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Exiling Fear in Survival Mode

Posted by Mike Quam on

Exiling Fear in Survival ModeIn most cases, the first thing to strike in a crisis-like circumstance, be it lone-surviving a plane crash in the ocean or finding yourself stuck as a hostage to violent terrorists, is fear. As we preppers should be fully aware, it is fear that inevitably leads to panic. This is precisely what happens to many people as soon as they find themselves in a potential survival situation.

It is fear that controls the minds of the masses, commonly creating pure chaos in a live or die scenario.

Fear Spurs

There are a swarm of effects that can cause one to become filled to the tipping point with relentless fear.

Here are a few:


It is far too often that the ego of an “experienced” outdoors-man clouds up their will for survival. Not wanting to lose their sense of macho-ness, they begin to fear the ridicule that may come along with being lost (or even the fact that it could ever happen to them). They cannot put aside their ego long enough to simply survive.


This stimulant of fear is found more often in children and elderly folk. It is commonly what causes them to hide when they become lost.

This fear plays a major role in many survival scenarios. This day in age, the majority of biped humanoids have never been totally alone. What with high-speed internet and cell phones, it is virtually impossible to be alone. This can be the cause of an unusual and extremely terrifying experience.


Though the least admitted fear instigator, darkness or the fall of night in the woods is one of the most typical. Fortunately, it is one the easiest to conquer. Here’s how: Keep in mind that there is far more trouble lurking in the dark streets of a busy city than there is lurking in the blackest of woods. There is very little in the woods at night that will bring you any harm. Simply make your camp and enjoy the pitch black of nature and get some killer, uninterrupted sleep. Trust that you will need the energy. (Or you won’t get any sleep because of the next most common fear).


Getting that good nights sleep (even with helpful assistance of silence and pitch darkness) can be quite the difficult challenge due to our forged need for comfort. This fear can quickly lead to a rise in panic as well as leading to unfortunate decision making. One good lesson to bear in mind (in literally all of life’s situations) is always to remember that everything, including life itself and all happenings in it, is temporary.


This is yet another much-concealed fear that is far more common than you’d think. The fear of wild animals, and the god-awful sounds they make in the woods is rampant across all walks of humankind. The irony of this situation shouldn’t be lost from the mind; for most all wild animals prefer to avoid human contact just as much, if not more, than the vice versa. Typically, a wild animal will not attack unless it is being aggressively provoked. There are, however, a handful of exceptions.

And finally,

The Great Unknown

Nearly all humans live day to day with a fairly regular schedule; practically down to the very minute. In a survival situation, you may as well flush the comfort of the “known” down the commode. In its place, rearing its ugly head is the fear of the unknown. Numerous unknowns will constantly jostle the mind and cloud ones common sense. This is a normal reaction to the shock of being forced into survival mode, but it is dire to overcome it as quickly as possible. You must accept the fact that there are inevitable unknowns, but there is much to do in the way of survival, and that is grimmer than the worry that stops your heart in your chest.

There are several ways to cope with fear during a survival emergency:

  1. Do not attempt to “bury” the fear, ignore the fear, or literally run away from the fear. Simply acknowledge and accept the fear you feel as being a totally ordinary reaction to the scenario you are in.
  2. Be enthusiastic. Get to it!; accomplish all the necessities of survival. Make camp, start a fire, set up your signals; there will always be something that needs to be done. Do not get stale. A busy mind can help to repel the fear that is naturally welled up inside the head.
  3. Hope for the best and stay prepared for the worst. Just accept that yes, it has happened to you and that you will be making it out. Not to mention, you’ll have a totally kickass story to tell when it is all over.
  4. Practice your religion or beliefs. Allow your mind to blossom in positive ways.
  5. Keep a positive attitude at all times.

The number one contender to fear is your will to live!

Will To Live:

A strong will to live can be the miracle that saves your life, even when you are up against all odds. Never give up hope of being found and make the best of your special situation. Don’t panic and stay put. Use the resources you have as best as you can while maintaining a positive attitude mentally. The only way to take the initiative step towards survival, and to take charge of your mind, is to value your life.

The will to live can you through some quite remarkable things that may otherwise have been impossible to overcome. Power through the opening shockwave that you are lost or stranded and instantly put a high value on your life. Know that you are going to make it, and get busy putting all these survival skills to the test!

Finishing up…

When you decide to enter any type of wilderness, always let someone know exactly where you are going and when you will be returning. This information can mean the difference between life and death.  (If your goal is it "Disappear" into the wilderness and NOT be found, then you better be damn sure you are proficient is the art of survival and have the confidence and/or competence to see you through the "vanishing into thin-air" - "POOF", process.)   

If you find yourself lost or separated from your party, stop immediately where you are, and begin to set up your survival camp (this will make it easier on the party searching for you).

Do not allow yourself to stop and think too hard about your situation. Dwelling and worrying will only help to take away your will to live!

Never, ever give up hope.



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