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Reporter vs. Wild

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If you’ve dreamed of conquering the outdoors like reality TV adventurers Les Stroud and Bear Grylls from Survivorman
and Man vs. Wild, check out our survival tips and exclusive segment Reporter vs. Wild with Justin Finch.

Not an outdoors person? Get your adventure fix with some more fun media:

Robinson Crusoe By Daniel Defoe
Snuggle up with the interesting novel about Crusoe, the lone survivor of a shipwreck. Explore themes of survival and loneliness as he narrates his experiences while stranded on an island.

Cast Away (2000)
A Golden Globe winning film about a FedEx executive’s adventure on a deserted island, where he befriends a volleyball named Wilson and struggles to survive.

Outside Magazine
Read true stories from hikers and adventurers from around the globe. Plus, you’ll get the scoop on the latest travel spots.

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We asked outdoor experts for their advice on survival and hiking tips. Know the facts before you go into the wild...and follow these easy guidelines.

When you go hiking, four-wheeling or simply for a walk in the wilderness, you'll need:

"1. Water. You must bring water with you for survival.
2. A means of communication. Walkie-talkies can work up to 26 miles now. People should know where you are.
3. A reflective mirror for signaling.
4. Proper clothing depending on the environment.
5. Energy Bars. When you go on trips, think ahead. Bring energy bars, they don't take up too much room and they give you the energy you need."

--Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy
Author of the book, Healthy Travel (Basic Health Publishing, 2005)

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Everyone needs to drink water in order to survive. When you are out in the woods, there's no way to know if the water is safe there. Most water sources are filled with a wide variety of bacteria and/or pollution. Here's what you should do if you are lost, far away from civilization and thirsty.

First things first:
"Make sure there are no dead animals in it," says Dr. Zimring. Deceased animal carcasses carry loads of bacteria and possible diseases that can pollute the water. This does not mean all water is off limits because a dead animal might be in it. If you don't see one, that's good, but you still have to make the water drinkable.

According to Dr. Zimring, "The best way to purify water is boiling. People bring filters and chemicals with them, but boiling is the safest way."

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"People can become dehydrated easier in the winter than summer because they lose moisture two ways - through perspiration and respiration. Breathing cold air requires that a person drink more to stay hydrated - at least four liters a day.

Skiers and hikers should also plan adequate calories in their daily diet and should fuel their bodies in smart ways. Avoid simple sugars that burn like tinder and burn out quickly.

Instead, choose complex carbohydrates like good quality energy bars and fats and proteins such as cheese and nuts for the solid fuel that a person needs to last the day."

--Laurie Gullion, Clinical Assistant Professor
Outdoor Education
University of New Hampshire

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Before you start you trip, make sure you let people know where you are going and have a buddy to go with you. While it may be cool to venture out Survivorman style, "No one should be out alone," says Dr. Zimring. "Leave a message with your family and set a time to call them back. If you don't call back, then they will know if you are lost. With electronics this is very easy."

He suggests using: walkie-talkies, GPS and knowing your approximate route.

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"Smart outdoor adventurers will leave an itinerary with a person at home, so a contact person knows the likely return time and notify authorities if a person fails to return."

--Laurie Gullion, Clinical Assistant Professor
Outdoor Education
University of New Hampshire

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"A common mistake that people can make is over-dressing for cold-weather activities like hiking and skiing. They pile on the layers of clothing against the cold, but as they exercise, they begin to perspire into their clothing. They need to treat like their clothing like an onion and peel off layers as they warm up.

If skiers and hikers saturate their clothing with perspiration, especially as they climb hills, then they can cool very rapidly when they slow down or descend hills. Especially if they are camping overnight during the winter, they need to take off and put on layers as needed so they have warm, dry clothing when they reach camp.

A good day pack or backpack becomes essential for storing clothing throughout the day. Dress in loose, non-restrictive clothing that dries easily (synthetics) or keeps you warm when it gets damp (wool)."

--Laurie Gullion, Clinical Assistant Professor
Outdoor Education
University of New Hampshire

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...you have two options. "If you are alone in the woods and know people are looking for you, stay put. However, if you don't think anyone is looking for you, try to walk in the right direction by using a compass," says Dr. Zimring.

If it starts to get dark, you'll need to find shelter.

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If you are lost in the woods at night and need shelter. "Cover yourself with brush and leaves and lie by the side of trees. If possible, light a safe campfire. Using down trees or finding ground cover work too. Don't forget to dress in proper clothing depending on the weather and environment."

--Dr. Michael Zimring, Director, The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy
Author of the book, Healthy Travel (Basic Health Publishing, 2005)

Justin Finch is lost in the woods with nothing but his wits -- and a ...

What Justin Finch packed for his wilderness adventure. Spoiler alert: hair gel?

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