Test your survival I.Q.

A few weeks ago, we did an anonymous “preparedness” test, and this week, we’re following up with a “survival” one.  Make sure to share your thoughts and comments when you’re done.  To answer the questions, simply click on the letter next to the answer you select.

Question 1
True or False: Wild stinging Nettles are edible.
Try Again
Question 1 Explanation: 
Pick stinging nettles while wearing gloves and juice them or dry them for use in teas. David actually takes stinging nettles on a daily basis for allergies.
Question 2
Which is the deadliest creature on Earth?
think "smaller"
think "smaller"
think "smaller"
Question 2 Explanation: 
Globally, mosquitos kill approximately one million humans each year with Malaria. Although Malaria is not a problem in the U.S., but since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the U.S. have fallen ill with West Nile Virus, leading to 1,200 deaths.
Question 3
Which mushroom is responsible for 80-90% of the mushroom-caused deaths worldwide?
Death Cap
Deadly Galerina
Death Angel
Question 3 Explanation: 
The Death Cap Mushroom. Mushrooms can be great food and are used for many remedies, but eating the wrong ones can cause kidney/liver failure and permanently cripple or kill you. They're an area where you want to combine a good picture book with a LOT of hands-on training with an experienced mushroomer.
Question 4
If you are confronted by an AGGRESSIVE bear, the best defense is to:
Back up slowly , locate a tree, and climb as high as you are able to
Try again
Stand still, appear as large as possible and make noise
Throw the bear your backpack to distract it and leave the area immediately
Try again
Question 4 Explanation: 
A bear can run 35-40 mph and can out climb a human. When encountering a bear that is aggressive, make yourself look as large as possible. If an attack is imminent and you don't have a bear gun or pepper spray, curl in a tight ball, covering the back of the neck with your hands for protection. As a HUGE note on this one, while there is a difference between docile black and brown bears, the response to aggressive ones is very similar.
Question 5
How do you treat someone for heat exhaustion?
Immerse the person in cool water, such as a lake, stream, or a cool bath, followed by rest until the symptoms pass
Good, but not best for heat EXHAUSTION
Have the person lie down in a cool place, raise the feet and rub legs and administer one liter of water mixed with one teaspoon of salt to drink.
Put the person in an ice water bath and add salt to make it even colder.
Try again
Question 5 Explanation: 
It's best to give the body what it needs to thermoregulate itself rather than force large temperature fluctuations on it. If the situation has progressed beyond heat exhaustion to heat stroke, then you may very well need to take more extreme measures...but there are downsides to cooling a body down too quickly as well.
Question 6
Which are signs of dehydration?  
When lifting and squeezing skin lightly between two fingers, skin fold does not settle back into place right away
But wait, there's more!
Little or no urine, or when urine is dark yellow
But wait, there's more!
Sagging in an infant's soft spot
But wait, there's more!
All of the above
Both A&B
Question 6 Explanation: 
A body weight water loss of more than 11% will not sustain life. Another rule of thumb is that if you're not urinating every 1-2 hours while active, you need to be drinking more.
Question 7
What are the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Metallic taste in the mouth
try again
Itching irritated eyes
try again
An unpleasant chemical smell
try again
There are no warning signs
Question 7 Explanation: 
Carbon Monoxide is silent, tasteless, and odorless. A battery run Carbon monoxide detector is a must-have preparedness item. Miners have (and still do in some cases) depend on canaries as an early warning system to detect CO and other toxic gasses. Every group will also have a "canary." If one of your group quickly goes from alert and active to "asleep" unexpectedly, see if fresh air wakes them up. If it does, then you're likely to be facing a CO issue and need to change up how you're heating/cooking/or whatever you're doing to generate the CO.
Question 8
Which of the following survival saws is best?
Commando/SAS wire saw
Only if you also think you might need to garrotte someone.
Spiral Saw
Pocket chain saw
Surgical wire saw
Question 8 Explanation: 
Pocket chain saws are sections of actual chain saws that have straps at both ends to hold onto. David has been using his for (at least) 10 years, despite trying several wire saws.
Question 9
What are the top 4 weather-related killers?
Extreme Cold, Extreme Heat, Flooding, Lightening
Volcanos, Tornados, Hurricane, Mudslide
try again
Neither A or B
try again
Question 9 Explanation: 
Tornados and hurricanes kill the most people at a single time in a single place, but plain old cold, heat, flooding, and lightening kill more people every year.
Question 10
Which is the international distress signal for aircraft?
A bonfire, the larger the better
yes...but there's more
A mirror, moved to catch the suns reflection
yes...but there's more
Three fires, lit as a large, easy-to-see triangle
yes! This is technically correct, but the others are good as well.
All of the above
Question 10 Explanation: 
Although any one of the three listed can be used to signal for help, the recognized International Distress signal is three fires in a triangle configuration.
There are 10 questions to complete.

