Desert Emergency Survival Basics: Heartache And Heartburn

Posted By: outcaast
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Jack Purcell, «Desert Emergency Survival Basics: Heartache And Heartburn»
NineLives Press | ISBN: 0974385220 | 2003 | 38 pages | PDF | 2 Mb

The potential range of human experience includes finding ourselves in unanticipated dangerous situations. Most of those situations have been examined minutely and described in print in the form of survival manuals. Desert survival is not an exception. Excellent books are available to explain primitive survival in the desert southwest duplicating lifestyles of Native Americans a thousand years ago. That is not the intent of this book.

A few decades ago I had an acquaintance with a man named Walter Yates. Walter had the distinction of surviving a helicopter crash in the far north woods by jumping into a snowdrift before the impact. He managed to survive winter months with almost nothing except the clothes on his back when he jumped. Walter?s experience was a worthy test of human potential for emergency survival in extreme conditions. The margin for error was microscopic. The reason he survived rested on his ability to quickly detach his mind from how things had been in the past, how he wished they were, and accept completely the situation he was in. He wouldn?t have made it out of those woods if he couldn?t rapidly assess his new needs and examine every possibility of fulfilling them. ?It?s all in the mind,? he once told me. The margin for error in the desert is also narrow. That margin is dehydration.

Extremes of temperature are also a factor, but they are more easily managed than the needs of the human body for water. Anyone who survives an unanticipated week in desert country did so by either having water, by carrying it in, or finding it.

Over the years I've followed a number of search and rescue accounts and discussed the issue with searchers. The general thinking among those workers is that a person missing in the desert southwest should be found or walk out within three to five days. After three days the chances for live return spiral downward. Returns after five days are lottery winners. When a missing person isn?t found within a week, it?s usually because he?s been dead for five days.

This book is to assist in avoiding situations that lead to the need to survive those crucial three days, and to provide the basics of how to walk out and how to find water in the desert southwest. If you need the emergency information here it will be because you became lost, stranded by mechanical failure, or physically incapacitated. I won't address the bugs and plants you might find to eat. If you have water you?ll survive without eating until rescue.
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