Understanding the Eight Enemies of Survival

8 enemies of survival feat

When putting together survival kits, there are 8 enemies to your survival, that you need to overcome.

It doesn't matter whether the kit is for someone going into the bush, or if the kit is being made for a teotwawki situation.

Taking care of these eight issues by stocking up your kit well will go a long way to ensure your survival in just about any survival situation.

Fear is the first enemy of survival…


Fear often leads to panic and panic does no one any good…in fact it often kills. The best way to temper fear is by preparing with proper survival skills and survival gear.

Survival skills help reduce fear because you know that you can take care of yourself in a survival situation. Without those survival skills people who are lost are often so scared they don’t know what to do. They’re scared of the animals, scared of the dark, scared of being without all of the comforts of civilization.

Survival gear helps combat fear because it gives you the tools that makes surviving easier.


Complacency is a bane of modern life. Complacency is dangerous because it lulls you into believing everything is alright and causes you to ignore clear signs of danger. A good way to combat complacency is by practicing the art of relaxed awareness.

Relaxed awareness is similar to the art of meditation….it is achieved by being fully immersed and aware of your surroundings. A good example of relaxed awareness is when you are practicing defensive driving. After you practice defensive driving, you remember the entire drive because your mind was fully engaged and active the entire trip. Unfortunately relaxed awareness isn’t something you can pack in a bag, but you can practice it constantly to help ensure your survival.


Hunger can nag at you, slow you down, and eventually kill you. Combat hunger by learning primitive hunting and fishing skills.

Make sure that you have snare wire, survival knives, paracord, a fishing kit and anything else you can think of that will help you find and secure game and fish. Also, learn what wild plant in the area are edible.


You will die in only a few days without water.

There is no question about that.

Depending on your activity level and the environment, you will need at least a gallon of water a day. Knowing how to locate, store and decontaminate water is essential.

Always carry a way to store and decontaminate water.

98.6 degrees Fahrenheit:

If you can’t keep the core temperature of your body at 98.6 degrees, you are in a world of hurt.

Cody Lundin of “Dual Survival” fame covers this reality very well in his book “98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive“.

You need to be able to protect your body from both heat and the cold. Always have a way to make a quick emergency shelter in your survival kit.

Bivy sacks are lightweight and take up very little room. You also need several ways to start a fire in your kit. Also, always have clothing in your survival kit that is rugged and made for the weather of the season that you are in.


Avoid pain at all costs.

It can cripple, immobilize, or at the very least slow you down to the point that you are in imminent danger of losing your life.

If possible, carry medications to deal with it. Injuries are more likely when one panics or becomes fatigued.

Fatigue can be deadly in a survival situation and is the next enemy.


Getting overly tired or fatigued makes the chances of injury greater and increases the dangers of exposure. One important thing to understand is that fatigue affects your mind just as much as it does your body. Arctic explorers discovered that if you sleep when you need to rather then pushing on, you will wake up when you become cold. If you push on till you collapse from exhaustion you’ll freeze to death instead of waking up.


Boredom is like a cancer that slowly eats away at morale. It is always a good idea to keep a way to entertain you in your survival kit. Something as simple as a deck of cards can do wonders for fighting boredom. To this one you can add loneliness…if the survivor is alone. Loneliness can be devastating.

As you can see, these 8 enemies of survival can all make surviving an emergency much more difficult…if not impossible.

By understanding them you will have a much better chance of getting out of your next survival situation/emergency alive.

View the original Article.

The first step is understanding them, but the real key to your survival is learning how to deal with them.

How will you deal with these 8 enemies to your survival? Check out these great articles:

Disaster Preparedness Food Kit

The Basics of Disaster Preparedness

10 Disaster Preparedness Tips You Can Really Use


17 Responses to :
Understanding the Eight Enemies of Survival

  1. JJM says:

    I am guilty of Complacency and Retention of Details. I would have difficulty describing what kind of car my neighbor drives or details of what was parked in front yesterday. How can I learn/practice Relaxed Awareness???

  2. Curt Dooley says:

    Well said and practical. The Bible has survived for hundreds of years. Even now there is a great following of its message. There is solace but also there is great power and secure promise for the future all should heed.

  3. Jan says:

    Snowman I’m with you the Scriptures goes first. Only recently saw Book of Eli, surprised it was mainstream. I hadn’t thought much about the boredom issue been trying to figure how to accomplish readiness. I will be alone but I’m used to that so I’m getting a couple decks of cards, didn’t think of that thanks

    1. snowman8wa says:

      I pray to be able to attain 1/100th of Eli’s level and then work from there. That ending is an AWESOME smackdown when you think of the whole interaction. Proverbs 10-15 are excellent reminders of that comparison……..

      Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

  4. Sovireign American says:

    Boredom: A chess set. Can be played solitaire. Keeps the mind solving problems.
    Complacency: It’s what got us here!
    Pain: The end result of politics.

