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The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel
Ebook191 pages1 hour

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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About this ebook

“What will no doubt become popular airport reading for stranded passengers . . . another eminently practical, enjoyable survival guide.” —Publishers Weekly

If you have to leave home, TAKE THIS BOOK! The team that brought you the bestselling The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook now helps you navigate the perils of travel. Learn what to do when the tarantula crawls up your leg, the riptide pulls you out to sea, the sandstorm’s headed your way, or your camel just won’t stop. Find out how to pass a bribe, remove leeches, climb out of a well, survive a fall onto subway tracks, catch a fish without a rod, and preserve a severed limb. Hands-on, step-by-step instructions show you how to survive these and dozens of other adventures. An appendix of travel tips, useful phrases, and gestures to avoid will also ensure your safe return. Because you just never know . . .

Praise for the Worst-Case Scenario Survival series

“The scenarios owe a debt to action flick clichés—how often do you find yourself leaping from rooftop to rooftop?—but their utter implausibility doesn’t make this read any less riveting.” —People

“What this book lacks in spiritual enlightenment, it more than makes up for with the practical advice you thought you’d never need.” —The Irish Times

“There is something for everyone. It has a wide range of scenarios from dangerous to just downright irritating . . . It is fun, witty, entertaining and you learn something along the way too.” —Quill Quotes
Release dateJul 1, 2010
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel
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Joshua Piven

Joshua Piven is the coauthor, with David Borgenicht, of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series. He lives in Philadelphia.

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Reviews for The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

