The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition

Survival Handbook:


The bungee cord is under maximum stress at the very bottom of your jump, before you rebound; it is at this point that a break is most likely. If you are over water and the cord breaks or comes loose, you will be falling head first and have about two seconds to prepare for impact.

1. Straighten your legs and body. Put your feet and legs together, and point your toes.

2. Tuck your chin into your chest as far as it will go. Avoid the urge to look at the water rushing up to meet you: It will result in black eyes, whiplash, or severe spinal trauma.

bungee jumping

3. Point your arms below your head in a diving position. Ball your fists.

4. Enter the water fists first. Your hands will break the surface tension of the water, putting less stress on your head. If the bungee cord was attached and broke at your rebound point, it will have slowed you almost to a stop, making for a relatively safe entry. If the cord was not attached or came loose during your fall, the impact will be more severe.

5. Spread your arms and legs. After entering the water, spread your arms and legs to slow your momentum and reduce the possibility of hitting the bottom.

6. Swim to the surface. Signal to the crew above that you are okay.

Be Aware

• Do not attempt to retie or hold the cord. You will not have time to tie a knot sufficient to support your weight, and the cord will fly out of your hands no matter how tightly you grasp it.

• Improper cord connection is a major source of bungee accidents. Before jumping, double-check that you are connected to the cord (generally with a carabiner) and the cord is connected to the bungee platform.

• Bungee cords are weight-specific, and you should always jump on a cord designed for your weight. Always overestimate, not underestimate, your weight.


1. Climb a tree. The rhino is likely to avoid trees when running. Grab a branch at its base and use your legs to power yourself up the tree, keeping three of your limbs in contact with the tree at all times as you climb. If you cannot climb the tree, stand behind it. Rhinos will avoid large obstacles when running.

rhino attack

2. Run for scrub. A rhino probably will not follow you into thick scrub brush. Get as far in as possible. Adrenaline will prevent you from noticing the painful thorns until you try to get out.

3. Stand your ground and shout. If no tree or scrub is available to allow your escape, stand and face the animal (rhinos have poor eyesight but are attracted to movement). As the rhino approaches, scream and shout as loud as you can. A charging rhino may veer away from a noisy target.

4. Run in the opposite direction. A rhino will continue running in the same direction when it is charging and is not likely to turn around and come back for another attack. Once you have evaded the charge and the rhino has veered off, run in the opposite direction.


1. Conserve your air supply. If you are buried in a typical coffin, you will have enough air to survive for an hour or two at most. Take deep breaths, then hold for as long as possible before exhaling. Do not breathe and then swallow, which will lead to hyperventilation. Do not light a match or lighter. Combustion will quickly use your available oxygen. It is safe to use a flashlight if you have one. Do not yell. Yelling will lead to panic, which will increase your heart rate and lead to fast breathing that will rapidly consume your air supply.

2. Press up on the coffin lid with your hands. An inexpensive "pine box" (chipboard coffin) or a recycled paperboard coffin will have some give to it, so it will be relatively easy to break through. If you feel flex in the coffin lid, continue to step 3. A metal-clad or hardwood coffin will be impossible to pierce. In this case, your only hope is to signal for rescue. Use a metal object (ring, belt buckle, coin, flask, pen) to signal that you are alive. Tap SOS, the international distress signal, on the coffin lid: three quick taps, followed by three slower taps, followed by three quick taps. Continue to repeat the distress call until someone hears you.

buried alive

3. Remove your shirt. Cross your arms over your chest, then uncross your arms so that your elbows are bent and your hands are at your shoulders. Pull your shirt up and off your head from the shoulders, do a partial sit-up (as much as you can in the space available), then pull your shirt over your head and off.

4. Tie the bottom of the shirt in a knot. The shirt should have only one large opening, at the neck, as does a bag.

5. Place your head through the neck hole. The knot should be on the top of your head. The shirt will prevent you from suffocating on loose earth.

6. Break through the coffin. Using your feet, begin kicking the coffin lid. A cheap coffin may have already split from the weight of the earth above, making your job easier. Break apart the lid with your hands and feet and let the loose dirt rush in.

7. Use your hands to push the dirt toward your feet. There should be some space at the bottom end of the coffin, below your feet. As the dirt rushes in, work quickly but calmly to fill the space at your feet. When this space fills up, push dirt to your sides. Breathe slowly and regularly.

8. Sit up. As you move to a seated position, the loose earth above will move to fill the space you just occupied. As the dirt falls, continue to push it into the coffin until you can stand up.

9. Stand. Once you are standing, you should be able to push the dirt above you up and out of the grave. When you have cleared all the dirt above you, climb out.

Be Aware

• A recently interred coffin will be covered with loose earth that is relatively easy to dig through.

• Escaping from a coffin interred during a rain storm will be difficult. The compacted weight of the wet earth will make digging almost impossible.

• The higher the clay content of the soil, the more difficult your escape will be.