What’s your take on this week’s quiz?  Any answers that you’ve got a different take on, like what to do with bears or the best survival saw?  Share your thoughts by commenting below:

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About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. I very much appreciate the information you and you site provide. I read your newsletter daily, and am studying your book and using your materials to create a large part of my contingency planning. I find it critical to the education of the masses and thank you for that. With that said I would like to provide some feed back on this quiz. I found a couple of your questions poorly phrased. Therefore not matching the proper answer to the question. For example: Question #7 asks what are the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning? When you have carbon monoxide poisoning you definitely experience warning signs such as headache, nausea etc.. The question should have been “What are the warning signs of carbon monoxide?” Question #10 asks what is the international distress signal for aircraft? When choosing the answer “three fires in a triangle” you get a “X” for wrong answer and a statement that says “though technically correct all the answers are helpful”, and then are given a partial credit for selecting “all of the above.” I’m sure this was just an over site by someone, but felt it important to provide this feedback for the sake of integrity. Otherwise I am impressed with the overall quality of your service and am thankful there is a source for the information you provide.

  2. RICHARD CRAIG says:

    The pop quiz it great… It makes a person react…. We need more……

  3. When it comes to bears, I agree with the spray, but I prefer a .44 Mag or at least a .357 Mag., both with the heavist bullets I can get. BUT, one must be aware that such a bullet fired at a human will go through and wound or kill a person behind your target.

    As for carbon monoxide, remember that the effects are cumulative over a long peroid of time. Exposure to a little today, tomorrow and the next day winds up being A LOT!
    CO combines with red blood cells rendering them incapable of transporting oxygen. Those cells have to be replaced with new cells before you are back to normal.

    Signal fires will work, but in todays world of VERY bright LED flash lights, I believe one would be remis in not carrying one. Many of the better lights also strobe, and for hours.

  4. On the bear thing, it also depends upon the type of bear. I didn’t have a chance to read every single comment, but for black bears, you definitely don’t want to climb a tree, because, guess what? They can too! Grizzly or brown bear, head for the tree if you can. They are not really good climbers, just really fast and good at mauling the heck out of you. In either case, don’t run, you are a hot dog with legs.

  5. Paul Krawic – Much, much thanks for confirming what I suspected about .357s for that problem. Much easier pistol for me to handle – and hit something!! Also fires .38 special (both are .355 diameter) which is much cheaper to practice w/. .357 is much hotter w/ almost double pressure hence more speed and force than .38 special. You can vary and select type of round you fire by rotating the cylinder so you could load 1 or 2 shotshells for snakes.

    • actually the bullet diameter for .357/.38 special is .357 for jacketed bullets and .358 for lead bullets.bullets of .355 diameter are for jacketed bullets in 9mm parabellum(luger/9 x 19mm),.380 acp,and 9mm largo/9mm bergman bayard.however you’re correct about being able to practice with .38 sp loads,but you need to make sure that you clean your chambers very well before using full house .357 afterwards because the .38 shell is about .100 of an inch shorter and will build up carbon,brass,and lead or copper fouling in the chambers where the extra space is.it’s great to have a revolver that fires more than one calibre,but always make sure that you clean extra well between calibre changes,and yes the heavier loads in .357 will penetrate any skull on the planet.although you can load 180 gr loads these are a bit slower and according to my friends in alaska they don’t penetrate as deeply as the standard 158gr loads.make sure to use solids instead of hollowpoints to gain extra penetration as hollowpoints may prematurely open up on a thick bone whereas a solid,jacketed or lead will penetrate through bone even when deformed a bit.practice often and shoot straight.

  6. Darrell & Nancy says:

    That was fun taking it together

  7. A pocket chain saw??

    • I agree with you, the best saw is a pocket chain saw. The reason is it is small enough to fit well in a survival kit. The best saw is the one you have….

      • andrea francis says:

        In all my looking at survival gear online and in catalogues, I have never seen one of these saws. Where do you get them?

  8. Two thoughts off the top of my head. 1) you never know what information or solution (hi-tech and/or lo-tech) will be useful to you. 2) for hiking/backpacking/g.o.o.d. weight tips and guideline’s see The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher. Apparently they’re up to IV (2002). He even cut off the edges of his maps. amazon. com/Complete-Walker-IV-Colin-Fletcher/dp/0375703233/ref=la_B000APBE5U_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350776728&sr=1-1

  9. CO poisoning symptom would be headache. This from direct family experience. And when noted, plenty of time to correct the situation, but only if thinking is not affected. Watching your pets, in a home situation, helps, as they will be hiding then run to fresh air at first chance.

    Rolling in a ball for an aggressive bear is still no hope. At least you have a chance when you run.

    I won’t touch mushrooms or nettles.

    The “best” survival saw is the one you have!

    The whole point of survival is to use what you have, improvise if necessary, etc, to make it through your emergency.

