Extreme Survival Quiz


Think you know everything about surviving tough situations? Test your knowledge with this survival skills quiz.

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Question 1 of 21

You're hiking on an elevated mountain ridge when suddenly a boulder dislodges, pinning you against a rock wall. You:

Stay calm and ask your hiking buddy to grab a branch and pry the boulder off.
Have been hiking alone and try your cell phone to call a park ranger.
Find yourself ill prepared with no supplies, no help and scream your head off.

... It is always best to go hiking with a buddy, so the best way to resolve this situation would be to remain calm and have your friend help you out of the tight spot.


Question 2 of 21

While skiing you unwittingly set off an avalanche that engulfs you, leaving you buried in a mound of snow. You:

Become panicked and begin to hyperventilate.
Stay calm because you know you are prepared with a personal GPS device.
Are distressed, but calmly begin to dig in the direction you think is out.

... Beacons or transceivers are personal GPS devices that are commonly used in avalanche rescue efforts. Victims who have their beacon set to transmit a signal are able to be found by rescuers whose devices are set to receive. If, unprepared, you find yourself caught and buried in an avalanche, immediately clear enough snow to make an air pocket large enough to breathe in, before attempting to dig through to the surface.


Question 3 of 21

While you're deep-sea fishing off the coast of Mexico, your small fishing boat is suddenly caught in a squall and capsizes. You:

Never took swimming lessons, can't tread water and didn't wear your life jacket.
Regret not preparing but kick off your shoes & rig makeshift flotation devices.
Keep a level head. You're glad you wore a life jacket and grab the flares.

... Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are a must-have for anyone going out fishing in deep or fast-flowing water. As in all survival situations, preparedness is key, so packing flares is also a good idea.


Question 4 of 21

While taking a leisurely after-dinner stroll in your hillside neighborhood, you encounter a mountain lion. You:

Stop, make yourself appear larger by picking up a branch and defend yourself.
Scream "Cougar!" Then run in the opposite direction.
Back away slowly

... There are many precautions you can take to avoid encountering a mountain lion, but should you find yourself in this situation, backing away slowly is the first thing you must do. Turning your back to the cat and running away will only trigger the animal's instincts to chase you down as prey. If you cannot back away safely, making yourself appear larger and defending yourself is the next best option.


Question 5 of 21

Snorkeling in St. Croix, you stop to adjust your mask, step on a poisonous lionfish, and cut yourself on sharp coral. What do you do?

Immediately swim to shore and call an ambulance.
Continue swimming and hope the pain will subside.
Try to suck the poison out, struggle to stay afloat and bleed in open water.

... Bleeding in open water and ignoring a poisonous injury are never the best options for your safety or health. Blood can attract a number of underwater predators, and some poisons take effect extremely quickly. Should you be injured when out in the ocean or any body of water, remain calm, swim to shore immediately, and call for medical assistance.


Question 6 of 21

Camping in Yosemite, you encounter an angry bear with two curious cubs. You...

Talk to the bear calmly and give her food.
Turn and run.
Stay calm; speak softy; prepare to use your pepper spray or back away slowly

... Since bears are much faster than humans, moving at speeds up to 35 mph when provoked, it is inadvisable to run from a bear. In an encounter with a bear, the first thing you must do is identify yourself as a human by speaking softly and moving your hands. If the bear approaches within 25 feet of you, use your pepper spray. If the animal stays its distance, back away slowly.


Question 7 of 21

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park, you are walking a trail when a rattlesnake bites you. What do you do?

Suck out the venom with your mouth.
Use the suction device in your snakebite kit to suck out the poison and get help.
Go on with your hike. Snake handlers are bitten all time.

... When travelling in areas known as habitats for poisonous snakes, a snakebite kit is essential to your safety and survival. If bitten by a snake you suspect to be poisonous, make use of your kit and call for medical assistance.


Question 8 of 21

Your small twin-engine plane goes down in a snowstorm and you land in a frigid mountain snowbank. You:

Happen to have a pocketknife, waterproof matches and start a fire for the night.
Stay with the plane and wrap yourself in blankets.
Go on a hunt for food in the blizzard, leaving the plane behind.

... When traveling in small aircrafts in uncertain weather conditions, it is always best to come prepared with a few essentials to survival. In cold areas, materials that will help you start a fire and keep warm are especially useful, and can make all the difference in life or death situations.


Question 9 of 21

Vacationing with your family in Hawaii, you catch a wave with your surfboard, but are then dragged under by a shark. You:

Scream and thrash, causing a loud commotion.
Maintain your calm, fight the shark off with an object and swim to shore.
Struggle to stay above water, finally breaking free to retrieve your surfboard.

... When it comes to shark attacks, defending yourself with an object of some kind, delivering a swift blow to a shark's vulnerable area (nose, eyes, gills), is the best option to increase your chances of survival.


Question 10 of 21

Golfing in South Carolina you stumble upon an alligator in a sand trap. You:

Throw pinecones at it to see if it's alive.
Back away slowly and move to another location.
Loudly alert all in the area there's a gator as you take pictures of it.

... Alligators will not respond kindly to being hit by pinecones or loud attention from people. The animals have a natural fear of humans, and will attack if provoked. Back away slowly, if you should encounter this situation.


Question 11 of 21

You have fallen into quicksand. You should:

move your arms and legs vigorously and swim out.
relax and try to float to the top.
wait patiently until the crocodiles come to eat you, then grab one and pull yourself out.

