Ten Interesting Facts . . . . Surviving in the Wilderness

Ten Interesting Facts . . .
Surviving the Wilderness

  1. Water Needed for Surviving in the Wilderness

    • Humans need eight cups of water each day.

    • When 1% of the total water weight of a person’s body is lost, the person will feel thirsty.

    • Sixteen drops of bleach will treat one gallon of water.

    • Approximately 4000 people are treated annually for drinking contaminated water in the United States.

    • A person can survive without water for three to five days.

  1. Food Needed for Surviving in the Wilderness

    • A person can survive without food for approximately 30 days.

    • Insects and bugs are high in protein and are great survival foods.

  2. Temperature

    • Most hypothermia cases develop between 30 to 50 degrees. Body temperature only has to drop 2ᴼ for hypothermia to begin.

    • Add 37 to the number of chirps a cricket makes in 15 seconds to determine the approximate temperature.

    • The body loses heat twenty-five times faster in water than it does in air.

  1. Universal Distress Calls

    • Three is the universal signal number for distress.

    • When you discover you are lost stay where you are. Yell “Help!” or blow a whistle 3 times to signal you are lost. Wait several seconds. Then turn 90 degrees and try again. Keep doing this. If someone yells back, let him come to you. Sometimes echoes may cause you to lose your orientation. Even if someone sounds far away, keep yelling. They may sound this way because they are turned away from you.

  1. S.T.O.P.

    At the moment you realize you are lost you should S.T.O.P. (Sit, Think, Observe, and Plan). The first ten minutes of being lost are when most search fatalities make their deadly mistake. Stay calm. Use your head, not your feet. Staying calm is important to survive. Use this acronym to remember:

S – Sit down.

T -Think.

O -Observe your surroundings.

P – Prepare for survival by gathering materials.

6. Items Needed for Surviving in the Wilderness

According to the Charley Shimanski of Mountain Rescue, there are ten essential items that every hiker and backpacker should carry. They are — 


U.S. Geological Survey topographic map and magnetic compass


flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs


extra clothing including mittens, hat,  jacket, and rain gear




extra food and water


waterproof matches in a waterproof container


candle/ fire starter

pocket knife

pocket knife

first aid kit

first aid kit

trash bag

space blanket or two large heavy-duty trash bags

  1. Rescue Incidents

    From 1992 to 2007 there were 78,488 individuals involved in 65,439 search and rescue incidents in the United States National Parks.

  • 2659 fatalities

  • 24,288 ill or injured individuals

  • 13,212 saves

  1. Rescue Expenses

    Search and rescue operations are expensive. On average, the United States National Park Services responds to 11.2 incidents daily. This costs around $895 per operation.

  • In 1998, Denali Nation Park in Alaska rescued eight climbers by helicopter over the course of five days. This rescue cost more than $220,000. At the time this was the most expensive rescue in history.

  • Grand Teton National Park had a record high of more than $219,000 in 2011. The park completed 33 major searches.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park spent $41,000 to rescue a hiker in May 2014.

  1. Most Common Types of Rescues

    • Hiking ~ 48%

    • Boating ~ 21%

  2. Types of Accidents

    Approximately twenty percent of the National Park Service search and rescue missions result in fatality.

Most Common Fatalities Requiring Search and Rescue

  • Hiking ~ 22.8%

  • Suicides ~ 12.1%

  • Swimming ~ 10.1%

  • Boating ~ 10.1%

Information Sources

Photo Credit

Free Graphic Organizer to use with Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen

Free Organizer to use with Hatchet by Gary PaulsenFree Graphic Organizer to use with Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Free Graphic Organizer to use with Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Answer Key Provided

Hatchet Book Unit Samples

Hatchet Book Unit Free Samples

If you would like to try out the Hatchet Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question – Foreshadowing
  • Lesson 1 on Characters
  • Introduction Lesson for Descriptive Writing

Hatchet Book Unit contains vocabulary, comprehension, constructed response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: https://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=210


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    • Bridget Bergeron on June 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I would like this information on Hatchet. This is one of the novels that I teach my 6th graders.
    Thank you,

    • Erica Scott on June 18, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I love this graphic organizer for our interactive notebooks! Thank you for sharing!

  1. So hiking is really the most dangerous activity! Although you can really prepare for many survival situations.. unlike in case of swimming… mmm surprising!

    1. Here’s the statistical link:


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