Is Survival A Natural Human Instinct?

The world is not a safe place. There are numerous natural and man-made disasters which affect individuals and groups of people daily. While human beings often die in these catastrophes, you will still hear amazing tales of unlikely survival. In simple terms, regular human beings are able to stay alive in the most extraordinary and unusual circumstances.

This phenomenon has happened countless times and continues to puzzle people. Is it the natural instinct of humans to keep living? Is determination the driving force for disaster survival? Why and what for do people fight so hard to survive? Why do some people survive under unlikely circumstances while others die in less dire situations?

The famous evolution expert, Charles Darwin, presented concrete evidence-based theories on the survival of creatures. This scientist proved in the 1800 that natural selection and survival are intertwined. Natural selection is a simple theory which emphasizes on one unshakable concept: only the strong survive.

Simply speaking, every form of life is exposed to constant danger because none is supreme in the food chain or over natural disasters. When a disaster strikes, the weakest in the population will die. The strong will continue living and passing on their genes to the next generation. As a result, the particular species is able to keep thriving and overcoming challenges. This simple concept of natural selection can help us understand if human beings really have a natural predisposition to keep surviving against all odds. In this short discussion, we will examine the human survival instincts which have managed to keep the species going for millenniums.

The most obvious hard-wired instinct for survival is manifested in form of the fight-or-flight response. This physiological reaction occurs if a person senses the threat to their survival or any harmful attack or event. As implied, this is a biological response which helps a person in adverse situations either fight or flee from the danger.

The reaction begins in the brain’s amygdala which in turn triggers the hypothalamus gland. This process is also followed by the secretion of the ACT hormone. This hormone triggers the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine or adrenaline and cortisol. When these biochemical secretions are released, they help the body prepare for violent muscle action.

In simple terms, the hormones will cause an acceleration of physiological functions which will be useful when fighting or fleeing. For example, heart and lung action will accelerate in order to supply the body with oxygen for muscle action. Metabolic resources such as stored glucose and fats will be liberated to provide sufficient energy. Awareness of the surroundings and vision also improves.

In general, the body will also limit the resources to parts of the body that are not required for immediate survival. For instance, digestion in the upper stomach and intestines will slow down or stop. There will be inhibition of tear and saliva production as well as the bladder might relax and other sphincter muscles will be affected.

When a person is in danger, the fight-or-flight response will kick in. Some people will have unusual strength to fight the source of peril while others will have the supernatural ability to flee from the scene. Often, this is known as hysterical strength because it goes beyond the normal bounds due to the specific situation. The fight and flight response is particularly valuable when fighting for family. For example, mothers will be able to lift a car when their children are in danger. A father will run into a flaming building despite the danger to save his family.

The concept of opposites attracting is more than a fancy theory. In a certain experiment, it was proven that people choose partners who will ensure the survival of their genes. Human beings are built differently at a genetic level, including their level of immunity. People with lower immunity are more prone to sickness and death in case of adverse situations.

If an individual chooses a partner with the same genetic code for immunity, their child is likely to be vulnerable to multiple diseases. In ideal circumstances, one will choose a partner with opposite or at least different immune strengths than them. This will allow their child to have a better chance of surviving when exposed to dangerous situations.

So, how do humans recognize the right partner? According to the BBC show Human Instinct, it is all in the nose. In their experiment, a man was exposed to the natural scent of six women, sight unseen. The smells that he found to be most appealing belonged to women who did not share the genes linked to the immune system. This phenomenon is designed to create the best family unit.

There are other intrinsic survival instincts which help individuals and the entire human race continue surviving. For example, human babies are born without any form of defense against threats to their existence. However, they are able to convey their needs by crying in different volumes and pitches to convey their desires. Also, babies have almost universal appeal to people because of their general cuteness and adorable. This phenomenon helps elicit a care-giving response in people ensuring their continued survival. It is theorized that cuter babies have an advantage in survival.

