‘Nip­ping out to buy milk? Take a knife, a de­fib­ril­la­tor, three chicken tikkas and a so­lar mi­crowave’

The Guardian - G2 - - Health - By John Crace

Ti­tle How to Stay Alive: The Ul­ti­mate Sur­vival Guide for Any Sit­u­a­tion Au­thor Bear Grylls

Pub­lisher Ban­tam

Price £20

The world is a dan­ger­ous place. More than 151,600 peo­ple die each day. You could be one of them if you don’t learn a few ba­sic sur­vival tips. Here are the rules on how to stay alive.

Never Leave the House With­out a 100kg Ber­gen Ruck­sack Thou­sands of peo­ple get lost in forests each year on what they thought was a sim­ple walk from their house to buy a car­ton of milk. Trav­el­ling with the right sup­plies can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death. I al­ways take a gal­lon of drink­ing wa­ter, a 12-inch knife, a de­fib­ril­la­tor, three Sains­bury’s heat-up chicken tikka masalas, and a so­lar­pow­ered mi­crowave oven.

Light­ing a Fire If you’re lost at night, you’re go­ing to need to keep warm. Don’t worry if you’ve run out of fire­lighters and kin­dling – there’s plenty of other com­bustible ma­te­rial around. Use Google maps to find the near­est branch of Kwik Fit, where you can be sure to find some old tyres. These burn a treat and the nox­ious black smoke will help guide a he­li­copter in to air­lift you out of Croydon.

Build­ing a Shel­ter Keep­ing dry in­creases your chances of sur­vival by 236%. If you are stuck in the snow, dig a hole and sit in it. When­ever I’ve been lost in the desert, I’ve found the best so­lu­tion is to book my­self into the near­est five-star ho­tel.

How to Com­mu­ni­cate You can try us­ing a mir­ror – I al­ways carry one to check I’m look­ing my best (Scout’s motto: Be Pre­pared to Be on TV). But to be hon­est, it’s prob­a­bly eas­i­est to give some­one a ring on your mo­bile.

How to Find Food You can eat al­most any­thing pro­vid­ing it’s not poi­sonous. The sim­plest way to tell if some­thing is ed­i­ble is to let the per­son you are trav­el­ling with try it first. If she gets vi­o­lent stom­ach cramps and starts vom­it­ing, it’s prob­a­bly a good idea to give it a miss.

How to Han­dle Your­self in a Fight Should you be at­tacked by a bloke who wants to kill you, ap­ply the krav maga sys­tem of self-de­fence honed by Priti Pa­tel’s friends in the Is­raeli mil­i­tary. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously stick your fin­gers in your as­sailant’s eyes, punch him in the throat and knee him in the groin. Once he is on the ground, take out your semi-au­to­matic ri­fle and shoot him through the chest.

How to Sur­vive Get­ting Lost First of all, don’t panic. Then walk back the way you came un­til you reach a land­mark you recog­nise. If you can’t re­mem­ber which way you’ve come, you prob­a­bly shouldn’t have been out in the first place. If all else fails, shout for help.

How to Land a Plane You’re on a com­mer­cial air­craft and both pi­lot and copi­lot are in­ca­pac­i­tated. First kick your way into the cock­pit, then ra­dio air traf­fic con­trol to let them know you’re go­ing to land this moth­er­fucker. Lose height as you come near the air­port, lower the un­der­car­riage and re­mem­ber to use the brakes when the wheels touch down. Yippee-ki-yay!

How to Sur­vive a Vol­canic Erup­tion An ac­tive vol­cano can be ex­tremely dan­ger­ous. If one starts to erupt, make sure you’re on the side where the molten lava isn’t. Oth­er­wise, be pre­pared to run at 1,000mph into the near­est lake or sea. Keep your sun­glasses on at all times be­cause the glare from the flames can cause tem­po­rary blind­ness.

How to Sur­vive Se­vere Trauma Imag­ine you’ve just jumped from 25,000ft, your para­chute didn’t open and you’ve bro­ken both your legs.

Then you find you’ve landed in a war­zone and some­one has shot a six­inch hole through your chest. This has hap­pened to me sev­eral times and you’ve got to think fast to stay alive. First, get out the de­fib­ril­la­tor to restart your heart, then reach in­side your body to sew up the aorta. Clamp the aper­ture with a squir­rel cut then chop down a cou­ple of trees to splint your legs. Then walk into the jun­gle, hop on top of the near­est ele­phant and tell it to take you to a hos­pi­tal.

How to Sur­vive a Bear At­tack Whether they are try­ing to get you to join the scouts, are on TV do­ing highly scripted Chal­lenge An­neka rou­tines with Barack Obama, or are grin­ning from posters try­ing to per­suade you to go on the Al­pha Course, there seems to be an epi­demic of Bears. They’ve even taken to re­cy­cling books they’ve al­ready writ­ten. There’s only one safe way of deal­ing with them: stay in­doors, turn out the lights, and sit in a cup­board.

Di­gested read, di­gested: The Bear ne­ces­si­ties.

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