    • correct on the co poisoning accompanied by extreme vomiting after gaining oxygen,i know from personal experience.running from a bear is idiocy as it will only take the bear 3-4 giant steps at 35-45 mph to catch you even with a 50ft headstart.the most important thing to do is to protect the head and especially the back of the neck as that’s where your spinal cord resides. using bothe hands and as much as the forearms as possible cover that vulnerable junction of the upper 2 vertebrae,c6 and c7 as they will immediately shut down your heart and respiration and completely paralyze you.the front of the head has more space due to the sinus cavities before reaching the brain and many bear attack victims have endured brutal facial scars,but they survived because they covered the upper spinal region. nettle tea is great for you and provides many vitamins and antioxidants you may not be getting in a suevival situation due to diet.the saw answer is the same as for a firearm-the one you have is best,but it’s best to have the hand chain saw if you’ll be carrying one.if you can’t find or afford one you can go to any store that supplies custom length chains for saws and choose your kerf width and length and then devise whichever handle suits you with few if any tools. in an emergency situation any chainsaw that doesn’t work can provide you with a chain and some duct tape can provide handles. usually you can use a screwdriver to pop the rivets that join a factory saw blade and if you’re lucky enough to find one that’s been custom cut there is a master link just like a bicycle chain.having caution about mushrooms is a good thing as there are many deadly varieties,but one you can always be certain of during late sept-early oct,usually before the first frost are “puffballs”.these shrooms are big white balls,some as big as a basketball and provide much needed protien for your diet and are very tasty when cut into steaks or cooked in soups.it’s hard to mistake them for any other variety,and they can be found around birch or fruit trees especially around old orchards that are abundant in the woods of the northeast as land has gone fallow and the small orchards that would have been near a farmhouse that’s been gone for 50 years will still be growing and producing apples and or pears.i’m not sure whether it’s the ph of the soil or the nutients left from the rotting fruit,but that’s where they grow the most,also around wild crabapple trees.good thoughts on what you have,but i would either get a good mushroom guide or take a class as there are hundreds of edible varieties as our great grandparents new and used.free easy food is free easy food.otherwise good attitude on the situation.

    • Nettle makes a great herbal tea, and I use it for medicine daily. I do buy it powdered, because I don’t want to deal with the nettle fresh, LOL.

      I agree on the saw, one you can “have along” is best.

      I would shoot the bear, and eat him, I ALWAYS carry, and would be better armed in a survival situation! 🙂

      • If I get caught in bear country without a bear gun I oughta get et!
        If I were making a survival kit I wiould have a real saw (but small) like one from a meat preperation kit. An axe not a hatchet.

      • i agree 110% about shooting the bear and eating it.i also always carry more than 1,and american express said it after i did-“don’t leave home without it”.i will say though that in the northeast even where black bears are semi human acclimated they will usually head the other way.all the upper new england states sell bear tags without any lottery,and some even give them free with your deer tags.at the house in maine in the country,but within 30 min of bangor i met a big sow(roughly 400 lbs as her butt was equal to the top of my head as she walked away when i made much noise and spread my arms out wider.the back of the property bounds on the mid point of a river and there was the largest drought in over 100 years.luckily we have the deeper pools on the river and as it was no longer flowing the rather large trout were trapped in the deep pools.the bear was so tranquil in leaving that even though i already had my holster unsnapped and hand on the butt of my ruger blackhawk in .45lc with ruger specific handloads(.45lc blackhawks are built on .44 mag frames and have much higher pressure loads that equal or exceed .44 mag loads),i never unholstered my weapon with the bear only @ 35 feet away.she didn’t have any cubs,but from her size i assume she was pregnant as it was late sept and she was the biggest black i’ve seen by the river to this day,but humans generally mean a bad day for black bears in that region so they head out.i’m not sure how agrressive they might get farther north where there’s very little populace,but i have yet to hear of any bear attacks up there in more than 7 years.

        • Paul, excellent info on black bears and .45 long colt. Hadn’t realized that Blackhawk was built on their .44 mag frame. Usually my friends when going into Brown/Grizzly territory have one guy along who takes a 12 gage shotgun. I assume but don’t know he uses a slug barrel. IIRC Ithica use to make a short shotgun for fishermen and hikers in bear country. For myself, I’d probably have a 12 gage – as the primary firearm (unless I had a large caliber rifle which’d be bulky, thus the advantage/reason for pistols) – since I’m a lousy pistol shot.

          • there’s a version of the mossberg 500 action chambered for 2 3/4 or 3 inch shells called the persuader.it’s a 20 inch barrel that has a mag tube that holds 7 rounds plus 1 in the chamber.you can buy tactical aftermarket stocks for it cheaply,and i saw a factory version of it that comes with a pistol grip as well as a shoulder stock for a little over $300 new in the box.the only thing to worry about is that if it’s bird hunting season and you have any shotgun that can hold more than 3 shells in total you’re looking at being cuffed and stuffed and losing your hunting priveleges for a few years.i’m sure that with just a pistol grip you could make the argument that it was for bear defense and maybe even get out of trouble,especially if it’s loaded with slugs or the new heavyweight shot buckshot loads that are out now.i was just reading tonight in shooting times that many professional hunters(guides here)in africa carry a double barrel 12 with 3 inch heavyweight buck loads for angry water buffalo.that’s as good as i’d want for bear as the biggest bear might approach water buffalo weights,but hunting the mighty wb in africa is usually a close range affair seldom in excess of 60 yards.i think that makes a very good aproximation of a close range bear attack as by the time the hunter on safari has blown his first shot and an extremely angry wb is charging your probably looking at 20-25 yards to get that shot off which is probably why they use the double barrels,shooting both barrels at once.that’s got to be quite a kick,as a matter of fact i know firsthand it is but when that much adrenaline is flowing i’d think you wouldn’t notice it until later.again tinight in looking through my e-mails i saw that j&g sales in prescott,az has double barrel “coach guns” with 20 inch barrels and 3 inch 12 ga chambers,but that might be harder to get out of with the officials.either way,good choice.

