This is an article I wrote as a guest post for End of time Survival. It’s my take on “Do you have the right mentality?”
This one is on the top of my list. Why? Because people these days think in problems instead of solutions. You should try this with your own kids or friends. Don’t ask them about one of your problems, because people always seem to have answers for other people’s problems…. Use one of their own for this. What you’ll notice is that they will shoot down any solution you’ll give them with another problem. This kind of thinking is a killer in any survival situation.
Wrong way. Q: “my clothes are wet” A: “make a fire or dry them in the sun” Q2: “but I don’t know how to make a fire” A2: “Ask someone around you, use your creativity” Q3: “I can’t think I’m hungry…” A3: ….. “headshot”
Right way: Q: “my clothes are wet and I’m hungry, wanna make a fire together and set some traps? “ A: “Sure man, do both together so we don’t get lost”
You all see what I’m going at here? People who think in problems, have no creativity and drag others down to die with them. Therefore, always turn questions into answers, nothing is impossible. Try to see every question as a small challenge that you can overcome, the reward you receive may be something like: The warmth of a fire, shelter you have built, clothes you have dried. Now I’m not saying to shoot everyone who can’t come up with solutions in your group. The people who come up with these solutions will have to give instructions to others.
This one goes way further than cleaning your apartment, doing laundry, and making sure you have some food in your fridge. It means you have to know where every piece of your equipment is, keeping yourself clean, not taking a break if there is no time to do so… What I mean by this is, you have to go not just the extra mile to be on your top game, but the extra marathon! When I was in the army and we had to do exfiltration, never made fire, moved and slept a little at night, lay low during the day. Also, know everything in your backpack, coat and vest, never put anything on the ground and so on and on… What this means is, be conscious about everything you do, carry or your group carries or does. Think about the consequences and have the discipline to change things in order to survive.
Wrong way: When you arrive at your next campsite, you unpack most stuff from your backpack, take of your shoes and relax for a bit. You deserved this after your long and hard walk. What you didn’t deserve was that group of zombies that followed you and is now closing in on your campsite! As you rush to put your shoes on, you realize it’s too late. You grab your half empty backpack and run through the woods on your bare feet. These get cut open and you die slowly from an infection that weakens you so far that you can’t move anymore. Laying in a field you pass out into a restless, infectious sleep to wake up in horrible pain as a stumbling zombie sets its teeth into your guts!
Right way: When you arrive on your next campsite, you take a well camouflaged vantage point and lay low for half an hour to hear, see and smell your home for the night. After about ten minutes you see them, they must have been around here and you got their attention. The zombies followed you and are now stumbling around your campsite. Because of your great vantage point, you silently wait for them to be distracted and wander off. When they’re walking away, you grab you axe and sneak up on them. Before the remaining three know what happened, the first two are down and you finish the last ones too. After that, you use the bodies to keep other zombies out and get your well-deserved rest. Safely sleeping in a tree!
This will mean you can’t always make a nice warm fire, smoke that cigarette or leave your shit behind. It might mean less sleep, social interaction or other things we enjoy. Don’t underestimate the stress this can put on a person and especially on a group. You need the discipline to live the way you have to in order to survive!
Also be very aware of slipping into old habits. The fact that you might have survived because of your disciplined way of life, also means that if you let that slip into routine and become lazy, you’ll fuck up and get hurt or worse…
This one goes hand in hand with creativity. It’s okay to have a laugh about things, try to see the irony in things. I’m not saying to not take your life seriously, but when shit goes bad, laugh it off, learn from the mistakes you made and adapt to that. Unless it killed you.. 😉
Wrong way: Q: “Ahh, fuck! That deer that got stuck in our trap got eaten by a zombie” A: ”Yea shit now we’re never going to find food and die!”
