Ethical Security Solutions

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Survival Hikes

Shamuel Kohen
7 reasons why you should plan and go on a survival hike

The title “survival hikes” to some readers may imply hikes that involve surviving, possibly bushcraft, possible food deprivation, or some form of military/survivalist type of activity. This, of course, is true in some cases, but not in this case. When I teach self-defense, I tell the students that self-defense starts internally in a person’s psychological or emotional state of being. 

I would ask the students, “what good is self-defense in the context of external threats such as defending against thugs, or how to defend against a punch when the real self-defense starts with your own mental health?” And in this context, we can define self-defense as defending yourself against yourself. The root of any successful self-defense is your psychological state. The chances of a person killing themselves as a result of depression followed by suicide are higher than the chances of a person becoming a victim of a crime, whereby they would have to use self-defense karate style techniques.

In addition to depression, chronic stress is associated with one of the six leading causes of a person’s death. According to the American psychological association chronic stress-related deaths come in forms such as suicide, heart disease, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, lung ailments, and accidents. And so, self-defense here is article is defined as “defending yourself against yourself.”

I hear it said many times “that a person's worst enemy is themselves.” If this is truly the case, it must also be logical that we must recognize the threats that we bring on ourselves.
Too many people hikes train the body to be tough, or in some cases, hikes and trekking events train others in bushcraft skills to learn how to survive outdoors.

Survival hikes in this context will be hiking for mental survival against threats such as depression, loneliness, anxiety, and so on. The benefit of survival hikes will be to develop a mentally healthy lifestyle that impacts other aspects of your life such as home, family, community, and friends, and lastly work and education.

1. Get out and breathe. Many people spend the majority of their day indoors. In Finland for example, it was reported in research posted by the news that many Finns spend most of their days sitting (YLE news, 2018). As I smiled at myself reading the story, I could not help myself from asking, why are they sitting on their butts inside? And not outside breathing fresh air. I would bet that they spent most of their days inside breathing in air that is full of indoor pollution from other coworkers, dust, chemicals, and other localized pollutants. I can't’ help but think of how this polluted indoor air affects health in a negative way.

Many people don't realize that breathing in this indoor polluted air makes some people feel claustrophobic due to lack of fresh air getting to their lungs, blood, and brain cells. Some may even feel that they have difficulty breathing, thereby affecting their work productivity. Not getting fresh air into the body does terrible harm to the brain. The body was made to breathe in fresh air for maximum health and performance.

In the past what seems like a lifetime ago, I spent many hours working indoors teaching seminars on security-related topics, in addition, I would compile my indoors life with indoor activities such as self-defense classes, sports such as judo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and kickboxing. If there were moments of outdoors, they were spent in shooting ranges sitting and breathing in gun powder and beating away mosquitoes and black flies or having to go outdoors to get to my car (indoor) to drive to the store (more indoor).

Survival hikes contribute to your survival and “self-defense”. We all need air to survive, so a major benefit of survival hikes is putting fresh air into your body and brain for maximum health benefits.