        • yea i get the distress signal right but you say it’s only tech, correct? give me a break. Also what’s with the babies soft spot? like I have babies around and just were is this soft spot as far as i can tell babies are all soft…. As for the BEAR Black bears rarely attack anything leet alone humans they are real cowards now a Brown/grizzly it might be able to run 30-35 miles an hours BUT if I didn’t have a weapon you’d have to be a fool to play dead that will only make you deader lol
          I suggest run for it most times it will give you a sign you pissed it off then again Grizzlies mean by nature

          • Survival Diva says:


            There have been more deaths by Black Bear attacks than by Grizzly’s. Death by bear attack is extremely rare, but in a situation where people may have to flee to wooded areas in bear country, it’s something worthwhile being prepared for. Lying down and playing dead is the last recourse, when a bear won’t back down and are on the attack. This is advised by experts. Hiking in Alaska and coming into contact with hunters and old sourdoughs and knowing photographers who made their living taking photos of Grizzly’s in the wild, I always sought their advice over the “experts”. In this case, their advice was one in the same. Thing is, we all have free will and each case will be different, so our decision will likely be made when and if we’re ever confronted by a bear.

            The soft spot on babies indents noticeably when they are dehydrated. This information is supplied by Where There Is No Doctor, in my estimation, one of the best medical emergency references out there–mainly because it details emergencies in third world countries where there is limited medical services and medical supplies. It is a situation some of us may find ourselves in if SHTF. I’m a mother of 4, and yes, infants all have soft spots, but when dehydrated the indent is greater and since an infant can’t tell us what’s wrong, it’s one way to check for suspected problems.

      • This question is for Toby (or anyone else in the know:):
        Toby, you said, “Nettle makes a great herbal tea, and I use it for medicine daily. I do buy it powdered, because I don’t want to deal with the nettle fresh, LOL.”

        If you don’t mind my asking, what exactly do you use it to treat? Since you use it as a medicine on a daily basis, I would assume it works pretty well?


        • David Morris says:

          David here…I use it on a daily basis as well. It is one of the best allergy medicines that I’ve found to date. Combined with quercetin/bromaline, I haven’t had to take an over the counter or prescription allergy medicine in years, despite living in some of the worst allergy areas of the country AND having severe environmental allergies (when untreated).

          • Thanks, David. I had no idea!!

          • Nettles is an antihistamine, I sometimes add peppermint and you have a decongestant just like cold and flu medicine only problems is it wears off in about 4 hours and you need another cup of tea

  10. Really a pocket chainsaw but will it work as a snare too?
    If the SHTF I things should be more useful than one a trick pony.

    • if you want a snare the best thing to do is go buy some guitar strings,not the bronze wrapped heavier strings,but the smooth wire ones.these strings slide smothly,will most likely decapitate killing more humanely and have a ring for mounting them in the guitar at one end which makes a perfect noose,plus they take up almost no room at all in a pocket or small survival kit box or even in a survival knife handle.

  11. Good refresher, makes me think back to aircrew survival school.

  12. Eddie Barger says:

    Not great, scored 81%. Need to brush up.

  13. Got them all right except the bears because you changed the answer
    “If an attack is imminent” ……..

  14. In bear country, best to hike with a friend that you can out run.

  15. Gramma Lynne says:

    I’ve heard that if you run downhill you can out run a bear because his front legs are shorter than the back legs. I hope and pray I never have to find out.

    • if you try that one you’ll find out the hard way.an olympic sprinter may even hit 27-28 mph,but a bear’s low end is 35mph.a slight downhill slowing will still get you in a few steps for the bear.

    • Just take a slower person hiking with you, then you only have to outrun him/her, they will “take care” of the bear…..

  16. Maria Keown says:

    great quiz, great comments, too…one thing to keep in mind, though, is that most people will perish in a survival situation because of panic….all the knowledge in the world will not save you , if you can’t access it, irrational thinking due to fear and panic is the biggest danger….fear is quite normal, and anybody who sais that they wouldn’t be scared, just fools themselfes…in true survival situations your basis, I mean, real basic instincts will kick in..of course it depends on the person on how well they can cope and overcome with it…the better prepared mentally the better you will be able to use your knowledge and “stuff”. I’ts one thing to practise, which is definetely helpfull…practise ingrains habits and habits stick, it’s a total different story if there is absolutely no retreat into the ‘safe’ world. I see a lot of folks accumulate all kinds of survival kits and stuff, and none of them ever used any of it…..