Right way: Q: “Ahh, fuck! That deer that got stuck in our trap got eaten by a zombie” A: “Yea, well next time we better keep an eye on the trap so we beat the zombie to it!” Q: “Good plan, come let’s find something else to eat” A: “Not after we collect some bones to make weapons out of!”
This might seem obvious, but people tend to forget this and get dragged down by the negativity that comes with constant set-backs. The best way to explain the ratio of failure versus victory in a survival situation, is one from an old army buddy of mine: “Survival is like finding a girl to take home in a bar… You take your best gear with you, work together with your friends and get shot down 9 out of 10 times. All you can do is, drink a little spirit, learn from what you just did and try again!” This applies perfect to survival, just don’t drink any alcohol in high risk survival situations…
Don’t be an individual
We live in a society based around ourselves. We’re greedy, selfish, lie, steal and care just about ourselves. Well, this goes for most people and most people will die during a zombie apocalypse. The rouge, one man armies you see in action movies never live long! What if you get sick, wounded, alone, tired and what not? How will you sleep if there is nobody to keep guard? Humans are pack animals. Yes you heard me, I said animals, we’re animals.. But more important is the word “PACK”! The only reason we survived anything in our past, is by working together. We build cities together, armies fight together, we hunt together, watch over each other… Now in our modern society this may not seem to be the case, but let me remind you that everything and everybody works together. Mines take recourses from the ground, factories build stuff with that, trucks transport it, stores sell it, you buy and use it. This might not seem like working together, but it is! You might not know the other people, but without them your life would be hell.
Now in a survival situation, you will need people building shelter, guarding, gathering food and water. Maybe later, planting crops and making weapons. If you go out alone, you might stay alive, but you won’t live. You’ll never rebuild anything, go crazy on constant fear and no social interaction, and you won’t be able to build a new society (for evidence, see elementary school books on bees and flowers). Also a good reminder to all this, the pyramid of Abraham Maslow!
So my advice to you is, travel in a group! Preferably people you know and trust, if they’re not around, you find others. Now how can you trust these people? Follow your gut feeling, people who have one will know what I’m talking about. It’s an instinct us animals have to sense danger. It might be buried deep inside us, but when adrenaline and pure fear kick in, it either works or doesn’t. In the last case you die anyway. So people who live through the first few weeks of an outbreak: Trust your good judgment to find people who you can rely on! Of course your judgment may be wrong, but in emergency situations, it’s necessary to take some risks.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
I cannot begin tell you how important this last point is! Now you might think: “Yea, we know, you have to carry some shit and be able to run from zombies to stay alive…” Well that is partially true. It’s not just about doing some exercise. It’s about what you eat, drink, how you sleep, posture, doing the right exercises. Okay, let me break that down for you.
- The food you might eat and drink now (fast food, chips, beer, cola…) will not be available in an apocalypse. Therefore it’s wise to get used to not having this food around. This doesn’t mean you can’t have it, but try living without it for a few weeks. Just have some red meat, lettuce and other stuff nature might offer you.
- How you sleep is also important. If you’re used to always sleep in your own soft, fresh, warm, comfy bed… Sleep outdoors is going to be hell for you! To prevent any trauma (metal and physical), try sleeping outside in bad conditions a few nights. That way you can prepare yourself for the nights you face during the apocalypse.
- Posture is a big deal! If you always keep your head up, shoulders back and chest up front. You’ll feel a lot better. Both physically and mentally!
- Doing the right exercises means not just going to the gym. Forget the gym! People there train muscles they don’t need, in ways you’ll never use them. If you want to be prepared, put your backpack on and go for a long walk. Climb with your gear. Walk through water and after that run your gear dry. Do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, lift heavy things, drag tractor tires through mud! These are exercises that will be useful in survival situations. They will both physically and mentally prepare you for the kinds of movement you’ll need to make when surviving.
Well, that about sums up the best mental preparation in a nutshell that I’ve got for you. If you don’t get what I mean here, you’re probably going to die.. So, Do you have the right mentality?