The Basic Wilderness Survival Quiz

About this Quiz

You never know when your survival skills will be called on, which is why it's crucial to know what to do, should it ever happen! You'll need to know where to look for water, how to purify it, what plants you can and can't eat - and that's not even the half of it.

You might encounter dangerous wild animals, have to deal with an injury, and try and signal a plane for help. Do you think you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Test your knowledge with this quiz!

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1. You're officially lost! Breathe! Follow the S.T.O.P. concept: sit, think, observe, and...

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  1. Point
  2. Plan
  3. Pee
  4. Party
The S.T.O.P. concept was created to increase chances of survival in unexpected situations... like getting lost. The "P" stands for plan.
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2. You spot a low-flying airplane! How do you signal it?

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  1. Flash it with a shiny rock
  2. Fly up to it by lassoing some birds
  3. Dance like you're from the Caribbean
  4. Go hide
Wet rocks are great mirror material that can produce flashes of sunlight powerful enough to reach a low-flying plane.
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3. Thirsty? How long can you live without water?

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  1. 6 months
  2. A year
  3. 100 days
  4. 3 days
Because 60% of the body is water, we need it to keep functioning. Food, on the other hand, is another story. We can do without it for three weeks.
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4. To avoid dangerous animals:

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  1. Do not venture into deep water
  2. All of the above
  3. Watch where you step
  4. Stay away from caves
All of these tactics can keep you safe from all sorts of dangers! By following them you can avoid sharks, large predators, and also the small ones that could literally get under your skin.
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5. Danger! Always stay away from:

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  1. Wild onions
  2. Dandelions
  3. Currants
  4. Mushrooms
Mushrooms should be avoided unless identified by a professional. Cooking them won't necessarily help reduce risk. Even the fumes of poisonous ones can cause reactions.
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6. You've been separated from your group. Increase your chance of survival by:

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  1. Setting fire to the forest
  2. Doing jumping jacks
  3. Staying put and waiting
  4. Running all over the place looking for them
There's a much higher chance that someone will double back and check a location they've previously been at, than looking for you somewhere new. Stay put, and you have better chances of being found.
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7. You're lost in the desert after a sandstorm. Is your map useful?

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  1. No, because the wind can change the landscape
  2. Yes, because your map was drawn 100 years ago
  3. Yes, because you're an expert in desert terrains
  4. Yes, because sand never moves
The desert is a funny, ever-changing place. Maps which include dunes aren't the best because the wind often changes the landscape.
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8. Insect larvae are high in protein. Where can you find them?

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  1. Under rocks
  2. In the river
  3. Under a skunk's paws
  4. In the sky
Beetle larvae can provide much-needed protein when you are trying to survive. Try looking under rocks. You can also look for them near rotted wood.
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9. How do you react when you see this plant?

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  1. Stay clear at all costs
  2. Smell it
  3. Pick it, it would be perfect for a bouquet
  4. Gather a leaf sample for your collection
It's poison ivy! Stay clear. Poison ivy can cause very intense inflammation of the skin.
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10. Conserve water in the body by:

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  1. Staying in really hot environments
  2. Staying out of the sun
  3. Tanning
  4. Doing sprints
Water can evaporate from your body in different ways, one of which is when you're out in the sun. If your water supply is low, stay out of it.
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11. The all-important campfire. Which wood is best?

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  1. Gummy wood
  2. Wet wood
  3. Dry wood that is hard enough to burn slowly
  4. Resinous wood
Remember: woods that are too hard, too soft, too wet, too oily, too gummy, or too resinous will not produce fire. The wood should be soft enough to wear away, and hard enough to wear slowly. Try balsam fir, cottonwood roots, tamarack, European larch, red cedar, white cedar, Oregon cedar, basswood, cypress, and white pine.
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12. You're face to face with a bear! What do you do?

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  1. Avoid direct eye contact
  2. Pretend to be a porcupine
  3. Run towards it
  4. Run away
If you encounter a bear, do not look it in the eye! Also, back away slowly. Do not run!
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13. Sleeping directly on the ground can cause you to lose this...

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  1. Brain cells
  2. Teeth
  3. Hair
  4. Body heat
The ground siphons heat from the body and will continue to do so until you and the ground are both the same temperature -- which is normally about 20 degrees lower than what's ideal.
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14. You can usually tell whether a snake is venomous or not by the shape of its...