People are also hardwired to avoid poisonous foods which could threaten survival. As an adult, one has the ability to understand poison in a logical way, mostly. However, babies can only rely on instinct to determine what is safe. That is why babies will reject bitter food and choose sweet energy-giving foods.

Human instincts are designed to promote survival, but ultimately, our connections to family, children and other relations provide the strength to fight unbeatable odds.

Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”

What Would Create an Emergency Survival Event?

There are many events, both natural and man-made, that are possible. We all must become aware of these events and begin now to prepare our family for them. We have time now to prepare, but unfortunately, we may not have time after the event occurs. This article will discuss one of this events.

* Totally unexpected events such as families or groups becoming lost on hiking trips or other outings.

We all believe that becoming lost may happen to someone else but not us. We often are in denial that this could ever happen to us. In reality becoming lost while on an outing can happen to the best of us so planning ahead is vital to our survival while waiting to be rescued or finding our way back on our own.

We must try to imagine what would happen if our group or a single person in our group wondered just a short distance from the intended route and became distracted by let's say, the beauty of our surroundings, and all of a sudden disoriented as to the direction from which we arrived at this location and / or which way to return. Most of us would then analyze the situation and choose a direction in which to hopefully return to our destination or vehicle, only to find out that we are now really lost.

If truly lost the correct action might be to stay where we are until our group finds us. Unfortunately, most of us will continue our search for the correct route. In which case we may be getting farther and farther away from where we want to be. If we insist on forging ahead these are some things we might want to consider.

First, if we are somewhat prepared we will have a backpack which will contain some essential survival items. Items that we all should carry, just in case. For example; a whistle to use to aid those who may be looking for us. A basic first aid kit, some way to start a fire for both warmth and to aid in our rescue, basic survival tools like a knife, some small amount of food rations, a container of water, a solar blanket, some rope, a roll of reflective tape, a compass or GPS device and a pencil and paper.

If we become lost it might be best to find the highest elevation in the area and build a responsible fire so that by placing leaves or other dry material on top of it will create smoke to alert those searching for us a visual that can be seen from long distances. Also as we leave the area that we became lost at tie a small amount of reflective tape on the trees or branches of our route, this may aid in our rescue.

It is a good practice, when first arriving at our hiking site, to be aware of the direction of the major roads we traveled on to get to this site. Was it a North / South or East / West road, and when we parked which direction did we begin our hike. Being aware of these coordinates will greatly aid us in finding our way out. Instead of remaining in one place, if we continue to search for a road or our vehicle and if we do not have a compass or other directional device we should while moving forward, pick out an object on the horizon, a tree for example, and walk toward that location. When we reach that object pick out another object on the horizon in the same direction and walk towards it. This prevents us from traveling in a huge circle which may eventually bring us back to the same area we started out from.

In summary, many of us may become separated or lost at some point if we are hikers or sightseeing adventures. Being prepared is our responsibility. Carrying the minimum amount of survival gear in our backpacks is being responsible. If lost or separated, don't panic, stay focused, keep dry, warm and follow common sense which will increase our opportunity to be located quickly. We should have at least a couple of days of food and water, some medical supplies and other essential supplies in our backpacks.

Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors all the available adventures we have.

Emergency Survival Gear List

Did you know that more people end up in a worse situation in an emergency when they are not prepared than those that are prepared? You might think this is so simple, but did you realize whenever there is something big or crazy that might happen people wait until last minute or until it has already happened to become prepared. You could honestly research how many people are in the lines during this time of thing.

Here might be a great idea if you are reading this. Get paper and pen, and start writing down your emergency survival gear list. First, you will want to know if you plan on staying at home during this emergency or if you have to travel for whatever reason. I recommend you be prepared for both.

