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trax
07-27-2007, 04:06 PM
Wareagle just mentioned starting a new thread on this and I was composing a response and thought "yeah, there's probably a lot of thoughts about this"

I'm amazed at the stories I've read, seen and heard over the years of people surviving extraordinarily traumatic situations. Usually people who were unprepared and untrained as well. Situations from natural disasters, being lost in forests or mountains or blizzards, urban disasters, criminal and terrorist attacks, and often with debilitating or life-threatening injuries. So often, it seems like the refusal to give in, the will to live is what kept people going. In many cases I've heard that thoughts of loved ones were the motivation people needed or simply seeing that no one else was taking control of a situation, so the person did. There's been tons of stuff published on informal or natural leadership. I'm sure people would have done better with some level of training, obviously.

I was involved in a car accident once where another car hit a SUV hard enough that it flew across the road and hit my car. Luckily, I was uninjured but had to crawl very gingerly through a broken window to get out. I walked away and sat down on the curb to sort of collect myself, the entire intersection was filled with wreckage and the guy in the SUV and a passenger in the car that caused it were injured slightly. One motorist got out of his car, attended to the injured until the EMT's arrived and directed traffic, all very professionally, until the police arrived. Then he came over and checked on me. He did an awesome job of assessing the needs and addressing the situation. He must have had some kind of training, but by the time the police were done with me, I never got a chance to ask him or thank him, he'd moved on. But, I'd love to hear other people's perspectives here

RobertRogers
07-27-2007, 08:19 PM
Yes, this would be a most interesting post

Fog_Harbor
07-29-2007, 10:47 PM
Without a doubt, the will and desire to stay alive is the number one major factor.

I see that there are several Christian members, so please take no offense, but I am an atheist who believes that faith plays a big part in everyone's day-to-day survival, and in a wilderness survival situation it increases. Just the faith that you WILL survive, that you WILL get through this.

Even the bad survival books agree that a positive mental outlook is paramount to survival. Yes, you will have your doubts and frustrations, your depression and your apathy at times, but underlying all that is still the will to survive, and the faith that you will.

Sarge47
07-29-2007, 10:50 PM
Without a doubt, the will and desire to stay alive is the number one major factor.

I see that there are several Christian members, so please take no offense, but I am an atheist who believes that faith plays a big part in everyone's day-to-day survival, and in a wilderness survival situation it increases. Just the faith that you WILL survive, that you WILL get through this.

Even the bad survival books agree that a positive mental outlook is paramount to survival. Yes, you will have your doubts and frustrations, your depression and your apathy at times, but underlying all that is still the will to survive, and the faith that you will.

No offense taken Dawg, your part of the Wolf pack now!

trax
07-30-2007, 11:44 AM
Even the bad survival books agree that a positive mental outlook is paramount to survival. ... but underlying all that is still the will to survive, and the faith that you will.

See how I messed with your quote dude? Just for the parts I want to refer to. I think that it's essential for people to realize, those reading here who haven't been in those situations, that keeping that positive mental outlook is pretty much out of the question when you're shivering in a rain/snow storm watching your last match burn out and your fire not start. Or watching your gear floating down a river while you hang onto the bottom of your boat because it's upside down. Or come back to your camp and realize that real life Yogi's kind of make a mess when they filch your pic-a-nic basket. The reason I picked that piece out of Fog-Harbor's quote (and I agree with him wholeheartedly) is just that....it's easy to read a posting or a book and nod our heads and say "Oh yeah, positive attitude" If a person hasn't been in those situations, I suggest asking yourself what you're going to do in that situation before you leave home, after it's on you, it could be too late. The will to live has indeed saved a lot of lives, but hypothermia has taken quite a few too. Who is it here that keeps saying "be prepared, always be prepared?" Listen to that guy, prepare mentally.

Go Wolfpack!

Fog_Harbor
07-30-2007, 04:43 PM
See how I messed with your quote dude?

I messed back...

Or watching your gear floating down a river while you hang onto the bottom of your boat because it's upside down.

Been there, several times.

Anyway, I agree with Trax, and i think I posted elsewhere on the forum that the mental exercise of "If ____________ happens, I will _____________" is one that needs to take place whenever there is a spare moment to do so. That's 'training the brain' as I call it.

