sure your
personal survival kit is waterproof, compact and fairly lightweight, so you
will carry it always.
Know how to use each and
every item in your kit. Don't wait till you need it. Make your kit fit the
appropriate outdoor environment that you are venturing into. No one kit meets
every needcustomize your kit to your needs. (cold climate, heat, wet
conditions, mountains, desert, one day or longer).
C. Suggested Survival kit
Contributed By: Patrick E. McHugh
- Heavy Duty Aluminum foil
- Heavy Duty plastic
bagLarge zip lock (water, food storage).
- Space Emergency Blanket
(shelter, signaling, personal protection)
- Flares, bright colored
bandanna or flag or an Emergency Strobe (visual means of
- Whistle (sound
- Matches, candle (fire
starting) one match-one fire, light.
- Bouillon cubes, one small
pack of instant soup, salt (cooking, flavor).
- Spark Light, magnesium
starter (or any other back up fire igniters).
- Sewing kit including some
tape (repairing clothes and equipment).
- Small multiple function knife
(general tool needs).
- Water filter or purification
kit (potable water).
- Fishing kit (line, hooks,
lures, snares, repairs).
- Signal mirror ( daytime
- Wire saw (shelter building,
- Candy or high energy bar
- Rope, string (shelters,
- Insect repellent (personal
- Small first aid kit (suited
to terrain, area and personal needs).
- Personal need
- A picture of your loved ones
(will to survive).
MPI Outdoors manufactures and distributes a wide range of unique personal safety, comfort and protection products for use by the avid or casual outdoors enthusiast. See some of the products on the list on your right and on our other product line sections.