This Oscar-Nominated Blockbuster is Full of Survival Lessons
If SHTF and you think you’re in a bad situation, just remember: it could always be worse.
Count your blessings and be thankful that you’re at least on a hospitable planet and able to communicate with other people — unlike Mark Watney, Matt Damon’s character in the Oscar-nominated movie The Martian.
If you haven’t seen it, The Martian really is an entertaining movie about the lengths a person will go to to survive against all odds. And believe it or not, a lot of the science in the film is actually pretty sound.
Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, or if you haven’t even seen it, there are a lot of valuable survival lessons in The Martian. Here are a few of our favorites. (If you haven’t seen the movie, just know there are spoilers ahead!)
1. There’s Strength in Numbers.
Watney gets left behind because his crewmates lose track of him in a storm. If you’re traveling or bugging out with a group, it’s vital that you stay aware of each other’s whereabouts, and stick as close together as possible so that no one gets left behind.
2. Know First Aid.
At the beginning of the movie, Watney’s torso is impaled with an antenna piece. He removes it with medical pliers and closes the wound with staples. Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in a situation this extreme, but the fact remains that knowing first aid is absolutely vital for survival.
3. Gardening Can Save Your Life.
One of the most dire circumstances Watney faces in the film is the danger of running out of food. In order to survive, he uses the potatoes that were meant to feed the crew on Thanksgiving to start a garden in the Martian soil, fertilized by his own and his crewmates’ waste. (Yeah…it’s gross. But hey, when it comes to survival, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.)
4. Communication is Vital.
In a survival situation, especially one in which you’re stranded, it’s important to make contact with the outside world. And in case of a power outage, EMP or other similar disaster where traditional methods of communication aren’t available, you may have to be creative and find another way to communicate.
5. Make Your Batteries Last.
In order to make his journey across Mars and make contact with Earth, Watney has to get a little creative and stretch the battery life on his rover. In a SHTF situation, batteries are a precious resource, and you want them to last as long as possible.
6. Shelter is Crucial.
Despite popular belief, the first thing you should seek out in a survival situation isn’t food or even water — it’s shelter. Mark Watney learns a harsh lesson about the importance of shelter for survival in The Martian when a hole is blown in his shelter.
7. It’s Important to Keep a Sense of Humor.
Even though the subject matter is kind of heavy at times, The Martian is a pretty funny movie, maybe because of Watney’s dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Even though he finds himself in dire circumstances, he always finds a reason to laugh at the situation and at himself. Having a sense of humor in a survival situation will put you in good spirits, which will keep you healthy and thinking clearly, and keep you from falling into despair.
For more about surviving The Martian, check out the infographic below, courtesy of space.com.
For more Oscar-worthy survival tips, check out The Revenant Survival Guide from our friends at Pioneer Settler.
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