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“If you risk nothing you gain nothing.�


CAMP COMMANDANT Hello Campers, My name is Bear Grylls. Bear with me, for I will tell you a bit more about myself. I am one of the well known faces of survival and outdoor adventures around the world. Trained from a young age in martial arts, I went on to spend 3 years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. I also became one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. I then starred in Discovery Channel’s Emmy nominated Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor TV series, which has become one of the most watched shows on the planet, reaching 1.2 billion viewers. Offscreen, I have lead record-breaking expeditions, from Antarctica to the Arctic, which in turn have raised over $2.5million for children around the world. In recognition for my expertise and service, I was appointed as the youngest ever Chief Scout to 28 million Scouts worldwide, was awarded an honorary commission as a LieutenantCommander in the Royal Navy, and I have authored 10 books Mud Sweat & Tears.


CAMP GRYLLS: WHAT YOUR MOTHER NEVER TAUGHT YOU Camp Grylls: WYMNTY is a survival academy which brings the ultimate in self-rescue skills, delivered by Bear Grylls’ handpicked team of highly trained experts. This is specially made for adolescents to young adults, between the ages of 18 to 23 years old. The courses and expeditions last for 2 to 10 days depending on your preferable choice and are available in over 5 different countries in 5 continents. Each country brings its own unique challenges and obstacles for you to conquer. Throughout the programme, participants will be taught Bear’s extreme survival techniques and tips. Camp Grylls aims to encourage the Millenial generation to interact with the nature as well as teach these young adventurers how to survive the wildnerness.



Build Your Temporary Home



SHELTER Sleeping in a survival shelter is always uncomfortable, normally barely warm enough and often claustrophobic. The main point of a shelter is to keep you warm and dry, allow you to get some sleep and temporarily protects you from the wild. Hence, you must consider: i. How much time and effort you need to build the shelter ii. It must contain material to make the type of shelter you need iii. It must be large enough and level enough for you to lie down comfortably iv. If the shelter will adequately protect you from the elements (sun, wind, rain, snow) You cannot ignore your strategic situation or your safety and also consider if the site: i. Is suitable for signaling, if necessary ii. Is free from insects, reptiles, and poisonous plants iii. Provides protection against wild animals and rocks and dead trees that might fall However, some of the problems that could arise are: i. Hilltops exposed to wind ii. Flash flood areas in foothills. iii. Avalanche or rockslide areas in mountainous terrain. iv. Sites near bodies of water that are below the high water mark.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Don’t get hung up on what kind of shelter to build. Anything that keeps you warm, dry, and protected is a good shelter, regardless of the design. 11

SHELTER CONSTRUCTION BASICS STEP 1: THE BED Build the bed first then the frame to allow more space for building the bed - one of the most common mistakes campers make is having a great shelter aroundtheir small bed but their feet is left sticking out. It is essential to create a distance between you and the ground (either by raising your bed or putting as much materials underneath it) to preserve your body heat.

If you have wood available, you can get yourself off the ground by starting with a layer of logs

Choose your materials for bedding carefully so as to not get into contact with poisonous plants such as poison ivy or anything that might attract insects and feast on the bedding. Also, poke long grass with a stick before reaching for materials with your bare hands to avoid a poisonous snake or spider.


The thicker the bedding, the better it is. You might want to have 15cm (6 inches of bedding (spruce boughs, leaves & grass etc) as they will flatten out the next day due to lying and rolling at night. Replacing your bedding on a daily basis is not a bad idea if you have the materials as there is a continued level of comfort and it satisfies the crucial and psychological aspect of survival.


A flat rough is very difficult to leak. The steeper, the better.

The gradient of the roof should be steep enough rain to slide off the surface easily. A piece of plastic cover, such as a tarp, should do the trick if the roof isn’t steep enough. An indication of a great shelter is that it can support your weight, which is not always necessary but encouraged to have. With that in mind, the roof should be strong enough to hold the weight of any insulation materials that is going to be used.


As insulation is essential in preserving the heat inside the shelter, insulating the roof and walls of the shelter is necessary - the thicker and fluffier, the better. As building a shelter is one of the most exhausting tasks outdoors, breaks of regular interval need to be taken. This is to allow yourself to be replenished with water and energy to carry on further.

The boughs of evergreen trees work well as roof insulation, as do plant fluff, grass, leaves, bark, moss and even the fur.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Build your shelter big enough that you fit comfortably in it without feeling claustrophobic, but to maximize your shelter’s heat retention, don’t make it so large that you have extra air space to keep warm.

STEP 3: WINDPROOFING & WATERPROOFING Windproofing and waterproofing a survival shelter is difficult, especially if you don’t have some sort of plastic sheeting. Increasing the gradient of the roof helps greatly, as does using any material you have available as shingles. 14

Shingling a Shelter: There are many ways to shingle a shelter, depending on the materials you have at hand.

