I recently watched the movie, 127 Hours. It is based on the true story of a hiker in Moab, Utah. He was hiking alone when a rock fell on his arm leaving him trapped. After 127 hours, he cut of his own arm in a final attempt to free himself. He survived and went on to write a book about his ordeal upon which the movie is based.
As I was watching the movie I was more concerned with what he did wrong right and before and during his ordeal than the movie itself. My thoughts are as follows:
1) Heading solo into the wilderness. I only call this a partial mistake because I know many people love the solitude and reflection available on a solo trip. You just have to remember that a solo trip is deadly serious and prepare accordingly.
2) He set out on a trip without telling anyone where he was going or when to expect him back. This is critical when venturing into the wild but can be just as critical in everyday life. Did you let anyone know the last time you took a weekend road trip? Do you provide your spouse with a copy of your travel plans when you take a business trip?
2) Gear Quality - He broke a cheap, Chinese made multi-tool and had trouble with gear not being accessible when he was trapped. There are certain items that have to work when needed. A few that come to mind are firearm, ammunition, knife, batteries, flashlight, watch, compass, backpack, rope, canteen, vehicle etc. Most of us are tempted by inexpensive gear. Just remember to determine if that inexpensive gear is cheap.
3) Gear availability - Some of his gear was not available for use due to how he was trapped. He had access to most of the gear on his person. Do not keep all of your gear in your pack. Two is one and One is none. Spread your gear between your person and your pack. This rule applies everyday so keep this in mind when selecting your EDC gear and if you carry it on your person or your computer bag/briefcase/vehicle.
1) He kept a positive attitude for the most part and visualized why he wanted to live.
2) He was very resourceful in utilizing what gear he had available. The 127 hours was spent trying to free himself multiple ways before resorting to cutting off his arm. At one point he set up a pulley system with his climbing gear in an attempt to move the rock.
While watching the movie I thought of the "I Survived" television series on the Biography channel. I end up going thru the same negative/positive analysis when watching this series. The two things that stand out in every story are the will the survive and resourcefulness. Your are going to have to be resourceful in any survival situation but the better prepared your are with gear and knowledge the better your chances of survival.