I think its irresponsible for any outdoor enthusiast, regardless of their activity of choice, to trek out of sight of civilization without some modicum of survival training.

trax
07-30-2007, 04:57 PM
oh my goodness, and you used fat letters too! Must be serious, anyway, I agree. Know what p***es me off? Search and rescue, if most of the people that went hustling off into the woods followed even a smidge (there I go using those scientific measurements--a smidge) of fog_harbor's advice, we probably wouldn't need the wellmeaning men and women of search and rescue risking their lives looking for their sorry a@@es. Know what I mean?

trax
07-30-2007, 05:44 PM
it comes down to the right attitude, which is what we started this discussion about, that man with the least needs still had a strong will to survive I'd say. One of the best lines I ever heard was in a movie years ago, one character asks another "did you always think you'd die peacefully in your sleep?" the guy responds affirmatively. "Then how did you ever get the courage to go to sleep at night?"

I can't possibly prepare for the out of control drunk driver, or the suicide bomber, or any myriad of other things. I can prepare mentally to be aware of what my own needs are and if I'm going into an environment where there are greater challenges in meeting those needs, be aware of that and what I may have to do to address my needs. Personally, my own death isn't something I particularly fear, I'd prefer a fast one to a long lingering painful one, but I don't get to make that choice. On the other hand, my own death isn't something I'm rushing out to embrace with open arms. Some people who venture out into the wilderness strike me as though they might be, whether they are aware of it or not.

There are a LOT of people I've met on my journey through this spectacular world who I would love to take on a trek of some kind just so they can realize how fundamental their real needs are. I don't mean to judge them, but I see what I see in life and draw my own conclusions.

albanian-american
07-30-2007, 05:54 PM
the thing that keeps u alive is the will to survive, if u have family u will probably be more determined to survive than someone who doesn't have family,but u must keep your self busy continuessly, hunt for food build shelters,build clothes , build knives,build spears, take showers stuff like that, just go with the flow

Fog_Harbor
07-30-2007, 08:41 PM
volwest - Obviously we can all agree that any animals primary instinct is self-preservation. Philosophying it to death won't change that.

I don't guess this forum is filled with Philosophers and Psycologist. I think the 'will to live' is plainly understood among the people in here using the term, and it is more than likely interpreted in much the same way.

It certainly isn't over-simplistic. When all the other feelings and fears that you face in that type of situation creep up on you, its that inner strength, or will to live, that keeps you going.

And for my money - blurry or otherwise - it still serves us well.....

trax
07-31-2007, 10:29 AM
Can we agree that preservation of the species might be instinctual, volwest? Hence develops the sense for self-preservation and the need/desire to procreate? I'm just firing them out here. I wonder if at some level the male black widow knows what he's in for? Or just thinks "wow, look at the legs on that one!" and starts flirting her up.

I am neither a philosopher nor a psychologist, I'm a social misfit, just ask Sarge.

Go Wolfpack

wareagle69
07-31-2007, 07:53 PM
amen brother trax

hmmm the will to survive?
self preserving mechanism?

they both exsist and niether exsist.

i have seen people fight with every molecule inthem to survive a situation or event, and i have witnessed people just turn off and fade away.
why does or is this need to survive stong in some and absent in others?
destiny? are we preprogramed to fail or sucseed?
if you want to play with words such as will to survive let me play devils advocate

does one have a sense of direction?

more to follow after i hear your thoughts

always be prepared

Sarge47
07-31-2007, 08:53 PM
Can we agree that preservation of the species might be instinctual, volwest? Hence develops the sense for self-preservation and the need/desire to procreate? I'm just firing them out here. I wonder if at some level the male black widow knows what he's in for? Or just thinks "wow, look at the legs on that one!" and starts flirting her up.

I am neither a philosopher nor a psychologist, I'm a social misfit, just ask Sarge.

