Is Height/Build important for Survival?

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Tater Raider
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by Tater Raider » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:59 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I feel you on the open mockery thing. There's a fine line between helpful criticism and criticism. The fact remains that if you're trying to cut weight from your BOB, and your gut weighs more than your BOB, you should be looking down at the problem and not buying titanium. If you're storing food and ammo to survive a JW Rawles book, then you might need to start making sure you're not at major risk of a heart attack. Repeat ad naseum.

It gets ignored a lot. Nobody wants to admit that a pair of running shoes is a more valuable prep than a custom Remmy 700 with match action and a moly coated match barrel firing handloads, just like a USB drive with important information is way more important than a bag full of MREs.
Not that there's anything wrong with buying titanium in the meantime but I agree.

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by feedthedog » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:25 pm

Tater Raider wrote:
I thought, and maybe that was my first mistake, the question was about height and this:
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Photo from http://www.muscleandstrength.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - credit where it's due.
As far as survival by build:
I'm an ectomorph with a natural bodyweight of around 155lbs. By spending a ton of time (years) in the gym, and eating tons I'm up to 190lbs.

I'm in pretty decent shape despite some chronic issues. I can lift a decent amount of weight, run 3-5 miles without too much effort, hold my own in martial arts, and have a low resting heart rate.

The downside is that it takes about 3500-4000 calories per day to keep me at my current weight. I'd see that as a pretty serious disadvantage if the whole world ends and I have to actually go out and find food. That being said, the world hasn't ended recently, and I like being able to do stuff that involves having a bit more muscle. I can't see trying to lose muscle just so I can live off of fewer calories.

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by TravisM.1 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:21 pm

There are the exceptions to every rule. There are people out there that are heavy, with experience, who will probably fare pretty well. There are small, fit people who wont last a day.

I disagree about the "will to live" being more important than physical health. If that was the case, there'd be no deaths from cancer, heart attack, or illness. Your body gets to a point where it can take any more, and after that, it doesnt mean shit whether or not youve got the will to live. "Will" wont do anything by itself. Sorry. You've got to have a vehicle for that "will" to work through. And if you're so far out of shape that you cant walk up a flight of stairs without being winded, you just dont have that vehicle.

I think that being healthy, or making an effort to be healthier, anyway, is just as important to preparedness as anything financial, or anything related to food storage.
Im not saying we should all be 6% body fat, bruce lee ninjas, but if you cant get out of your own way, you're only fooling yourself.

ETA- I dont buy the "we'd all be the same shape" thing, either. Firstly, as noted, there are indigenous people all over the world of different body sizes and shapes. And secondly, even though things have seemed not so hot with the economy for the past while, food is still abundant and widely available. America isnt facing an "obesity epedemic" because there isnt anything to eat. Its a product of our culture. Im as much of a vain consumerist, capitalist pig as anyone, maybe more so. But we've had about a thousand years or so of summertime easy livin' since the last worldwide famine or other sirvival scenario.
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:15 pm

feedthedog wrote:
Tater Raider wrote:
I thought, and maybe that was my first mistake, the question was about height and this:
Image
Photo from http://www.muscleandstrength.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - credit where it's due.
As far as survival by build:
I'm an ectomorph with a natural bodyweight of around 155lbs. By spending a ton of time (years) in the gym, and eating tons I'm up to 190lbs.

I'm in pretty decent shape despite some chronic issues. I can lift a decent amount of weight, run 3-5 miles without too much effort, hold my own in martial arts, and have a low resting heart rate.

The downside is that it takes about 3500-4000 calories per day to keep me at my current weight. I'd see that as a pretty serious disadvantage if the whole world ends and I have to actually go out and find food. That being said, the world hasn't ended recently, and I like being able to do stuff that involves having a bit more muscle. I can't see trying to lose muscle just so I can live off of fewer calories.
I'm not a doctor, but my feeling on this, based solely on observation, is that while you would lose muscle mass, you'd lose little in strength/endurance. Everyone is different, so there can be no hard and fast rule to go by, but I've seen a lot of "skinny old men" who were just tougher than boiled shoe leather, and MUCH stronger than their size and build would indicate- my father was like that. At some point, with a lower calorie intake, your body levels off to match what it consumes, sort of the reverse of a fish growing to match its tank. This is, of course, assuming a calorie intake that is still in line with continued survival.
Have you considered learning about wild edibles, hunting/fishing, and foraging while on the go? Taking a ten minute pause to gather berries provides both rest and sustenance, without having to carry that weight around long distances.
silentpoet wrote: My first two warning shots are aimed center of mass. If that don't warn them I fire warning shots at their head until they are warned enough that I am no longer in fear for my life.