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  1. Pupils
  2. Eyebrows
  3. Taste buds
  4. Scales
Most poisonous snakes have pupils like a cat's. The non-venomous ones usually have round pupils.
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15. Can't eat a steak? Eating insects will provide your body with much-needed...

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  1. Protein
  2. Sugars
  3. Carbs
  4. Grains
It's true. There are quite a few insects that provide protein. They include beetles, crickets, mealworms, locusts, and more.
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16. How do you make sure that this river water is safe to drink?

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  1. Take it to a lab for tests
  2. Cast a spell on it
  3. Boil it
  4. All river water is safe
Boiling water is the best way to destroy all dangerous bacteria. This was once an extremely necessary precaution, as Typhoid fever was spread by contaminated water.
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17. Careful! Almonds in the wild contain this fatal poison...

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  1. Vitamin C
  2. Lactose
  3. Riboflavin
  4. Cyanide
Wild or bitter almonds contain fifty times more cyanide per kilogram than the sweet ones that we're used to eating. You can remove the cyanide by crushing and soaking them.
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18. Oh, no! A beehive! What's the best course of action?

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  1. Poke it
  2. Shake it to see if there's honey
  3. Leave it alone
  4. Get a group of friends to help you get it
Beehives may seem like a good source of food, but it's not worth it, especially if the bees are Africanized honey bees. This species reacts to disturbances faster than any other kind.
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19. In the wild, it's best to wait an entire work shift between meals. How many hours is that?

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  1. 8
  2. 2
  3. 72
  4. 48
There's no telling what you'll have to eat in the wild. Waiting 8 hours will allow you to see if what you just ingested will have any adverse side effects on your body.
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20. How do you know if you're suffering from heat stroke?

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  1. All of these
  2. Your heart is beating fast
  3. Your skin is flushed
  4. You're vomiting
All of these! When suffering from heat stroke, get to a cool place immediately. Take off any restrictive or excess clothing as well.
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21. You're on a deserted island and need to fish. Where should you start?

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  1. On the sand
  2. Next to a rip tide
  3. In the deep blue
  4. Near coral
Coral reefs are usually teeming with life. If you're looking for a good spot to fish, that's your best bet.
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22. Why isn't it ideal to build your shelter on the ground?

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  1. It's prone to flooding
  2. All of these
  3. Animals can easily get to you
  4. The ground can sometimes be cold
Besides worrying about bugs and other wild animals, the ground doesn't help when keeping body heat is concerned.
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23. You're getting hungry! Can you eat these bright green beetles?

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  1. Yes, all insects are delicious
  2. Yes, even if they're a little poisonous
  3. No, the bright color is a warning sign
  4. Yes, because these are actually ants
The brightness of a bug is usually a signal as to whether you can eat it or not. The brighter they are, the more dangerous when consumed.
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24. If you're out of sunscreen, which fruit product can you use as a substitute?

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  1. Coconut oil
  2. Water
  3. Cow dung
  4. Pineapple juice
Coconut oil is a natural protector against the sun. It has antioxidants that help protect against radiation.
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25. It's cold and starts to rain. What should you do immediately?

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  1. Look for shelter
  2. Take a shower
  3. Go to sleep
  4. Dance
Getting soaked while you're trying to survive is the last thing you want to do. Up your chances of survival by staying warm at all costs.
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26. Yes, you can eat acorns. First:

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  1. Toss them over your shoulder for good luck
  2. Say the magic words
  3. Soak them in water
  4. Nothing, just eat them
Soak them first! Acorns are naturally bitter because of the tannic acid. This acid can cause nausea and other digestive problems if it isn't removed.
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27. You see a snake! Is it venomous?

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  1. Yes, it's the rare unicorn flying snake
  2. Yes, it's an anaconda
  3. No, because this is just an illusion
  4. No, it's a garter snake
Garter snakes are relatively harmless when it comes to humans. They're one of the most common varieties in North America and are often kept as pets.
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28. This is a bow drill. It is a device that is used to...

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  1. Clean your body
  2. Start fires
  3. Mend holes in clothing
  4. Comb your hair
A bow drill uses wood and rope to create friction which makes a coal that can start a fire.
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29. In the wild, you won't find an oven, but you can still cook food on this...