Go Wolfpack

I've always said that if I were put in this world as a male Black Widow Spider, (Shouldn't that be "Black WidowER?") I would be the first & only one to declare total celibacy!:rolleyes:

trax
08-01-2007, 12:48 PM
"

Preserving the species is not an instinct, and self-preservation is not to be mistaken with self-duplication. A need is not a desire, and a desire is not an intention , and procreation has to do with tensions within and not the species needs.So this will, is like a stick, at one end we have "live"...and at another we have "die", both are part of the same stick.

That little tadpole surviving the millions of others swimming their way in there, isn't something instinctual? I don't know man, what's instinct? Look at white tail deer, very overpopulated across north america now because so many predators have been wiped out by man, but they're still rutting and breeding every fall....desire? instinct to procreate? I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but if someone has the answer, lay it on me. The continuum of life--death is something I agree with volwest, I'm just looking for more answers.

owl_girl
08-01-2007, 01:42 PM
Don't be confused friend.

The little tadpole is designed in a very specific way, to give him the best chances for survival in his environment, so yes, he will re-act in a specific way to external stimuli.
Instinct is a response to EXTERNAL stimuli, unless it is overridden by what we call intelligence. But there are other methods contributing to re-acting also, since most living organisms must "evolve", therefore, what we may call instinct when watching a certain behavior, may also be an intermediate position served by memory, which is based on individuality since this memory, this "new instinct" will be built upon experience.

To me, reproduction is an INTERNAL stimuli. It is more visible in single cell organisms like amoebas.
The name of the game gives it up "REPRODUCTION". To re-produce it-self has to do with self-duplication, when a tension within has to reach a certain release. This process has nothing to do with self-preservation, since this duplication means the inevitable end to the original copy.

"Preserving the species" cannot be found in nature, we can find "preserving the group/colony/pack...", but not the species. Entire ant colonies will wage war to other colonies in order to preserve their own group, but if this preservation idea was extended to the species, and was an instinct, they would not kill each others. Just like us, or many other organisms/insects/animals.

Well the ants killing each other will at least make the species stronger because the weaker groups and individuals die and the strong survive, so preserving the strongest groups helps preserve the species in the long run.

trax
08-01-2007, 02:38 PM
Well the ants killing each other will at least make the species stronger because the weaker groups and individuals die and the strong survive, so preserving the strongest groups helps preserve the species in the long run.

I agree wholeheartedly with owl_girl, and my question about instinct, your having said it's a response to external stimuli, is...isn't the very essence of instinct that it is innate? That a sentient being knows that there are things that it should do to survive. Aren't the ant colonies battles usually territorial, not unlike humans? Hence, seeing the species in a very limited view vis, my group defines the species?

As for that little tadpole...I just think yay for the guy that made it, perhaps there's something coded in the one super-swimmer that is carrying forward the best and strongest traits of that male. I don't know that, I'm just throwing it out there as a maybe.

owl_girl
08-01-2007, 02:39 PM
Ah ?

How do you figure that one out ?
I think a couple of people have had that concept through out our history...I wouldn't want to be associated with them...but hey, why not.

Do you even realize what you just said ?

I wouldnít apply that to humans, but in the case of ants a lot of things work that wouldnít work for humans, like there social structure, communist little bugs. I suppose it did sound a bit Nazi, but Iím not Nazi I promise. And I donít take that approach to humans at all.

owl_girl
08-01-2007, 03:45 PM
Donít worry volwest, Iím not going to go around killing of all the week.:cool:

trax
08-01-2007, 03:52 PM
Most human wars are "territorial" in that they've started with someone having something someone else wanted. We often mask it with the excuse that my God's better than your God or some other lame-o thing, but that's basically my comparison with the ants.

I wanted to add something else to this discussion (which I am enjoying mightily by the way!) as part of the "psychology" of surviving. We have other posts here about the benefits/risks of either bugging out or bunkering down. If we were in the direst of survival situations, societal collapse because of natural disaster or war, and we choose to bunker down, then what?

