Survival

Cover Your Ass

WITH WALL STREET FIRMS using rock climbing and big-wave surfing to hawk banking services, it's little surprise that health-insurance companies have repositioned their offerings for the...

The Life That Almost Wasn't

IT'S A STRANGE THING, WHEN YOU LOOK BACK on a life-threatening catastrophe: Survival, it turns out, is what you can least control. The sheer physical resilience, the miraculous luck that keeps...

Do It Our Way

The day starts like every other, black and silent except for the chorus of tinny watch alarms. They're faint enough to ignore, like telephones ringing inside locked houses, but somewhere in the...

I Will Survive

Out of the Void Coombs vs. the Avalanche In June 1992, Colby Coombs was a 25-year-old National Outdoor Leadership School instructor on vacation in...

A Leg to Stand On

William Jeracki probably understands Aron Ralston's ordeal better than most. On October 6, 1993, Jeracki, a 38-year-old anesthetist from Conifer, Colorado, was fishing alone on a small creek...

Trapped

"IT'S 3:05 ON SUNDAY. This marks my 24-hour mark of being stuck in Blue John Canyon. My name is Aron Ralston. My parents are Donna and Larry Ralston, of Englewood, Colorado. Whoever finds this,...

Mind Over Matter

The human body can endure a lot of mistreatment; it's the mind that is truly fragile. In October 1983, Ashcraft, then 23, and her British boyfriend, Richard Sharp, both California residents and...

Plane Crash

On Christmas Eve 1971, German teenager Juliane Koepcke sat next to her mother in the window seat of a Lockheed Electra. She had just graduated from high school in Lima, Peru, and was on her way...

The Ice Zone

"Douglas Mawson was this mild-mannered person who turned into someone incredibly hard to kill," says veteran Antarctic guide Dave Hahn. In the austral summer of 1912, Mawson, a 30-year-old...

This Dog's Life

On January 22, 2004, 48-year-old beach logger and dog breeder Greg Clark was motoring to the village of Craig, in southeastern Alaska, in his 32-foot boat, Katrina, on his way to deliver a two...

Desert Storm

"All I could think about was that I was going to die a horrible death," Mauro Prosperi, the Italian marathoner and pentathlete, said in an interview after he was lost in the Moroccan Sahara for...

Left for Dead

In 1823, Glass signed on with a crew of trappers heading up the Missouri River to Fort Henry, in southwestern Montana. Halfway to their destination, Glass, who was about 40, was tracking game...

Heat of the Moment

When Mount St. Helens erupted at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980, Washington-based Bruce Nelson and Sue Ruff, both 22, were camping with four friends on the banks of the state's Green River—a...

Cheating Death

Rickenbacker shot down 26 enemy planes and tangled with the Red Baron over France during WWI, earning the Medal of Honor. On October 21, 1942, the Ohio native was en route from Hawaii to...

Hold the Adrenaline

Camp Cooking Learn to churn out gourmet-on-the-go feasts, like breakfast quiche and Cornish game hen, from a Dutch oven and an open flame. Royal Tine guide & Packer School,...

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