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Prepare for an emergency with ‘Survive’

Guide gives realistic view of how to cope in the wilderness

SHARE Prepare for an emergency with ‘Survive’

"SURVIVE!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere — Alive," by Les Stroud, Collins, 373 pages, $19.95

For outdoors-happy Utahns, there's a gritty realism they need to understand: An emergency can strike when they're mountain climbing, canoeing, hiking, fishing, hunting or enjoying any of the activities Utah's backcountry affords.

And calling 911 might not get them the help they need.

So, the trick is to be prepared. And to prepare, look no further than "Survive!" a new paperback by Les Stroud, host of Discovery Channel's "Survivorman."

Stroud compiled his survival tactics and had them peer-reviewed by other survival experts to give readers a realistic view of what they could face if stranded in the wilderness.

His personal experiences of surviving in extreme locations as the Kalahari Desert, on a raft in the ocean, in the forests of Ontario, Canada, in the Arctic tundra and in jungles are sprinkled throughout the book as real-life examples of what works and what doesn't when you have to survive.

"Survival is not fun. It's not pretty. It's never comfortable," he writes. "It may involve eating gross things, enduring pain and deprivation, and battling fatigue and loneliness. It may involve danger. It's about life or death. If you want to learn how to survive, read on ... "

And Stroud is quick to point out that he doesn't always have a MacGuyver-like perfection to get out of jams, but he's learned a lot since he was on his first wilderness survival course at age 25.

Lessons learned include developing mental toughness, where to find water and how fire can protect, warm and comfort you.

He even includes a few spare pages at the back of the book labeled "fire starter."

And, of course, the caution that preparation is everything, and that it can mean life or death.

The first step, then, is reading Stroud's book.

E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com