The Survival Acronym was developed for military personnel, primarily Special Forces, but can be easily adapted to civilian survival.
You can easily replace the word “enemy” with “the unprepared”, as some, NOT all, will be attempting to take what you have as they have not adequately prepared.
S – Size Up the Situation:
- Size Up the Battlefield: If you find yourself in a combat situation, this means finding a spot where you can be concealed from your opponent.
- Size Up Your Environment: Is it grassland, forest, jungle, a desert? Pay attention to the plants and a animals of the area as well as potential sources of water.
- Size Up Your Present Condition: If you have been involved in combat, take a moment to check yourself for injuries and provide first aid as necessary. It’s possible to overlook injuries or underestimate their severity when in the heat of combat.
- Size Up Your Gear: Has anything you need been broken or lost in the heat of the moment?
U – Use All Your Senses:
- It’s easy to get caught up in one sense in a high-stress situation. You may be so focused on looking for your opponent in a conflict that you fail to notice a gas leak, for example. Use all of yours senses to gather information, notice sudden temperature shifts. Taste will probably not be too useful in the moment, but use your senses of sight, hearing, and smell to read the battlefield situation before you.
- Fight the impulse to panic or take immediate action. Don’t do anything ill-considered.
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, and the location of allies/enemies. If you are traveling in a group, always be aware of which person has the map. If this person dies, you will have to retrieve it from his or her body.
V – Vanquish Fear and Panic:
- Take a deep breath or two and focus purely on what you need to do in order to survive. Letting fear and panic overwhelm you will both drain your energy and prevent you from making intelligence decisions in a vital moment and get you killed.
- Calming yourself down may be the key to survival
- Dehydration and hunger can make it difficult to think clearly, so – after checking that you are safe from any threats – make a plan to get hold of the essentials you need to survive.
I – Improvise:
- It is always smart to equip yourself with the best equipment available to you, but never be afraid to improvise a tool or weapon, it could be the difference between life and death. This means being creative, thinking outside the box. What available to you can be turned into a weapon? What can you use to make shelter for yourself? Even the most well stocked bug out bag you will run out or have tools break on you if relied on for too long, which means you may need to learn how to use natural objects as tools.
V – Value Living:
- Focus on the good things in life for motivation in order to maintain your sanity. Remember what you are fighting for, the people that you love, the gift of time to be the person you are.
A – Act Like the Natives:
- When away from home but still around other people, it’s best to avoid undo attention and pissing off the native peoples you find yourself among. Offending the natives is a bad idea, so when in Rome, do as the Romans do. How do they dress? What do they eat? How do they go about their routines every day?
L – Live by Your Wits and Learn Basic Skills:
- Listen to your brain but also listen to your gut, focus on being present in the moment in order to react to any situation before you. Please note that this is no substitute for preparing yourself beforehand as well as you can.