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by ROCK6 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:27 am

Very interesting topic (even if four years old :mrgreen: )

I don't think there is any correlation between size and survival, but I'm excluding your unhealthy obesity from the equation. Sure, there may be some advantages and disadvantages, but in general, very little on that factor alone.

Health and physical conditioning are extremely important and what I would place as the top priority. I say that for a few reasons and from my experience in a couple survival schools, civilian and military training and a few tours in combat.

Survival involves a lot of stress; stress has a significant impact on your body, your mind, your resiliency and your problem solving capacity. I'm less concerned about the general guy/gal who carries a few extra 15-20 pounds, but stays active and tests themselves once in a while as opposed to the stereotyped, basement dwelling, apathetic obesity who does little but talks much on survival forums...there is a marked difference. Seriously overweight adds additional stress to the body in a very unhealthy way...that puts you behind the power curve even before the SHTF. All the skill, knowledge and problem solving skills will not overcome the chronic issues of obesity and the impacts to your physical abilities; and don't kid yourself, very few truly overweight individuals will survive a high stress, high exertion, physically demanding situation.

Now, my experiences have shown me exceptions, so my comments above are generalizations. I've known and have served with several in combat who were visibly pushing the military standards or contractors who were visibly not even close to military standards. Here, I'm talking about you average guy who's overweight, but moderately active; they preformed just fine for the most part. They wouldn't be running a marathon or might barely past a standard APFT, but where they lacked in their actual conditioning was made up in their mental resiliency, problem solving, application of skill and knowledge. Not everyone is some top conditioned, "tier one operator" (I hate that term), but behind every one of the those operators are a host of support individuals who's specialized skills are vastly important to their success. I've seen extremely fit individuals break down with the slightest amount of stress and I've seen some pretty hefty guys overcome some intense, physically demanding situations. No "one-shoe" fits all and beyond their personal health and fitness, the individual's mental resiliency (or will to live) is vastly important, especially when it comes to handling/managing the stress and solving the problems at hand.

I think experience plays a significant role as well. I've seen some extremely skilled guys in combat and training, but when thrown a curve ball problem, they fail to succeed. It's not just knowledge, but the application in real-world conditions that helps develop experience. Skill isn't knowing, it's the application of that knowledge and we hone and improve that skill when you repeatedly train and exercise it. If you survive through various challenges and problem solving situations that's great, but experience is also developed through non-life-threatening failures IF you learn from those failures. You can have all the cool survival skills and knowledge in the world, but if you're like little Johnny who received a participation trophy in every event or rewarded after every piss poor performance to keep your confidence up, when you actually get knocked down your chances of getting up are quite small. On the flip side, if you've dealt with adversity and had to overcome failures and hardships and learn from mistakes, that builds resiliency and develops valuable experience.

Again, I don't mean to bash skill and knowledge; however, what's important is the application. Skill and knowledge are just academic until you truly learn to apply them and not just in ideal conditions. Target practicing with your firearms from a static position or bench is a great example of honing a little skill and knowledge of your firearms, but almost useless for real world application. If you don't apply that skill/knowledge in dynamic, stressful conditions and in harsh environments, you're missing the point about how skill and knowledge can help during a crisis. Scenario based training in all weather conditions with induced stress (timed events, high exertion integrated, dynamic problem vignettes, etc.), is where skill and knowledge becomes a significant factor for survival.

Lastly, dumb luck just happens to the most unassuming individuals or the most assuming individuals. There's no explaining it, but I wouldn't rely on it either. As was already said, you could be the most cross-fit, tip-top-healthy, combat-experienced, school-trained survivalist and make one mistake, catch a high-mortality rate disease or get struck by bus or stray bullet and it's all over. Dumb luck.

If I've had to rank the importance it wouldn't depend on their physical build, but rather:

1. Health and physical conditioning
2. Mental resiliency (will to live)
3. Experience
4. Skill and knowledge
5. Dumb luck (on the positive side!)

The military guy in me will always pre-judge an overweight looking individual; it's human nature. However, the experience and knowledge I've developed over the years helps me to withhold judgement long enough to really assess the other qualities of the individual and I've been wrong initially multiple times. Never be comfortable being unhealthily overweight and inactive; you wouldn't swim with heavy combat boots and a loaded IOTV, so don't disadvantage yourself when a seriously stressful situation hits. Practiced and exercised skills and knowledge help develop experience...those reinforce your mental resiliency. You will make mistake when you train; learn and apply those lessons. They are all important and should be equally balanced and for the OP, problem solving will overcome physical limitations. A 6'7" guy can reach an apple easier than a 5' individual, but the short guy can either climb the tree for more apples and use a stick to knock in down. You could delve into the biological factors, but history has shown that they don't weigh much on the scales of survival.

