The Psychology of Survival: Inside the Minds of 4 Survivors
When ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary circumstances, survival becomes a state of mind
April 12, 2016
In any survival situation, a will to live becomes your most powerful tool. The U.S. Air Force survival manual (AFR 64-4) recognizes this, and has three chapters dedicated to the “psychological aspects of survival.” It states: “The emotional aspects associated with survival must be completely understood just as survival conditions and equipment are understood. An important factor bearing on success or failure in a survival episode is the individual’s psychological state.”
In other words, the proper gear, knowledge, and training won’t help you if your head isn’t in the right place. We interviewed four recent wilderness survivors to find out what kept them going, against the odds. These are their stories.
One Wrong Step
Alone, severely injured, and 10 miles into Idaho backcountry, elk hunter John Sain had a decision to make: end the suffering or crawl for help
Sixteen-year-old Autumn Veatch, the sole survivor of a remote plane wreck, rescues herself