What is human nature in that situation? I'm not trying to criticize anyone's plan or viewpoint here, but just for instance one of our newest wolfpack members has a plan where his family gathers at his place and it becomes essentially an armed compound. So, who agrees? and...what about people who are strangers and show up pleading for help? Not threatening, pleading. If you show up at my door and have a sick or injured person and I have medical aid, I will feel compelled to help. If you show up hungry, I will feel compelled to share food, that's my personal nature. But what if "you" start numbering in the dozens, or hundreds? I don't have my answers yet, but I'd like to hear some of your thoughts....{are we having fun yet?}

owl_girl
08-01-2007, 04:38 PM
I knew about the fungus. The ants usually move the infected ant away from the colony before the fugues spreads to the rest of them, saw it on discovery channel.
I guess there are things that humans and ants have in common, but its not always a good thing, and I wouldnít try to get ant psychology mixed up with human psychology, thereís a difference. I still think ants are communistic, and that hasnít worked very well for humans. But I suppose Iím getting sidetracked.

About what trax said about people showing up at the doer wanting help, good point. For that the only thing I can think of is store up lots and lots of supplies.

trax
08-01-2007, 04:42 PM
The most advanced organisms in survival technics are viruses. If you want to learn about survival, you must enter their world, they do not consider anything but the duplication of themselves, and will probably be what puts an end to humanity, if humans do not do it first..

Yeah ok. I think the key words there are "they do not consider" I'm just trying to guage people's thoughts on survival situations and what makes them think the way they think...or react the way they do, etc. You're way too educated and smart for me, dude, the only thing I need to know about how many species of anything there is in the world is "can I eat that one?" I think we're getting a bit trippier here than I meant to be. I sure do appreciate the amount of information you provide though

trax
08-01-2007, 05:06 PM
I'm sure I will bro, I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are on the same subject. Thanks

Fog_Harbor
08-01-2007, 07:48 PM
volwest

I hope you can remember all these semantics and circular points of hubris next time you're faced with the sudden desire to live instead of die.

If there is no will to live, try this - stop eating. Get back to me in a month or so and tell me whether or not you had the desire to eat because of internal or external stimuli. Let me know whether it was instinct or will.

I will agree with you on most of your definitions, if you will agree that English is a fluid language in which the majority usage usually wins. The word 'will' as most of us use it is simply desire or determination.

With that, I bid you farewell

trax
08-02-2007, 12:17 PM
Don't eat the cornflakes, apparently someone's pi##ing in them! Unless of course you're Bear Grylls in which case, bon appetite...

DEET
08-06-2007, 10:08 PM
Being...crushed....by....thread.....gotten....too. ....heavy....aaahhhhh:)

owl_girl
08-06-2007, 10:45 PM
Being...crushed....by....thread.....gotten....too. ....heavy....aaahhhhh:)
Lol DEET thatís hilarious

FVR
08-06-2007, 11:02 PM
Wow, heavy thread. Sounds like alot of bs to me.

Instinct, yeh right. Instinct can get you killed in some situations. You have to know when to go against your instinct.

Will to survive, balogne. You can have the will to survive and still die. Nobody wants to die, I do think that some will fight harder to live than others. The comment on "family" is right on. Family will give you that little extra that you "may" need to survive.

Training, you can have all the training in the world, one mistake, you're dead.

Pyschology of survival = heart and luck.

When the Indianapolis went down, instinct led them to drink the salt water, training taught them not to drink the water. The will to survive slowly deteriorates as time goes on. Those that survived had luck and heart.

The luck came in as they were not injured on the ship, and the sharks did not get them. The heart came in to play when they fought their desires and instinct to consume that which they knew would eventually kill them.

I've known many who have had the trianing, but did not have the heart.

Yeh, I'll stick with heart.

nell67
08-07-2007, 07:31 AM
Volwest,

I love reading your posts,you give tons of insightful info and have changed the way I think about lots of different aspects of survival,sometimes I have to reread it to grasp exactly what you are saying,and other times it takes the brain picking comments and questions from the fellow pack members for it sink in (kinda thick headed,hubby says thats because I am woman LOL) but it definately makes me think harder about what I would do.

Keep up the good posts all of you ,beacause in the end you just never know what little bit of information and the discussion that follows will someday help one or more of us who find ourselves in a true survival situation to come out of that situation a survivor!

trax
08-08-2007, 01:28 PM
That I got lifting this thread off DEET's chest....sorry about that DEET, I'll try to lighten up a bit:)

DEET
08-08-2007, 09:09 PM
That I got lifting this thread off DEET's chest....sorry about that DEET, I'll try to lighten up a bit:)


WHEW!!! thanks trax I thought I would be stuck under that thing forever and be forced to eat scorpions and elephant turds while drinking my pee like Bear:eek:

Dynanim
07-30-2015, 03:36 AM
I know this thread's old, but I think it'll live with a bit of CPR... Let's look at it from a slightly different point of view: as going into a crisis.

