Survival Tip #1 If you have water with you, drink it all immediately. There is a good chance you will be rescued before long so it is pointless being dehydrated. If you do run out of water, the trick to finding more in the wilderness is to remember that water always flows downhill. Find a hill and wait at the bottom. I read somewhere that if there is no water available, you can drink your own urine so I always take a two litre bottle of it wherever I go just in case. Survival Tip #2 Do not eat the bright purple mushrooms. Once while lost, I found and ate some bright purple mushrooms figuring such a friendly colour could not possibly be dangerous. A short time later, a beetle and I discussed the differences between the director's cut of Bladerunner and the cinematic release. Always remember that bark is an excellent source of nutrition and can be prepared simply by marinating overnight and cooking for twenty minutes in a preheated oven at 240 degrees celcius. Things that should not be eaten: Bright purple mushrooms Rocks Wasps Survival Tip #3 Building yourself a shelter is an integral part of survival. A small bungalow or cottage will be sufficient unless you have a lot of furniture. Always remember that when tiling a roof, it is important to use a rope and harness to avoid falling. If you do fall, land horizontally with your arms and legs stretched out to maximise surface area. Always check with your local council on required permits prior to building. Protect yourself from hungry animals by fortifying your shelter. A wall of no less than two metres with a lockable gate should be sufficient. Always build your wall out of non combustible materials as wild animals will often attempt to gain access by using fire. Befriend large animals such as bears to protect you from smaller ones. A bear can easily be mollified by running towards it yelling. Materials that are not suitable for building shelter with: Water Angry words Live ants Survival Tip #4 Building a fire without the use of matches or a lighter is a simple matter. Most forest fires are caused by lightning strikes so run a steel cable from the top of a tall tree to a pile of sticks and then be patient. Construct your fire under a group of trees and stack large piles of leaves around the edge to serve as wind breaks. Wolves are attracted to firelight but have a highly developed sense of smell and detest the odour of petrol so be sure to douse the surrounding area and yourself well. If you do not have petrol with you and wolves enter your campsite, curling up into a small ball and making a high pitched sound like a wounded bird will confuse and deter them. If you are being attacked by a wolf, do not accidently grab a snake to fight it off with. If you have emergency flares, taping several dozen to your legs and setting them off at the same time will allow you to hover above the wolves for several seconds, safe from their snapping jaws. Survival Tip #5 Having the appropriate clothing and medical equipment in preparation for any weather condition or emergency situation is the key to survival. If you are camping in a cool climate such as the Antarctic, make sure you take a scarf. Watching the movie Castaway will give you an idea of what items would be useful should you find yourself lost for several years and comes down to personal preference. If I was Tom Hanks, I would have taken several hundred cartons of cigarettes and a suitcase of pornography. I read somewhere about a guy who, while camping, cut his leg and as he was sleeping, a spider laid eggs in the wound. I would rather amputate my leg than have baby spiders hatching in it so a surgical grade bone saw is an essential component in any backpack. It is always better to preempt these things so any limbs that receive cuts, scratches or bites should be removed immediately. Survival Tip #6 Find some means of alerting rescuers to your whereabouts. If you are lost in a desert, writing a large SOS in the sand with your water is an effective means of drawing attention. If you are lost in a jungle, a simple two way radio can be constructed from kits available at any Tandy or RadioShack store. Waving your arms at passing rescue planes expends precious energy so it is better to dig a small hole, lay in it, cover yourself with leaves to keep warm and relax while you wait for them to find you. Use the time you are waiting to be rescued wisely. Sort your DVD collection into alphabetical order or fix that broken tap that you have been meaning to for months but did get around to because it would mean driving to the hardware store and buying a new rubber washer. Scrapbooking is apparently a fun and satisfying hobby. Having someone to talk to will help the time pass much more quickly. The last time I was lost and feeling lonely, I constructed company to talk to from mud. I called her Anne and after realising we had a lot in common, we fell in love. Sadly, she disappeared a few nights later during a rainstorm and though I searched desperately for her throughout the wilderness for many weeks, I eventually gave up hope and sought recluse from the outside world inside a dam where I lived for eight years with my pain and a family of angry beavers. Survival Tip #7 If you become bored while waiting to be rescued and decide to walk, it is helpful to have a map. As you have no way of knowing where you may become lost, a map of everywhere is required. Simply marking everywhere on the map you are not will pinpoint where you are. A simple compass can be constructed by rubbing a small round pebble up and down polyester slacks to generate static magneticity then floating the pebble in a small pool of water. The pebble will sometimes face north. Keeping a collection of pebbles in your pocket is also handy for when you come to a stream as you can use them as stepping stones. In case of deeper rivers, it is wise to carry a collection of larger rocks in your backpack at all times. If the river is still too deep, constructing a canoe can easily be accomplished by pouring a mixture of liquid polymer and setting agents into a precast mould.