This week in survival…


My mind works like a funnel. I pour a whole lot of stuff into it and try to simplify complex problems. If you come to a class you will hear me lecture of the causes of wilderness emergencies. We write list them and then narrow them down in order to simplify training goals and the gear we carry. Our mission at BigPig Outdoors is to get you ready to handle:

  1. Injury
  2. Spending the night out with minimal gear in inclement weather
  3. Immersion – Cold & Wet

That is the narrow end of the funnel. On the other end are the causes of wilderness emergencies that I have identified:

  • Injury and illness                   = Injury
  • Disorientation – a.k.a. “lost”  = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Darkness falls                         = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Inclement weather                 = Bad weather, Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Vehicle  breakdown (ATV, car, vessel, airplane, etc.)  = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Vehicle  crash                         = Injury, Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Gear failure                            = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Getting stranded                   = Spending the night out with minimal gear
  • Immersion scenario              = Cold & Wet

That being said, from now on when I post the true survival stories, I will list them under the appropriate category.

Vehicle crash:

I don’t know how I missed this, but a buddy sent this amazing story of a guy surviving 3 days underwater in a sunken ship. Imagine being in an upside down ship, in the dark, on the bottom of the ocean for 3 days. Imagine the fear, doubt, and negative thoughts that would attack you in that lonely, dark place. PMA, positive mental attitude, and faith, two common traits of survivors-


Hunter with self-inflicted gunshot. Having the ability and gear to handle trauma from your weapon or your hunting buddy’s should be part of your first aid kit if you are hunting. –

Vehicle Breakdown: Stranded and stuck in snow. Have your vehicle prepped –

Disorientation: Two missing hikers found. Stayed put and built a fire –

Three skiers rescued. Built a snow cave. If you ever thought that rescuers will drop out of the sky at the push of a couple buttons, read this article carefully and notice the decision making process involved in evaluating risk to the rescuers. The conditions may be so bad or personnel unavailable, that rescue may not come. Do your part. Fill out a trip plan, carry the right gear, develop skills to handle emergencies, and make good decisions. –

Lost snowboarder found –

Mentioned in the above incident, this fatality from 2010 was in the same area.

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