  17. cowboys used to wear jingle bob spurs to keep bears and mountain lions from the herd. they do work. the only symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is cherry red lips and fingernails.

    • Cherry red lips is a late sign in carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning & more often seen by the pathologist when he does the post. Our hospital has a hyperbaric chamber & we see a lot of these-I’m an ER doc. Most common presenting symptom, in my experience, is headache.

  18. That Eagle Scout stuff still stays with you after 40 years!

  19. I would have done better, but I second-guessed myself a couple of times. Still, I was glad for the confirmation that I’m not COMPLETELY ignorant, even though much of my knowledge at this point is strictly theory–execution practice is coming. I’ve been trying to educate myself in a lot of these areas for a while now, but it’s kind of hard when the rest of the family is convinced that you’re a raving nut! Still, they’re starting to come around on a few matters: due to a recent financial setback (a large, unexpected bill), we had to live out of our freezer and food storage for a few weeks. They don’t laugh at me for it any more! I’d like to see more of these quizzes: they’re really useful for pointing out “holes” in my education!

    • Jacquelyn Morrow says:

      I can relate to the family tinking you’re crazy thing, my boyfriend is the same way, he could survive in the woods for an indefinite time,as a kid so he doesn’t think there is any reason to prepare for the time when we go back to HAVING to survive that way. He has been so spoiled for so many years, cookies and ready to eat food etc that I have to do the preparedness thing “on the sly”, but I think between the two of us, we can survive, healthy, for … ever. if need be. I love this site, alot of helpful and useful information.

  20. Tom Stanley says:

    Queation #10 is a trick questions.

  21. Thanks, David. I liked the quiz. The only one I got wrong was the mushrooms but since I don’t eat mushrooms, I am probably safe.

  22. Al Ferrara says:

    Carrying a section of “actual chain saw” at about 1/2 to 3/4 lb. when every ounce adds up to painful pounds isn’t wise. A carefully chosen survival knife can handle all but the heaviest sawing jobs (by chopping) and is already on my belt! Whereas, when saving energy is critical, (like when calories are scarce and exertion is stupid,) a lightweight “pocket-saw” is all I’ve ever needed. As far as curling into a ball when confronted by an aggressive bear goes, I’d rather toss it my pack & escape while it’s distracted!

  23. Brad Gillham says:

    making yourself appear large might work well on smaller black bears of the lower 48, but don’t try that with an aggressive grizzly or Alaskan Brown. You’ll become part of the fauna and flora. Also, Carbon Monoxide is extremely dangerous. Our hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying part of the red blood cells) has an affinity for CO that is 20X higher than for
    molecular oxygen! For every hour of exposure (it’s an accumulative poison), you have to spend 8 hours in fresh air to purge your system. Administer to victims a higher percentage oxygenated air if available. That will help too.

  24. I think the saw question is opinion. I got all the questions right except that one because I had no way of knowing the opinion of the quiz creator.

    • I do not agree with putting any part of a chain saw chain in my pocket. Even if it is protected, it will take up more room and weigh more than a rope type saw.

  25. It doesn’t take EXTREME heat or cold to kill — trick question

  26. OngoingFreedom says:

    As for human canaries, smokers (heavier the better) automatically make likely choices as their CO levels start out elevated.

  27. Tom Wilkinson says:

    Three things to do in Bear country:
    1. You never want to surprise a bear, especially a mother bear, so the bear bells are good
    2. Take along The large bear sized pepper spray even if you have a gun
    3. Watch for the bear droppings:
    – nuts and berries .. a black bear
    – fish parts .. a brown bear
    – littler bells and pepper spray .. a grisly bear

  28. OngoingFreedom says:

    I am a professional pilot and part of our knowledge pool is hypemic hypoxia because of how we heat small aircraft. I don’t believe the moving into fresh air is going to yield an immediate improvement in symptoms; you are only halting the increase of poisoning. Even using 100% oxygen is only slightly helpful. It can take up to 48 hours for the body to completely rid itself of CO. CO occludes hemoglobin, preventing oxygen from attaching, as it has a 200x greater affinity for it. I.e. CO sticks like duct tape, O2 like a Post-It note.

    If you are interested in non-electric CO detectors pilot supply catalogs sell small plastic cards that have crystals attached that turn dark in the presence of CO, returning to their original color when CO is gone. They are reusable but have a limited life.

    • Thank you so much. We tried co detecters and they’d go off at least every other day even during summer with doors and windows open so we gave up on them . Next ime I’ll try the cards you mentioned.

      • The Scotsman says:

        Watch out! CO Alarms are REQUIRED Home Goodies (required by law) in California. I don’t think the Card things would be legal. Law says an ALARM has to be heard to warn.

    • thanks for that bit of info.i’m sure that any pilot supply company would have many handy survival items.

  29. on the bear question I say if he is horny bend over if he is hungry take him to Denny’s
    If you are close to a weaker person knock him down and run like hell.

    • What if you are alone???? What if YOU are the weaker person????

      • I am not a bear expert but be very still the bear might shift is attention to the moving person a predatory response to flight.