The stay at home survival can be easier because you have everything you need for emergencies, like bed, blanket, couch, toilet. Also some people buy complete solar base camp kits to stay powered up in their homes and even if they can, at their camp sites, but if not, having a survival pack would be a good idea. In a survival pack, you have to think about many more issues and that is what we will cover. The things that would be a good idea to have when you need survival emergency gear.

When you are looking to pack your bag, think lightweight and portable. Also, think about the weather, food, water, protection, and endurance.

I recommend you also start getting into shape. Really get into shape. You will have to consider that having power in your body is just as smart as having power on the go.

Okay, so you got your pen and paper, let's get hot. First, water is essential to your living. Start buying it up and buy it in bulks. Bottles, jugs and filers. If you are storing up for your home, then purchase as many as you can afford if not buy 1 Jug, remember this is for the on the go survival. Buy or use a water bottle that you already have. And pour that jug of water into that container. Now, some people say get a new bottle of water, you can do that as well. But you want to have water that you immediately drink and a jug to mouth is not smart. So get 1 jug of water, distilled is the best for this survival. Then a bottle of water, new or old bottle. But have one, this is your drinking supply for when you are traveling.

Second, when you have the water issue figured out, start thinking of food. Crackers, granola bars, mints, bread, and caned soups. I can fit all that, one of each into a med sized backpack and it is still light weight. Having food can help you with energy and staying powered up in case of other issues on the trip.

Third, protection is vital to your survival from animals to other people. Now do not just assume that during a crazy time that every person you encounter has lost their minds and wants to kill you, but it is a good idea to stay away from others if at all possible, if not, ask them couple questions and see if they try anything slick. You do want to cause an issue if they are harmless. Ask them questions like where their from, their names, if they have any other survivors with them. You are asking these questions in order to gauge their responses. You might as well ask them if they are intending on harming you because if they are, leave right away from them as soon as possible. But you also want to know about them and their backgrounds. Also, if they have seen other people where they came from and if they have anything to trade like medical supply, food, water, shelter, protection, etc. Having a knife would be a good idea for when you need to skin an animal for food or for protection.

Fourth, clothing is of course a much needed thing in any condition for protection from the elements and to staying decent. Having dark colored clothing during the night time is the smart way to go because you can travel at night and not be seen. Also, having a light colored shirt in the day time because it will reduce your body of absorbing sunlight thus, making you hot and sweaty. You should have both types of socks, long and short. Long for cold temperatures and short for hot. Also, having underwear is smart, but here is something you might not know. You can make one pair of underwear last about 3 days or longer. How? After about the first day, you can turn the boxers around, and the third day, you can turn them inside out. And then around again. This might seem crazy but here it is about survival and using all the knowledge possible. You will want to have a jacket as well so you can use it for a blanket night. You might as well have a small blanket if you can fit it into your bad, take it with.

Fifth, power is also a needed thing nowadays with all the technology that is happening. And even in bad conditions, you never know what satellites and such will still be operational and work for consumers. You could be able to contact others with your cell phone, iPhone, walkie talkie, GPS and laptop. But in order to get power for those devices, you will need power and you can get that with a portable solar charger. There are many on the market, but having one that can power many devices and recharge with a strong solar panel can some-times be hard. Not to mention that when you are shopping for solar panels you are never told about real field testing like some other companies do. Some of the companies just put the solar panels together and sell and never have actually field tested the panels in bad and good conditions. Having some portable solar chargers like the Sherpa 120 Adventure Kit can be useful because it is lightweight and will fit in your backpack and comes with a foldable solar panel. Also, having some batteries won't hurt as way to get power as well. Plus batteries can help you start fires for warmth.

Sixth, lighting is also crucial for nighttime living. If you have everything else in place and not a flashlight you will be really hurting. Think about it if all the electricity is down. That means no street lamps though some now have solar power on them but for those hid out places, you will not want light like that. You will be in the right place to have light but without a flashlight you are hurting. In other words, when you are surviving and hiding out, you will want a flashlight to move around your hid out spot. You could purchase the k light solar lantern or the solar hybrid flashlight. Also having a flashlight ran by battery power is a good idea because of the need to use the batteries to start a fire would come in handy. But it is not needed just advised.

