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Wilderness Survival For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-45306-3
486 pages
July 2009
Wilderness Survival For Dummies (0470453060) cover image


Your one-stop guide to surviving and enjoying the Great Outdoors

Want to know how to stay alive in extreme situations? This practical, accurate guide gives you all the expert, field-tested tools and techniques you need to survive. Whether you find yourself lost in the woods, adrift on a life raft, bitten by a snake, or needing shelter in cold weather, this hands-on resource teaches you how to stay safe (and sane), find rescue, and live to tell the tale!

  • Know the basics of survival — perform life-saving first aid, make fire and shelter, and find water and food
  • Manage your emotions — cope with panic and anger, get the "survivor's attitude," and foster cooperation and hope with others

  • Increase your chances of rescue — signal for help and navigate using a compass or the sky

  • Practice expert survival methods — tie essential knots, craft your own weapons and tools, and make natural remedies

  • Gain wisdom for water emergencies — stay afloat when your ship or boat sinks, avoid dehydration and starvation, and make it to shore

Open the book and find:

  • Common survival scenarios you may encounter
  • Tried-and-tested advice for individuals or groups

  • The items you need to stay alive

  • Basic orientation skills

  • Ways to keep warm or cool

  • The best methods for building a fire in any environment

  • What you can (and can't) eat and drink in the wild

  • True stories of survival

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Stayin’ Alive: Basic Wilderness Survival Principles 7

Chapter 1: Surviving the Wilderness 9

Chapter 2: Preparing Yourself for a Survival Situation 19

Chapter 3: The Psychology of Survival: Gaining the Upper Hand 33

Chapter 4: Survival Style: Keeping Warm or Cool 45

Chapter 5: Making Fire in the Wilderness 63

Chapter 6: Home, Sweet Hut: Survival Shelters 75

Chapter 7: Liquid Capital: Finding Drinking Water 87

Chapter 8: Gathering and Hunting to Stay Alive in the Wilderness 105

Part II: Eyeing Advanced Survival Techniques 141

Chapter 9: Finding Your Way with Tools: Basic Wilderness Navigation 143

Chapter 10: Looking Up to the Skies: Celestial Navigation 167

Chapter 11: Trekking over Land 177

Chapter 12: Signaling for Rescue 195

Chapter 13: Administering First Aid 219

Chapter 14: Survive or Thrive? Advanced Methods and Tools 249

Part III: Surviving in Extreme Land Environments 269

Chapter 15: Special Considerations for Forests and Jungles 271

Chapter 16: The Big Chill: Enduring in Snowy Places 289

Chapter 17: Staying Alive under the Sun 313

Part IV: Surviving on the Seas, Oceans, and Great Lakes 337

Chapter 18: Staying Afloat and Warm 339

Chapter 19: The Great Drift: Aboard Life Rafts and Disabled Vessels 357

Chapter 20: Food and Drink at Sea 373

Chapter 21: Emergency Travel and Navigation at Sea 397

Chapter 22: First Aid on the Water 413

Part V: The Part of Tens 423

Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Practice Wilderness Survival Skills 425

Chapter 24: Ten Quick Escapes 433

Index 441

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Author Information

John Haslett is a veteran expedition leader and adventure writer whose articles have been featured in National Geographic Adventure.

Cameron M. Smith is an archaeologist at Portland State University. He has traveled the world's wildernesses in some of the most unreasonable ways imaginable.

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Press Release

September 01, 2009
Going on an Outdoor Excursion? Remember to Pack WILDERNESS SURVIVAL FOR DUMMIESŪ.

People just can't get enough of extreme reality. Whether they're stepping away from Wall Street or Main Street to don a neoprene dry suit and brave the glacial rapids of Alaska's mighty Matanuska River, slathering on the Deep Woods Off and loading their pack for an off-the-grid solo hike, or conjuring up their inner Magellan to chart the open waters at sea, people are looking for adventure!

This summer, the trusty yellow-and-black reference series published a one-stop shop for advice on how to survive and enjoy "the great outdoors.” In Wilderness Survival For Dummies® (Wiley, 978-0-470-45306-3, July 2009), field experts John F. Haslett and Cameron M. Smith, PhD, teach readers how to navigate using both a compass and the sky, forage for food, create and use a solar still, and much more. From building a campfire to signaling for help and identifying edible plants and insects, readers can find loads of practical information on living in the wild.

Veteran expedition leader and adventure writer John Haslett has spent decades catching unpleasant tropical diseases, explaining himself to local authorities, and fleeing from various misguided animals. In the 1990s, with the help of an isolated community of Ecuadorian mariners, John built four 30,000-pound wooden rafts and then voyaged on the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of days!

Coauthor Cameron M. Smith’s mountaineering, sailing, archaeological, and icecap expeditions have taken him to Africa, South America, arctic Alaska, Canada, and Iceland. In 2004, he made the first solo winter ski crossing of Iceland’s storm-lashed Vatnajokull icecap, an expedition televised on the National Geographic Channel. He is currently documenting arctic Alaska by trekking on, piloting a paraglider over, and scuba diving beneath the sea ice. A Life Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Explorers Club, and a member of the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments, Cameron is currently writing a narrative of his Iceland expeditions and preparing for balloon exploration of the stratosphere as well as another Pacific expedition with John Haslett. You can track his expedition at www.cameronmsmith.com.

About For Dummies®

With near universal name recognition, more than 200 million copies printed, and over 1,400 topics, For Dummies is the world’s bestselling reference series. With loyal customers around the globe, For Dummies enriches people’s lives by making knowledge accessible in a fun and easy way. Described by the New York Times as “more than a publishing phenomenon, but a sign of the times,” For Dummies span every section of the bookstore, covering everything from health to history, music to math, sports to self-help, technology to travel, and more. The For Dummies brand has expanded into new products and categories with an extensive licensed product line, including fitness and hobby DVDs, grilling kits, business software, cleaning products, automotive kits, craft kits, and apparel. For more information, visit Dummies.com. For Dummies is a branded imprint of Wiley.

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