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  1. Hot air
  2. Hot sand
  3. A spit
  4. Cold water
A spit can easily be made with sticks. You can use it to cook your food without you having to hold it over the flame.
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30. If you get lost in the winter, you're most at risk of:

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  1. Sunburn
  2. Hypothermia
  3. Dehydration
  4. Heat stroke
You're at risk of hypothermia when the body loses heat too quickly. Before dying from it, you'll experience disorientation, dizziness, and shivering.
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31. You've found a large clearing and want to call attention to planes. Spell SOS with:

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  1. Leaves
  2. Cement
  3. Rocks
  4. Curtains
Large rocks are perfect for spelling out SOS. They are easy to read and can act as reflective surfaces when wet.
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32. Which of these is important when building a shelter?

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  1. Location
  2. All of these
  3. Durability
  4. Safety
All of these are important when building a shelter. It must be safe, have a great location close to water, but be located far away from dangerous animals. It also must be able to withstand rough weather conditions.
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33. You're thirsty. Should you drink water from the ocean?

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  1. Yes, even if it's polluted
  2. Yes, the salt adds extra flavor
  3. No, it'll speed up the dehydration process
  4. Yes, it's perfectly safe to drink
Cats are one of the few mammals capable of processing saltwater the right way. If humans do so, it'll speed up dehydration.
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34. Altostratus and altocumulus clouds tell you that this dangerous system is coming:

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  1. A rainbow
  2. A stampede
  3. Goblins
  4. A storm
Altostratus clouds form ahead of rain and snow storms. Altocumulus clouds usually come before thunderstorms.
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35. It's a great idea to build your shelter near...

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  1. Nesting mother animals
  2. A water source
  3. Rough terrain
  4. Wild animal packs
Water is one of the key things you need to survive. So it makes sense to have easy access to a water source.
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36. Along with food and water, what's the most important thing to have in the wild?

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  1. Shelter
  2. Smelling good
  3. Not losing your voice
  4. Staying clean
Some may argue that shelter is the most important thing since it'll protect you from animals and the elements. Just be sure to pick an ideal spot.
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37. If you're building a raft, this material would be great to use for the base...

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  1. Bamboo
  2. Plastic
  3. Stones
  4. Clothing
Depending on your location, you can find bamboo pretty easily. Grab yourself a knife and some vines and you've got yourself a raft.
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38. The sun is shining! How can you tell what time it is?

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  1. It's probably 4pm
  2. Impossible without a pocket watch
  3. Impossible without a cellphone
  4. Follow your shadow to make a makeshift sundial!
You know that your body casts a different shadow as the day progresses. Our shadows are shortest around midday, and they get longer towards the beginning and end of the day.
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39. Going for a hike in the wild? Stay safe and take this super handy tool with you...

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  1. Tea leaves
  2. A folding chair
  3. A rainstick
  4. Knife
Knives are seriously underestimated. They can be used for protection, to hunt, cook, and cut wood to build a shelter.
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40. Test whether something is poisonous by doing a skin test. How exactly?

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  1. Have one of your buddies consume it
  2. Eat it
  3. Rub it all over your face
  4. Rub it on the back of your hand
Doing a skin test can be the difference between life and death when trying to survive. So make sure to always perform one, even if you're very hungry.
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41. Rivers are great roads! Find one when lost and follow it:

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  1. Upstream
  2. Downstream
  3. Wander around, you'll be found eventually
  4. You should never, ever follow a river
Most flowing rivers lead to a sea/ocean, which is a great food source. The coast is also a great place to wait/look for help.
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42. Ouch! You cut yourself on a rock. What's the first thing you should do?

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  1. Go swimming in piranha-infested water
  2. Cover it in mud
  3. Leave it alone
  4. Apply pressure to the wound
If you're ever cut, the first thing you should do is apply pressure to stop the blood loss. This could save your life in the wild.
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43. In the northern hemisphere, most moss grows on this side of a tree...

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  1. North
  2. Moss can't tell you directions
  3. Moss doesn't grow on trees
  4. Bottom
Knowing that moss grows on the north side of trees can help you with directions. But this is unique to the northern hemisphere.
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44. You should NOT eat an insect that...

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  1. Brightly colored
  2. Black
  3. Matte colored
  4. Brown
You should not eat any of these bugs, all for good reasons. You could either get sick or poisoned!
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45. Feeling a bit cold? What does NOT help?