Rating: 3.0579710144927534 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" is a grab bag of useful, humorous, and interesting information about a variety of potentially disastrous situations you might find yourself in. Covering everything from quicksand to plane crashes, rampaging bulls to tsunamis, there is a wealth of survival information packed into this book.I don't normally comment on the physical book itself, but it this case it bears mention. The hardback is nicely constructed, compact in size (about 5.5" x 7.25"), and feels like it would go naturally in a bugout bag or hiking pack.That having been said, the book wouldn't be particularly useful in the moment of disaster; by the time you were able to get to the book and look up the right chapter it may be too late. This information is best if studied ahead of time."The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" would make a great gift for the adventurer in your life.NB: I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    This one does contain some useful information, but is mostly written for entertainment. More silly than helpful.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    First off, before I get to the review, I have to say that this is a great read! It does inform a lot, but it's also funny. Sure, some of the things may seem far fetched and you'll never have to use them. That being said, some of them could come in useful. The one that jumps out at most useful is if your car is sinking. That was a very interesting read. Some others are could be useful, but a lot of them is something that I'd never need, but it was an entertaining read. I'll go over a few of them. How to break into a car. The best and funniest part was at the end when the authors said, "This is to break into your own car." *LOL* How to hot-wire a car. I had to laugh at the first sentence: Lift that hood. Dang! That's what I was doing wrong all of these years, I never opened the hood. D'OH!! How to fend off a shark. They forgot to mention one thing that I'd do.....wet my bathing suit! I'm sure that would deter a shark. If I wet my suit, the shark would be like, "Yo! That's nasty, what's the matter with you!? Freak!" How to wrestle free from an alligator. Now *this* could come in handy. How many times does an alligator come up to you and start pushing you around just because he's all big and tough? In the past, I'd run off because it's an alligator. HA! Now the joke is on him. I'll know how to deal with him. When a gator rolls up on me actin' all tough, I'll be like, "Yo, back up b*tch! Best you get steppin' or I'll turn you into boots, belt and a wallet chump! That's right, keep walkin'." Then, I'll do some rude hand gesture, just show him who's boss. What can I say, that's how I roll. How to take a punch. Okay, as useful as this was, it didn't cover everything. It mentioned, the gut and jaw, ect...but...what about a punch to the privates?? Hey, that's happens to me more than you think. I'll be walking minding my own business, then KA-POW!! Right in the package! I mean, we have to protect the family jewels, right?? How to Perform a Tracheotomy:It said, I'll need a knife. What, all of a sudden I'm MacGYVER now?? I have to carry a pocket knife with me at all times?? I'm sure the police will love that. I can see it now, "But officer, you don't understand. I need my knife incase if I have to perform a Tracheotomy. Boy won't you feel stupid if I have to perform one, and because of you, I don't have my handy-dandy knife." How to maneuver on top of a moving train and get inside: Come on, doesn't that happen to all of us? How to deliver a baby in a taxi cab: I know all about making them....now I know how to deliver them. How to treat a bullet or a knife wound: Now I'm all set. I know how to do this. I can see it now. I'm walking down the street (after kicking an alligators butt) then KA-PRANG someone is shot and on the ground. I can jump into action. Someone might say, "But there's a hospital next door, look, there it is, right there." I'll say, "Damn it man, I'm not a GPS system, but I can get that bullet out! Where's my knife??" How to land a plane: Okay, this was interesting! If I'm on a plane, and one of the flying waitresses comes running out in a panic with her hair all mussed up from being all extra panicy, yelling, "Both pilots are dead, can someone land this plane?? Heeeeeeeelpppp!!! I can jump up and say, "Fear now you flying waitress, I'll save the day! Get me a head set and a diet coke!" Okay, I don't need the diet coke, but heck, I do likes that beverage. How to survive if your parachute doesn't open: If that happens and your back up parachute doesn't open....well...yer pretty much screwed. How to get to the surface if your scuba tank runs out of air: Um..... I'll take a guess..... you could....let's see....maybe swim to the surface? Just a thought. In all honesty, it was an entertaining read! Get it and you won't be sorry.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    I'm feeling pretty smug that I already have a pretty good idea of how to escape from a sinking car, quicksand, treat a snake bite, survive a shipwreck, deal with a bear or cougar, avoid getting shot at (run away as quickly as possible - it actually says that). I chose not to study the section on landing an airplane. It sounded easier-said-than-done. A very short, somewhat amusing (without trying to be) book.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    I agree with bkleinwort -- the spin-offs degrade the original.I think this is a very entertaining little book. It's fun to read, and unlike other books of the type it cites credible references for the advice given. It is certainly not complete enough to be a "survival handbook" -- I'm sure that's intended as a joke -- but apart from the select pieces of practical advice it offers, I like the fact that it encourages a person to think about what could go wrong in a given situation. This book will be more likely to save your life if it causes you to remember where the fire exits are when you enter a room than by telling you how to kick a shark in the nose. (Unless you're like my nephew!)
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    The title says it all. The authors consulted experts in a variety of fields and compiled a list of unlikely "worst-case scenarios" and how to survive them. The survival tips are clear and concise. The book also contains illustrations of the recommended survival techniques.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Written in the style of a Boy Scout field manual, this well illustrated little book has practical suggestions for those caught in a tight spot. The only use for this book is to familiarize yourself with it in the event any of these things ever happen around you. Needless to say, it is imperative for those who like camping and other outdoor sports, and may be useful to those traveling to a different environment.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    This book was all the rage as a graduation gift during my last few years of high school, so predictably I received a copy when I graduated high school. I was never sure whether it was supposed to be serious or a spoof until I finally read it. Indeed, the book is meant to be serious (well, mostly serious), although I think the giving of it to me in particular was meant to be a spoof. The book is chock full of information that I would never need (or never remember if by some bizarre chance I would need it), like how to fend off a mountain lion attack. Still, I found it oddly entertaining and couldn't put it down once I finally started reading it. It's probably of greatest benefit to hikers, campers, and other outdoors-y people, but I still reserve a space for it on my shelves, too.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Weirdly fun little book. I think meant as a joke book, even if the information within it is actually serious. I mean, open the cover and facing you is an illustration of a fist punching the snout of an alligator. It's divided into five sections: Great Escapes and Entrances, The Best Defense, Leaps of Faith, Emergencies and Adventure Survival. It involves such scenarios as "How to Escape from Quicksand," "How to Escape from Killer Bees," "How to Jump from a Bridge or Cliff into a River," "How to Identify a Bomb," and "How to Land a Plane." In other words, the kind of situations you're much more likely to find in a Hollywood script than real life. Which is amusing for arch chair adventurers and useful for fiction writers. Although there are some scenarios you might more likely encounter--such as how to avoid being struck by lightning--avoid high places, open fields, trees, bodies of water, etc. It's all supposedly written by experts--so enjoy the read, and who knows, this might save your life. You never know when that bear or shark might threaten!
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.This book gives advice for surviving a multitude of different scenarios. The information could be useful in one of these situations though I question if you would have it near or have the time to look up the advice. A few sections were tongue-in-cheek but the great majority is serious. I found it a bit hard to finish as it became repetitive and dull. I also don't plan on maneuvering on top of a train and trying to get inside.The book is a bright yellow hardcover. It is small enough that it could go in your camping gear. I personally would not waste the space in my backpack. I have seriously mixed feelings about this book.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Entertaining, but I'm sad it became so popular and spawned a ton of spin-offs.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    This is a handy little guide to get you out of a bunch of life’s difficult situations like, dealing with a snake bite, surviving a plane crash, and even how to tell if someone is lying to you. There are plenty of other serious scenarios that are covered, so there’s something for everybody. This is pretty light reading that is informative and sometimes a little humorous. I’m sure that there’s an audience for this kind of book -preppers maybe-, but this reader found most of the descriptions of the ways to deal with these situations pretty standard and repetitive.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This book gives very practical, simple, easy-to-follow advice for very impractical, complicated, and hard-to-deal-with situations. Though I hope to never end up in any of these situations, I definitely feel more prepared now. Important memories from the book: triangles are a sign of distress. If you need rescue make one that's visible. Fight a mountain lion, shark, or alligator, but not a bear. Get out of your sinking car ASAP! You can float on quicksand. Babies usually deliver themselves, but have clean things ready to wrap them in. Run in zigzags to escape being shot.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    I don't anticipate running into an alligator in Nebraska (although you never know!), but there are a number of things in here that are surprisingly useful.

