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1-Rainforest Survival Guide

Image from the programme

Rainforests cover 6% of Earth and are home to two-thirds of all animal and plant species. They are extremely difficult to navigate, present tough trekking terrain, are full of biting insects and whilst they are hot and humid in the day, they can be surprisingly cold at night.

Image from the programme

It is hard to get your bearings in the forest because the density of the vegetation makes it difficult to get a good view. Bear used his skill to climb a tree so that he could spot forest valleys which often indicate a waterway, which is your best way out. If you are not a confidant climber, find a stream (there will be lots of these) and follow it, it will eventually take you to a river.

Image from the programme

Avoid stepping on snakes by warning them that you are coming. If you are walking through grassy areas or anywhere where you can't get a good view of what you are stepping on, then stamp your feet. Snakes will pick up the vibrations and will do their best to avoid you.

Image from the programme

In a rainforest, it might not be worth wasting energy hunting animals or setting traps because there will be plenty of plants to eat. But you must familiarize yourself with what is edible and what isn't before you set out on a trip – and remember, every forest is different. You can't beat a bit of local knowledge.

The biggest people killers in rainforests are not ferocious wild animals, they are falling trees. When it rains, the ear splitting sound of falling timber will be all around you. Seek shelter by a rocky outcrop if you can or make your way to the most open ground you can find.

Check out these real-life survival stories

The British Army group that got lost in a Bornean rainforest for 31 days and the hair-raising story or four mates who headed into the Amazonian rainforest with tragic consequences.

2-Extreme Cold Survival Guide

Image from the programme

If you fall into cold water, get out as soon as you can – your body rapidly loses heat in cold water.

If you can't get out don't try swimming unless you are very close to a way out. Swimming can increase heat loss by up to 50%. Instead, reduce heat loss by drawing your arms, legs and body together. This position protects major blood vessels near the body's surface, where a lack of insulating fat makes them vulnerable to the cold.

Image from the programme

Breathe through your nose. This also reduces heat loss, providing you keep your mouth closed or covered.

Staying hydrated helps to fight off frostbite and hypothermia because it enables the body to generate heat more efficiently. Drink at least three litres a day, or as much as you can.

Image from the programme

Additional clothing won't help hyperthermia. You must seek shelter from the chilling winds and nighttime frosts by making yourself a snow shelter. If someone is with you, keep warm by cuddling up together.

Don't massage frostbite and try not to thaw it out unless you can be sure you can keep it thawed. Refreezing damaged tissue can be extremely dangerous and cause even more damage.

If feet are frostbitten don't try walking on them, this can extenuate the damage to the frostbitten tissue. Instead, send out for help if possible.

Check out these real-life survival stories

The most daring helicopter rescue in history and the tragic story of a party of five who lost their lives at the top of the world. The man who had to abandon his son to the icy elements and the two guys that were hurtled down a mountain on the back of an avalanche.


3-Hills and Plains Survival Guide

Image from the programme

If you need to find your bearings on a sunny day, you can find north, east, south and west by using the shadow and stick method. Find a stick, insert it into the ground and you'll see that it casts a nice shadow. Mark where the end of the shadow is and leave the stick for 15 minutes. Mark the next point and that will create an east-west line.

You should always have an idea of overall geography in your head whenever you hike anywhere. For example, in Sierra Nevada, Bear knows that the desert is east of the mountains and that therefore his best bet is to head west.

Image from the programme

Dew collects on leaves and pine needles overnight, so if you're desperately in need of water, this can be a lifesaver.

If you are clever enough to successfully hunt food to cook, remember to dispose of leftovers, lest you attract any black bears in the area.

Image from the programme

The manzanita bush, which is indigenous to the Sierra Nevada, is a great food source in the wild. The Mono Indians collected their fruits, which they dried or used for drinks. If you come across the bush, chew the outer bit of the fruit then spit out the hard seeds. The fruit is high in vitamin C.

If you can't swim well but you need to cross a large body of water, you can use your trousers as a flotation device. Remove them, tie off the legs and fill them with air. Raise the trousers over your head in the water and they will act like a temporary life jacket.

Image from the programme
Just as rivers and streams are always a good way out of wilderness, glaciers are a good way out of mountains. If you follow them down they will lead you to the bottom.
Image from the programme
If you are threatened by large mammals and you don't have any weapons, then build a fire at night – they won't like it. If you are caught out, then surprise is your best defense. Sit quietly until they are approaching, then make a sudden commotion. Shout, flap your arms, use anything you can find to make a noise.

Mountain Survival Guide

Image from the programme
Always check local avalanche watches: the biggest threat to skiers is from avalanches. When in an avalanche risk area, carry a radio beacon or distress flare – it's the best way to ensure you are found. Only 50% of avalanche victims who are completely buried by snow are recovered alive.
Image from the programme
If you are alone and need to get down the mountain then read the snow. Push a ski pole deep into the snow. You are looking for weak layers of snow that lie underneath compacted layers. If the ski pole suddenly gives then you've hit a weak layer and skiing here is best avoided. If constant pressure is needed to push the pole in, you are probably safe.
Image from the programme
Just as rivers and streams are always a good way out of wilderness, glaciers are a good way out of mountains. If you follow them down they will lead you to the bottom.
Image from the programme
If you are threatened by large mammals and you don't have any weapons, then build a fire at night – they won't like it. If you are caught out, then surprise is your best defense. Sit quietly until they are approaching, then make a sudden commotion. Shout, flap your arms, use anything you can find to make a noise.

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