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Outdoor survival quiz

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By The The Tribune-Review
Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007

1. You're packing a survival kit to take into the woods. You've got matches in a waterproof container and a lighter, but want to take some fire starter, too. You could pack:

• A.) Dryer lint packed into a film canister

• B.) Cotton balls coated with Vaseline and sealed in a plastic bag

• C.) Pine cones covered in wax

• D.) All of the above

2. The number one outdoor danger is:

• A.) falls and slides

• B.) exposure to the weather

• C.) cuts and scrapes

• D.) snakebites

3. If you are lost in the woods, the best tool for signaling for help is:

• A.) Your firearm, fired three times in succession

• B.) Your voice

• C.) A whistle

• D.) A colorful bandanna

4. The human body is about 75 percent water. How much of that water can you lose before your life is in danger?

• A.) 5 percent

• B.) 10 percent

• C.) 25 percent

• D.) 35 percent

5. In a cold weather survival situation, which should you do?

• A.) Avoid overheating

• B.) Wear loose clothing

• C.) Keep clothing dry

• D.) All of the above

6. You're leaving home to spend a day exploring the local state forest for native brook trout streams. One thing you can do to help yourself before ever leaving home is:

• A.) Eat a banana for the extra energy it will give you

• B.) Update your will

• C.) Leave a note saying where you're going and when you expect to be back

• D.) Pack extra socks

7. It's easy to get dehydrated in warm weather, but it can happen in the cold, too. To prevent that, how much water should an adult drink per day?

• A.) 0.5 to 1 gallons

• B.) 1 to 2 gallons

• C.) 2 to 3 gallons

• D.) 3 to 4 gallons

8. You're walking through the woods when you inadvertently come between a mother black bear and her cubs. She charges you. What should you do?

• A.) Drop to the ground and play dead

• B.) Stand as tall as you can and shout and wave your arms

• C.) Turn and run; people can run faster than bears

• D.) Climb a tree

9. You and your hunting partner have become separated. You've called his name, but gotten no answer. Now, it's getting dark, snow is falling and you're miles from camp. What should you do?

• A.) Stop and make camp where you are

• B.) Keep on walking, hoping you'll find camp, your buddy or help

• C.) Retrace your route

• D.) Hike to camp, drive to town, and alert the local search and rescue

10. If you get lost in the woods, you'll need to find something to eat within:

• A.) 3 hours

• B.) 3 days

• C.) 3 weeks

• D.) 3 months

11. You've been in the woods all day tracking a deer when, with darkness approaching, you realize you're lost. You'll have to spend the night in the woods. Where should you set up your camp?

• A.) On top of a mountain

• B.) In a valley

• C.) Somewhere in between

• D.) At whichever spot is closest to water

12. In any survival situation, the most important thing to have is:

• A.) a positive attitude

• B.) a cell phone

• C.) a map and compass

• D.) a buddy to help you find water, shelter and food


1. The correct answer is D. All of those homemade fire starters will work and can keep you from having to search for dry tinder on a wet night, dark night.

2. The correct answer is A. You can be great with a map and compass, a master at finding water, and a sure shot, but one broken ankle can mean the difference between being able to walk the two miles back to camp or having to wait for help.

3. The correct answer is C. A rescuer has to be close to see a bandana and three shots fired together will be all but ignored at many times of day in hunting season. Your voice will fail faster than you think, too. It's much easier to blow on a whistle for long periods of time and the sound carries much further.

4. The correct answer is B. If you lose much more water than that -- even 15 percent of the body's total -- all kinds of bad things happen as your body begins to shut down.

5. The correct answer is D. If you overheat, your sweat will freeze next to your skin as soon as you stop moving, leaving you colder than before. Loose clothing traps warm air between layers, helping to keep you warm, and with most fabrics, dry clothes are always warmer than wet ones.

6. The correct answer is C. If you leave a game plan behind, rescuers know how long you've been missing and where to start looking for you.

7. The correct answer is A. Take a drink at regular intervals, too. By the time you feel thirsty, the process of dehydration has already started.

8. The correct answer is B. Playing dead might be your best bet with a grizzly, but with a black bear you want to stand your ground. They're likely to false charge and veer off at the last minute, especially if you make yourself look big.

9. The correct answer is A. Your partner could be lost, in camp, or already trying to lead rescuers to you. In any case, wandering around helps no one and can lead to exhaustion and more serious problems. Your priority is to survive the night.

10. The correct answer is C. A human being can survive three minutes without oxygen, three hours without warmth, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Finding something to eat does not have to be your top priority.

11. The correct answer is C. Cold air sinks, so the valley floor will be colder than anywhere else, perhaps by as much as 20 degrees. Warm air rises, but the mountaintop will potentially be exposed to high winds. By picking a spot in the middle, you escape the wind and still stay above the coldest air.

12. The correct answer is A. Survival experts agree that remaining mentally strong is the key to surviving any emergency. The will to live has kept people alive in situations much more desperate than yours, so never give up.

Score yourself:

So how did you do?

0-3 correct: Kiss the wife and kids goodbye before you head into the woods because if anything bad happens, you're toast.

4-6 correct: Better, but you're still more Pat Boone that Daniel Boone. Make sure your will is up to date.

7-9 correct: You're on the right track, but a little brushing up wouldn't hurt.

10-12 correct: Don't be surprised if the nimrods in camp want to tag along with you. You're their best hope of surviving.



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