How To Measure Your Legit Primitive Survival Rating (PSR)

First things firsts. Can we acknowledge that the Primitive Survival Rating on Discovery’s Naked and Afraid is pretty much a joke? Not only is there no info on how the producers actually gauge someone’s survival prospects, the PSRs given to many contestants on the show fly in the face of what real survival experts know.

The Truth About Naked and Afraid PSRs

There are reports by former contestants that they’re never actually in any real danger. The show is often filmed close to civilization, and contestants have even received medical treatment and stolen food from producers while “surviving.” Want to measure your actual PSR to see how you’d do in an extreme survival situation? Here are four areas to evaluate:

1. Real Experience

Let’s face it, past experience gives you an edge in the wilderness. Reading about survival isn’t the same thing as experiencing it yourself. If you backpacked across Thailand, spent a week in the wild at Yellowstone or survived icy mountain conditions, you’re going to obviously have a higher PSR than someone who has spent their whole life in the big city. The same thing goes for people with actual hunting experience.

How can you increase your PSR for experience? Go beyond tourist traps when you travel. See the real conditions people survive in around the world, eat the foods locals do and practice primitive survival techniques. Forget about day trips into the rain forest and sleeping in a four-star hotel at night.

2. Ongoing Survival Training

If you really want to be ready for SHTF, you need to continually hone your skills. It’s true that some survival skills are like riding a bike, but you also need the muscles, stamina and strength to pull them off. To maximize your chances of surviving an extreme disaster, practicing the essentials regularly is a big factor.

Want to boost your PSR score for training? Test yourself by spending a week or two away from civilization. Each time, take along fewer outside tools.

3. Useful Skills

Riding a bike may up your physical resistance, but does it really prepare you for living naked in the wild for weeks? To make sure you’re ready for anything, it’s important to focus on specific skills. Here are several techniques every serious survivor should learn:

  • Locating water and purifying it
  • Making fire from scratch
  • Creating traps
  • Building a survival shelter
  • Navigating without a map or compass
  • Treating medical emergencies
  • Making tools/weapons
  • Finding safe plants

In reality, getting food in survival situations often relies more on trapping than on using things such as a bow and arrow. To increase your PSR, learn how to craft multiple types of traps for fish, fowl and game.

4. Mental Fortitude

The final factors that determine true survivors are mental and emotional. How you react to chaos is just as important as what you know about starting a fire. Staying calm and focused can literally save your life, whether you’re in the middle of a government uprising or stranded after a plane crash. To improve your PSR in this area, identify your biggest fears ahead of time and learn to face them head on.

As you check your PSR, you may have as great a score as you thought. This is actually kind of the point: to find areas where you can improve and get started.

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Scorpionkin0102 - September 14, 2020 Reply

First things first. The first things to consider are inclusive, but one has to first do a “mental check” of theirselves and the situation at hand. There’s a difference between when the SHTF and suddenly being immersed into a life or death situation.
One you can better prepare yourself for and one which is forced upon you, i.e. plane crash or getting lost in the woods.
In an unexpected worse case scenario, one has to pause a moment, not panic, access the situation, take stock in what is at hand and more importantly than ever, treat any life threatening conditions to yourself and/or any others. Panic is an enemy which could cause you to do something foolhardy and if you are injured, you can’t help yourself or anyone else. This is the deciding moment where you become the leader or follower, the sheep dog or the sheep.
If heading into the woods, be prepared. Many hikers have succumbed to the elements because they weren’t.
Before wandering into unknown territories make sure you have a plan in case something goes “south”. Let someone know where your going and when you’ll be back. Carry enough water to stay hydrated, clothes to keep warm, a good knife capable of chopping and a way to make a fire. Sure you can build a fire without matches, but if you get injured or it starts to rain, good luck. I believe in the theory of three when needing to build a fire. Waterproof matches, some sort of lighter and my favorite, a fire starter flare. They burn hot and will ignite your fire quickly.
Lastly, don’t take unnecessary risk.
My skills were honed from being a former Army Ranger, flight medic and an Army Aviation AeroScout.

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