Things You May Not Anticipate in a Survival Situation


There are always things that will go wrong once disaster strikes.  Items will break or get lost, you may run out of resources or simply forget to bring extra supplies of something.  Let’s take a look at some things that a lot of people don’t consider in their planning in order to remind us all of the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.

You Can’t See

A lot of us wear glasses or contact lenses, and we often forget that we have them on through the course of our daily lives.  However, what will happen if you are in a survival situation and they break or get lost?  You should always have an eyeglass repair kit handy along with an extra pair just in case.  For contact wearers, make sure that you have a full box of replacement lenses in addition to a pair of glasses.  Keep in mind that once you run out of saline solution or lens cleaner, chances are that contacts will not last nearly as long.  You also run the risk of getting an eye infection if you do not remove your lenses and clean them on a regular basis.

You Lose Your Water Filter

It happens all the time.  Water filters crack, jam or become clogged.  They also get lost a lot more often than you may think.  The question is what will you do if that happens?  You should seriously consider bringing an emergency filtration straw, some purification tablets or even a small bottle of iodine or bleach to add an extra layer of redundancy to your ability to purify water in the field.  Never leave home without only one option when it comes to water.  Your life depends on your ability to access water that is safe to drink.

You Lose Your Fire-Starting Items

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We all know about the limitless ways that we can improvise to start fires.  Whether it is with a strike stick or some wax-coated matches.  However, what will you do if you lose or run out of all of your supplies?  What happens if your items get wet or otherwise can’t be used?  It’s essential that you learn basic bushcraft fire-starting skills.  You never know when you will need to put them into practice.

You Get Wet

Another thing that catches people off-guard is the fact that they get wet when they expected to remain dry.  This could come in the form of unexpected rain or snow, being forced to swim through a body of water or getting stuck under a leaky pipe.  There are a million and one ways that we can unexpectedly be faced with a situation where we need to stay dry but don’t have proper gear.  One solution is to bring some plastic bags for your feet and a garbage bag or two to act as a makeshift poncho.  You should also consider how you will keep your gear dry as well.  Remember, never take anything for granted, and always prepare for getting wet even if you don’t think you will.


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Most preppers have an active imagination and are always thinking about what to do in various survival situations.  However, what happens once you’re in the field and the dust settles?  What happens when the power goes out and you don’t have anything to do?  What happens when you need to shelter in place for long periods of time without any kind of entertainment or distractions?  Boredom is something that very few people anticipate, yet it is one of the most pervasive problems that we will encounter. 

Have strategies in place that will help you to cope with boredom.  Bring a deck of cards, small games, books or have projects in mind that can keep you occupied.  You will be glad that you did, because nothing is as tormenting as having nothing to occupy your mind and make time move a little faster during a crisis. 

Your Compass is Gone

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Anyone can read a compass and have a general idea of their direction of travel.  Anyone can have a sense of where they need to go in order to get to civilization or safety if they are familiar with the area or can read a map.  However, what happens if the compass gets lost or damaged?  Learn basic skills that will help you to orient yourself by using the sun and stars or reading the terrain around you.  People die all the time because they got lost in the wilderness.  Unfortunately, many of them would have survived if they knew how to orient themselves.

These are just examples of big things to prepare for during a prolonged crisis or survival situation.  However, you should also pay attention to the little things as well.  What will you do if you run out of toilet paper?  How will you bathe without soap?  What can you use to shave?  What happens if you get injured and you’re alone?  It’s just as important to prepare for how to cope with the little things that can and will go wrong as well. 

Try to avoid the false sense of security that is associated with having the right gear, supplies, resources and plans in place.  It’s important to continually remind yourself to think outside of the box, improvise and build redundancy to your preparedness efforts in order to be able to cope with the unexpected.  One thing is for certain:  Things never go according to plan. 

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