    “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.” –Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774

  5. kaytee says:

    For some of us, pain and fatigue are constant companions in the best of times– no way to avoid them and still be functional. Yes, with “stress”, they become worse, but as with other chronic problems, you learn to live with them and work around them.

    Because my main “work around” means “sitting” a lot… I’ve also learned to deal with boredom– keeping my hands busy with crochet projects usually. Since I can do it almost “by feel”, it doesn’t further stress my already aching/fatigued eyes as reading would. It also helps keep me awake/aware of my surroundings. And I have a hat, or a scarf, or such after a few of these sessions, which will help deal with the “98.6F” bit.

    In case you’re wondering why I don’t just go take a nap when I’m “that tired”– well, pain interferes with sleep. Until the fatigue is great enough to counteract the pain, laying down for a nap is an exercise in futility.

    1. Hipockets says:

      Kaytee’ You sound a lot like me. I don’t do pain meds,try to avoid them. Sometines ,I have a couple beers and I can relax and sleep. You do whatever works’

      1. kaytee says:

        @ Hipockets– no meds for me either. No beer, either, though. All the Rx meds caused more problems than they solved, and I don’t imbibe.

        I used to take Motrin as a “sleeping pill” when getting to sleep was a problem, but my dr said “Lay off the OTC pain meds– your kidneys are starting to be affected”. So, not even Motrin, now. A hot, Epsom salt bath helps somewhat– at least until my body temp drops again.

    2. Nancy Beegle says:

      Oh, my! I’m not glad that you’ve apparently been dealing with chronic pain and fatigue, but I am glad to see someone else here who is like myself, and also alone. I also have that problem, having been permanently disabled due to 2 failed back surgeries and quite a bit of permanent nerve damage in my legs. Now, each level of my neck and a level of my lumbar spine are affected by stenosis (which is apparently fairly far along now, as I have much trouble walking upright), which is seemingly not going to be prepared, or even monitored, since Medicaid has suffered many cuts, and disabled people are apparently not worthy of having their lives or even the ability to care for themselves restored. This is also despite their worth as someone with useful talents, gifts or knowledge.
      I don’t know about you, but knowing this has caused me to be quite uneasy with regard to my ability to survive for very long alone, not so much because of being lonely, but because there are things I’m just not physically able to do (especially if it involves being vertical for very long). I do know that I’ve been learning what I can over the past few years, grew up on a small farm and so know a lot of things about plants, woods, building some shelters, animal care, and a lot about cooking/food safety and preservation, but am not so much able to actually do the work, and yes – it’s due to pain, but also due to the fact that the lumbar stenosis will actually lock my spine in a hunched-over position, which is painful and difficult to maneuver from. I’m also afraid of having to run, or even to walk very far. SO, I can understand your need to sit a lot. I also have to try to stay awake during the day, as I do not sleep either, until the exhaustion is more difficult to ignore than the pain, so I empathize with you on that, also.
      I have a lot of things that I can do while I’m home to combat boredom, having learned how to make quality jewelry, and still knowing how to draw, which I need to get back into anyway. It was always a favorite activity, especially out in natural settings. I hope I don’t end up out in the woods alone, as that is what I fear the most being able to survive, simply by virtue of the amount of physical effort needed, but it won’t be because of lack of knowledge. I also have still got a lot to acquire, having been trying to do so on a very small disability income.
      I wish you, Kaytee, and the rest of you, the best in your endeavors to be prepared for teotwawki, and if you have any suggestions on how to prep on a VERY LOW budget, I’m open to any and all suggestions.

  6. Nelson says:

    Snowman8wa-Can you please tell me what the last six words in your message mean..(Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis) email it to me at [email protected] I would really appreciate it very much.

    1. 'Above Average' Joe says:

      Hi Nelson, I believe that roughly translated it means ” Always vigilant, always brave, faithful and ready”

      1. Raymond Andrews says:

        It’s actually “Always vigilant, strong, prepared and faithful.”

  7. Linda says:

    Having been easily bored most of my life, that is now not a problem for me. We go camping for a week at a time every couple of months, so that isn’t a problem for me. We have a specific place 250 miles from home, and our equipment has so far been safe enough there. The place is in the Ozarks, and so far, not even friends have been able to find it. I suppose body temperature is our worst enemy. We can keep warm in the winter, but the summer heat just about does us in.

  8. Nick says:

    Great article, however I’d like some expansion of the “avoid pain” section. Pain is an important survival tool developed through evolution. By masking your pain with pain killers you can be left unable to tell if you’re further injuring yourself.

    Pain is a warning to do things differently. If there’s no option for survival your adrenaline should kick in and help you overcome the pain!

    This thought is a tough pill to swallow and only you can decide what the best course of action is! Thanks for the article again.

  9. Nick says:

    For boredom relief I recommend learning to play a musical instrument. You don’t have to be good, if there’s no iPods anymore any music would sound good!

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