Points of Wisdom from Outback Survival Expert Bob Cooper

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What’s going on friends of Walk and Think?

I just finished up “Outback Survival” by Bob Cooper, a survival expert from Australia. I enjoyed the book, and picked up more than a few pointers.

A few I will share with the Walk and Think audience, for the benefit of all(5 of my favorite pointers).

The remainder of the more delicate info, and the other 13 main points(there are 18 total), I will not disclose – just read the book yourself. It’s worth the time, and I’m sure you can pick it up used for a few bucks.

#1. A fire means so much more than just warmth.

I recently wrote a post dedicated to making a fire, and why it’s crucial to human survival. P.S. It’s not just warmth.

Bob Cooper agrees, and one of his “Owl wisdom” pointers is to get very proficient at lighting a fire, as well as carry reliable means to do so – at all times.

This is sensible advice, as a cube of wetfire and some matches take up no room at all and weigh nothing.

I just went out for a quick hike, on an easy, well marked trail, and one of the items in my day pack was- you guessed it: Lighter, matches, some tissues, and a few cubes if wetfire. Had a compass in there too, but that’s another story.

I didn’t need them, but knew I had a reliable means to have if a fire if the situation called for one.


#2. Never feel sorry for yourself in a predicament. Survival is a mind game.

Check this out, one of the craziest things Bob had in this book is what to do when you get yourself in a bad situation:

Sit down and brew some tea/coffee.

That’s it. Just sit down and make something warm to drink, and think things over.

I was taken aback my the insight for this advice.

It’s incredible, how the last thing you would think of, is to sit around making tea when you are stranded/lost/etc.

But Bob is a pro in the woods, and knows running around like a chicken with its head cut off does no one any good.

Sit down, relax, give yourself that measure of control back, and figure out your next move. Ingenious.


#3. Water is medicine for your brain.

This is a well known fact. Anything that’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Increase blood flow to the brain, and increase productivity, decrease blood flow, and get brain fog.

There is actually a theory, that long-distance running saturates your brain with oxygen, and your brain begins troubleshooting itself, allowing you to figure your life out.

But everybody knows that. What you may not know, however, is:

Sipping water give it to the digestive system, not your brain.

Bob adamantly says to drink at least a half-cup at a time. And I agree. I have been low on water before, and never found myself sipping my water. It’s better off in my body, than in the bottle.

Drink up!


#4. Crude shelter construction.

“Do not overexert yourself. A crudely constructed shelter covering a healthy person is better than a perfectly built masterpiece covering an exhausted person”

This is gold advice, as I find myself getting way too exited with my shelter building.

Many times I’ve starting building an ambitious shelter, and ran out or energy, or resources, or sunlight, or all of the above. 

Keep it simple. This is why I love tarps. Shelter made easy, with just a some cord. And it wont leak, like a natural shelter would. But you may not always have a tarp, especially in a survival situation.

So keep it easy, keep it simple and very bare bones for your shelter. Be very selfish with your energy.


#5. People don’t die from starvation.

“It’s always been from dehydration and exposure.” Says Bob. Make your priorities: Water, warmth, shelter, and a distress signal, well before even considering hunger.

Again, a few gold nuggets in one. It takes a while to starve. You will most likely be rescued by then. Make your focus Shelter and water.

Also, if you are in a vehicle when you get stranded, stay this the car, and put the hood up. Make obvious distress signals(aka a fire).

Make sure people see that you are stranded, and if you do leave the vehicle, lay stick arrows in the direction you went, as well as markers along the way.

Water and shelter are the top priority.

That’s all for today, check out the books I’m currently reading in the side bar.

Until Next Time, and

All the Best.

-A

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2 thoughts on “Points of Wisdom from Outback Survival Expert Bob Cooper”

  1. I have survivor man season one and two and that bastard gave a scenario where he was stranded with a vehicle in the desert and he went off away from the vehicle. He set me up for failure thinking that way! Also, I like the tarp idea for a quick make shift shelter. What about emergency blankets? I saw a 5 or 10 pack of E blankets was less than 5 bucks. Very light and easy to carry in case of a cold emergency to keep warm. If not, could you pass on the ideal size of a tarp to use that is easy to carry with gear? -thanks

    1. Leaving the car, you leave behind solid shelter for hail, animals, sun. Just make sure it is visible that you are in distress(hood up), some kind of signal.

      Emergency blankets are mostly no good, think about why they are so cheap and come in 10packs. If there is a good one, it will be one blanket, and more expensive. Yes, they are good insulation, and useful for signaling.

      Tarp size depends on what you need/what season it is. I carry a 11 x 10ft tarp(winter or 4 season tarp), and that’s honestly overkill, I prefer to have more than less cover. 10 x 7ft is the sweet spot in my opinion, you can do a lot with that.

      Thanks for reading Mike, All the Best.

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