To shingle a shelter, start at the bottom and apply each subsequent layer of rooďŹ ng material (bark works best by slightly overlapping the previous layer)

Large strips of birch bark can be very useful as rooďŹ ng

Always enclose your shelter to make it as windproof as possible 15

FIRE Keep Warm


FIRE Fire can fulfill many needs such as warmth and comfort, cooking and preserving food. It also provides warmth in the form of heated food that saves calories our body naturally uses to produce body heat. Fire can also be used to purify water, sterilize bandages, signal for rescue, provide protection from animals, and produce tools and weapons. Most importantly, it acts as a psychological encouragement by providing serenity and composure, and companionship. However, fire can also cause trouble as it can cause forest fires or destroy essential equipments. Apart from that, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when used in shelters.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Understanding the concept of the fire triangle is very important in accurately constructing and maintaining a fire. The three sides of the triangle represent air, heat, and fuel. If you remove any of these, the fire will go out. The correct ratio of these components is very important for a fire to burn at its greatest potential and the only way to learn this ratio is to practice. 18

SITE SELECTION & PREPARATION Look for a dry spot that: i. Is protected from the rain ii. Is suitably placed in relation to your shelter (if any) iii. Will concentrate the heat in the direction that you want iv. Has a supply of wood or other fuel available If you are in a wooded or brush-covered area, clear the brush and scrape the surface soil from the spot you have selected. Clear a circle at least 1 meter in diameter so the of fire spreading is low. If time permits, create a fire wall using logs or rocks. This wall will help to reflector direct the heat where you want it. It will also minimise flying sparks and cut down on the amount of wind blowing into the fire. However, you will need enough wind to keep the fire burning.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Do not use wet or porous rocks as they may explode when heated. 19


i. The small one that protects you from the elements (and that you may even keep inside your shelter) ii. The big, evident fire that acts as a signal for possible rescue (provided you have enough fuel to keep it going) Keeping a fire going can be quite a demanding task and the ability to keep it going depends on the amount of firewood available. You should never let your fire die out if you have enough wood. The trick is to maintain the big fire outside and then bring it inside when it rains or bedding down for the night.

If you can master the skill of making a small ďŹ re outside your shelter, you’ll keep the heat inside with you. It makes your survival experience more comfortable and comforting.

You need to consider the oxygen supply by keeping as much of it in your shelter and not let it get exposed to the chilly air. 20

Be careful not to make your fire in a shelter built against a rock with a big overhang. This is because the fire may heat the rock to the point where a large chunk of it may crack off and fall. Should you be in a similar situation (big overhanging rock), make sure there is at least 4 feet(1.2m) of distance between the top of your flames and the rock overhead.

Try to be wary of the fire in a cave as much as possible.

The likelihood of having a fire inside your shelter that might burn your shelter down is low but you still have to be wary of the fire. Your shelter may catch fire due to the huge flames and unbearable heat.

Driftwood makes for a great shelter but it may burn down the shelter if the fire inside is too huge.


MATERIALS NEEDED & FIRE BUILDING MATERIALS NEEDED i. Tinder (Dry / Flammable Materials) ii. Kindling (Grass / Bark / Twigs) iii. Fuel (Wood / Logs / Trees) Fluffy, dead and dry plant materials are your primary sources of tinder in the wild. Almost any kind of light and fluffy part of a plant (usually the seed pods and especially those that will blow easily in the wind) will ignite with a single spark. Besides that, fireweed, various grasses, cattails and a load of other plant species should do the trick. The key factor to having a good source of tinder is that it should be dry, thin, light and fluffy. Any other things of similar characteristics will work too. Damp tinder will lead to frustration and no fire. On top of that, dry leaves make for poor tinder as they need a fair a mount of heat to ignite.

TINDER STAGE 1 Find the lightest and fluffiest materials—fine, thin, wispy materials such as deadgrass, birch bark, Spanish moss or scraped cedar bark. These materials catch spark or ember best when formed into a bird’s nest-shaped bundle. After the bundle catches on fire, you can blow it until it glows and ignites.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU If you are travelling through an area that has a huge amount of dry tinder, gather it as much as possible so that it can sustain you throughout the whole fire burning process. 22

STAGE 2 Tinder in Stage 2 is slightly thicker and more solid than Stage 1. Materials in Stage 2 includes toothpick, bits of wood, pine needles or thinly peeled bark. These materials will take the flame you have created with your Stage 1 tinder, hold it a little longer and burn brighter.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU You can jump right to this stage if you are lighting your fire with matches or a lighter.

STAGE 3 Gather the smallest pieces of burnable material such as pencil-thick dead and dry twigs. These will take the secondary flame and hold it even longer than Stage 2 tinder. Even thought the flame looks solid, it is still not a fire.