Anatomy of a crisis
When we are faced with a crisis, we usually go through a few phases. If we understand the phases we may be able to function better and get through it relatively unscathed.

Phase 1: the triggering event
Before the triggering event, we’re in control of ourselves and behave the way we do in everyday life. When the triggering event impacts us, we recognise it as a crisis. The best strategy for handling this stage is to avoid the trigger entirely. This calls for planning, trying to anticipate stressors and what could go wrong, and doing your best to develop strategies that will negate or minimise those possibilities.

Phase 2: escalation
If, despite our careful planning and gazing into our crystal ball, something goes wrong and we’re precipitated into a crisis, we enter the escalation phase. This is when we recognise that we’re in a stressful situation and we react with some or all of the following:
• Shock
• Disbelief
• Confusion
• Difficulty in deciding
• Forgetfulness
• Worry
• Fear
• Anger
• Time slowing down
• Numbness
• Helplessness
• Feeling that we should be doing more

These feelings often escalate in intensity until we enter the crisis phase. To increase your chances of survival, it would be ideal to recognise that you’ve entered the escalation phase and that it could lead to you entering crisis phase. How? Knowing this sequence, i.e., that escalation will follow a triggering event, should help you recognise that your reactions will escalate to a crisis point. So once a triggering event occurs, keep a lookout for escalating reactions and focus on calming yourself. The best way to do this is to engage one or more of your senses.

Do your best to stop the cycle here. If you enter the crisis phase, you won’t be of much use to yourself or anyone else. It will most likely worsen the situation. Working out your most viable options will happen when you are in control of yourself and don’t enter the crisis phase.

Phase 3: crisis
In this phase our stress increases. Our hearts beat faster. Our motor skills and our perceptual abilities diminish. We can’t respond until the threat is identified, but because we lose the ability to process information, we begin to lose control of ourselves, reacting irrationally. Each of our selves is affected: the extent to which each is affected depends on the severity and duration of the event.

Emotional: we may experience fear, grief, anger, despair, sadness, numbness, and generalised anxiety disorder.

Mental: we may experience impaired concentration & decision-making, impaired memory, disbelief, worry, denial, flashbacks, and tunnel vision.

Physical: we may experience fatigue, insomnia, cardiovascular strain, hyper-arousal, general health problems, headaches, decreased appetite, nonspecific distress, and Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS).

Spiritual: we may experience aggression, isolation, hopelessness, disassociation, panic, and a lack of confidence.

Familial and social: we may experience increased relational conflict, social withdrawal, impaired performance, over-protectiveness, abandonment, and rejection.

If you couldn’t stop yourself from entering this phase, do your best to recognise that you're in the crisis phase. Do whatever it takes to calm down, making sure that you're in a safe place. Don’t decide on a course of action at this stage; unless of course you don’t have the luxury of time.

Phase 4: recovery
Once the stressor is gone (or its immediacy lessens, or we manage to regain self-control), if we survive the crisis, we begin to calm down, regain control of ourselves and a semblance of our usual behaviour returns, but remain fragile. We become more rational and may experience forms of relief or anger, possibly even exhilaration.

This is another phase where we could try to work out our options. Be aware that your emotions may still be dominating your decisions in this phase.

Phase 5: crash
Once recovery is complete, we may move into a “crash” phase. We tend to display below-normal activity levels, requiring time to physically recover and mentally process the event. Long term effects could include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), grief and anger.

kyratshooter
07-30-2015, 12:52 PM
Do they have to be in that order or can I mix them up?

What happens when phase three is followed immediately by another phase three, phase 4 never happens and there is another phase three occurring after you moved immediately to the PTSD stage of phase 5?

anyone remember who's on first?

