Survival requires a mindset of determination. Without the right mental state, even a physically-fit individual with the best gear money can buy may find themselves in serious trouble. On the other hand, even if the odds are against you, unyielding focus on staying alive can greatly improve those odds. The recent survival story of Sajean Geer provides a clear example of the power of a strong survival mindset.

Olympic National Park spans more than 1,400 square miles of rugged terrain. Photo: Google

Olympic National Park spans more than 1,400 square miles of rugged terrain. Photo: Google

According to The Seattle Times, 71-year-old Sajean Geer set out into Olympic National Park in Washington state on July 17th. She planned to empty the ashes of her late husband in the forest, and leave the park by the end of the day. However, soon after the emotional experience of spreading her husband’s ashes, Geer realized she was lost.

Photo: U.S. National Park Service / NPS.gov

Photo: U.S. National Park Service / NPS.gov

Worse still, despite being an experienced hiker, Geer had reportedly brought no survival gear because she wasn’t expecting to be out in the woods for more than a few hours. Geer later told local news station KIRO 7, “All I had was a Hawaiian shirt, and these capris, and I didn’t have anything for survival.” She had no cell phone service, and had not told anyone where she was going that day.

Sajean Geer, left, survived in the improvised shelter she built, right. Photos: Jack S. Eng

Sajean Geer, left, survived in the improvised shelter she built, right. Photos courtesy of Jack S. Eng.

Geer told KIRO 7, “What I figured was, I had to survive until I get rescued.” She then recalled a quote from a survival manual she had read, which emphasized the importance of “a positive mental attitude and a fighting spirit that you’re going to live through it.” So, Geer proceeded to build a shelter from logs and moss. She gathered water from a nearby stream, and foraged for wild currants, pine needles, and ants to eat.

After 6 nights alone with her dog, an aerial search and rescue operation by the Olympic National Park Service spotted Geer, and a Coast Guard helicopter air-lifted her to safety. For more information on this impressive survival story, read the full article from The Seattle Times.


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