Category archives for Survival Stories

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and NOLS Research Intern Kate Herden Aaah, summer! The sweet smell of wildflowers, rain-soaked earth, and . . . ozone? Yes, the stormy months have arrived and in this year of apocalyptic flooding, best prepare yourself…

By Edurne Pasaban; photograph by Bradley Stulberg, My Shot; inset by Joshua Brown Editor's Note: In May, Edurne Pasaban, our 2011 People's Choice Adventurer of the Year, returned to Everest in an attempt to climb it for the second time, this time without supplemental oxygen. If successful, she would have become the first woman to…

Photograph of Beverly Goodman by Howie Goodman Editor's Note: In light of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and possible future events along the Pacific Coasts, we're sharing some recently published tips from Adventure on how to survive a tsunami. Read more tips in our Survival Guide. *** How to Survive a TsunamiBy Damon…

By Mary Anne Potts; Photographs by Chuck Zlotnick, Fox Searchlight For his new film, 127 Hours, British director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) takes on the story of Aron Ralston, the then-27-year-old hiker who, in 2003, was canyoneering in Utah’s remote Blue John Canyon when his hand became pinned under an 800-pound boulder. He had…

Most backcountry searches don’t cost the victim a dime. Let’s keep it that way. On April 25, 2009, Scott Mason set out to hike the Presidential Range in New Hampshire on a popular, 17-mile route that crosses several peaks, including Mount Washington. Mason had decided to do it in one day. With his training and…

Danny Boyle, the Oscar winning director of Slumdog Millionaire just announced his next project: a mountaineer epic about the Colorado-based climber Aron Ralston, according to Variety. Ralston, of course, is best known for cutting off his right hand after an 800-pound boulder fell on it while hiking Utah's Bluejohn Canyon in 2003. The movie, called…

Tune in to the National Geographic Channel tonight for the final episode of Alone in the Wild, the survival show that documents Scottish filmmaker Ed Wardle's 50 days of solitude in Canada's Yukon wilderness. While you're at it, get out your computer and chat with Ed himself.  As he did the last two episodes, Ed…

After a million-plus years of tinkering, we’ve finally found a foolproof way to make fire. (Just ın time for winter.) Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival No one knows exactly when humans first mastered fire, but there’s evidence that it was more than a million years ago. In the 1960s the paleoanthropologist F.…

This year, 500* people have died in airline accidents. Here’s how to avoid being the next.  Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival; Illustration by William Duke Flying is a daring undertaking: Whether you realize it or not, you’re putting yourself in a Coke can full of explosive fuel going nearly three-quarters…

Still Wild, But Not So Alone

We’ve just learned that Ed Wardle, who we’ve been closely following on the National Geographic Channel’s Alone in the Wild survival show, was recently airlifted out of Canada’s Yukon wilderness. The Scottish filmmaker, who survived 50 days of solitude and rugged living, realized that he was slowly starving to death. “My heart rate had dropped…

Nando Parrado’s story is familiar. You’ve heard it, seen the films (Alive!, and Stranded!), read the books (also Alive!, and Parrado’s own account, Miracle in the Andes), but it bears repeating. It is simply that astonishing. On October 12, 1972, a Fairchild 571 twin-engine turboprop flown by the Uruguayan Air Force and bound for Santiago,…

Teva, makers of active-sandals and sandal-like shoes, and clothing to go with your sandal-like-shoes for things like…I don't know…canyoneering, has found an unlikely spokesperson in Gavin McInnes. McInnes is best known for being the founder of Vice magazine, a publication centered around (in no particular order): skinny jeans, plaid, urban decay, punk rock, drug use,…

While most of us struggle to parallel park our cars, Terry Mercer, the helicopter pilot in the video above, is landing his ride on a jagged rock pinnacle in order to save injured climbers. Mercer is a pilot for the Utah Department of Public Safety and has a combined 34 years of flying experience, including…

Here's the latest video dispatch from Alone in the Wild's Ed Wardle, now in week 4 of his solitary survival experiment. Ed found the perfect, breezy camp at Tin Cup Lake — much better for avoiding the bears. Now it's time to build his new shelter. On July 3rd, 2009 Ed Wardle was flown into the wild…

Text by Annie Hay Here's the latest from Ed Wardle, who voluntarily wound up in the Canadian Yukon, alone, unsupported, for three months for the National Geographic Channel's new TV show, Alone in the Wild. Currently just 38 days into his journey, the show is revolutionizing reality television. Gone are the days of waiting for the…

On July 3, adventurer-filmmaker Ed Wardle was dropped off by floatplane on a remote lake in the Yukon and left alone. For 90 days. He is not a survival expert. He had never even seen a bear, let alone a hungry grizzly, which is how they were when he arrived. “It’s going to be huge…

Anne’s  Great Act How a young girl hiding in an attic, writing in her journal, transcended what it means to survive. Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival; Illustration by Marc YankusIf she had lived, Anne Frank would have turned 80 this June. Hers was an extraordinary…

Text by Christian Camerota The latest reports on Air France Flight 447 indicate the plane likely crashed as a result of severe turbulence, which spawned a series of irreparable mechanical failures (timesonline.co.uk). Originally, many speculated lightning had played a role in the plane's disappearance from radio contact late Sunday night. However, the Airbus A330 sent…

Text by Laurence Gonzales Occasionally, I Iike to visit some place where the objective hazards appear so great that I can remind myself what paying attention really means. The way we behave in environments full of risk is pretty different from how we act in the safety of our world at home. For example, I…

Two Google engineers have created a piece of software for the touch-screen T Mobile G1 that will help the blind, and, inadvertently, sighted adventure seekers as well. The software, known as an "eyes-free shell," can utilize the phone’s built-in compass and Google Maps to gauge the user’s position and then audibly relay the results. At…

Aron Ralston is a smart guy. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a former desk jockey at Intel, the Colorado-based climber is best known for a gruesome feat of engineering: severing his own arm below the elbow to free himself from a boulder in Utah's Bluejohn Canyon. But six years after becoming a media…

Lost will be on in just a few hours, and this season is proving to be more action- and adventure-packed than ever. To get ready, we thought we'd share a few survival skills so that if your aircraft goes down (as seems so common these days), you'll hopefully find yourself in a tropical island paradise…

Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival Lucy had a small brain, tiny bones, and wasn’t even four feet tall. But Lucy, the australopith, was a survivor.   Many years ago, I read of a discovery that set my mind on fire. An American paleoanthropologist named Donald…

Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival After deploying the parachute on the first skydive of his life, Danie Pharr, 25, realized that the instructor strapped to his back, George "Chip" Steele, 49, was strangely silent, MSNBC reports. Realizing that Steele was in no condition to get the…

See more incredible photos at ABC News >> Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the books Everyday Survival and Deep Survival I first began to write about airline crashes in the early seventies. Ever since then, I've tried to learn about and write about both the joys of aviation and the business of avoiding airplane crashes–or else surviving…