Psychophysical condition in survival
The next step of the journey ended with sinking shoes in a black, foul-smelling swamp. As far as the eye could see, there were peat bogs and a day's walk from the nearest asphalt road. I had no choice but to struggle forward. The march burdened me twice. On the one hand, physically, because a dozen-kilogram backpack acted like an anchor in the marshes, on the other hand, the psyche began to refuse to cooperate. There were questions: will I have time to leave before dark? Will I not collapse from exhaustion before I find a dry patch of land where I could set up camp?
Mental preparation before the trip
It happened 6 years ago in Norway. In retrospect, I can see that I could have prepared better for that trip. First of all, I would have to work on my psychophysical condition. In a survival situation, not only knowledge and skills are important, which will allow, for example, to properly navigate in the field. Fitness is no less important. I would venture to say that it is decisive.
Theoretical knowledge - although important - will not be of much use if the victim is not able to move over rough terrain, overcome natural obstacles, or overcome pain, thirst and fatigue. Without the proper condition, it's easy to get stuck and wait for help that may never come.
It is also necessary to clearly emphasize the role of a proper mental condition. Will to fight, self-confidence, lack of internal consent to surrender - these are the values without which any attempt to get out of oppression is doomed to failure.
How should the survivalist take care of his condition?
In order to develop and maintain a sufficient level of psychophysical condition, it is necessary to start regular training. In the case of survival activities, training should be general development. Hours spent in the gym will be of little use, and an excessively developed silhouette may prevent you from efficiently overcoming obstacles.
In my case, runs 10-25 km, strength exercises using body weight (bending arms in the front support, pull-ups on a stick, etc.) and long-distance mountain expeditions, significantly increasing endurance, for which basic equipment is necessary for exit to the mountains. You can also train (or even have to) your mental condition. It is best to strengthen it by walking to the azimuth in difficult terrain and alone (key word!), spending the night in the forest.
Unfortunately, in the environment of people associated with survival, the issue of condition (especially physical) is neglected or pushed to the background. Survival schools appear, in which the instructors are men with considerable overweight, convinced that the art of survival is forest fun. Survival is a way of surviving, and the truth is brutal: being out of condition means no chance of survival outside of the civilized realm.
Author: Kajetan Wilczyński
Edited by: Tomasz Świgoń