      • If you are alone AND a weaker person then go back to “number one” and bend over….. and kiss your a$$ good-bye!

        • andrea francis says:

          A really smart thing would be to have a friend or two with you who are making a lot of noise and all of you have the bear-sized pepper spray! I see so much on tv about the fools who go running around in the wilderness where there are bears, mountain lions, snakes, rough country, and no one knows where they are are going. I can think of so many scenarios where things could happen, Then they call out rescue who sometimes risk their own lives to save them. Wise up you loners who think it will never happen to you!

  30. No fair on last question David but quiz was cool

  31. my expirience with bears is: If you meet a real aggressive bear , you had better be ready to fight for your life. 2. If you have enough time, you climb a tree, not if the bear is right up and close to you. Some will go all the way to the top to get you. Some will sit at the bottom of the tree and wait you out. Every bear situation has its own unique option, so be careful. Good luck and try to steer clear.

    • Lloyd Borba says:

      If you are taking a test like this chances are you are of the type that would be packing a larger caliber pistol, if it got to that point I would unload the pistol into the bear and take my chances with running…but that’s just me!

      • Better go for the brain. Friend did 357 @ charging bear – blk. I think and it dropped touching his feet. When butchered out the heart was in pieces. So practice and if you can hit the brain as that controls all body functions.

        • 357 slides off bear skull or atlest so I hear. Yes a dead bear could still kill you but one that is really mad with terrible headache and not dying what do you think?

          • .45 Auto (as in 1911 Colt) will NOT be effective as muzzle velocity (800-900 FPS) is way too slow w/ the muscle and heavy (skull) bone. Friends who go backpacking into grizzly/brown bear country – Rockies and Alaska – use .44s (mostly Redhawks and Blackhawks) w/ hot loads. One of them taught school up near Nome and had reloads w/ 350 gram bullets. A bunch of them just went in 100 miles east of Nome for a week plus in August.

          • a .357 with a solid 158 gr lead bullet or fmj bullet will penetrate almost any skull on the planet.way back when they came out as s&w registered magnums some guys even took them to africa and shot elephants with them at close range with a standard lead 158 gr load.

    • andrea francis says:

      I was just thinking about the man who climbed a tall pine after running into a momma grizzly bear with cubs. Guess what? That momma grizzly climbed up as easy as pie and swatted him out of that pine tree . The fall badly injured him , leaving him unconscious. When he woke up, mamma was gone, and he managed to drag himself to his car and drive to a town. Apparently the bear felt she had taken care of the threat and left him alone. He was one lucky loner!

  32. A common understanding among those concerned with survival is that various key time limits have a numerical value linked to the number three. Remembering the “rule of threes” can help you focus your decision making particularly if you are injured, at risk of further injury, or in immediate dange from the elements. In general;
    3 seconds: is the psychological reaction time for make a decision.
    3 minutes: is the length of time your brain can do without oxygen before it suffers irreparable damage.
    3 hours: is the critical time you can survive unprotected in extreme climates.
    3 days: is the approximate length of time you can live without water.
    3 weeks: is the approximate length of time you can live without food.
    In an emergency situation, think of the 4 priorties of survival: protection, location, water, and food. Your situation will determine which is most important.

    • Remember Bret THESE are only guildlines when you speak of the rule of 3’s. I personally have gone more than 3 days without water and body parts did not fall off, as a matter of fact after 6 days without water I was still functioning (thirsty) but still capable of thought and movement…also I was in a controled environment when I did it. As for without oxygen…that has been proven incorrect also with individuals in cold water experiences. And as far as 3 weeks without food…well lets just say that DEATH IS NOT CERTAIN after 3 weeks…THESE are guildlines and I still have not figured out who or where they ORIGINALLY came from.

      • Good points Bret and iamdlogan.

        The 3’s are a great way to prioritize your thinking–what you need to take care of first. Maybe I am just a softie but my experience is that while people can and do survive past the guidelines, your ABILITY TO THINK (and take the best actions you to can to ensure survival) gets compromised pretty quickly.

        In a survival situation you must stay on your game. When you are lacking one of the essentials covered by the 3s you must stay aware that you are under stress and more likely to make mistakes, be slower to react, easier to panic, etc. The Rule of 3s reminds me to STOP and take time to think through what my situation really is; what my alternatives are; and how I can best spend my limited resources including energy and time.

        For example, the 3 minutes without oxygen reminds me to consider things I would normally not think of like gases I may not be able to sense (possible sources of natural gas, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide) or things that don’t smell right (ozone from electrical shorting, spoiled food or chemical spills).

        The Rules of 3s are a very handy and easy to remember checklist to keep you out of trouble. I encourage you to work them into any trial run of your disaster preparedness plan.

