Of the survivor of, say, a plane crash where nobody came; they marched across the mountains and rescued themselves. The term I'm looking for is specifically associated with being in a bad place, traveling and being back in a normal/good place. Sort of like "extraction", but the other way around, in that the person was not pulled, they pushed them self.

  • Self-rescue is a single word for this but it is a term used in climbing.
    – ermanen
    Oct 28, 2015 at 17:59
  • "Self-rescue" is commonly used in adventure sports in the sense of extracting oneself from a dangerous or difficult and unplanned position. If there was a common alternative it would be used in those situations.
    – Chris H
    Oct 28, 2015 at 18:02
  • 1
    "saved him/her self" Oct 28, 2015 at 19:14

2 Answers 2


I like extricate as a replacement for extract, although it doesn't necessarily imply travel, and is not always used for oneself.

: to free or remove (someone or something) from something (such as a trap or a difficult situation)


As in, He extricated himself from the perils of the desert through quick thinking and sheer willpower.


The term soldier on is often used, even in non-military settings

to persist in one's efforts in spite of difficulties, pressure, etc


This does not always suggest arrival at a happy ending, but it may be used in that context. Consider this example

To continue to do something, especially when it is difficult or tedious; persevere: "As Russia decayed, these Siberians soldiered on, finding ways to live and enjoy life" (Jeffrey Tayler).

American Heritage

Also possibly break through

to achieve success, make a discovery, etc, esp after lengthy efforts



Also consider overcome

To deal with successfully; prevail over; surmount: tried to overcome the obstacles of poverty.

American Heritage Dictionary

This type of usage is illustrated in the protest song popularized by Pete Seger, We Shall Overcome.

  • Which would work very well for not giving up, but does not suggest the getting out part. Oct 28, 2015 at 17:46
  • There is a typo, mom-military.
    – user140086
    Oct 28, 2015 at 18:29
  • @Rathony - Maybe his mother wore combat boots.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 28, 2015 at 22:53

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