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How to Slay Ave 88.2pat Sof 448 923/18 INTRODUCTION have spent much of my life travelling to some of the most inhospitable places on the planet. I've summitted Everest, tra- versed the treacherous Northwest Passage in a small inflatable boat, and survived some of the most remote and wild deserts, jungles and swamps on earth ‘Along the way, I've found myself in some pretty hairy situa- tions, moments when my own life, and those of my fellow travel- lers, hung in the balance. How to Stay Alive is the distilation of the survival wisdom | have accumulated over the years. During my time in the British Special Forces, | applied many of these survival principles firsthand. | begin How to Stay Alive withthe basics, the rudiments of any adventurer’s education: what you need to carry in your survival kit, how to make fire and purify water, and how to tie the three ‘most important knots that will help you get out of a jam. Then we get into more exotic territory, You may have never found yourself in a sandstorm, but | can tell you that you'll want to be prepared. Likewise apocalyptic snowstorms, flash floods and tornadoes, There are other books out there about survival, but these pages hold the tacties and techniques that go far beyond bush- craft. We cover it al, from kidnappings to car brake failures, from shark attacks to how to fly a plane in an emergency. So dig in— and the next time you find yourself lost, cornered or in a spot of trouble, youll be properly prepared, How to Stay Alive 88.3.pa1 136 0 448 3/28/18 lions of people get lost every year. Sometimes they lose thoir lives as a result. They find themselves completely tunable to retrace thelr steps, They become dehydrated or hypothermic, Their critical faculties grow impaired and they become less able to make smart choices, It’s a vicious eycle that can end in a corpse. When that happens, it’s almost always because they've made tone simple mistake: they didn't stop as soon as they realized they were lost. 1's a natural human instinct to keep going. We don’t like going backwards. We don't like retracing our steps. we're Intending to go from A to B, we feel we've failed if we turn back to A, s0 Wwe risk ending up at C, We talk ourselves into thinking that Wo're going the right way. Instead, we need to be rigorous about not fooling ourselves, Wo need to swallow our pride, How fo Stay Ave_68.3.p4" 187 of 448 S729 DON'T PANIC. ‘That moment when you fst realize you're lost can be scary. It can make people lose their heads. It can be disorientating and frightening, | have experienced it @few times and the inital urge to panics strong, But panic decreases your chance of survival. Ty to keep a ld on it. Know that a clear head helps you make smart choices, Have a breather and get some water down you. You're not lost yet, you're just temporarily confused! ‘A good way to stem the panic is to remember the acronym stOr ‘+ Stop: don't make a bad situation worse by pushing blindly ‘on and getting more lost. “+ Think: your brain is your best survival tool, so contra it and) Use it to think logically + Observe: if you have # map, lock for big, obvious features that you can't mistake for anything else in order to orientate yourself. t might be a tall antenna, or a huge lake, Don't fool yourself into thinking that a small stream is definitely the one you want it to be when there are loads of streams in the vicinity ‘+ Plan: have a definite strategy, which will force you to think things through clearly and, crucially, keep your morale. up, Nothing is more dispiriting than not knowing what you're doing or where you are going, RETRACE YOUR STEPS This is the most important thing you can do when you're lost. Don't keep wandering blindly into the unknown, The chances ‘of you stumbling across the right path are minuscule, f you can twtrace your steps to the last point where you were sure of your location, than job done. De this by looking out for landmarks that you recognize, or by @-walking an existing tral, or one that you've ‘made, Don'tlet your pride get in the way.