Image of Gary from Guts Gary Paulsen - Image of tree cover hills
1. Stop. Don't panic. Breathe deeply and make yourself think slowly.
2. Look for shelter from wind, rain, snow, or sun depending upon weather.
3. Conserve moisture. Avoid drinking anything with caffeine unless it is all you have.
4. If it's hot, conserve body heat and fluids by taking it slow so you don't sweat. Or, if it's cold, make a leaf or pine-needle bed to stay warm.
5. Protect yourself — a long sharpened stick can be a useful tool or weapon. In the same vein, a fire can provide protection. Most animals won't bother you, but it just takes one.
6. Take an inventory and count everything: matches, coins (they can make fish lures), candy, any nearby food sources — grub worms, berries, ants, fish — all of it. Count it all. Even an old can may be handy.
7. Take a moment to review the long-term problems coming at you — do you need more wood because it's going to be very cold or a more permanent shelter?
8. Start thinking of getting help. Make a signal fire. Or make a large design on the ground that can be seen by air.
9. Don't listen to the fear side of your mind. Try to think of positive things.
10. Amass wealth — get more wood, more leaves, more food, and more tools. You can never have enough stuff.
The Essentials of Wilderness Survival
Don't leave home without them!

• Matches (preferably waterproof)
• Food and water (make sure you have plenty for any emergency)
• Extreme weather clothing, such as a hat and mittens
• Waterproof outer layer
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Compass


How to Build a Fire

1. If you can, always make sure to ask an adult for help before you build a fire.
2. Find a sandy or rocky area near water to avoid forest fires.
3. Gather dry twigs, grass, leaves, bark, or anything else that will burn.
4. Use a waterproof match or a flint against steel (aim the sparks at the brambles) to start the fire.

Final tip: Keep the fire open so it has plenty of oxygen and have extra brush on hand to keep the fire burning.

How to Build a Shelter

1. Find a large fallen tree.
Dig a hole underneath the fallen tree.
Gather grass, moss, bark, or anything that can be spread in the bottom of the hole for warmth.


Make a Sundial!


New Adventures

With his plans well in-hand, Gary will not only be sailing the high seas but writing about his journey, too!

One of the rare moments when Gary is not hanging upside down making repairs in the bilge.

Gary's boat — he is currently doing shakedown trips in anticipation of his planned single-hand journey around Cape Horn.

After scavenging for boat parts, Gary takes a moment to relax on the beach.






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Photo of Gary Paulsen 2002 by C.E. Mitchell
Hillscape photo 2002 by The Longhouse Company

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