... The human body is not as dense as quicksand, and will float in it as long as you don't struggle -- thrashing around will only cause you to sink further. Just relax, lie back, and try to very slowly let your legs float up to the surface. If you can reach something that floats, such as a tree branch, try to work it under your hips to help raise them up out of the quicksand, which will make it easier to free your legs. Once you have floated to the surface, you can slowly maneuver yourself towards terra firma and pull yourself to safety.


Question 12 of 21

Your car has gone off the road and is sinking into a body of water. You can't get the door open. You should:

make sure all the windows are tightly closed to trap air in the car and stay inside until you are rescued.
wait until the car sinks to the bottom and then just drive it out of the water.
open a window and let the car fill with water until you can get the door open and swim to safety.

... A car is not airtight, so keeping the windows closed won't prevent the car from filling with water, but it will make it difficult to escape. As the car sinks, the water pressure will make it nearly impossible to open the doors. If your car goes into the water, you'll need to take quick action. Release your seatbelt, open a window, and get out as quickly as possible. Don't try to take anything with you (except other passengers). If you can't get out through the window, wait until the car fills with enough water to equalize the pressure, and you'll be able to open the door.


Question 13 of 21

You are ice skating on a pond when your friend falls through the ice. You are able to pull her out, but she appears to be suffering from hypothermia. You should:

remove her wet clothes, wrap her in a warm blanket or sleeping bag, and have her lie down.
walk her around to get the blood flowing and then put her in a hot shower or bath.
rub her arms and legs vigorously and give her brandy to warm up.

... A person suffering from hypothermia is extremely fragile and should be treated very gently. The safest course of action is to put her in warm, dry clothing; cover her with a blanket; and, if she is conscious, give her warm (nonalcoholic) liquids to drink. Keep her as horizontal as possible to help prevent shock and maintain blood flow to the brain.


Question 14 of 21

You are camping in the woods and a female bear with her cubs wanders through your campsite. You should:

keep very still and quiet.
pick up one of the cubs -- they're so cute!
climb a tree.

... There are few animals more dangerous than a female bear defending her cubs. Bears can run and climb trees much faster than humans, so you are better off keeping your distance and staying very still so she does not feel threatened by you. Avoid making eye contact or turning your back on the bear.


Question 15 of 21

You are skiing in a remote area when you suddenly find yourself caught in an avalanche. You should:

hold your ski poles straight up so rescuers will be able to find you buried in the snow.
discard your equipment and use a swimming motion to stay on the surface of the snow.
dig a hole in the snow and hide in it until the avalanche has passed.

... You should make every effort to avoid being buried in the snow. Using a freestyle swimming motion, try to stay on the surface and move to the side of the falling snow. If you are buried by the snow, try to keep your hands in front of your face to clear a breathing space.


Question 16 of 21

Your friend has been bitten by a venomous snake. You should:

put your mouth over the bite and try to suck out the venom.
put ice on the affected area to keep the venom from spreading.
wash the bite with soap and water.

... Never put your mouth over the wound.


Question 17 of 21

You are on a boat in rough seas when a huge wave washes you overboard into the frigid water. You should:

kick off your shoes and remove as much clothing as possible to prevent it from weighing you down.
keep moving in order to stay warm.
grab onto something that floats and remain as still as possible until rescued.

... When you have fallen into cold water, your top priority should be to conserve your body heat. Your clothing can trap air next to your body, which will serve the dual purpose of keeping you warm and afloat, so keep it on and try to buckle, button or zip everything up. Unless you can easily swim to safety, it's best to move as little as possible, as swimming will actually cause you to lose body heat and reduce survival time by up to 50 percent.


Question 18 of 21

You are hiking in the mountains when a major electrical storm blows through. To avoid being struck by lightning, you should:

seek shelter under a large tree.
crouch down with your hands on the ground.
submerge yourself in a lake, pond or stream.

... Lightning is one of the most lethal natural phenomena on earth. When out in the open during a thunderstorm, you can protect yourself by avoiding isolated tall trees, high ground, large open spaces, and water. Take off all metal items and stay low to the ground.


Question 19 of 21

You're lost in the desert. The temperature is approaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit and you are almost out of water. You should:

drink as much water as you need.
save the water and eat something instead.
pour the water on your head to cool yourself down.

... Dehydration is the gravest danger you face in the desert, and the worst thing you can do for yourself is curtail your water intake. People have been found dead in the desert with water in their canteens. Your brain and vital organs cannot function properly without water, so drink enough to maintain your physical and mental well-being. Try to eat as little as possible, as the digestive process will absorb some of the water from your body.


Question 20 of 21

You are at the bank when a robber puts a gun to your head and orders you to lie facedown on the floor. You should:

try to get a good look at the robber so you can identify him later.
attempt to distract and disarm the robber.
avert your eyes and do what he says.

... Don't try to be a hero. Avert your eyes, lie down, and listen carefully to what he tells you to do. Avoid putting yourself and everyone else in the bank at risk by staying calm and complying with the robber's demands.


Question 21 of 21

While scuba diving, you encounter a menacing shark. You should:

punch it in the nose as hard as you can.
keep very still.
poke it in the eye with a stick.

... Most marine biologists advise not to do anything that might agitate or injure the shark, as that could make it more aggressive or attract other sharks to the area. If you feel threatened, use a stick or other tool to fend it off, rather than your hands, and poke it in the eyes or gills instead of the nose. The widespread misconception about fending off shark attacks with a punch in the nose has spawned a joke: "If you are diving and are approached by a shark, marine biologists recommend that you swim toward it aggressively and punch it in the nose as hard as possible. If this doesn't work, beat the shark with your stump."


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