Outback survival techniques when heading off the beaten track
He is Australia’s own bush survival man and the Pilbara’s harsh outback is his workplace.
Bob Cooper has honed his survival skills by learning from traditional cultures in Australia, Africa and North America.
Bob’s book Outback Survival is the go-to guide for those heading off the beaten track.
His roles have included instructing the Special Forces Units in Western Australia, lecturing with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service on survival in the Mexican Desert and delivering wilderness lessons in the UK.
Bob is currently in our North West running an advanced survival course at the northern end of Coolawanya Station.
Bob and six students are walking 70 kilometres for five days with only a survival kit, two litres of water and a rescue blanket.
He said the most important tips he can give for those trekking through the Pilbara are to learn water management, map reading and signals.
Bob said if people don’t have these skills, it can be life threatening.
“If you’re down to your last couple of litres of water don’t sip it because sipping doesn’t cure dehydration, and that has killed people,” he said.
“You should drink cupfuls rather than sips.
“We’ve had a number of people who’ve died in Western Australia.
“Over the last 50 years, three have died in the Pilbara,” he said.
During the 1980s Bob put his own lessons to the test, dropping himself off in the 42 degree heat of the Australian desert with only a map and soap box sized survival kit.
He had no food, water or sleeping gear for and a 10 day walk across 160 kilometres of rough terrain back to safety.
He did this alone and showed that with the right knowledge of the land, you can survive.
Bob said the biggest mistake people make when they go out into the bush is having a complacent attitude.
“People do not know what to do when technology fails,” he said.
Bob wants adventurers to know that its important to keep refreshing your outback survival skills.
‘”I’ve been teaching this now for 30 years and I’ve written a book about it and I’m still learning!” he said.
“Techniques and knowledge change. Knowledge dispels fear and fear is the biggest killer.
“When you get into a survival situation and you don’t know what to do, you’ll panic,” he said.
Bob says fear is a basic emotion and if you can harness the positive energy fear creates, then the fear becomes a tremendous positive force.
“You can then use that to get yourself out of a situation,” he said.
“Fear is not a bad thing, when you don’t know what to do it can suppress all your common sense and that makes you panic.”
The Pilbara Echo has two signes copies of Outback Survival to giveaway.
For your chance to win, comment on the Pilbara Echo facebook page that you would like to win a copy of Outback Survival, the first two readers to comment will win!