Basic Survival Knowledge
As a young Airman teaching students at the U.S. Air Force Survival School, I was posed a riddle by one of my officer students. He said to me, “Imagine you are lost in the woods, it’s freezing cold, hypothermia is setting in, and you come across a cabin in the middle of nowhere. You enter the cabin and there is a lantern, fully functional and ready to go. There is also a wood-burning stove and a stone fireplace with paper and kindling. What do you light first?” I replied, “I would light the fireplace.” A large smile spread across his space and he said, “Nope, you light the match first!” Then it was my turn to smile and reply, “But sir, we don’t use matches!” And I also reiterated that as an Air Force Survival Instructor, we NEVER became lost.
It was refreshing to see that the lieutenant was thinking about survival matters and possible scenarios one might encounter. Over the course of nearly two decades, instructing various students all around the world, I encountered many people who had never camped, never hiked, and didn’t know the first thing about what to do in a “survival situation.”
As a professional instructor, it brought me great satisfaction to see those same people less than two weeks later leave with the confidence to survive on the basic skills they had learned. The majority of the students that go through the Air Force Survival School MUST have this knowledge to accomplish their mission and continue in their chosen field. This article will be a short introduction to the basics of survival that could save your life.
1. Increase your will to survive
First and foremost is the Will to Survive, W2S. You can have Click to see the original article