They generally develop four different archetypes of survival but I really think that in Alaska we have five. I think the notions of Laurence Gonzales in Deep Survival and our collected knowledge of Alaska tend to support a fifth survival archetype.
These archetypes are important when it comes to a situation or what a specific person will do out in the woods. It is the reason that we like to take our hunting partners on milk run spotting missions and why guides should get paid about three times as much as they do. While many of us have experience with people I believe that guides have to deal with each of these archetypes much more than we do.
The Child- This is a person who looks at the world with the curiosity. They react to their environment naturally and use common sense and instincts rather than trying to outthink situations. They take account of situations as they happen. Many people believe that the longer people are in touch and learn about nature the more they become a natural part of it. You become mountain or woodland creature. You live every moment of your experience and you don't fight nature but flow with it. You only fight if its at a last desperation move and then you fight with a passion that never gives up.
This is for many an Alaskan quality that you get having joy going out into the wilderness. You understand the danger but you flow with it.
The Prostitute- This is a person who will sell out anybody or anything for personal gain. They don't care about the country and just live a life caught up by envy. The Prostitute will be nice until they coax your knowledge or use you and then they will dump you like cheap rubbish. This is the hunting partner that expects you to do all of the work and then takes the first shot decries you and expects all of the meat except the bloodshot stuff cut off of the neck. The guides have to deal with this person a lot and I feel for them.
The Saboteur- This is a person tries to trip up everybody around them. They seek to look good by making everybody else look like a turkey. The saboteur might spook game on purpose to get their choice. The saboteur messes with your rifle while you are out hunting. In a survival situation this is the person who doesn't try to outrun the bear just run faster than you.
The Victim- This is the person who decides that god is angry at them and whines constantly. This is probably the most sickening of the different survival archetypes(however the "expert" makes a run at them. The victim gives up constantly and complains constantly. The Victim is out of shape and gets hurt at the slightest rock. They are the clients that give up and go home. The very worst victim is somebody who will go like hell and then give up during the first quarter mile of alder or will cry about wet boots.
The "Expert"- This is the person who believes that they know everything that there is. cough..cough..Bear Gryzlls..cough..This is the big Bwana. This is the person who believes that they can defeat nature. This is the person who is supremely confident. This is the person who ends up dying more than the others because they think that they can do a 5.11c rock wall without pro and with a pack and rifle. I have never met him but Craig Medred is an "expert" when it comes to bears. He discussed on how unlikely it was to get mauled by a bear and then karma.
I am not writing this as a paen to my self knowledge but I can personally attest that when I was growing up my father( and I love him dearly) would set me up with one of each of these just to test me, teach me humility or just to scare the crap out of me. I think that it is just good for us to internalize this stuff because it is helpful in assessing people. I can also tell you that sometimes you might be following a Child Archetype and then shift into being the Expert or some other archetype. We get cocky and then Alaska kicks the crap out of us and gets us back to the right mindset.
Guides my heart will always go out for you because it is rare that you get a Child Archetype hunter -life can be cruel- I find it interesting that Guides are either strongly religious or connected to strong drink or perhaps both by the end of their careers. I might be learning baby steps about this stuff but you folks have full fledged PHDs in dealing with human condition.
People talk about what it would be like if we had 2 million hunters. I can tell you that it will not happen. People are scared of grizzlies and living away from cell phone areas. Alaska was made by god on the eighth day to test the faithful and Northwest Canada was made for the faithful when they decided to retire.
I would ask...
Do You guys find merit to this stuff?
I hate to bring Medred up as an example but he put himself out there and opened him self up to public.
I am probably wrong about this but it is interesting to think about.