Outer bamboo skin



Charred Cloth

Cotton Balls


Bird down (fine feathers)


KINDLING As soon as your Stage 3 tinder has caught, you can progress on to kindling. However, kindling is not as readily combustible as tinder so don’t use it until you have a distinct flame. In general, kindling consists of small twigs and sticks (dry) that are thin enough to burn easily but thick enough to last longer than a few seconds. You will slowly advance from twigs and sticks the thickness of a pencil to those that are as thick as your thumb. Also, kindling increases the fire’s temperature so that it will ignite less combustible material.


Small twigs

Split wood


FUEL When you get to the point where adding large pieces of wood to your fire is ok, advance up slowly in terms of thickness. Add on more pieces of wood so long as you have got a sufficient amount of fuel and a solid flame. When selecting wood for fuel, choose dead standing trees as they are way drier than anything else in the wild. Be sure to avoid wood that is on the ground as it will have absorbed a fair amount of moisture from the ground.


Animal fats

Dried grasses

Dried animal droppings



Stay Hydrated


WATER Water is the most important thing in a survival situation. You cannot live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water quickly through perspiration. More than three-fourths of your body is comprised of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion. Thus, you must replace the fluid your body loses in order for it to work effectively. Hence, obtaining an adequate supply of water is the main priority in a survival situation.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU After drinking questionable water, crush up some charcoal and place it in a rag. Strain water through the rag and drink the black liquid. It can prevent stomach upset. Also, make sure you use charcoal from non足poisonous wood sources. 29

FINDING WATER Regardless of your location, almost every environment has water present to some extent. Your ability to survive will mostly depend on your ability to find it. The more skilled you are at identifying indicators of nearby water, the better off you will be. The amount of water the human body needs to do well is much more than what you can get by licking dew off leaves or peeing in a hole and distilling the condensed water. If you are going to make it out of the wilderness alive, you have to urgently find a primary source of water.

LOCATING PRIMARY WATER SOURCES The best primary sources of water are those that flow, which include rivers, streams and creeks. Move on continuously to more stagnant water bodies if those are not available. The next best primary sources are lakes and ponds, accompanied with swamps, marshes, fens etc. To locate a primary source, it is best to study the topography of your surroundings as you need to have an understanding of the different indicators of water around you and react to them. As soon as you have found a water source, scan the shoreline or check upstream for contaminants such as dead animals. The higher the height of your source (mountain stream etc), the purer the water. In spite of that, the water may have contaminants that cannot be seen with the naked eye.


OTHER POSSIBLE SOURCES OF WATER At sea: * sea * rain Beach: * ground i. Follow birds ii. Track insects iii. Watch the sky iv. Walk downhill v. Follow animal trails vi. Observe changes in vegetation

WATER FROM PL ANTS & TREES Heavy dew can provide water. Tie rags or tufts of fine grass around your ankles and walk through dew-covered grass before sunrise. As the rags or grass tufts absorb the dew, wring the water into a container. Repeat the process until you have a supply of water or until the dew is gone. Bees or ants going into a hole in a tree may point to a water-filled hole. Siphon the water with plastic tubing or scoop it up with an improvised dipper. You can also stuff cloth in the hole to absorb the water and then wring it from the cloth. Water sometimes gathers in tree crotches or rock crevices. Use the above procedures to get the water. In dry areas, bird droppings around a crack in the rocks may indicate water in or near the crack. Green bamboo thickets are a wonderful source of fresh water. Water from green bamboo is clear and odourless. To get the water, bend a green bamboo stalk, tie it down, and cut off the top. The water will drip freely during the night. Old, cracked bamboo may contain water. Nevertheless, the water has to be purified before drinking. 31

Wherever you find banana or plantain trees, water is available. Cut down the tree, leaving about a 30cm stump, and scoop out the centre of the stump so that the hollow is bowl-shaped. Water from the roots will instantly start to fill the hollow. The first three fillings of water will be bitter but subsequent fillings will be eatable. The stump will supply water for up to four days but do not forget to cover it to keep out insects. Some tropical vines can give you water. Cut a notch in the vine as high as you can reach then cut the vine off close to the ground. Catch the dropping liquid in a container or in your mouth. You can get water from plants with moist pulpy centres. Cut off a section of the plant and squeeze or smash the pulp so that the moisture runs out. Catch the liquid in a container. Plant roots may provide water. Dig or pry the roots out of the ground, cut them into short pieces, and smash the pulp so that the moisture runs out. Catch the liquid in a container. Fleshy leaves, stems, or stalks, such as bamboo, contain water. Cut or notch the stalks at the base of a joint to drain out the liquid.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Do not drink the liquid if it is sticky, milky, or bitter tasting. The milk from green (unripe) coconuts is a good thirst quencher. However, the milk from mature coconuts contains an oil that acts as a laxative. So, drink it in moderation only.


