Dealing with Boredom in a Wilderness Survival Situation
“Some it seems simply cannot stand the prosperity of the moment, because it is boring to survive the moment”.
The above is an excerpt from a previous article about boredom. This article however, will focus more closely on boredom in a wilderness survival situation, because boredom can become your enemy, and it has to be dealt with.
Your psychological state is incredibly important, and when your mind wanders from survival tasks, you essentially have become bored with what is going on. Your own mind may very well become your worst enemy if you let it get the best of you.
Boredom can cause you to eat more food or drink more water. In a survival situation you will look forward to meal times, you need to look forward to meals times to gain a sense of normalcy. You have to establish routines like establishing certain times to eat to prevent boredom. Eating all of your food at one time, because you need entertainment is not developing a sense of normalcy and routine.
Boredom can cause you to do things to try and correct the problem, if you will, and action on your part is not always warranted in a survival situation. Staying put and being patience is often times the best course of action, or lack of action as it were, makes more sense in some cases.
Some of you are already thinking it is impossible to become bored in a wilderness survival situation, because you will be doing things 22 hours a day to survive. First, if you do not get the proper rest you will not survive long, so there has to be plenty of down time, and this is when the mind wanders. Once the shelter is built and a fire is going and it is raining hard, you would likely have to be under cover. Wandering in the rain because you are bored or impatience is not a good idea.
Being Prepared Cannot Be Stressed Enough
If you have to spend all of your time working on survival then you did not prepare properly. Food gathering, cooking, and shelter repair will take a considerable amount of your time, but you still need time for resting. There will be eight to 12 hours of downtime in most cases, and you will not be sleeping the entire time.
If you suddenly find yourself lost or stranded then boredom is the last thing you would have to worry about in the first 24 hours, but if you hunker down in place to wait for rescue then boredom can become a problem after the first 24 hours.
If you had researched survival items to carry on day hikes or camping trips, you may find a pencil and paper on the list of survival items. You may at first assume that the writing tools are so you can leave notes for others to make it easier to find you.
Well heavy dew in the morning, rain, or snow would destroy the notes, not to mention the wind and animals, so why a pencil and paper then. It is good for you the survivor that’s why. Keep a journal and make notes about weather patterns and about animal habits or simply doodle. Draw a map of the area, mark water sources you may have passed by the previous day and yes in some cases, you can leave notes for others that may be out searching for you.
There are any numbers of things that you can do to stay busy, but in a survival situation you want to focus on tasks that enhance your ability to sustain yourself. Weaving fish traps, sharpening spears for fishing, for example, all take time and occupy the mind and these things can be done during your downtime. People get impatient, and then want to go looking for help, when help is out looking for them, and this can put you in an even worse situation.
Dependency on technology has to some extent created impatience. Everyone expects an immediate answer to questions now, because Google and other search engines have spoiled us all. With technology, you have an immediate answer at your fingertips. That is until you are in a survival situation and technology is not available. If you do not have the answers in a survival situation there is no one to ask, no buttons to push and no Internet to surf.
If you become lost or stranded and it was not on purpose, then over time, and in fact, in just a few hours boredom can become a real problem.
You may want to revisit your survival pack to make sure you do have certain items that can help with boredom during a survival situation. Cards, pencils, paper, and even certain games can be easily packed, and they may end up playing a part, a large part, in your survival.
If you are prepared with a shelter, tools, food, and water for a few days and/or the means to collect, filter and purify a source then there is not much to do once you are settled in after the first day. After you have explored the area for hidden dangers, such as predator dens, snake/reptile dens and have located a reliable water source you would want to settle in and wait for rescuers.
You would maintain a signal fire, and put out other signaling devices, but you should not be wandering all over the area, because you would be burning energy that you cannot afford to waste. Wandering without a purpose would also cause you to drink more water and would increase your chances of an injury or an encounter with a wild animal or reptile.