TXyakr
07-30-2015, 02:38 PM
It is just a rough model of real life not a ridged mold to cram a person's experience into. If you realize what general phase of a cycle your are in you can slow down your otherwise non-voluntary responses and regain some control of your situation and possibly heal faster. Perhaps not be re-triggered by stressful events and start the cycle all over again or have multiple crisis phases, prolonged escalation get in a inner loop as kyrat mentioned, and not get to recovery as quickly as you could.

Difference is being blown by the wind with no keel or being able to steer your way through it.

THAT ^ was just a rough analogy not an exact science, don't take it too literally or be overly specific about it "KYratshooter".
Psychologists are just guides to point you in the general direction they DO NOT have all the answers!!!

My sister stressed out about some things that were out of her control, I think it is possible that it contributed to a sudden onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I know others that may have had a genetic predisposition toward mental illness like schizophrenia, and extreme stress that they did not deal effectively with appeared to suddenly trigger that. Knowing how to deal with stress is a good thing IMO. One of the biggest differences between a special forces officer and G.I.

Stever60
07-30-2015, 04:58 PM
I loved baseball, but I never could guess at the plate what someone was going to pitch. I tried to watch the ball, if it was a fastball hit that, curveball hit that - more or less how I live. I can't guess the future. I can prepare myself to hit a fastball or a curve though. Granted - if I could guess it I likely would have a better swing - same with life - same with a survival situation (my opinion). I was taught - in general, that survival is doing those things everyday that improve your circumstances, prioritizing what is needed and extending to the next day. Then extending days into weeks and weeks into months . . . whatever it takes. Psychology is a grey area for me - not to say it does not have merit. I understand math where as the English language baffles me, psychology even more so. For me it is easy, I am hungry, I am cold, I am thirsty. What to do, and what to do first. I think the question is about the mindset of a crisis situation or survival situation and I think maybe I am way different perhaps than a lot of people, not sure - but my mind set is just matter of fact - hit the pitch. I may need to change my name to caveman if it is not taken.

Rick
07-30-2015, 05:46 PM
Perhaps we should put together an Anatomy of Humor. It seems some miss the attempt.

Dynanim
07-30-2015, 11:43 PM
The world needs to be reintroduced to Abbott and Costello. Humour is a perfect de-stresser. Really useful in a survival situation. That's not a joke!

Anatomy of Humor part 1... The knee bone's connected to the funny bone. There's enough ad-libbers here to go on from there.

Kyrat, mixing them up is where reality meets the neat theories that psychologists put together. It probably get their knickerbockers in a bunch! Nobody's the same. I personally had a midlife crisis in my late teens and am going through childhood now. Maybe I'm just advanced for my age or have Benjamin Button syndrome. Anyway, this isn't my model, it's what I've summarised from my research into crises and survival psychology. I've taken info from studies of the 911 tragedy and from studies of individuals. Basically, like TXyakr says, if you know what stage you (or people you're responsible for) are in, you're able to deal with it better.

If someone in your group is starting to freak out, breaking the process early might save your group a lot of grief. This aggro guy came running up to me on a deserted street one night, roaring wildly. He was obviously already upset about something. I decided to break the cycle to see what would happen. Just before he got to me I asked him if he was okay. He stopped in his tracks, stared at me and said "nobody's ever asked me that before" and he walked up to me and gave me a hug. Instead of escalating the situation, doing something that was unexpected turned it around. Suppose someone in your group is starting to panic, knocking them flat on their back would be unexpected, but you wouldn't want to change their direction from fear to anger (or unconsciousness) in a survival situation. Depends on who it is though :laugh:

crashdive123
07-31-2015, 05:24 AM
Depends on who it is thoughTruer words have never been spoken.:whistling:

Rick
08-01-2015, 07:13 AM
Running out of Depends can make you freak out. You could literally wind up with a SHTF...never mind.

crashdive123
08-01-2015, 09:53 AM
That's what they make commando briefs for.

Rick
08-01-2015, 07:11 PM
This may be turning ugly. First the CCW hong and now this.

Wise Old Owl
08-01-2015, 08:06 PM
Well the ants killing each other will at least make the species stronger because the weaker groups and individuals die and the strong survive, so preserving the strongest groups helps preserve the species in the long run.


High "feathers" on that post.