Megan Hine is an internationally renowned Survival Consultant and Author of Mind of a Survivor. She’s lead hundreds of adventures across the globe, consulting for TV survival shows and embarking on incredible expeditions.
From her teens, Megan’s world revolved around mountaineering, survival and bushcraft instruction. With each experience in the outdoors, she’s learned more and more about our mental wellbeing while dealing with the hostile wilderness environment.
Exploring the psychology of survival, building resilience and an understanding of mindfulness through extreme situations has become a passion of Megan’s which she shares in her book.
“In the wilderness the only person you are in competition with is yourself. You should constantly strive to be better, to push your own limits and explore your own relationship with the environment,”
With a wealth of incredible adventures under her belt and a title of Survival Expert, Megan has critical knowledge on how to survive and thrive in any environment.
1. Learn How to Overcome Yourself
On an almost daily basis, Megan has to push past personal struggles to achieve a goal. Comfort is a rare creature in the wilderness. You have to learn how to overcome yourself and keep going toward what you’re working for despite discomfort.“You are stronger than you believe you are,” Megan said.
“We are all born with the same potential for resilience and achievement, it’s what we do with those skills.”
It’s never too late to overcome fears and break out of stereotypes. All you have to do is take the first step and continue to overcome yourself. As she leads expeditions, Megan sees people achieving what they never thought possible on a daily basis. This ability transcends your background and demographics. All you have to do is get out there and do what you do.
2. Stop Second-Guessing
Working behind the scene on TV shows, Megan constantly makes safety calls on whether or not to proceed with risky adventure plans. In many of these circumstances, she’s put up against the wishes of producers and executives. Stopping your superiors from taking action can be quite daunting and easily lead to second-guessing. But that’s just Megan’s job.
“You have to have faith in your experience and your ability to judge,” Megan commented. When you’re responsible for making decisions, you have to trust that you’re the right person for the job. There’s often little time for second-guessing in urgent situations. Knowing that you can trust yourself for your safety and others’ safety is an important skill for survival.
3. Be Quick on Your Feet
In life, you’re always going to get some pushback. Whether it’s your crazy idea for an adventure or your actions at home, other people will challenge you. Megan runs into situations like these on her TV consulting gigs. She finds that people who work in TV are creative and have all these amazing ideas that don’t always translate into reality. This is where having a backup plan comes in handy. Being able to think outside the box and come up with other options is what keeps things moving forward. If your plans are being thwarted or you have to stop someone else from doing something, thinking of acceptable alternatives is a critical ability.
In the wilderness especially, things don’t always go according to plan. Nature has its own unidentifiable schedule. Learn to be quick on your feet and you won’t get entirely thrown off when things don’t go your way.
4. Manage Your Emotions
With the amount of travel Megan embarks on, trouble is a fact of life. Being hunted by a drug cartel was just one of these adrenaline-inducing situations for the expedition leader. In high-stress situations, Megan is often responsible for other people. When life doesn’t give much time to think, it’s necessary to develop strategies for quick, effective action.Megan’s coping mechanism is to immediately put her emotions and anxiety into a box. In dangerous situations, being able to push your emotions aside and focus on your next action is essential.
For many, struggling with your emotions on an adventure can be one of the most unexpected challenges. Physically being able to do something is just one part of the experience. Having the mental strength to put off emotional exhaustion and keep moving forward is paramount. As you embark on adventures, practice mental techniques for managing your emotions and make sure to prepare mentally in addition to physically.
5. Do Your Research
As Megan explores the outdoors around the world, she’s learned that each environment has its own hazards. In the end, it doesn’t matter what environment you’re going into, you need to do your research beforehand. Adventure is a growing pastime and that’s brilliant, but it’s critical to be equipped with the right skills for the environment. It’s not difficult to learn the right skills for an adventure. Having the appropriate clothing can make or break the experience. In cold environments, you need to be aware of avalanche danger. In the jungle, you need to be prepared for flash flooding. It’s all about doing the research and knowing your stuff.
6. Find a Lifestyle
Megan has never had a typical 9-5 job since being in the outdoor industry from her teens. Megan doesn’t see being a Survival Expert a job, to her, it’s a lifestyle. She believes that seeing it as a job would make it much more difficult. When you’re working 18 hour days during filming, you have to enjoy it underneath it all even if you’re not in that moment. Working in the outdoor industry isn’t particularly lucrative, so you really have to enjoy it.
As you embark on adventures of your own, find your way to experiences that you consider part of your lifestyle. Challenging your body and putting yourself through difficult trials will undoubtedly work your will and motivation. Find something you enjoy doing so much that you don’t mind when it gets difficult.
Listen to Megan on the Tough Girl Podcast