Do you have a survivalist mindset?  You may be a person who loves the outdoors and spends a lot of time hiking and camping.  But if you think that walking around in the woods means encounters with yucky things, this is for you (LOL).

survival mindset

Although they’re not my best friends.  I’m not terrified of snakes or bugs.  I am afraid of bears and haven’t been as excited as the conservation people that black bears are moving back into our area.  In fact, one was spotted a few weeks back kinda close to where I live.

Our property is surrounded by woods, and I fully expect to find one rummaging in our garbage can one of these days.   I’ve heard they run away if you make yourself look bigger and scream at them.  I hope that’s right. 🙂

Why Have a Survivalist Mindset?

First off, you don’t have to look like this to have a survivalist mindset.  But it is necessary for you to develop these qualities if you plan to keep your family safe during an emergency.

If you have a family and live in a city, get a little more in touch with nature.  Almost every city has a nature park within a reasonable distance.

Kids love interacting with nature, so put away the electronic gadgets, get off the couch, and get to a park for a day of inexpensive fun.  You could do a little camping and outdoor cooking, maybe fish.  That way, if your family ever finds itself in a wilderness area because of some disaster, it won’t be totally unfamiliar.

Becoming a good leader is part of the survivalist mindset.  Assertiveness, calmness and logical thinking can get you out of the tightest situations.  Practicing good leadership on family outings will help your children to look to you when there is an emergency.

What Makes a Good Survivalist?

In addition to acquiring the special skills that will allow you to survive in austere environments, truly great outdoorsmen possess one thing that cannot be learned from books: the survivalist mindset.

The survivalist mindset is calm, focused and intelligent. It assesses all situations comprehensively and is centered on creating solutions, not more problems.

Developing a survivalist mindset isn’t difficult at all; in fact, even young children can learn to be calm and solution-oriented.

Here are some ways to help you develop a survivalist mindset:

Count Your Steps

You can estimate the distance you’ve traveled so far by doing some simple conversions. The pedometeraverage adult’s stride length is 30 inches or 2.5 feet. 1 mile of stable, flat ground will require about 2,112 steps (assuming that your stride is no less than 30 inches in length).

Wearing a pedometer (a step counter) will help you determine how many steps you’ve taken to walk from point A to point B. This type of orienteering is extremely useful if you’re using an old fashioned map that has been triangulated with miles/kilometers.

Start Eating Weeds 

If you want to become a truly great outdoorsman and survivalist, you have to be aware of the “essential edibles” that can be found all around us.

Sure, trapping small animals is ideal to get some much needed protein if you’re fatigued and hungry. However, not everyone is trained to trap wild animals, and if you’re shaking from hunger, waiting another 1 or 2 hours for food may no longer be a viable option.

survivalist mindset


Pine tree needles can be used to make tea, as they are naturally rich in ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

Squirrels love acorns and so should you. Boil them first  before eating them, as they can be very bitter. The bitterness comes from naturally-occurring tannins. If you can find a white oak in the area, harvest your acorns from that tree as the tree doesn’t produce very high levels of tannins.

Clover leaves & roots can be consumed like your regular salad fare. The roots and leaves of this plant are nutritious and very safe to eat.  Avoid harvesting clover in areas where pesticide run off may be present.

The small fruits of the yucca can be eaten fresh from the shrub. You can also cut away tender stems and peel them for the starch they contain. After peeling the yucca stems, be sure to boil them first before eating them.

survivalist mindset


The young leaves of the daisy plant can be eaten (like clover leaves). If you’re hankering for tea and don’t mind the bitterness, you can pluck the white petals of the flower and use them as tea leaves.

Peel young cattail shoots and eat the succulent and semi-sweet cores.  You will find them near lakes, ponds or marshy areas.

Let Nature Heal You 

If you scratch or cut yourself while trekking and have no first aid kit nearby, Mother Nature can help you out:

survivalist mindset

spaghnum moss

A favorite among American outdoorsmen, sphagnum moss is Mother Nature’s answer to sterile gauze and dressings.  Sphagnum moss is naturally absorbent; as such it can be used to manage an open, bleeding wound. This moss also has powerful antibacterial properties which are very much needed when a person is wounded in the wilderness.

If you have some dressing with you but no clean gauze to absorb the blood or any pus or fluid, place the sphagnum moss on top of the sterile dressing before applying bandages to secure all the layers.

If you find any oregano nearby, you can apply the crushed leaves on wounds to control bacteria, too. If you’re in pain, a strong oregano tea made with plenty of leaves will help with the pain.

Oregano contains not only antibacterial compounds but also anti-inflammatory agents that may help reduce tissue swelling. The oregano might not work as quickly as synthetic analgesics, but it’s natural and Mother Nature would really like you to try it!

I’ve eaten cattails, clover and acorns, and although they aren’t my favorite foods, I know I could eat them if I have to.  I’ve also eaten dandelion greens, poke weed, morel mushrooms and wild berries that grow on our land.  These are just a few of the usables in Mother Nature’s cupboards.

Any survival hints you’d like to share?  Please leave a comment, and send this post to your friends.

Don’t be scared … be prepared,

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