Would you Survive?

Your survival IQ

1. (b) Panic is your greatest danger, Keep cool. As Uncas might say, you’re not lost: the wigwam is lost.

2. ( c) stay with the plane. It’s large and might be spotted by air searchers. Leave it, even if only for a short trip, and you might not be able to find your way back.

3. ( c) Put on a hat! Improvise something if you don’t have one. Cover your neck and ears as well. Most loss of body heat is from the bare head and hands.

4. (b) Perspiring can be fatal in extreme cold; you’ll freeze faster. Wear just enough to keep feeling slightly chilly.

5. (a) Best is to yell three times at five-second intervals. Three is the international distress signal. The first shout will attract the searcher’s attention; the others will enable him to determine your location.

6. (a) Signal with the mirror in your compact or any other shiny surface. Hold the reflector flat toward the plane and tilt it back and forth slightly so the pilot will see it flash.

7. (c ) Mink may make a nice coat, but it’s one of the few wild animals that will attack unprovoked. A mountain lion will run immediately, as will a bobcat.

8. ( A) Faint. Or play dead. The bear may come up and smell you, but that’s all. If you run, it will chase you.

9. ( c) Ignore Them! Wolves are not usually aggressive unless rabid, threatened or injured. So don’t threaten them! And if their rabid, there’s not much you can do. Fire will attract them.

10. (b) You can survive for weeks without food but only eight days without water. Your body is 80 percent water. You’re body needs three quarts a day to avoid dehydration.

11. Two correct answers: ( c) Eat snakes, and insects, if you can; they’re nourishing food. However, you might find (b) tree bark, more palatable—the white-and-green inner bark of evergreens, birches and willows.

12. (c ) The porcupine was once called the “woodman’s friend” because it is the only wild animal a starving woodsman can run down and immobilize with a stick.

13. (a) Poisonous snake bite is statistically the least likely outdoor accident.

14. (c ) Ignore your tormentors. Let them bite and don’t scratch if you have the will power not to. The mosquito injects an anticoagulant in order to suck blood through its tiny capillary stinger, then takes back most of this substance during its meal. Since the anticoagulant causes most of the irritation, it’s best not to keep interrupting the mosquitoes.

15. (b ) Under the snow. Bury yourself in it. The temperature there isn’t much lower than 32 degrees, and the snow blanket acts as an insulator.

16. (c ) You must shield your eyes even when the snow fields are cloudy. Snow-blindness gives no warning; it occurs about six hours after exposure to intense light. To protect yourself, make a face mask from a handkerchief or a piece of cloth with two very small slits you can peek though.

17. Lighting often strikes a tall, isolated object, such as a tree, building or person in an open field. It also prefers a very high tree in a forest. The safest place is (b) among the short forest trees growing in the lowest ground.

18. Frostbite means your nose is frozen. By no means rub yourself with snow. Treat the affected part gently, and (a ) defrost it by holding your cupped hand over it. You’ll know it’s thawing when it begins hurting.

19. The Scotch will not help your water supply. Soft drinks might sound like the answer, but according to nutritional authorities, the sugar (sometimes caffeine) they contain will cause you to burn up energy much too fast. (b ) Drink the beer, but drink it sparingly.

20. Moss grows on the north side of trees, but can you tell moss from lichen? (b) Use the sun’s shadow. Push a foot-long stick vertically into the ground and make a mark at the tip of its shadow. Wait a half-hour and make another mark at the shadow’s tip. A line drawn from the second mark to the first will point approximately west.

21. Foaming at the mouth is not a symptom of rabies, but of fits or distemper, and a rabid animal seldom if ever howls. But (a) if it shows no fear of you, although it certainly has scented you, then be careful. Don’t attract its attention by moving; avoid it even if you have to climb a tree.

22. Sharks are unpredictable. Usually the scent of blood is what draws their attention, but sometimes they’ll attack without it. Occasionally it’s possible to scare them away by kicking, but skin-divers (who should know) swear by (c ) putting their heads under the water and yelling.

23. Not savory, but it means survival: ( c) drink the blood of sea birds—they will come down and peck at a fish line in the water with almost anything shiny on its hook.

24. The idea is to conserve all the body moisture possible, so (a) sit in the shade of the plane and remain motionless to keep from perspiring, and keep your clothes on. Also: no unnecessary chatter; breath though the mouth wastes moisture, too.