WATER PURIFICATION Rainwater collected in clean containers or in plants is normally safe for drinking. Despite that, you still have to purify water from lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, streams. It is best to purify the water that you got from vegetation or from the ground by using iodine or chlorine or by boiling. Purifying methods: i. Using water purification tablets. (Follow the directions provided) ii. Placing 5 drops of 2 percent tincture of iodine in a canteen full of clear water. If the canteen is full of cloudy or cold water, use 10 drops. (Let the canteen of water stand for 30 minutes before drinking) iii. Boiling water for 1 minute at sea level, adding 1 minute for each additional 300 meters above sea level, or boil for 10 minutes no matter where you are.

Boiling your water is the safest and easiest way to get potable water. 33

By drinking nonpotable water you may contract diseases or swallow organisms that can harm you. Examples of such diseases or organisms are: i. Dysentery: Severe, prolonged diarrhea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness. ii. Cholera and typhoid: You may be susceptible to these diseases regardless of immunization. iii. Flukes: Stagnant, polluted water­—especially in tropical areas—often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease. iv. Leeches: If you swallow a leech, it can hook onto the throat passage or inside the nose. It will suck blood, create a wound, and move to another area. Each bleeding wound may become infected.


Don’t Get Poisoned.


FOOD Food is the second most important source of energy after water. Even in tough times in the wild, food will immediately be in your head, right after water. You must also remember that the three essentials of survival—water, food, and shelter—are prioritized according to the estimate of the actual situation. Not only must the estimate be at the right time, but it must also be accurate.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU The more food you eat, the more water your body needs for digestion. Thus, you should eat less food if you are short on water. Force yourself to be replenished every half hour if you are near a large source of fresh drinking water. This will help you fill up your stomach and keep your system flushed and clean. 37

THE EDIBILIT Y TEST The edibility test comes into place only if you have no other choice but to consume wild plants. Since this test requires a lot of time and effort (and maybe having a potential risk), ensure that there is an abundant amount of it to make the test worthwhile. However, do note that this test does not work with all poisonous plants. Steps to follow: i. Test only a single plant type at a time - don’t eat anything else during the test period.
 ii. Rub the plant on a sensitive part of your body such as your wrist; wait
45 minutes to an hour for signs of any adverse effects like nausea, hives, dizziness, or shortness of breath. iii. If there’s no negative effect, take a small part of the plant and prepare it the way you plan on eating it. iv. Before eating, touch a small part of the prepared plant to your outer lip to test for burning, tingling, or itching. v. If there is no reaction after five minutes, place the plant on your tongue. Hold it there for 15 minutes vi. If there is no reaction after 15 minutes, chew a very small amount for 15 minutes; observe for any adverse effect. Do not swallow. vii. If you still feel fine after chewing for 15 minutes, swallow it. viii. Wait eight hours. If you begin to notice any adverse effects, induce vomiting and drink as much water as possible. If there are no adverse effects, eat a small handful of the plant. ix. Wait another eight hours. If there are still no negative effects, you are likely safe.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU In almost all parts of the world most grasses are chewable. Do not swallow the grass itself, just chew it and swallow the juice. It is a good way to get some nutrients into your system. 38

CRITTERS & CREEPY CRAWLIES Sure, just the thought of eating bugs and insects can be downright gross and make you feel nauseous, but after a few days without food, you will get over the fear quite quickly. As gross and slimy as they look, bugs and insects are almost universally high in protein and they are fat, which make them more appetising. Besides that, insect larvae are also edible. To successfully eat critters, you should comply with a few rules: i. Get over your fear of the slimy and wriggly creature ii. Recognise these warning signs of creatures that are likely to be poisonous iii. Avoid those that * sting or bite * are very hairy * are brightly colour * give off a strong odour * move very slowly and out in the open * may carry diseases from parasites such as flies, mosquitoes and ticks



Tarantula Spider


Black widow spider

Although you should try your best to avoid poisonous creatures, there are some that you can eat, on condition that the dangerous bits are removed. Despite that, this should only be your last resort and you should have quite a fair bit of knowledge on making a poisonous creature as a source of food. If not, perform the edibility test.

GATHERING & CATCHING CRITTERS Many edible creatures such as frogs and snakes prefer damp and dark places like rotting logs and rock cracks. Ensure to inspect into one of these places before shoving your hand right into it. If you are close to a body of water such as a lake, you may see a dozen or more leeches swim by in a matter of minutes - scoop them out the river. They taste better when cooked, kind of like little anchovies.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Do not gather insects feeding on refuse, carrion or dung as they are likely to carry infection. Brightly coloured insects are also usually poisonous. 40

COOKING & PREPARING CRITTERS The safest way to eat critters is to cook them first as this kills the parasites, especially those with a hard outer shell. Firstly, get rid of as much waste as possible by removing intestines or squeezing out the waste (provided you know where the critter’s anus is) By submerging a worm in water for a few minutes, they will clean themselves out whereas grasshoppers can be cleaned by holding on to the head and the body with both hands and then pulling it apart.