ROCK6

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by Zimmy » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:53 pm

That was very well said.

I couldn't add to it if I tried.
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by LyraJean » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:00 pm

If you are talking about long term survival women with wider hips will survive childbirth better than women with narrow hips. That is if modern medicine is no longer available.
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by Close_enough » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:18 pm

Tall/shot, ecto/endomorph, fair/swarthy is heavily dependent on the local environment. A 6'5" endomorph is probably going to handle the snow better then a 5'2" ectomorph. But switch it out for a hot, resource scarce environment, and calculus flips. Overall, if I had to pick a one for all build, it would be a slightly shorter then average fireplug.

IMHO, Overall fitness, in particular anaerobic threshold (how hard you can push for an indefinite time without going into oxygen debt) is the best physical indicator for survival. Will to live, or mental toughness is the second. And, skills and physical strength tie for third. The greater strength, and consequent development of ligaments, tendons, muscles offer better protection against accidental injury. But, skills offer better protection against, and adaptability to, the the environment.

If you're carrying around an extra 20 lbs, but you're anaerobic threshold is 90% of your maximum heart rate, I wouldn't worry. Now, if you're at your "ideal" weight and can't climb three flights of stairs without having to catch your breathe, then be very worried. If you're 90 lbs overweight, can't climb three flights of stairs without having to catch your breathe, and eat junk food like a high school student, you either crash diet, or make sure your life insurance is paid up.

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:23 pm

LyraJean wrote:If you are talking about long term survival women with wider hips will survive childbirth better than women with narrow hips. That is if modern medicine is no longer available.
That's why I chose a wife with wide hips- jussayin.

We are both past our 'breeding age' now, but our daughters inherited her traits- so the next generation is assured I guess.
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:52 pm

Ok I didn't want to respond to this but current changes allows me to drive a very good perspective. I have been usually a mesomorph for most of my life more on the bigger side but a mesomorph none-the-less. I gained quite a few pounds over the last few years and found it quite difficult to manage on a daily basis. Besides general health issues that excessive weight causes and adds a greater strain to the heart, it doesn't necessarily mean you are less likely to survive a SHTF scenario. depending on the situation it may be a bonus or a serious flop.

Weighing in at 311 lbs and being 6 foot tall. I found it difficult to move around not necessarily due to being out of shape (which I was) but the fact of the pain involved after years of abuse in the military which the added weight caused on the joints. i may not be able to outrun zombies (Cardio rule from Zombieland) but if you load me down with a heavy pack and tell me to either run through the woods or just hike, I could do that and probably outlast quite a few people.

Mind you i weighed 311 lbs, but it was also not just a pogue round, i still had plenty of muscle mass and strength but fat none-the-less. I have recently lost about 18 almost 19 lbs and found a world of difference in my stamina. I have less pain and therefore I can move around without pain and therefore do more. i also had a loss of appetite that has me not eating so much in the last two months (which is great and checked out and ok'd by my doc) my fat reserves right now are allowing me to function longer than maybe most other people would that didn't have the excess fat.

now I am not saying to run out there and get fat to help you get through lean times. Everything with moderation including moderation. I want a happy medium that I can still do a lot of activities with minimal food intake without doing myself a lot of harm. Lets face it, in a SHTF situation a lean person will have a tough time getting by without eating regularly or doing serious damage to their body.

Now if I was trying to squeeze through a port hole to escape a sinking ship, I am totally screwed, so you see the situation is completely relative to the situation yo find yourself in.
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by flybynight » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:49 pm

well this guys height/build probally gives him a distinct advantage

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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:06 pm

As said up thread- mental and emotional health is far more important than physical health overall. Also, I will note that there is a difference between healthy but a little overweight and unhealthy due to being extremely overweight. Related to this and anecdotally- I remember that a buddy of mine was picking on me because of the size of women I prefer, to which I said:

I want a woman with wide enough hips to easily birth a child- large enough breasts to nurse that child- a strong enough back to carry that child if the barbarians breech the walls- and enough body mass to survive a hard winter.

And that's what I married- but I'm not calling Mrs. Morphine fat. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by ODA 226 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:03 pm

MINDSET is most important!
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Re: Is Height/Build important for Survival?

Post by ZombieGranny » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:24 am

I'd have to say to just look at what the average human type is traditionally in an area.
That is your survivor body type for that area.
The others died.
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