Boredom in a Survival Situation Can Kill You


You have spent countless hours and dollars prepping. You have escape plans and multiple evacuation routes mapped out. You have plenty of food, water and other essentials. You are sure you have all the bases covered, but do you really.

When your plan first makes contact with reality is when things start to unravel

You have the material things, such as food, water and shelter. You have backup plans and everyone knows what to do when the lights go out or knows what to do if they become lost or stranded in the wild. You and the family have spent hours in the backyard honing your survival skills, skills that can be used in an urban as well as a wilderness environment.

The build up to an event is a busy time almost exciting in some cases. You are proving your worth. You are confident and you feel good about things, because you are doing something. You are developing useful skills that can help you survive in any situation. You recognized the warning signs, and you are doing something about it, you heed the warnings and you are preparing.

Disaster Strikes

The sudden silence is deafening, the house noises that you are so accustomed to only become obvious when they are no longer there. The sudden stillness of the refrigerator no more cool rushing air from the floor vents can only mean one thing.

You are not alarmed, you are prepared and anyway it is probably just a blown transformer somewhere. Its early afternoon, lunch has come and gone and dinner and darkness is hours away yet. However, you gather up flashlights, lanterns and that propane camp stove you found on sale. No one is hungry yet but you want to be ready.

Waiting and Not Knowing

You checked the circuit breakers just to make sure, and you called a few neighbors and friends. You wanted to make sure it was not just your home, some malfunction with your circuit breakers possibly. The power outage was community wide however. No one you spoke with had any idea as to a possible reason, and the portable radio was just playing music and commercials. It was over two hours now and still not a clue.

A busy signal was all you heard when you called the number to report a power outage. No recorded voice stating, “We are experiencing a temporary outage and we are working on the problem” and no, “you are important to us” recordings.

You feel an overpowering urge to get into your car and drive somewhere, maybe there is a clue somewhere, and someone somewhere would know what has happened. You are getting antsy now and feeling some hunger pangs. There is nothing to do but wait, and it is just a few hours until dark.

You got the kids rounded up so you could keep an eye on them, and they do not care to be sitting around on such a nice day. They cannot play video games, there is no television and no computers to track what their friends are doing.

You look up and down the street but there are not any answers there. Nothing seems out of place, yet there is a power outage, and you feel you should be doing something, and it bothers you that you are essentially waiting for something to happen.

It has been over four hours now, it is dark, the kids are complaining and you want some action, something to do. The survival skills you have are not helping because there is nothing to do right now. You had envisioned action, sirens, masses of people moving and noise, above all you seemed to miss the noise. You have to do something, so you decide it’s time to get in the car and go solve this mystery.

The traffic lights are out and you barely missed being sideswiped by a fire truck at the first intersection. There were wrecked cars and trucks, some even up on the sidewalks. You were swiveling your head to take in all the devastation. You did not realize a major intersection was coming up and you did not hear the screaming siren.


Boredom can compel you into action when it is not needed. Imagine you are hunkered down in a makeshift shelter and it is raining hard, you are dry and relatively warm but that is not good enough for you. You want to be moving, doing something, you want action that will help you to get back home, and yet immobility is what will get you back home the fastest and in one piece, but you simply cannot believe this to be true.

You are convinced that if you get out into the cold rain, you could find some answers. Your rescuers are probably all huddled just a few hundred yards away you imagine, and you would find them if you only would get up and go look. Into the cold rain, you go in search of what, you are not sure, but you will know it when you see it.

Like your birthday when you were younger, the anticipation was in a way the best part. It was weeks of guessing about the presents. Just the idea of a new bike or that doll set sent shivers up your back, you couldn’t wait and finally the big day, but it was over in minutes, and then what’s next you wonder.

Survival at the individual level can be boring, because people seem to crave what they do not have. People seem to be in a perpetual state of anticipation, no one is content just to survive the moment. Some it seems simply cannot stand the prosperity of the moment, because it is boring to survive the moment.

You have read hundreds of survival articles and have watched hours of survival shows and they all seem to point to one thing and that is action and adventure is what it takes to survive, but never did you get the impression that surviving by your wits and skills could be boring.

If you are well prepared to become lost then waiting for rescuers can become boring, because you have all you need to survive, the problem is you do not have all that you want. You have to have patience however.

The same thing applies when the power goes out in your urban neighborhood, if you are prepared then there is not much to do until you have to react to the changing situation, otherwise you have to be patience and on guard.

If you have to constantly search for water or food or even for shelter then you are not bored, but you are not surviving well either and will not survive for long. Those well prepared will not have much to do for much of the time in most survival situations.

You do however have to be prepared to act when needed, and if prepared you will act accordingly and the problem will be solved and quickly. You certainly do not have to go looking for trouble in any survival situation.