Surviving a harsh environment will depend greatly on what you consider a harsh environment to be. If you have lived in the desert for the most of your life, then you will have already adapted to it so much that you wouldn’t really consider it as a harsh one. Thwat is why it is important for people to be informed by the ways of the locals living in the land. Humans are pretty good at adapting to new environments, and survival situations are just moments where people are put into a new environment to adapt at. The key to surviving is simple, never give up, and remain as calm as possible.
Although a harsh environment can be something extreme like the surface of mars or some other similarly hazardous place, it is actually quite rare for people to be in a situation like that of Mark Watney in the movie “The Martian“. Often times people are actually lost in relatively habitable environments, such as the Forest, jungle, or some sort of large preserve. You must remind yourself that these places are inhabited by creatures and that if they can survive this environment, you could too. Remember that humans have thrived in environments we wouldn’t consider very habitable today, that a great kingdoms once stood in the middle of desserts, and that mighty warriors and hunters lived in the harsh cold environment of frozen tundras and the poles.
The best way to survive a harsh environment, or rather an environment you are not native to, is by the old saying ” When in Rome do as the Romans do”, although a saying that tells you how to blend in to a new culture and avoid faux pas, it can also be understood in a different way. That in order to know how to survive in a foreign land (in this case an environment), you need to study and follow how the locals live their daily lives, not just their culture, but their way of survival.
I have come across many places where dangers that we would think to be extreme are just everyday things they experience, and that they have surprisingly simple ways to face it or get around it. People become so used to their environment, that they do not realize that they have actually developed and learned things that is considered to be a survival skill. By allowing ourselves not just to experience pieces of their culture, but also the way they live their daily lives, we slowly adapt to the new environment and prepare ourselves to face the wild.
If you cannot find humans in the immediate area, look at fellow mammals, see how they survive and imitate their methods. Humans have and is still borrowing methods of survival from our animal friend, much of our technology was developed by imitating what animals in nature can do.
Bottom line is, when in a situation where you need to survive in an unfamiliar environment, cool your head and be calm, remember how the locals live, and observe the living creatures around you. Adapt and evolve…