FISH Fish is a marvelous source of survival food. Even though there are no poisonous fresh water fish, the skin of some saltwater fish is poisonous when eaten raw. Besides that, some species of tropical fish are also very poisonous. Again, if in doubt of the edibility, try out the edibility test on a fish that you suspect of being poisonous. Try to eat all part of the fish, as with any other creature in the wild. Having said that, do not eat fishes that appears to be spoiled (sunken eyes, strong odour, strange colour). If you become ill after eating what you suspect to be a rotten fish, either consume some charcoal or force yourself to vomit.


CATCHING FISH The most common method of fishing is the hook and line. All you need is some kind of basic cord or rope ( the thinner and transparent the better). If not, untangle a piece of clothing such as a sweater or unwind a piece of cord or rope to use the component threads. Use bait to increase your chances of hook and line. If your food supply is limited, using it as a bait will payoff as it might bring your a larger source of food. Insects, raw meat and worms are good bait. If bait is unavailable, try making lures. A lure that works can be anything that moves and thus catches the fish’s attention - a coin, a key, or anything shiny and small. Consider stringing a line across a body of water (tying it to a couple of trees or rocks) and attaching it to several other lines and batted hooks.

If you don’t have fish hooks with you, they’re easy to make  from bones and thorns; metal objects such as safety pins and  nails work too. Ironically, fish bones are great to make into  fish hooks because they are easily carved.

Fish traps are more complex than hook and line. The most common type of fish trap is typically as tick fence that helps to capture the fish or move them in the direction you want them to go. To make a simple trap, tie a series of sticks together with rope or cord. You can make one or more sections, depending on 42

your needs. Push the sections into the soil bottom of the waterway. Preferably, the fish will be channelled into an area where you can then spear or net them. Despite the fact that fish trapping is possible, it requires a lot of energy as it is a daunting task. It takes a long time to accomplish and you must have the necessary supplies Coincidentally, if you find yourself in an area where many fish gather in a small pool, consider making a barbed fish spear. Take a long piece of wood, no more than an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter. To be effective, you first have to shave the tip to a very sharp point. Carve a few barbs (curved upward) into the top of the stick to prevent a fish from sliding off after you spear it.

The barbed fishing spear is made from a long  piece of wood, no more than 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter. For the spear to  be effec­tive, you first have to whittle each tip  to a sharp point. 

Carving a few upward curving barbs into the  top of your spear will pre­vent the fish from  sliding off after you spear it.

If you have a net or can make one, you can either set it in or drag it through the water to catch fish and other creatures such as freshwater shrimp.


Another effective fishing method with a net—particularly in smaller bodies of water such as streams and creeks—is to build a border around the perimeter of the net, usually with sticks. Attach a series of ropes or cords around the edge of the net, all of which come together at a central point about a foot or two (30 to 60 cm) above the net. Attach another (lead) rope to these and drape it over a nearby branch. Hold the far end of the lead rope in your hands. Dangle the flat net in the water. When fish swim over the centre portion, quickly raise the net. Besides that, fishes are attracted to light at night. If you have a light source, point it at the water while using your primary fishing method.

Net fishing

Torch fishing can increase your possibility of catching fishes, because fishes are frequently  attracted to bright light. It also allows you to  see sleeping fishes. 


COOKING Boiling is the most effective way to cook food in a survival situation as many of the nutrients remain in the cooking liquid. Also, warm broth brings about some kind of comfort and warmth. Although boiled food can be pretty bland, it is better than having grilled or cooked food over an open fire, with many of the nutrients and fat dripped away. If you have no other alternative to boiling because you have no pot, spit cooking should work as a substitute. By skewering your meal on a green sapling and suspending it over a small fire. The hot coals of a fire work best here - high flames will only sear your meal without cooking the inside. Turn the spit regularly to cook the meat through. Another effective method is rock frying. Heat a couple of flat rocks in your fire, then place your food directly on the rocks to fry it.






Don’t Get Lost





NAVIGATE In a survival situation, having a compass and map with you will be considered as an advantage as you will most likely be able to move toward help. If you are not experienced in using a map and compass, you must take the steps to gain this skill. One of the many methods, where you can determine direction is by using the sun and the stars. However, it will give you only a general direction. You can come up with a more nearly true direction if you know the terrain of the territory or country.





WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Learn all you can about the territory you are in, particularly any distinguishable features or landmarks. With the information of the territory that you have along with the navigation methods, you can come up with fairly true directions to help you navigate. 48

TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS WEATHER & CLIMATE It is crucial to consider short-term weather vital. Most big weather—especially brutal weather­—comes and goes quickly. You can get hypothermia if you travel in the rain all day with poor rain gear.

CARRYING GEAR When you are on the move, you will most probably need to carry with you things that will sustain and/or keep you alive (survival kit). Try to carry as little equipments as possible with you. As you are needing both hands to do stuff such as moving obstacles, marking trails, prevent you from falling etc, it is best if you keep all your stuff in a backpack. This way you are free to do anything with both your hands. If you do not have a backpack with you, a makeshift bag will be a good substitute. All you need is a blanket or similar item and some rope. Make your carrier sturdy so that you can travel as fast and as far as possible. It would be tragic to arrive at your destination after a gruelling day of wilderness travel to find that you had lost your lighter because it fell out of your makeshift bag.

To construct a makeshift carry bag, lay all your equipment  out on a blanket or similar ground cover. 49

Roll up and tie as shown.



Using this method you can carry your supplies on your shoulder and have your hands relatively free.


WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU While you are traveling, look backward frequently to see where you have come from so that you can recognise that view if you have to return. Not much people do this but it is well worth the mere seconds it takes. 50

BASIC SURVIVAL NAVIGATION You are putting yourself at unnecessary risk if you go out into the will without basic navigation skills. It is best that you get some hands-on experience before venturing out into the wild.

THE MAP A topographical map can improve your chances of survival many times over only if you know how to use it and always protect it from damage. Before setting off, check the date of your map. Depending on its age, you may find that extreme changes may occur on the features over time and the place that you are at may be a totally new place that is not marked on the map (eg river formation). Make sure that you can interpret the map’s symbols and identify major terrain features. To correctly use any map, you first need to establish it. It simply means that a map is established when it is placed flat on a horizontal surface and its north and south markings correlate with north and south on your compass (or at least with your understanding of where north, south, east, and west lie). If you are not sure where north is, you can still establish the map using terrain link. To do this, you must know your approximate location on the map. Seek out the major terrain features in your vicinity such as hilltops, valleys and ridges and identify them on the map. This is more difficult in “close” places such as the jungle and the forest, so you may need to wait until you reach something more easily identified. Some topographic maps also mark different types of vegetation which may help you to determine your location.

THE COMPASS As simple as a compass seems, it is a predominant instrument that will help you find your way around in the wild or help you find your way out of the wild. It is therefore crucial to your survival. If you can comfortably and effectively use a 51

compass, you can stand in the middle of nowhere, pick a destination off in the distance and be confi­dent that no matter how many obstacles lie in your path, you will get there.

MAKING IMPROVISED COMPASSES USING THE SUN AND SHADOWS The earth’s relationship to the sun can help you to determine direction on earth as the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. With practice, you can use shadows to determine both the direction and time of the day, with the help of the Shadow-Tip method and Watch method. Shadow-Tip methods: i. Find a straight stick 1 metre long and a level spot free of brush where the stick will cast a clear shadow. ii. Place the stick or branch in the ground at a level mark where it will cast a distinguishable shadow. Mark the shadow’s tip with a stone, twig or other methods. This first shadow mark is always west - everywhere on earth. iii. Wait 10 to 15 minutes until the shadow tip moves a few centimetres. Mark the shadow tip’s new position in the same way as the first. iv. Draw a straight line through the two marks to acquire an approximate east-west line. v. Stand with the first mark (west) to your left and the second mark to your right - you are now facing north. This fact is true everywhere on earth. An alternate technique is more accurate but requires more time. Set up your shadow stick and mark the first shadow in the morning. Use a piece of string to draw a clean arc through this mark and around the stick. At noon, the shadow will shrink and disappear and it will lengthen again and at the point where it touches the arc, make a second mark. Draw a line through the two marks to get an accurate east-west line.


Watch method: Despite the fact that the Watch method can be inaccurate by as much as 24 degrees and does not work everywhere on the planet, a watch can sometimes be used as an alternative compass. If your watch is digital, draw a watch (with hands) on a circle of paper with the correct time on it and use the following method to determine your direction. This method should be used during standard time - in daylight saving time, the north/south line is found between the hour hand and 1 o’clock. If it is before noon, use halfway to the right side of the hour hand - if it is after noon, use halfway to the left of the hour hand. In the south temperate zone (the area between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle), point 12 o’clock toward the sun. Halfway between the 12 o’clock position and the hour hand will be a north line. During day­light saving time, the north line lies midway between the hour hand and 1 o’clock. Note that this method becomes less accurate the nearer you are to the equator.