        Another Rule I like is the Nez Perce tribe’s Rule of 3 = 2, 2= 1 and 1 = none. This rule acknowledges that if something is essential to your life you should have more than one source for that item because something unexpected can happen and you would be totally without. It also says that even if you have two sources of something essential to your life you might still lose one or both of your sources. To be sure you are covered you need three sources of food (grocery, garden, food storage), three sources of clean water (tap, stored water, water filter system), etc. This rule makes sure you you have thought through your backups–especially identifying where you are vulnerable because you have none. It encourages you to build your preps one full layer at a time before expanding to the next level of backup. Most of us have the first layer already. Where we fall down is in trying to complete everything having to do with one area before starting to do much in another (for example, storing a year’s worth of food before starting to store much water or procure a water filter system).

        Anyway, I find this rule a simple way to test my prepping efforts on an ongoing basis. Keeping me from spending too much on “toys” when there are basics still to be gathered. [Dave’s systems are also great for this purpose.]

  33. Love these tests… and how you have them set up 🙂
    Are the effects of “getting to hot” the same as dehydration? With the potential of a water shortage in a dire situation, (I think) it would really be helpful if you could elaborate on this topic.
    During a serious flood in our area with the temps and humidity both high, I almost fainted, my face was beet red and swollen. It was an Edgar Allen Poe moment with water every where but not a drop to drink but my experience doesn’t seem to match the symptoms of dehydration.
    The quiz really pinpoints what and where we need to work on our own skills.

    • Survival Diva says:


      Dehydration occurs with the following: When the body loses more liquid than it takes in, and can be brought on with illness that includes diarrhea or when a person is too ill to take much food or liquid.

      Getting too hot, AKA Heat Exhaustion can be brought on with strenuous work that leads to heavy sweating. The signs of heat exhaustion are: sweaty, pale skin, large pupils, no fever, and weakness.

      Heat Stroke is rare, but can be deadly. The signs the skin is red, very hot, and dry (even armpits are dry) and the person develops a very high fever and rapid heartbeat. Treatment is getting the person in the shade immediately and soak them in cold water(ice water if possible) and fan him.

      These are quoted from “Where There Is No Doctor”.

      Hope this helped clarify ( :

      • Having suffered from heat stroke, I now know the warning signs and as long as I’m sweating and taking breaks to drink water and stay hydrated, I’m OK, but if I stop sweating and skin turns reddish/purple, I’m in deep kimchee. Best to put ice on all the skins surfaces where the blood/veins are closest to the skins surface (ie armpits, back of the neck, behind the knees and inside wrists) do this to cool the blood going to the brain to avoid stroke. Since this wasn’t one of the choices, I chose immersion in a cool lake or stream first.

        • i found the heat stroke question a little confusing because the one option was a cool stream or pond and the other solutions require more gear/different environment.in a survival experience in the woods or wilderness you may not have that salt to give someone.that one tricked me a bit because if i was closer to civilization i’d probably have the salt,and even in the wilderness if i have my sucrets tin kit i’d have a little tiny bit,but i don’t think many people would be carrying much of it.having said that it brings up a very good point on simple items that could be life saving to have in a kit.salt can also be used to help preserve some foods and of course it’s a necessity for life.i guess i’ll end up bumping up quantities of salt in my kits big and small.i took part in a sundance here in south dakota-3 days and nights of no food no water or any kind of liquid,dancing 4 four hour rounds from before sunrise to after sunset in 118 degree heat.by the 3rd day my tongue was so swollen that if i tried to swallow it caused dry heaves and i was blacking out and falling down unconcious.when you go out they beat you with the entire wing of an eagle with a handle on it to cool you down and wake you up.i made it all the way and after it was done they brought out a bunch of gatorade for the dancers,some icy cold,some warm.the guys who drank the ice cold ones puked within 2-3 minutes.i knew better and took a warm one.i drank small sips until the swelling in my tongue went down then downed 3/4 of a liter in 5 min.i felt nauseous from the amount in one shot,but never puked.i just curled up in the shade of some chokecherry bushes and waited for the nausea to pass,it only took @ 15 min. it was an incredible experience and taught me much about the limits our bodies can take and how much of it has to do with the mind as opposed to the body.one other sign of the dehydration was urinating something bright green/yellow and the consistency of 30 weight motor oil and that was on the first day,no more urination after that for 2 more days.

          • Jacquelyn Morrow says:

            You need to keep them dry, but the little packets you get at fast food places (Wendy’s has sea salt) would be ideal for a survival kit

      • I don’t always remember the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but I have always remembered from my Scouting experience this saying: When the face is red, raise the head. When the face is pale, raise the tail. This helps to know the difference between the serious heat exhaustion and the life-threatening heat stroke.

    • Christian Gains says:

      Very good! I SHOULD have done better, but second guessed myself a couple of times…this was a GOOD refresher course. The Mushroom “Death Cap” one was info I didn’t know at all. Also, I didn’t know about the pocket chain saw…(since I’m partially paralyzed, (part of right chest & arm), such a type of saw is pretty much useless for me…my Leatherman “WAVE” will have to do. THANKS! It’s ALWAYS useful to have such challenges…I ALWAYS learn something new or better.