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The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook - Joshua Piven




By Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

Illustrations by Brenda Brown


Copyright © 2001 by book soup publishing, inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Worst-Case Scenario and The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook are trademarks of book soup publishing, inc.

The authors wish to thank all of the experts, whose invaluable knowledge and experience have made this book possible, and may have even saved a life or two. Special thanks and good karma to all those who worked on the book: Mindy Brown, Erin Slonaker, Jason Rekulak, Susan Van Horn, Frances J. Soo Ping Chow, Jason Mitchell, Steve Mockus, and of course, Jay Schaefer.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data available.

eISBN: 978-0-8118-7358-1

a book soup publishing book


Visit www.worstcasescenarios.com

Chronicle Books LLC

680 Second Street

San Francisco, CA 94107



When a life is imperiled or a dire situation is at hand, safe alternatives may not exist. To deal with the worst-case scenarios presented in this book, we highly recommend—insist, actually—that the best course of action is to consult a professionally trained expert. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO UNDERTAKE ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK YOURSELF. But because highly trained professionals may not always be available when the safety of individuals is at risk, we have asked experts on various subjects to describe the techniques they might employ in those emergency situations. THE PUBLISHER, AUTHORS, AND EXPERTS DISCLAIM ANY LIABILITY from any injury that may result from the use, proper or improper, of the information contained in this book. All the information in this book comes directly from experts in the situation at hand, but we do not guarantee that the information contained herein is complete, safe, or accurate, nor should it be considered a substitute for your good judgment and common sense. And finally, nothing in this book should be construed or interpreted to infringe on the rights of other persons or to violate criminal statutes: we urge you to obey all laws and respect all rights, including property rights, of others. Nonetheless, enjoy your trip.