These are just the basics for emergency survival gear. To recap, we learned about packing water, organizing what clothes to bring, having a food ration. Also we went over about protection, portable solar power, and we finished with lighting.

Survival Kits Explained

Surviving a number of life challenges is ingrained in humans from the time of birth. For the majority, survival is paramount. Many of which, would consider doing almost anything in order to survive or escape an emergency situation. Whether camping, hiking, or facing a world crisis, the need to find food, shelter and warmth are all, vital elements in the art of survival techniques. Many accomplished explorers and hikers are aware of how to survive. For the less experienced it can be a daunting prospect. Preparing for emergency situations and knowing what tools are needed in order to survive can be confusing for many. This article looks at survival kits and which items to include.

Whether preparing a camping or hiking trip, or facing a crisis, survival is important to all involved. Food, shelter and warmth are daily requirements in any given situation. It is has often been recommended that keeping a stock of food, toiletries, alternative lighting, and cooking supplies along with extra blankets in the home can aid survival should a major crisis occur. The majority of people who require a kit in order to survive are mainly those who hike, explore and camp on a regular basis. These are the people who're familiar with essential survival tools.

There are a number of items, which are optional to include within a survival kit. But for all survival kits, first aid essentials in the form of a basic first aid kit, along with water or water purification tablets are the most important and most needed items.

Other items often included within a survival kit can vary in style, but all serve the purpose for which they are intended. One of the most common tools included is a knife of some sort. A pocketknife in particular is a common occurrence. This is because they can easily be folded away and stored in pockets, making them easy to carry as well. Small tool kits can also be included in a survival kit as they can be used in hunting for food and building a shelter.

Compass, map of area, flashlights or headlamps, cash, blanket, suitable clothes for time of year and communication devices are all valuable and essential when putting together a kit for survival. Cell phones can also be used as a communication device, but are not practical if there is no cell phone signal available. Spare batteries for flashlights, or headlamps will be required in order to maintain light.

Other items often found in survival kits include a basic fire starting kit or small camping stove. These are not essential, but can save time and energy. Food as mentioned before is vital, many kits contain either canned or freeze dried foods. Water containers or bottles, make it easier to store and carry water. Some kits also contain heavy-duty garbage bags. These have a variety of uses and can be essential items when trying to survive. Pee bags are another optional tool to include in a kit.

12 Multi-Purpose Gear Items For Your Emergency Survival Kit

1. MULTI-TOOL WITH BELT SHEATH

This is one of the most important items in your kit. While accessories will vary, a good multi-tool may contain pliers, wire cutter, wire stripper, multiple blades, can / bottle openers, various screwdrivers, nut drivers, scissors, tweezers, ruler, awl, etc.

2. MACHETE

Although not very compact, a machete is lighter than most hatchets and serves more purposes. If you have a machete and a multi-tool in your kit, you will not need a hatchet or a knife. The only function lost with this elimination is the hammer on the back of most hatchets, but sticks or rocks will work just fine for most hammering needs in survival situations.

Blades are made of many different types of metals and alloys, in different tempers and thicknesses, widths, lengths, styles, and shapes. Handles are made of many different types of materials in many different shapes and sizes. A good survival machete will have a semi-flexible blade 18 inches or longer that is easy to sharpen, yet keep a good edge with moderate use. Most importantly, the handle MUST be comfortable and fit well in your hand. With a machete, you can perform any task that can be done with a large knife or hatchet. It can also be used to dig or pry, or as a formidable weapon. Install and use a wrist lanyard when chopping or swinging a machete.