  34. I dont worry to much about survival but the test was fun and if it gets to bad around here I have a friend with a farm and I have a fast car with about 6 months worth of rations along with me.Thanks

    • You’re comments are funny, I hope you aren’t serious. Your friend likely has family that would take priority in a serious survival situation, leaving you to fend for yourself. Your fast car is worthless without an adequate gas supply available and tires and mechanical condition that do not fail. I hope you have tools, knowledge for repairs, and spare parts along. Fortunate folks like me with an entire refrigerated tractor trailer on hand and the ability to drive up to 1,300 miles without stopping, and size and weight in my favor (along with years of driving experience), would likely push your car right out of their way (if necessary). You need to be better prepared. Seriously.

    • Jacquelyn Morrow says:

      What if your car wont run due to electomagnetic deal they’re talking about? I have a bicycle in my garage, and mostly everything I would need right here at my home.- Garden seeds and some plants that I keep started and growing, as possible, seedlings in my spare room under regular flourescent lights, keeps them alive but somewhat dormant, until warm enough to put outside in spring.

  35. You should give credit for the triangle fire as it is really the correct answer. My experience with bears has only been we both agreed to go away from each other. (I do not need to look big as I am already to big) I would like to see the pocket chain saw, although I probably would not carry it in a pocket at least not a front pocket as it sounds like it could hurt something I care about….

  36. IMHO mushrooms are not really a survival consideration. The gain in calories / sustenance is not worth the risk unless one is very experienced with their identification.

    Good quiz. I like testing my knowledge with these questions. It’d be nice to see more, maybe even some longer quizzes.

  37. David: It’s “lightning” and NOT “lightening” as in lightening the load in your rucksack, O.K?
    Thanks, Bob

  38. from my years of outdoor living and serving in the marines the liteweight bow saw is the best in terms of cutting power and weight. on your bear subject the best option is to aggressively attack the bear if it approaches using a club,axe,spear or firearm. a bear that approaches sees you as food and only an all out defense will work.

    • andrea francis says:

      I have heard of people attacking the attacking bear with sucess. If I didn’t have bear spray or the spray fails to stop the bear, it might shock it enough that it might back down, but i know that once they make up their mind that you are food , they go into that kill mode no matter what happens. They are so powerful it is mind-boggling! Unless they are mortally wounded, They pay no attention to your little wife hitting him in the head with a log, A knife stuck between his ribs etc. his eyes are vulnerable, but can you get away? His sole purppose is to kill you and devour you. I want never to be in this circumstance.

  39. in the last question you asked for the international signal. and then you say what the international signal is and that all three answers are right. the question should be worded differently or the technical answer should be the right answer.

    • CJ, I agree. Got it wrong then right but was really confused by the answer. If the international signal is a triangle, that’s what I picked, and then the answer says that’s what it is then how can all 3 be right. Glad I’m not the only one confused by that answer.

  40. oldsewandsew says:

    Glad to find out that I’m pretty well informed. Have never heard of a pocket chainsaw, but figured it was the best answer. Where would one get one of those?

    • A bing search for “pocket chainsaw” will result in multiple results priced around $20. Have not used so cannot recommend this vs hatchet or machete.

    • Saying there is only one good Survival Saw is like saying there is only one good Survival Knife. Spiral Saws are the best bet when space in a kit is at a premium. A Pocket Chain Saw is best when using some paracord or rope to cut a high branch, and work best when one has more length to “saw” a branch or whatever. The Spiral Saw is best for aluminum, bone, and wood up to approx. 8 inch. in diameter. The way I look at it is if you have room in your Survival Equipment for a Pocket Chain Saw, you already have room for a Spiral Saw along side it. I’ve used both and they work great when applied to a task that takes advantage of their design. A good website to find both is www.AdventureSurvivalEquiopment.com

  41. I had never hear of Pocket chain saw and the bear I know climbs a tree so that was out ,if attacked ,it would be lay down get in fetal position and protect neck areabut trying to be larger and menacing to the ber is not any thing I had heard in past,I know how fast bears are and did not like the Idea throwing and running ,but who knows Unless been close to a Bear. not me .

  42. rodrick wilker says:

    Great quiz… 92% not bad but learned something new.. Thanks

  43. Nice. IT shows what we need to work on and what we really need to work on.

  44. Katie Kalpin says:

    That was awesome. I knew most of it, but I see that there is still a ton more to learn. I need to get on that right away. We are serious preppers and we see what is coming. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do!!

  45. Marty Feczko says:

    Black Bears – you do get samll and passive – they will atack and kill you. You have to be a threat to them and they will run away – so get big and loud and appear aggressive.

    Brown, or Grizley, bears (depending on gorgraphy) – you fall into a ball and play dead – they may paw and investigate, but will leave you alone most likely.

    In either case, walk with bells and make noise – that will usually push them away before you even see them.

    • Marty Feczko says:

      Shoulld have read Balck bears – you do NOT get samll and passive.

    • Tom Wilkinson says:

      The three things to do in Bear Country:
      1. Never surprise a bear, especially a mother bear, so the bear bells are a good idea
      2. Take the large size pepper spray, even if you have a gun
      3. Watch for bear droppings
      – nuts and berries, a black bear
      – fish parts, a brown bear
      – little bells and pepper spray, .. a grisly bear

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