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  1. Removing wet clothing
  2. Staying where you are and doing nothing
  3. Drinking warm beverages
  4. Getting warm
The last thing you need when you are hypothermic is to be in the cold. It's important to try to generate heat.
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46. When trying to survive in a group, you can ease everyone's minds if you:

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  1. Suggest that one of you needs to sacrifice your life
  2. Focus on what you have that you can work with
  3. Go off on your own and leave them to their demise
  4. Tell them that chances of survival are slim
Staying focused and keeping a positive mindset will get you very far in a survival situation. It'll help you make better decisions and avoid unnecessary risks.
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47. When fishing, stay away from:

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  1. All of these
  2. Moray eels
  3. Sharks
  4. Piranhas
All of these sea creatures are dangerous. Try to stick to normal-looking, smaller fish.
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48. You see low, dark, and swiftly moving clouds on the horizon. That means:

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  1. The sun is coming out
  2. Heavy fog is on the way
  3. That it's mating season
  4. Rain
Low, dark clouds mean that rain is coming and that you should seek immediate shelter (and probably start a fire).
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49. Lush vegetation and animal life are signals that this liquid is nearby...

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  1. Water
  2. Lava
  3. Coffee
  4. Juice
Plants and animals will always flourish in a place where there's water. If you come across an area like this, water is nearby.
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50. Can't find drinking water? It's a great idea to look...

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  1. Downhill
  2. Near dry, dusty areas
  3. In the sky
  4. In the ocean
Looking downhill is your best bet to find water because that's the direction it flows in.
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51. You've been stung by a scorpion!

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  1. It's definitely going to kill you
  2. It's a sign of good luck
  3. If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger
  4. It will be painful, but rarely causes an allergic reaction
If you're stung by a scorpion, put ice on the sting to reduce swelling. Scorpion stings rarely cause complications. In fact, fewer than 2% of scorpions are fatal to humans.
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52. How do you create an emergency smoke signal?

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  1. Only with oak leaves
  2. Producing 3 puffs of smoke
  3. Don't bother, no one will see it
  4. The smoke should smell like pine cones
You can make a smoke signal with a wet blanket. Throw the blanket over a camp fire and take it off again three times! The longer the puffs, the more urgent the emergency.
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53. You come face-to-face with a wild dog. What's your best bet?

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  1. Stay calm, avoid staring
  2. Distract it by singing
  3. Pretend to be a cat
  4. You can obviously outrun it!
Don't face a wild dog directly. Avoid eye contact, which dogs can perceive as a threat.
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54. Why should your emergency shelter be roughly the same size as you?

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  1. It will help insulate you during cold nights
  2. Because Boy Scouts do it that way
  3. So that bugs won't get in
  4. So no one else can share it
Creating an emergency shelter that is only slightly bigger than yourself helps preserve your body heat during colder nights, something that can make the difference between life and death.
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55. How should Laura cross this river?

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  1. By finding where the fish are swimming
  2. By diving right in
  3. By looking for the shallowest crossing point
  4. By taking off her shoes
Crossing a river at its shallowest point is nearly always your safest bet. Another tip? When crossing swiftly-flowing water, always face upstream.
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56. Is this fish safe to eat?

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  1. Yes, all fish are safe to eat
  2. No, many fish with spines are toxic
Many fish with spines are poisonous. You should also be wary of fish that live in shallow water, ones that have small gills, and ones with boxy bodies.
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57. In the middle of a lightning storm:

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  1. Crouch down in a low spot, away from trees
  2. Do a rain dance
  3. Climb up a tree
  4. Find running water
Lightning is attracted to tall things, like trees. Trees act as conduits, allowing lightning to travel from clouds to the earth. If caught outside in a lightning storm, avoid both trees and water!
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58. Pick the safest water source:

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  1. Flowing water
  2. Swamp water
  3. A puddle
  4. Ocean water
Flowing water is generally safer to drink than standing water, which is more likely to harbor dangerous bacteria. Stay away from salty water at all costs.
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59. When in doubt, should you eat berries or bugs?

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  1. Berries, especially red ones
  2. Bugs, many of them are high in protein
If you're not absolutely sure that you can identify a berry as safe to eat, stay away!
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60. Which of these will help you avoid hypothermia?

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  1. Jumping into a stream
  2. Eating ice cream
  3. Undressing yourself
  4. Drinking a sugary drink
Drinking something sugary can help keep up your body temperature! Another way to avoid hypothermia is to keep moving, so that your muscles stay warm.
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