an image of two brave Bushmasters adventurers sitting on rocks amongst the rainforest

Why Are Survival Skills Important?

Gone are the days of people hunting for our own food, making their own shelter, and having to avoid predators. We have evolved to such an extent that none of that is necessary now, at least in the Western world.

So why do we continue to teach survival skills? Our courses aim to equip you for survival in the wilderness, but the skills you’ll learn with Bushmasters will extend to your everyday life, too.

Learning survival skills may seem like a rather pointless endeavour. After all, the chances of you getting lost in the jungle on your way to work are pretty slim, right? Beyond the actual experience, you’ll only ever need to remember what we teach you if your plane happens to come down in unfamiliar territory. Well, that’s not exactly true; there’s far more to it than that, so we’ve put together four headings here to help us explain why.

1. Learn to survive!

First and foremost is the most obvious point, but it’s worth emphasising again nonetheless – you never know when you might find yourself in a real-life survival situation. Granted, if you commute twenty minutes to work everyday and only leave the country once a year, the chances are pretty slim. However you live your life, though, there’s always a possibility.

If you’re in unfamiliar territory, it’s extremely easy to get lost. You may not be abroad, but a weekend in another part of your own country can quickly turn into a disastrous one if the elements are against you. Natural disasters, extreme weather, and accidents all strike without warning, and can lead to serious injury or even death if they’re not responded to properly. Ensure you’ve got the skills to survive – or even thrive – should the worst happen and you’ll be able to navigate yourself and those around you out of a testing situation.

2. Get closer to the natural world

With so much of this world now inhabited, controlled, and moulded by humans, it can be difficult to find places that remain untouched. Survival trips allow you to immerse yourself in these locations, as you learn how to work with nature to get by in an unfamiliar setting. Human beings tend to cling on to the familiar, to the homely. Perhaps it’s the sense of security provided by such concepts that makes them so desirable, or perhaps it stems from a deeper, more entrenched notion of our evolutionary roots – it’s this second idea that counts in the jungle. Even half an hour spent taking in the surroundings of this incredible world is enough for some highly beneficial self-reflection, which is probably why so many of the most successful yoga retreats take you to far-flung places rather than someone’s second bedroom.

Everything we need to survive as human beings is available in the natural world; we’ve just become used to having all the work done for us. Let go for a week or two, and develop that connection again.

3. Learn to appreciate the simple things

Developing a deeper understanding of the natural world will, in turn, allow you to appreciate your everyday life so much more. Being able to pick up food from the supermarket, and having all the equipment you need in one place, will feel so much sweeter after two weeks of hard work in the desert, jungle, or whatever ecosystem you’re depending on.

That’s not to say that everyone who’s completed a survival course gets excited whenever they use the washing machine, but they do often have a fresher outlook on life. If you’re feeling bogged down by the mediocrity of a 9-5 job or are just looking for a bit of excitement, you may well find the solutions in survival. It all ties in with our own mental state and that oft-cited notion of perspective.

4. Understand yourself

With the various responsibilities of your everyday life taken away from you, and with no access to news, social media, or your work laptop, you can focus your undivided attention on yourself.

Never underestimate the importance of thinking about yourself. Not only will the successful navigation of a testing survival course do wonders for your self-esteem; it will also teach you things about yourself that you didn’t previously know. How do you react under intense pressure? How do you clear your head and get yourself to think straight? If you can thrive on your own in the jungle, desert, or whatever alien ecosystem you find yourself in, you can have that difficult conversation, you can tackle those nagging doubts, and you can become a more successful person.

Still on the fence?

Survival courses aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but you’d be surprised at just how much you can achieve by simply giving it a go. If you’re looking for an adventurous, useful experience that stays with you, get in touch with the Bushmasters team.

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