We caught up with survival expert and host of SOS: How to Survive Creek Stewart to ask him some questions about wilderness survival. We covered topics from who he’d want to have with him in a survival scenario to staying protected from dangerous weather elements. Take a look below!
If you were in a real survival situation, who is the one person you would want by your side and why?
Hmm, that’s interesting. Rather than a specific person, I’ll identify the qualities of that person. I need them to be super positive, like their number one skill in life needs to be positivity. Number two I would really like for that person to be flexible, because one thing’s for sure is if you’re in a survival scenario, things are not going to go as planned. Flexibility is key. Finally, creativity goes a long way, because your number one survival skill is innovation. You HAVE to be able to use what you have to get what you need.
You’ve mentioned many times how important it is to remain calm in order react to a disaster situation with a clear mind. How do you take a step back and reset when you feel panic start to creep in?
I wish there was a scientific answer to this question, like some sort of ‘aha!’ answer that could work for everyone. I’ve determined the key to staying calm is breathing. Almost like you would do before a yoga exercise, as corny as that sounds. Being able to take the time to take long, deep breaths for a couple of minutes will go a long way in quelling that overwhelming sensation of panic.
If you are camping in the woods and wake up to a lightning storm, what should you do?
You want to head somewhere low, not around any big trees. Lightning typically, not always but typically, strikes the tallest thing in the area, so you want to go to low ground where there is mid-sized brush away from trees. If you can start to feel signs of lightning, like your hair starting to stand or how you feel when you go down a slide with electricity building around you, you want to crouch on the balls of your feet. You need to limit the amount of your body that’s in contact with the ground, because if lightning strikes the ground it can go up through your body.
How do you know which wood is good wood to use when starting a fire?
Pretty much all wood is flammable, but if you’re in inclement conditions, you want to cut it up and get to the inside of it. Even in rain and snow, the inside of wood is typically dry.
Tick and mosquito-borne diseases can be hazardous. How do you prevent insect bites, especially since you spend so much time outdoors?
Three ways. 1) I almost always wear long sleeves and long pants. I’ll oftentimes also wear a mosquito head net. Those are my preferred ways of keeping bugs away. 2) If I know I’ll be outside for a long time, I’ll spray my clothes with permethrin. It’s a pre-treatment option you put on clothing, not skin, made by Sawyer Products. 3) If I have to put something on my skin, I use a product called Controlled Release Insect Repellent by the same company, Sawyer Products.
Check your local listings to see SOS: How to Survive on The Weather Channel.