—The Authors




1 Getting There

How to Control a Runaway Camel

How to Stop a Runaway Passenger Train

How to Stop a Car with No Brakes

How to Stop a Runaway Horse

How to Crash-Land a Plane on Water

How to Survive an Airplane Crash

2 People Skills

How to Survive a Riot

How to Survive a Hostage Situation

How to Pass a Bribe

How to Foil a Scam Artist

How to Foil a UFO Abduction

How to Survive a Mugging

How to Tail a Thief

How to Lose Someone Who Is Following You

3 Getting Around

How to Jump from Rooftop to Rooftop

How to Jump from a Moving Train

How to Escape from a Car Hanging over the Edge of a Cliff

How to Escape When Tied Up

How to Ram a Barricade

How to Escape from the Trunk of a Car

How to Survive a Fall onto Subway Tracks

How to Survive in a Plummeting Elevator

4 Out and About

How to Survive When Lost in the Jungle

How to Find Your Way without a Compass

How to Climb out of a Well

How to Navigate a Minefield

How to Survive a Riptide

How to Survive When You Fall through Ice

How to Survive in Frigid Water

How to Survive a Trip over a Waterfall

How to Survive a Volcanic Eruption

5 Food and Shelter

How to Survive a High-Rise Hotel Fire

How to Find Water on a Deserted Island

How to Purify Water

How to Build a Shelter in the Snow

How to Survive a Tsunami

How to Survive a Sandstorm

How to Catch Fish without a Rod

How to Make Animal Traps

6 Surviving Illness and Injury

How to Deal with a Tarantula

How to Treat a Scorpion Sting

How to Cross a Piranha-Infested River

How to Treat a Severed Limb

How to Remove a Leech


General Travel Strategies

Strategies for Packing

Strategies for Flying

Strategies for Hotels

Strategies for Travel in Dangerous Regions

Foreign Emergency Phrases

Gestures to Avoid

About the Experts

About the Authors


By David Concannon, Explorers Club

During a lifetime of travel and adventure, I have learned some things the hard way—by living through many dangerous and unpleasant experiences. These experiences have taught me several very valuable lessons.

Lesson #1: The unexpected usually happens.

It was July 1989. I was standing at 15,000 feet on the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, wondering if I would live.

I could still hear the voices of my friends before I left: Kili is a cake walk. You don’t need any technical climbing experience to summit. You might get a little altitude sickness, maybe a touch of edema. Don’t worry, you will survive.

My thoughts were interrupted by the voice of a climbing partner, a physician, as he finished examining me. Your lung has collapsed, he said. You also have pulmonary and cerebral edema, and retinal hemorrhages in both eyes. Well, I thought, at least that explained the difficulty I had breathing, my new speech impediment, and the pain I felt in my eyes whenever I removed my sunglasses.

I could handle the inability to speak and the mental confusion. What really bothered me was the knowledge that I had collapsed a lung (for the second time in my life), and that my one good lung was filled with fluid. If you get pneumonia, you will be dead by morning, the doctor said. You better start walking.

And walk I did, for 24 miles.

Two days later, I flew in an unpressurized airplane to Kenya, followed by a flight to Germany and a horrible ride in the smoking section of a Pan Am flight to New York. After five days, I walked into a hospital in Philadelphia, where I was examined in stunned silence by a neurologist and specialist in pulmonary medicine. According to the textbooks, I shouldn’t have made it. But I did. I had survived.

From that point on, I knew I could survive any worst-case scenario in my travels if I just kept my wits about me and forged ahead. Miraculously, I have always emerged from my adventures without permanent injuries, and have even been able to exit under my own power.

Lesson #2: Accept the things that are beyond your control.

Although I have not always been able to predict specifically what problems, major or minor, are going to arise, I have learned that once something does occur, I need to accept it as unavoidable. Having my pants pockets razored in Buenos Aires, being diverted through Kosovo because of terrorist activity in Croatia, and losing my luggage on domestic flights through Atlanta are the inevitable consequences of travel rather than extraordinary occurrences or self-inflicted mistakes.

When I was living in Kenya, I chartered airplanes to travel on weekends because flying was considered safer than driving. One time the plane I wanted to charter was booked; that weekend the plane crashed. The Kenyans reacted nonchalantly. Hakuna ma tata, they said. No problem. Things happen. Sometimes things happen for a reason, I thought. Sometimes they don’t. But the following weekend, I took the train.

For some people, putting themselves in extreme situations and then facing the dire consequences is part of the thrill of travel. But for all types of travel, you must resign yourself to the fact that your luggage will be lost, your hotel reservations will be canceled, and the last flight out will leave without you.

The key is to then decide what you are going to do about it.

Lesson #3: Always have a contingency plan.

With a little advance preparation, you can survive the unexpected.

I once suffered from severe hypothermia thanks to an old cotton sleeping bag I carried on a backpacking trip through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The weather forecast in the lowlands called for sunny skies and mild temperatures. Up in the mountains, however, it rained for five days straight. Everything I had was soaked, and I was never able to get warm. I eventually became delirious—and nearly unconscious.

After spending two days in another person’s dry sleeping bag with two half-naked companions to restore my

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