NAVIGATE USING NATURAL FEATURES USING THE WEATHER You cannot just rely on one sign. Preferably, use as many as you can in combination to minimise the risk of making a mistake. The growth of certain trees, called flag trees, is largely affected by wind patterns. The branches of these trees (such as white pine) will not grow into the wind but rather in the same direction as the prevailing wind. Flag trees generally point either east or west, but this is subject to regional variation. Moss tends to grow on the north side of trees because there is less sunlight. However, that does not mean you will not find moss on the south side of a tree or even all around the trunk. Again, it is best to look for such signs in combination.


USING THE MOON Because the moon has no light of its own, we can only see it when it reflects the sun’s light. As it orbits the earth on its 28-day cycle, the shape of the reflected light differs according to its position. We say there is a new moon or no moon when it is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. Then, as it moves away from the earth’s shadow, it begins to reflect light from its right side and waxes to become a full moon before waning, or losing shape, to appear as a sliver on the left side. You can use this information to identify direction. If the moon rises before the sun has set, the illuminated side will be the west. If the moon rises after midnight, the illuminated side will be the east. This obvious discovery provides us with a rough east-west reference during the night.

USING THE STARS Your location in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere determines which constellation you use to determine your north or south direction.

The Northern Sky

The main constellations to learn are the Ursa Major, also known as the Big Dipper or the Plow, and Cassiopeia. Neither of these constellations ever sets. They are always visible on a clear night. Use them to locate Polaris, also known as the polestar or the North Star. The North Star forms part of the Little Dipper handle and can be confused with the Big Dipper. Prevent confusion by using both the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia together. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia are always directly opposite each other and rotate counterclockwise around Polaris, with Polaris in the center. The Big Dipper is a seven star constellation in the shape of a dipper. The two stars forming the outer lip of this dipper are the “pointer stars” because they point to the North Star. Mentally draw a line from the outer bottom star to the outer top star of the Big Dipper’s bucket. Extend this line about five times the distance between the pointer stars. You will find the North Star along this line. Cassiopeia has five stars that form a shape like a “W” on its side. The North Star is straight out from Cassiopeia’s center star. After locating the North Star, locate the North Pole or true north by drawing an imaginary line directly to the earth. 54

The Southern Sky

Because there is no star bright enough to be easily recognized near the south celestial pole, a constellation known as the Southern Cross is used as a signpost to the South. The Southern Cross or Crux has five stars. Its four brightest stars form a cross that tilts to one side. The two stars that make up the cross's long axis are the pointer stars. To determine south, imagine a distance five times the distance between These stars and the point where this imaginary line ends is in the general direction of south. Look down to the horizon from this imaginary point and select a landmark to steer by. In a static survival situation, you can fix this location in daylight if you drive stakes in the ground at night to point the way.


Knot Your Way Out

KNOTS Knowing how to tie knots is a useful skill. Different knots are used for different purposes and you should learn how to tie a few basic knots. A good knot holds but is easy to open if required and a good knot does not have to be complicated. Just use the simplest one good enough for the job.

WH AT YOUR MOTHER NE VER TOLD YOU Sometimes, it is important to be able to open the knot even if there is a heavy load on the line It also helps to learn the difference of the wrong way to do it and the right way to do it. 58


* Alpine Butterfly Loop * Bowline Loop * Figure Eight Loop


* Half Hitch * Timber Hitch * Trucker’s Hitch

BEND * Sheet Bend


ALPINE BUTTERFLY LOOP The Alpine Butterfly Loop provides a secure loop in the middle of a piece of rope. Strain can be applied from the loop to either end or between two ends. i. Wrap the rope around your hand twice. ii. At the end of turn one, position the rope close to your fingertips. iii. Continue around and complete turn two back near your thumb. iv. Pick up the turn near your fingertips. v. Wrap it around the other two turns. vi. Slide the knot off your hand and tighten by pulling on the loop and the ends.















USES It is useful anytime a secure loop is required in the middle of a rope. A good example is when a line of hikers wish to hook on along the length of a shared rope. Can also be used to secure a bight in a line to a carabiner. Could be used for hoisting or lowering equipment where both ends of the line are attended to keep the load away from the face of a wall. * * * *

easy to tie can be tied quickly can be tied without access to the ends of a rope will take a load in any of the three directions (independently or together)

BOWLINE LOOP The Bowline Loop makes a secure loop in the end of a place of rope. It can be used to secure a line to a ring or post. When there is no strain it can be easily undone. i. Form a small loop leaving enough rope for the desired loop size. ii. Pass the end of the rope through the loop as though making an overhead knot. iii. Continue around the standing end and then back through the small loop.









USES The Bowline Loop makes a reasonably secure loop in the end of a piece of rope. It has many uses for example, to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post. Under load, it does not slip or bind. With no load it can be untied easily. Two bowlines can be linked together to join two ropes. Its principal shortcoming is that it cannot be tied, or untied, when there is a load on the standing end. Thus, it should be avoided when, for example, a mooring line may have to be released under load.


