127 Hours is a movie about real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston who slides into a canyon crevasse while climbing in Utah. His arm is pinned under an bolder and he has very little food and water. After being trapped for 127 hours, he literally cuts himself loose from danger but amputating his arm and lives to tell about it.
During his 127 hours stuck in the crevasse, Ralston must resort to his basest survival instincts. So what are the lessons learned from this true story?
1. First and foremost: Use your head! Remember, your number one survival tool is the grey matter that keeps your ears apart!
In the movie, Aron took off on his climb in a remote location without letting anyone know where he was headed. That was not using his head! He also took very little water and food with him with no plan for contingencies. On the other hand, he figured out that the only way out was to disengage from the bolder so with much bravery, he broke the bones then cut off his arm. Ouch.
2. Be prepared with proper gear. You tools and gear should be suitable for the situation and in good working order. That means that if you suspect a power outage, have waterproof matches, a sharp axe (to cut wood), high beam flashlights, and lots of fresh batteries on hand. Dull knives, firearms with no ammo, and out of date batteries will not do you a bit of good in an emergency.
3. Knowledge is power. Educate yourself and keep learning. Study the local topography – you just might need to make a quick getaway and knowledge of the local geographical terrain will be crucial. Learn first aid and get to know your neighbors. The more you know, the less you will panic.
4. Prepare for the unexpected with plenty of food and water. This applies to a one day hike, a two week camping trip, or an emergency stash that will provide sustenance on for six months or longer if the SHTF.
5. Stay fit of body. Stamina and physical endurance require a healthy body. Eat nutritious foods and try to eat real, not processed products. Get some daily exercise and strive for a reasonable weight – not overweight but also not too thin.
6. Exercise the brain – you are going to need it when an emergency sets in. To quote from Survival Cache:
“Like any survival kit, it must be developed and maintained in good working order. Since it is a body part, that means proper exercise, nourishment and protection. Without this tool in proper working order, everything else is just clutter and your survival is a matter of pure, dumb luck. Not what I’d recommend for a ‘Plan A.”
The movie 127 Hours is a must see if you are interested in observing how the stresses of an emergency can affect the psyche, the body and the spirit. In Aron’s case, his survival mindset prevailed and at the end of the day, he was very very lucky to survive.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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