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1-2 Conditions Affecting Survival
Transcript of 1-2 Conditions Affecting Survival
Chapter 1 - 2
Survival instruction will provide training in skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to successfully perform fundamental tasks needed for survival. An appreciation of these will help each student to develop confidence, to reduce mental and physical stress for those who find themselves in a survival situation, and to return safely from such a situation
Climate, terrain, and life forms are the basic components of all environments. These components can present special problems for the survivor. Each component can be used to the survivor's advantage. Knowledge of these conditions may very well contribute to the success of the survival mission
The Survivor's Condition
The survivor's condition and the influence it has in each survival episode is often overlooked. The primary factors which constitute the survivor's condition can best be described by the four categories shown in figure 1-5. Survivors must be aware of the role a survivor's condition plays both before and during the survival episode
At the beginning of a survival episode, the clothing and equipment in the survivors possession, the contents of available survival kits, and salvageable resources from the automobile or aircraft are the sum total of the survivor's material assets. Once the survival episode has started, special attention must be given to the care, use, and storage of all materials to ensure they continue to be serviceable and available. Items of clothing and equipment should be selective along with improvised items.
Mountains, prairies, hills, and lowlands, are only a few examples of the infinite variety of land forms which describe "terrain."
Each of the land forms have a different effect on a survivor's needs, decisions, and actions.
A survivor may find a combination of several terrain forms in a given situation.
The existing terrain will affect the survivor's needs and activities in such areas as travel, recovery, sustenance, and, to a lesser extent, personal protection.
Depending on its form, terrain may cause travel to be easy or difficult; provide protection from cold, heat, moisture, wind make surviving a seemingly impossible task.
Legal and Moral Obligations
A survivor has both legal and moral obligations or responsibilities.
Responsibilities influence behavior during survival episodes and influence the will to survive. Examples include feelings of obligation or responsibilities to family, self, and/or spiritual beliefs.
A survivor's individual perception of responsibilities influence survival needs, and affect the psychological state of the individual both during and after the survival episode. These perceptions will be reconciled either consciously through rational thought or subconsciously through attitude changes. Training specifically structured to foster and maintain positive attitudes provides a key asset to survival.
Duration—The Time Condition
The duration of the survival episode has a major effect upon the survivor's needs. Every decision and action will be driven in part by an assessment of when recovery or return is probable. Rescue capabilities, the distances involved, climatic conditions, the ability to locate the survivor, are major factors which directly influence the duration (time condition) of the survival episode. A survivor can never be certain that rescue is near.
A state or feeling of uneasiness, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the expectation of some threat or danger.
The three primary elements of the survivor's mission are: the conditions affecting survival, the survivor's needs, and the means for surviving.
Surviving is extremely stressful and difficult. The survivor may be constantly faced with hazardous and difficult situations. The stresses, hardships, and hazards are caused by the increasing effects of existing conditions. The survivor's mission forms the basis for identifying and organizing the major needs of a survivor. The decisions survivors make and the actions taken to survive determine their chances for surviving
These three basic conditions affect every survival situation.
These conditions may vary in importance from one situation to another and from individual to individual.
These conditions can be neutral—being neither for nor against the survivor, and should be looked upon as neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.
The survivor may give in to their effects—or use them to their best advantage. These conditions exist in each survival episode, and they will have great bearing on the survivor's every need, decision, and action.
Temperature, moisture, and wind are the basic climatic elements.
Extreme cold or hot temperatures, complicated by moisture (rain, humidity, dew, snow, etc.) or lack of moisture, and the possibility of wind, may have a life threatening impact on the survivor's needs, decisions, and actions.
The primary concern, resulting from the effects of climate, is the need for personal protection.
Climatic conditions also have a significant impact on other aspects of survival
(for example, the availability of water and food, the need and ability to travel, recovery capabilities, physical and psychological problems, etc.)
For survival and survival training purposes, there are two basic life forms:
animal life (other than human).
Geographic areas are often identified in terms of the abundance of life (or lack thereof).
For example, the barren arctic or desert, forests, the tropical rain forest, the polar ice cap, etc., all produce images regarding the quantities of life forms.
These examples can have special meaning not only in terms of the hazards or needs they create, but also in how a survivor can use available life forms
The physical condition and the fitness level of the survivor are major factors affecting survivability. Survivors who are physically fit will be better prepared to face survival episodes than those who are not. In short, high levels of physical fitness will enhance a survivor's ability to cope with such diverse variables as: temperature extremes, rest or lack of it, water availability, food availability, and extended survival episodes. In the last instance, physical weakness may increase as a result of nutritional deficiencies, disease, etc
The survivor’s psychological state greatly influences their ability to successfully return from a survival situation.
Psychological effectiveness in a survival episode results from effectively coping with the following factors:
1. Initial Shock - Finding oneself in a survival situation.
5. Cold or Heat.
7. Fatigue - Including Sleep Deprivation.
8. Isolation - Includes extended duration of any episode.
9. Insecurity - Induced by anxiety and self-doubts.
10. Loss of Self-Esteem.
11. Loss of Self-Determination
12. Depression–Mental “lows”
A survivor may experience emotional reactions during a survival episode due to the previously stated factors, previous (life) experiences (including training) and the survivor's psychological tendencies. Emotional reactions commonly occurring in survival situations are:
1. Boredom - Sometimes combined with loneliness.
7. Anger - Sometimes included as a sub-element of hate.
10. Fear - Often included as a part of panic or anxiety.
Psychologically survival episodes may be divided into “crisis” phases and "coping" phases.
The initial crisis period will occur at the onset of the survival situation. During this initial period, “thinking” as well as “emotional control” may be disorganized. Judgment is impaired, and behavior may be irrational (possibly to the point of panic).
Once the initial crisis is under control, the coping phase begins and the survivor is able to respond positively to the situation.
Crisis periods may well recur, especially during extended situations (captivity).
A survivor must strive to control if avoidance is impossible.
The most important psychological tool that will affect the outcome of a survival situation is the will to survive.
Without it, the survivor is surely doomed to failure—a strong will is the best assurance of survival.
Clothing appropriate to anticipated environmental conditions should be worn or carried as space permits.
The equipment available to a survivor affects all decisions, needs, and actions. The survivor's ability to improvise may provide ways to meet some needs.