You find yourself lost. Perhaps you were a passenger in a light aircraft that forced landed. The pilot was killed and you don’t know your exact location. What’s painfully evident is that you’re alone and cold. You are without the equipment that you’re use to and may be overwhelmed. What steps do you take and when?
You want to live and SURVIVE. The word itself is your plan of action:
S: Size up the situation.
Environment: Is it grassland, forest, jungle, or desert? Are potential sources of water apparent.
Your present condition: Take a moment to check yourself for injuries and provide first aid as necessary. At times like this when your adrenaline is high, you may not notice an injury that needs medical attention.
Things that you can use: Search the area and make a mental inventory.
Think things through. Don’t waste resources
U: Undo haste makes waste
Chances are if you don’t get organized, you may not survive. Keep busy and stay on task.
R: Remember where you are
If you have a map, find your location and relate it to the terrain around you. Attempt to identify areas that can provide potential shelter, sources of water, etc. If you don’t have a map, be aware of where you are in relationship to the physical indicators around you. I can see a river to the south, a mountain to the north, a group of rocks and broken trees to the east. When possible note these and draw a map. This will be the centre of your world.
V: Vanquish Fear and Panic
Focus on what you need to do in order to survive. Try not to let fear and panic overwhelm you. Calm yourself down and think clearly. This will make a positive difference to your situation.
Open your mind. Think outside the box. Items can be successfully used for a purpose completely different than they were designed. Look to what you have on you, wreckage and the natural world for useable items.
V: Value living
Remember who you are, your family and loved ones. They’re waiting for you. Don’t give up. Take one step at a time. Most of the people that don’t survive, just stop trying to live. Know that it will be difficult but don’t give in to discomfort, pain or loneliness.
A: Act like the Natives
Observe the actions of birds and animals. Watch what they eat, where they drink.
L: Learn basic skills
Hopefully you have learned what needs to be done and how you do it before you find yourself in this situation. If not, you can still learn from the actions you take. Learn by doing and remember how it was accomplished.
You will need to address the needs of Shelter, Water and Food. Remember the rule of threes. In most circumstances, the most important of these is Shelter.