Survival Guru

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Some plan trips in advance; others let the current carry them. For Amy Ragsdale, traveling with risk takers like herself has helped her trust the process of exploring without a full map, rather than fight it.

Two years ago, Filipe Leite turned his ponies south on a journey from Canada to Brazil. Ten thousand miles later, he's almost home after facing drug traffickers, grizzlies, and mad bulls on an epic transcontinental trip.

Redesigning the backcountry shelter

The roads are dangerous. But the real hate happens on social media. And it's both disgusting and scary.

From long flights to backpacking treks, one of the ugly universal truths of travel is a condition known as stanky bottom. Toilet paper is no match for this. In fact, it often exacerbates the problem, causing chafing and other issues. When stanky bottom strikes—and strike it will—you’re going to need…

If you’re asking, “What the heck is a bug out bag?” you clearly have some work to do before the four horsemen arrive. A bug out bag is basically a fully stocked survival kit that’s ready to grab in the event of a zombie attack or other emergency.   While…

Les Stroud, the most trusted name in survival, has seen it all—and lived to tell about it. Next time you’re up a creek, you should probably do what he says.

5 stories by our editors about near-death experiences and how they survived.

Get educated before you go out this Winter season

New rescue technology is emboldening surfers to take bigger risks than ever before. Which means epic rides—and wipeouts.

I want to start flintknapping. Where are the best places to learn?

1. Not bringing enough water.2. Not bringing electrolyte replacements.3. Not bringing enough water. 4. Hiking during the middle of the day in the summer.5. Thinking that because they are in great shape, they’re acclimated to the heat. Let’s look at some of these: Not bringing…

I’ve encountered a lot of weather folklore over the years from books and other guides. A few methods are reliable, and others may work depending on what part of the U.S. or world you’re in. Below, I’ve listed some of the signs that I rely on to evaluate weather conditions…

What can I do to stay warm if I have to spend a night in the cold without a sleeping bag?

I have two approaches to cold-weather foods. When I head out on a day hike in the snow-capped mountains, I always bring some Scottish shortbread (check the cookie aisle in the grocery store) and a thermos filled with about 4 cups of hot cocoa and a stick of butter. I’m…

Should I use hardwood or softwood for a bow-drill? I've heard different things.

What's the most dangerous animal in the lower 48? How do I protect myself from it?

How can I make a bow and arrows for hunting with materials from the wilderness?

What are your thoughts on using cellphones to call for rescue in the wilderness? Would I be better with a satellite phone instead?

How do you make a plant-fiber rope in the wild? What kinds of plants should you use?

What's the most important wilderness first-aid skill to learn?

What kinds of edible insects are the easiest to catch and most nutritious?

If I'm alone and my truck is stuck on a muddy road, what's the best way to get out?

How should I deal with wet/smelly/rotting feet in the wild?

I have heard that a skilled tracker can tell what a person ate, any injuries, and myriad other personal details about their life just from looking at their footprints. Is this true?

What are your thoughts on carrying a trash bag or space blanket in your pocket for making a shelter or dealing with hypothermia?

What rope and string should I pack in my survival kit?

What are the best survival schools in the country? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What satellite phone should I take on a kayaking trip around Fiji? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What's the best way to stay warm if I'm lost with no fire? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What animals can you hunt in the desert in the summer, and how? — The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What should you do if you encounter an aggressive bear in the backcountry? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What personal location beacon do you trust most? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What is the number one skill people should learn in case they get lost in the backcountry? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What is the most abundant and evenly distributed edible plant in the United States? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What should you do if your boat sinks in the ocean and there is no floating debris? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

What is the best fishing method for backpacking? Daniel San Francisco, California

Do you recommend making your own survival kit or in purchasing a commercially made kit? Tmy Boise, Idaho

I went to a school and was promised I would be able to track a mouse across a cement floor after a week. I couldn't. Is it possible to get that good, that fast?

I'm going on a yurt-to-yurt ski/snowshoe trip in the Porcupine Mountains of Northern Michigan in March. What do I need to take with me? Jeanne Bergstrom Rockford, Illinois

Are there beaches in Northern California that are virtually shark-free? I would love to learn to surf but do not want to run into a shark! Wannabe Surfer San Francisco, California

If I go off the beaten path at a ski resort and get lost, what should I do? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What survival gear should I pack in my car? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What is the best way to get water if I'm lost in the desert? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico