5 Survival Skills That Teach Life Lessons

5 Survival Skills That Teach Life Lessons



Imagine being shipwrecked on an island with no hope of rescue for weeks on end. Would you survive?


Most people wouldn’t. The skills needed to light a fire, trap and kill animals and to build a shelter are long forgotten. On survival training courses, they teach you that having the knowledge to use the skills our ancestors relied on isn’t enough, you also need to creativity, determination and self-motivation to survive.



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Survival Skill 1 Creating Fire


Creating a fire is an immediate necessity in a survival situation. A fire has many purposes for the lone survivor;


  • Fire keeps you warm
  • Fire cooks your food
  • Fire can be used to deter animals wanting to enter your campsite
  • Fire can be a signal to passing ships
  • Fire creates a sense of comfort


Lighting a fire with no matches is hard work.  You need Heat x Fuel x Oxygen; rub two pieces of wood together and the heat generated by the friction will create a hot ember. This ember can be added to a pile of tinder, blow on the tinder and you create fire.


Life Lesson 1 – Keep Going


When lighting a fire the additional element you need for the process is determination. It can be highly frustrating rubbing two sticks together only to find that you ember sizzles out before you can create the fire.


Repetition is the key here. You need to keep trying and practicing, and at some point you ember will spark. It is the same with any skill you want to learn. At first you will get it wrong, you will want to give up and you will often feel frustrated. But if you become determined, have patience and keep trying you will eventually learn that skill.


The lesson here is repetition pays off and repetition is the key to mastering any new skill



Survival Skill 2 Staying Hydrated


We need water to live. Without water you will die in about 3 days. About 55-60% of our body is water which alone highlights the importance of drinking h20. On average you need to drink around 2 liters of water a day which is why in a survival situation sourcing and drinking fluids is vital.


Life Lesson 2  – Keep Drinking


Water effects the whole of your body – how you think and act and water is proven to


  • Boosts Immune System
  • Natural Headache Remedy
  • Prevents Cramps & Sprains
  • You Perform Better
  • Puts You in a Good Mood


Most people put drinking water off due to laziness. They would rather be thirsty then walk a short distance to the kitchen. To solve this simple problem, bring a 2 liter bottle of water to work, once it has been consumed you know you have drank your daily amount


The lesson here is be prepare and stay hydrated



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Survival Skill 3 Stay Sheltered


Shelter is a key survival element. A shelter creates warmth, keeps you dry and safe. Mentally a shelter boost your motivation, you will see your shelter as your house, your home, your castle. When out hunting in the cold, you know that you will soon be returning to camp, to a shelter, fire, food and water.


The environment of the camp creates a positive experience, this where you can rest, make tools, repair weapons, store wood, food and water.


Life Lesson 3 – Keep a Positive Environment


Your base is positioned in the best environment, near a clean water supply, close to a lookout post for passing ships, near to a signal fire and close to your food source/animal traps. Having the perfect environment helps you be at your best mentally


Imagine having a signal fire so far away from you base, when a ship is spotted you become highly stressed knowing that you are going to miss this rare opportunity to be rescued


The lesson here is, understand which environment suits you the best, which environment helps you to be at your peak performance.


Certain environments in life can be stressful;  bad ergonomics can be demotivating and having to travel long distances for resources can limit your output. Negative people can affect your production, stress and motivation, particular management styles suit/don’t suit your style of working and the environments values maybe cause friction with your own.


Knowing which environment, peoples personality traits and required resources create the best version of you will allow you to set, work towards and achieve all of your work/life goals. Create the environment that best suits you.


Survival Skill 4 Find Food


Without food you will you die. As your energy levels drop from the lack of calorie intake you will find it harder to motivate yourself to catch and kill your prey, this decreases your calorie intake further, creating a vicious cycle.


In a survival situation you need to be pro-active and to take steps to make the environment and your resources work for you. Often people use their energy on catching food, whereas if you pre-planned and prepared, you can gather food easily (depending on the environment) saving your energy and increasing your motivation.


It is easy to think that the best way to gather food is to sharpen a big stake and run after your prey. This doesn’t work for two simple reasons, first you use a lot of energy running after prey and secondly, animals are skilled at avoiding predators and will be long gone before you get anywhere near them, unless you are a skilled hunter.



Life Lesson 4 –Keep Planning  


Instead of brawn use your brain. Make capturing animals an easy, energy free task.


  • Find an animal path (animals tend to use the same path over and over again)
  • Make a trap; simple hole, covered with sticks and leafs or a wire with a noose hidden on the floor, attached to a strong branch
  • Check your trap in the morning


The lesson here is to think before you act, plan and prepare and use intelligence not just muscle



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Survival Skill 5 Stay Put


After a couple of days surviving you may believe that rescue wont happen. With that mind-set it is easy to pack your bag and to try to make you way back to civilization.


The danger here is that you may easily get lost, you may injure yourself or you may be walking away from shelter, fire, food and water. Also it is a lot easier for a rescue party to spot your wreckage, camp and signal fires, then it is tracking you in the wilderness.


The advice in survival situations is stay close to the crash site. It may take a while but a rescue party will come and they will start in your last known position.


Life Lesson 5 – Keep Focused


When working towards a goal – to be rescued from a survival situation, to run a marathon or to be a millionaire, and it doesn’t matter what goal you are working towards, there will always be a point when your motivation drops. With low motivation you rarely focus on the job in hand, instead you procrastinate and think about taking another option.


The lesson here is you need to keep focused, keep motivated and keep believing in yourself (or that rescue will come)


When you are in a low think of ways to increase your motivation; imagine yourself being successful with the task in hand, think about the positive outcome of achieving the task and think about the negative consequences of talking another option


Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events


Chris Delaney is also a published author “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview – using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques”

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