Stefan Forsman Wilderness Log

Wilderness Adventures Wilderness Education

How to Survive When the S%#! Hits the Fan

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You have all the equipment, a new pair of very cool military style, hiking boots and you are ready for the wild.  You have done that online course in wilderness living but that is just now a dream of a few days ago. 

Now you are in a mess, you are lost. 

Maybe you did not spend enough time learning how to navigate properly - without a GPS system - because your mobile packed in.  Yesterday, you lost it.  It is now wet and useless because you were holding it in your hand when you lost your footing walking that swampy ground yesterday. You have dried food for only two more days and - NOW YOU ARE STARTING TO PANIC.

The most important thing in a survival situation is your mindset.  Your mental mindset.  You need to have some personal development behind you, so you know who you are - you know how you react - you know what stories go through your mind, the thoughts about yourself, what make you happy and what brings you fear and dread, or that sense of hopelessness that drives some people to just quit because they expect to fail. 

Yes, the human mind plays through our emotions as well.  And together, they can bring people down into the depths of no return when the wrong story - in their mind - takes hold of them.  Usually it is a very old story, that you THINK you have let go of, but now you are feeling weak and here it comes up again. 

Obviously - in my opinion - you have not learnt a new story - a mindset about yourself that tells what you are capable of doing.  And of course, in a time of crisis and in a descending panic, you are not thinking of your own inner psychology.

Well, you need to develop it quickly, in order to survive.

The foundation of my training in wilderness survival - which by the way is a survival regime for every part of your life - is mental mindset.  It is the most important part.  So I do not start with the tips and tricks on how to start a fire, when I train you for survival, the learning  begins with me and you talking, so we can focus on your current capability to handle yourself in a crisis.

Whether it is in the wilderness or in the streets, a correct mindset is important for everyday life - if you want a happy life and be successful anyway.

Most people spend their whole lives scared of leaving their comfort zones. That tells me immediately that there has been no personal development whatsoever. Most people never challenge themselves, never move their boundaries.  In the wild, you have no choice.

One reason for this is that many people -I would say most - have already made up their minds. They hold onto an old story once again: telling themselves, I cannot do this or that.

They are in fact telling themselves, that they are losers. That they are no good, and not as good as other people. People de-value themselves by saying so. Unfortunately, lots of people do.

Things will always turn out the way you think they will. That means that if you are telling yourself that you cannot do something, you will be correct.

But here is the thing. Here is a new story, if you tell yourself that hell yes, I can do this, you will also be correct. Pretty neat, ain’t it?

This means that YOU are in charge. YOU decide how things will turn out.

If you act like a loser you will become one, so my job is to help you act like a winner, like a champion, until you become one.

The psychology of survival does not only consider your past.  You also need to take a look at your whole life in the present.. Unfortunately, most people are surrounded by negative ¤#&¤. These are the dream stealers, people who will do their best to suck the energy out of others. They have brains the size of green peas, but very big mouths. Mouths bigger than a Nile crocodile. However, dream stealers are not as intelligent as the crocodiles.

A dream stealer is a coward, someone who does not have the balls to leave his/her own comfort zone, someone who has himself/herself never been successful at anything. The dream stealer is negative and will always try to bring others down into the sewer where he/she him/herself is floating around.

These kinds of people never speak out of experience. They know nothing, but yet they run their mouths. And often, these kinds of people are jealous. They just hate the fact that you have the balls to go out there and do something with your life. That you have the balls to leave your comfort zone and move your boundaries and try something new. Like, make a decision to do a wilderness survival course.

That is a great step in your life, as long as you do it properly - as I say, have a good teacher and be in the wilderness to practice the real thing.

But do not let small minds convince you, that your dreams are too big.

Remember, you can never fail as long as you never give up. People fail because they choose to give up, throw in the towel. All failures are self-selected.  People who usually fail, they are the kind of people who will ALWAYS find an excuse to give up …

Question yourself: who is the person who talks to you - the most - every day? Is it your mother? Your wife/husband? Who? 

Well, actually, it is you. So it is VERY important what you say - to yourself.

And do you want to see who is stopping you, from reaching your goals? OK, find a mirror and stand in front of it.

Get it?

It is you who sets the limits within your own mind.

Also remember: it is you - yourself - who decides what to focus on.  Let us say you are deep into the wilderness. Shall you focus on let us say the rain? Or, the beautiful mountain and the wonderful view? It is your choice.

You are responsible for your life, but even more important, you are responsible for the thoughts that create your life.


Many times over the years, people have told me that they cannot do this, or that. I often then ask: what if I had 10, 000, 000 dollars, right here in a bag, that you could see? And, that if you did this thing, I would give you all this money, tax-free. Would you then be able to do it?

Your answer, most likely would be: Hell yes! THEN I would be able to do it, and complete it!

Interesting ain’t it ..? What is interesting, is that a big, magic, payout incentive, is not reality. So again, it is up to you. You are the architect of your life, nobody else.

So what is the mindset that you need to succeed - to be a survivor ?

Most people say they are going to try. TRY?  OK, let´s talk about the language you use.  Firstly, I would get rid of the word: try. The word - try - is already giving up. Try means that you are not investing in your whole being. Try is a hesitant word, it pulls you backwards because it comes with the expectation of failure. In my book, either you do it and do it 100 % or just do not bother. To say you are going to try is a loser mentality.

Consider, for example, how many people approach dieting or losing weight. Especially in the spring, when people want to look good on the beach.  How many are successful? How many reach their goals? I say: very few. Why? Well, one reason is that they have the wrong mental attitude from the get go. They try a little bit with a negative attitude on Monday. Tuesday they will find a stupid excuse to cheat a little. Wednesday, they are back to normal.

Remove the word
try from your vocabulary.

If you want things to change, you have to change.

If you want things to change, you have to get off your butt and make sure that the change happens.

As long as you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you have always been getting.

If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done.

If you do not change the way you are, you will always have what you are having now.

You can have more than you have, because you can become more than you are.

My experience is that those who need to change the most, are the ones who are the most negative and least motivated.

Every now and then when I talk/teach, one person will turn his/her back, hands in pocket, the negativity radiates, and so on. These people then scratch their heads and cannot understand why their lives are crap, why they cannot hang on to any kind of job, why they have never been successful at anything in their lives, etc., etc ..

I believe we have a problem today. I believe that too many people are very soft, both physically and mentally. Many give up for no reason what so ever. They always find an excuse, like - the backpack is probably chafing a little bit - that´s if they REALLY think about it.

And this is why I like teaching about survival and getting people into the fresh air and positive environment of the wilderness.

OK, I could go on and on here, but I think you get the idea.

What I have written above, are just a few examples of what I talk about when I teach. I will tell you the rest at a course.

I am looking forward to seeing you there.


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