- People you can call for help in any emergency. These may be friends or family but having people to help you, no questions asked, at any time of the day or night, can be the difference between surviving and not, between success and failure, and between a positive outcome and a negative outcome in many survival situations.
- Education and knowledge, whether formally or informally acquired, is a critical component of survival. You don't need a degree and you don't need to know everything but you do need to know how to find out the information you are seeking, how to put together pieces of a puzzle and figure out complicated situations, and you need to have the desire to continually seek out knowledge, skills, and experiences to make you a more well-rounded human being and therefore more capable of surviving difficult situations.
- Common sense is really quite important but sometimes in critically short supply. A person can be extremely educated, but if they lack common sense, they will rate very low on the survivability scale.
- The ability to take personal responsibility in all situations will help you survive. People who always blame others for their problems, rely on others--including the government--to take care of them, and otherwise relinquish their lives and souls to others, literally won't survive when TSHTF.
- People skills are often underrated but in any situation where you need to engage others (whether to get a job, find out information, or request assistance), you need to have good people skills so that others will be much more likely to like you and want to help you.
- A sense of adventure is one of those intangible qualities that really separate the survivors from those who will fare less well in many trying situations. Usually these people have a positive attitude, expect a good outcome, and are up for any challenge--all good survival qualities.
- Flexibility is right next to a sense of adventure when you are looking for personal qualities that can help people out of difficult situations. When things are going chaotic, knowing how to roll with the punches and go with the flow can lead to a favorable survival outcome.
- Creativity is another one of those personal qualities that can help get you out of many kinds of jams. Seeing the possibilities, putting together a unique response to a situation, and thinking outside of the box can help you to survive any situation.
The bottom line is that you don't have to have "things" in order to be considered a survivalist. I know many people from third world countries who have nothing but can easily head out and travel around their country or around the world with little more than the clothes on their backs--and the aforementioned intangibles--and survive. I think with America's overwhelmingly consumeristic society, we often think that things will make the difference in survival situations. However when you lose everything and need to rely only on the intangible assets that you already possess, you will be a true survivalist.