Mindset, skills, tactics, and gear are puzzle pieces that make up any solid surival instructional curriculum. Heck, not just survival, any sort of training progam. Of those it seems that most survival training endeavors focus more heavily on skills and gear, rather than mindset and tactics.
Our school here, Nature Reliance School, and a few others stand out from the crowd in that we spend a great deal of team teaching mindset development. Even in the ways by which mindset effects your ability to develop skills. The research supports our reasonings why. Do a serious study on the topic and you will find that mindset is the thing that “saves” people during crisis more than anything else. With proper mindset much can be accomplished when the other three puzzle pieces are minimal. It should also be noted that pre-planning, situational awareness, and control of your ego, are all forms of mindset. Those three help more people to be avoid being in crisis situations as well. Suffice it to say mindset is king when it comes to avoiding and/or surviving crisis.
That does not mean that we should forego skill building. Nothing could be further than the truth. You can sit and simply ponder on fire building all day long, but you need to get up and build that fire with skills you ahve previously developed. Since I have covered mindset heavily as of late in our classes, my books, and podcasts. I thought it was high time to start digging into developing EFFECTIVE technique. Read that word in caps again. EFFECTIVE. Many people are good at showing their creative side with interesting “McGyverisms”. I applaud them in that creativity is a good mindset to help in problem solving. With that said, research shows such training to be fun and entertaining but not the foundation of what is needed for a good skill set. Building that foundation is key. The skills based portion of your survival training should continue to grow as you move foward. There are many hurdles to doing this and some of those hurdles are actually taught as part of the curriculum in many survival schools. That is unfortunate and so I wanted to both dig into some dedicated research on the topic of EFFECTIVE skill development.
I have shared some of that information in the following two podcasts.
Podcast 1 discusses building the foundation of effective technique. How your mind and body work, and by knowing how it works, you can become better at your skills.
Podcast 2 I took it into the next level and discussed the most effective ways to study at an extreme level, way beyond the fundamentals. Once again I studied up on some of the most intense training available as well as some of my own experiences. Particuarly the experiences I had while doing solo survival training for 30 days with nothing more than a knife.
For a quick and dirty look at some things from the “Embrace the Suck” mindset that I wrote about in my first book, Extreme Wilderness Survival, watch this video.
Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in teaching outdoor related topics to include, survival, tracking, nature awareness and more for private or public groups, and government agencies. Craig is the author of three books, Extreme Wilderness Survival and Ultimate Wilderness Gear, and Essential Wilderness Navigation (co-authored with Tracy Trimble) from Page Street Publishing, distributed by Macmillan Publishing as well as co-author of The Tiny Survival Guide.
Craig is co-host of the popular The Survival Show podcast, is a frequent contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator. Pick up the books, subscribe to him on Youtube, or join Craig and the other NRS Instructors in a class so they can help you be more safe and aware in the outdoors.