* * * * * * * *

easily untied never slips nor jam easy to tie and untie will not slip under load has a high breaking strength the more pressure applied, the stronger the knot if you use this knot to carry an injured person, you must use a stop knot you can use it for tying two ropes of different sized together with one knot on each line

FIGURE 8 LOOP The Figure 8 Loop is a stopper know - it prevents the end of a rope sliding through a pulley or it can be used to add security to another know. It is also relatively easy to undo. i. Pass the tail over to form a loop. ii. Continue under and around the standing end. iii. Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop.






USES The Figure 8 Loop provides a quick and convenient stopper knot to prevent a line sliding out of sight (eg up inside the mast). Its virtue is that even after it has been jammed tightly against a block, it does not bind - it can be undone easily. The figure 8 can fall undone and then has to be retied * * * * *

secure easily tied easy to spot if tied incorrectly cannot be tied with a load on it A half hitch can be tied around the standing part to make the knot more secure * very useful knot for climbing (e.g. attaching your safety rope to your harness) as you can see at a glance if the knot is tied correctly


HALF HITCH The Half Hitch is tied round an object and back to itself. i. Form a loop around the object. ii. Pass the end around the standing end and through the loop. iii. Tighten into a Half Hitch, designed to take a load on the standing end. iv. Add a second Half Hitch to make the knot secure.











USES Half Hitch is described as “tied with one end of a rope being passed around an object and secured to its own standing part with a Single Hitch.” Although two Half Hitches do make a complete “Hitch”, it is better to begin by first passing the rope around the post or bollard a second time to make the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches. This is more secure and provides easier control of the load while tying the Half Hitches.


TIMBER HITCH The Timber Hitch provides a strong temporary attachment to cargo or to a log or spar and can be used to tow a log or spar either afloat on land. A great merit is that when the load or release, the knot almost fails undone. i. Pass the end of the rope around the pole and then around the standing end. ii. Wrap the end around itself three times and tighten the knot so that the three turns are gripped against the pole.











USES The Timber Hitch is described as much used for handling cargo “...for which

it is very convenient, as it practically falls apart when pull ceases.� It is also useful when towing a spar or log either afloat or on land. When used for this purpose, the Timber Hitch is often placed near the centre of the spar and a separate Half Hitch is dropped over the end of the spar to act as a guide.


* quick to tie * never jams * easy to untie

* only secure when under load * used together with one or more Half Hitches (Killick Hitch) it can be used to drag or hoist a cylindrical object.

TRUCKER’S HITCH The Trucker’s Hitch is used to secure a load or a tarpaulin down to a hook or other fixed point. It provides a three to one purchase which makes it easier to tighten the rope and reduces the strain on the final knot. i. Form a bight in the standing end and use it to tie a directional Figure 8 knot. ii. Pass the tail round the hook below through the Directional Figure 8 Loop and pull tight iii. Complete the knot with 2 Half Hitches below the loop.














USES The Trucker’s Hitch has the distinctive feature of providing a mechanical

advantage when being tightened. The variety of names for this hitch is a tribute to its widespread use. It is a valuable knot - particularly for securing loads or tarpaulins. * * * *

acts as a lever only secure when under constrain can also be used as an emergency tackle (with care) comes undone as soon as the strain is released · can cause sever chafe on a rope if the knot is used repeatedly in the same place on the rope.

SHEET BEND The Sheet Bend joins two ropes of unequal size but also works well if the ropes are of the same size. It has to be tied with both ends loose in your hands with no load on the ropes. i. Form a loop in the thicker rope and hold it in one hand. ii. Pass the thinner rope through the loop and behind the tail and standing ends in that order. iii. Finally, tuck the smaller rope under itself to finish the knot. iv. The Double Sheet Bend uses a second turn around the thicker rope. It is recommended when there is a great difference in the diameters of the two ropes.









USES The Sheet Bend is recommended for joining two ropes of unequal size. The thicker rope must be used for the simple bight as shown. It works equally well if the ropes are of the same size. Double Sheet Bend: When the ropes are markedly different in size, the tail of the smaller rope can be taken twice round the bight in the larger rope to create the double sheet bend. * very fast to tie * easily untie * it will not slip under load 73

* * * *

the more pressure applied, the stronger the knot useful when joining two ropes of different diameters when slipped, it is one of the easiest bends to work with if the ropes are of quite different diameters (e.g. a very large and a small rope together) then you will be better off tying a Double Sheet Bend. * if you have done the knot correctly the two ends should be on the same side of the knot * the running parts should be left long because there is some initial slip in the knot when the knot is first brought under tension






Camp Grylls Survival Guide  

A guidebook on how to survive in the wild with Camp Grylls

Camp Grylls Survival Guide  

A guidebook on how to survive in the wild with Camp Grylls