If you ever find yourself in an outdoor survival situation, then one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is whether to stay where you are until help arrives, move to a location that provides you better shelter and food sources or to attempt to find your way out on your own.
1. Panic can cloud your judgment
First and foremost you should be aware that being stranded in the wilderness is a VERY disconcerting feeling that tends to cloud your judgment. Consequently, you MUST gain control of your fear in order to view your situation rationally so that you can make the correct decision.
2. Having survival gear along will affect your decision
Be aware that having a properly stocked day pack, survival kit and a survival knife system with you will also have a significant effect on your mental state when you assess your situation.
3. Staying where you are
If you’re carrying a Personal Locator Beacon and you’re not in danger in your present position, then staying where you are is obviously the best choice since you can be reasonably certain that by activating your PLB help will shortly arrive.
4. Moving to a different location
If you feel you’re in any danger from exposure to the elements or predatory animals, then you should consider moving to a safer location. If not, then you need to assess whether your present location provides you with sufficient access to water, food and shelter.
5. Finding your way out on your own
Before trying to find your way out on your own, you’ll need to contemplate whether the terrain you’re in, along with your physical condition and the distance to the nearest source of help will allow you do so.
It’s imperative that you carefully consider all of the above factors before deciding whether or not to abandon you present location or stay where you are until help arrives.