Survival expert Creek Stewart has been called "Fabio of the forest," a nickname that he seemed unbothered by in a 2015 interview with Indianapolis Monthly. "I do use [my hair] to insulate my neck. If you can control the temperature of your neck in cold weather, you can pretty much control the temperature of your whole body." It's one of a litany of survival tips Stewart has—tips he shares on his latest Weather Channel show, SOS: How to Survive, in which he explores actual survival stories and explains what people could have done differently. In interviews with USA Today and Outdoor Living, he gives advice on what you should do from the outset to give yourself the best shot at survival should something go wrong in an outdoors situation. We round up 5 tips:
- Speak up: "So many of the stories we studied" had this mistake "in common," Stewart says: Tell at least three people where you're headed and your return ETA so the fact that you're missing is noticed quickly.
- Be fire-ready: "Everyone must regulate core body temperature, stay hydrated, and eventually eat food in order to survive. Fire can help facilitate all three of those." Purchase a cheap fire-starting tool and pack what he calls the best tinder: petroleum jelly-covered cotton balls.
- Realize the importance of water: "I always say: you stake your life on your water source," and realize that you can survive far longer without food than water. His pick: a $20 Lifestraw, which provides drinkable water even when stuck in "the nastiest, muddiest" water.
- Carry shelter: In the form of a tarp and 50 feet of paracord.
- Dress smartly: Consider temps during the day and night when getting dressed, as well as the weather the area you're heading into can experience.
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