3. PARACHUTE CORD

The most common type of parachute cord has a tensile strength of 550 pounds. That is far heavier than needed for most survival uses. The diameter of this cord is 4mm. That doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. Smaller diameter cord with a tensile strength of 200 – 250 pounds is quite sufficient and has half the bulk. Use to erect and build shelters and useful camp furnishings, repair clothing and gear, or as a sling for finding and carrying loads, bundles of firewood, boughs, reeds or grass for bedding, pull dead branches down from trees for firewood, boot lacing, belts, snares and traps, "burglar" alarms, binding splints, and secure bandages in place, fire starting material … the list goes on. Carry a minimum of 30 '.

4. DUCT TAPE

Get a good heavy-duty brand name roll. Use it to repair clothing, boots, tools, and equipment, construct shelters, furnishings, and implements. Use it to relieve hot friction spots on feet to prevent blisters, and wrap around hands as makeshift gloves. Twist into a "rope" if needed, which is good for making snowshoes. It also makes a good mousetrap and fire-starter.

5. DENTAL FLOSS

A 200 'spool of waxed dental floss can be invaluable. While important for maintaining good oral hygiene, it can serve other purposes such as repairing small items, sewing and stitching clothing, boots (or even skin), making tools and weapons, or used as fishing line.

6. SMALL DIAMETER WIRE

This can be galvanized, stainless steel or copper. The more flexible the better. Use it to repair gear items, make snares and traps, and at the fire pit to suspend a pot, meat, and other foods over the fire to cook. A grill or "toaster" can be made with wire.

7. PLASTIC SHEET

A black 6mil heavy-duty sheet 6'x8 'or larger. Use as a wind block, lean-to, shelter roof, rain-fly, ground tarp, blanket, or poncho, and to protect gear and clothing from rain, snow, and dew. Use to collect and store water, make a solar still. The black color absorbs sunlight creating heat which will help keep you warm and will generate more water quicker than clear plastic when used as a solar still, and it may be more visible to rescuers in certain terrains and conditions.

8. MYLAR SURVIVAL (SPACE) BLANKET

The reflective qualities of a space blanket are ideal for reflecting your body heat back to you, or campfire heat toward you or into your shelter. Used along with the plastic sheet there is are many combinations and configurations that can be incorporated to provide shelter and / or bedding. A space blanket is shiny like aluminum foil on at least one side, which is good for signaling rescuers under sunny conditions.

9. WAX CANDLES

Use for lighting, warmth, cooking, lighting fires, or signaling at night. Melted wax can be used for waterproofing leather boots, and thighs, knees, and seats of cotton pants. During "bug season" include a citronella candle to ward off insects. If out of water and your mouth is dry, chewing on a clump of wax will generate saliva, and it may help curb hunger pains. The act of chewing helps blood circulation in your head which may result in a more alert brain, which is good in a survival situation.

10. HEAVY-DUTY ZIPLOC BAGS

1 or 2 Gallon-size bags are ideal for packing clothing items, food, toiletries, and other gear items. Use to collect and store water. The gallon-size bags can be worn over socks to keep feet dry, or on your hat or head to keep your head dry. Sandwich bags work great for holding smaller items. Worn-out bags can be used to start fires.

11. HEAVY-DUTY PAPER TOWELS

Paper towels are good for not only the obvious everyday uses we find for them, but also serve other uses such as; note paper and wound dressing, filtering sediment from drinking water, and toilet paper.

12. FLAMMABLE FOOD

Fritos and Doritos snack chips are the best choices. While not the healthiest food available, it will still provide fuel for your body, and much-needed salt which helps prevent muscle cramping. Fritos and Doritos highly flammable. Use 2 or 3 as tender, or light the whole single-portion bag for a quick fire in wet conditions.

When assembling your kit, think of other uses an item might serve or other items that might serve its purpose. Consolidate to eliminate the need for several single-purpose items to reduce the weight and space requirements of your kit. Assemble your kit to suit your particular needs, but keep it simple and streamlined with multi-purpose survival gear items and face your next survival situation with confidence.