Problem solving

  • Problem definition
  • The hypothermia example
  • How do experts solve their problems?
  • Situation awareness

Problem solving is the process of determining and preparing to execute a course appropriate to the circumstances. All outdoor leaders need the skills and techniques to properly analyse situations, and the options presented in this chapter help bridge the gap from the theoretical to what to do in practice.

There are many books available which describe a wide variety of problem-solving techniques, but most of these books are based on situations which are quite different from those you are likely to face in the outdoors. The approaches suggested are typically along the following lines:

  • break the issue up into its components and analyse them
  • develop a set of possible solutions
  • weigh up the costs and benefits of each option
  • select the best option.