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How to survive in the wild

Group of people huddled around a fire

Major Tom Viney gives you some pro tips on how to survive in the wild…

Pay attention

As you’re setting off, pick out points or places like pubs and garages, that you can come back to and where someone can help you. It’s better to go back to something you know is there than trek into the unknown.

Fire lighting tools

Take a fire lighting kit. A little tin of cotton wool or dry tinder  doesn’t weigh anything, but with a lighter will get you a fire going even in wet conditions. Once you get it going, keep it going.

Keep your head

If it’s starting to get dark and you’re far from safety, calm yourself down. Get your pulse down and get your head in the game. This is when you’ll live or die. It’s about survival now.

Look for the light

If you can see electric lights somewhere, head towards them. There’s someone or something there with the power to get you help.

Phone home

Get your phone out. No signal? Then check every five minutes. Even if you haven’t got 3G, if you make a call people can find you from it. Turn off your apps to save power.

Stay warm, dry and visible

At some point, you’re going to have to consider staying where you are and surviving the night. It’s dangerous, because the weather closes in and you can’t see where you’re going, and it’s very cold… So start thinking about warmth and shelter. Don’t sleep in wet kit if you can help it, so get your dry stuff on, then look for shelter.

Keep the faith

The thing that will keep you alive more than anything else, even when the threat level is high, is belief in yourself. It stops you from dropping into utter panic, which is when people die.


Name: Tony Viney
Job: Head of Counter Poaching
Unit: 102 Logistics Brigade
Rank Major
Biog: Major Tony Viney spent three months in 2017 leading the Army’s counter poaching operation in Malawi, in Africa. Previously, he has been deployed to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Iraq. “I’ve been really lucky,” says Maj Viney. “I’ve done some cool stuff.”

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