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Lee Burton: So today we have Matthew Hunter joining us, and I'm. Glad to have him on. He is a wilderness Survival expert has been teaching us for a long time. He's also a plant expert, particularly in foraging edible plants, and has a wealth of knowledge currently lives in Arizona runs his own. What we're doing is Academy, and he's a fantastic survival instructor, and really glad to have him on here
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Lee Burton: originally from Texas, the South, and has such a broad range of knowledge. So thank you very much for joining us, Matthew.
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Matthew Hunter: Thanks for having me, Lee.
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Lee Burton: Well, ah! Just to start off with. How about you? Just tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, How you got into this. I think that's the most exciting thing. I think people see that sometimes they look at. Well, I want to be a will or survival, guy. It sounds like a fantastic life, you know. Did you kind of grow up eating grub worms, or you know, just how did this all come about?
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah, It's so funny because I didn't grow up doing this stuff at all. I mean, I grew up, you know, just like most millennials watching Tv playing video games and not going outside as much as I should. But something something hit me. Ah probably like around my senior year of high school. I got the bug, and I just for some something. I don't know what it was, but I wanted to go, and like experience the remote wilderness, and actually live in the wilderness
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Matthew Hunter: for a time. And so
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Lee Burton: I don't know. For some reason I just I just got this fascination of, you know, wanting to sort of sort of experience like the mountain man lifestyle, which I found out wasn't nearly as fun as I thought it would be. But I did end up doing that.
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Lee Burton: Um, that. Look you do look like Jeremiah Johnson.
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Lee Burton: Yeah, Yeah. So by you should have seen me back, and then I was, you know, clean shaving and and and and ah, you know, seventeen long here I was. I was a different person back then. But the first thing I started learning was the plants, because I figured, you know, if anyone who wants to live off the land has to learn the plants.
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Matthew Hunter: And ah! Funny enough. The reason I started learning plants was because I figured that would be the most boring and difficult skill to learn, and so I figured i'd better start doing that first, because it'll take me so long to learn all the plants, and well, sure enough, once I started learning them.
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Lee Burton: Curiosity just took over, and I started learning all these different things that that native Americans were doing to to ah live, and the plants they were eating at all the different uses of the plants. And so that actually ended up becoming sort of my main area of study learning the plans. But ah, yeah, this was in Texas.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah. So this was in East Texas originally, and I was preparing for a trip to go up to to Montana. So the Bitteroo Mountains,
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Matthew Hunter: Montana, Idaho border. And so I ended up going up there for six months. But
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Lee Burton: yeah, So I have a business called Legacy Wilderness Academy, and I teach about wilderness survival in edible plants. So it has been over ten years of doing this. Now,
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Lee Burton: did you actually live in the bitter roots in.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah, yeah, I went. I lived in the bitter roots for about six months, and ah, you know,
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Matthew Hunter: not just purely right off the land. We we were in a tent for of that time, let's see. Well, we were in like a little hunting sort of camper for a few months in the in the National Forest, and then we moved to a tent,
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Matthew Hunter: and then, so we were like really way out there for, for, like you know, at least a good month of just like, you know, deep, remote wilderness. And that's sort of where it all started. And yeah, I've been traveling and doing stuff ever since
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Lee Burton: that must have been an incredible learning experience. What was that like? And if you have a couple of stories, what did you face? And it stared out of grizzly, or, you know, Get caught the blizzard.
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Lee Burton: Yeah, that just sounds fascinating.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah. Well, it's definitely not as fun as every you know, as you would think it's a you know. It's a lot of just boring days, and
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Matthew Hunter: being out in the woods it, you know. It has this sort of a you have this sort of romantic idea of what it's going to be like, and then you get out there, and you're like, you know. Oh, this is this isn't nearly as much fun, but you know I did get to need a lot of plants out there. I had been studying a plan to that region, for you know, months and months prior to going, and I had, you know I was, I think, seventeen. No, I was. I was a nineteen,
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Matthew Hunter: working at a sonic
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Matthew Hunter: in saving every paycheck to buy guns and ammo and wilderness survival year. So I was really equipped when I got there, and then, when when we finally got there. You know it was a lot of fun, you know, building my first shelter, and we were um. We were shooting stuff. We were shooting anything that moved. We were shooting, you know. I had never hunted it a day in my life,
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so I was shooting, you know, squirrels and little birds, and
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Matthew Hunter: just eating anything we could, and you know. So I learned how to skin and skin a deer when I was there, and and all kinds of stuff that you know. We were trying to put up these these shelters that just ended up, you know. Horrible shelters looking back. But we got a lot of stuff done, and we ended up leaving feeling, like,
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Matthew Hunter: you know, feeling like men. And it was a good experience, you know. I learned a lot, and I learned, you know. Ah met a lot of the local people out there, and that's really that's really the best part of Montana and Idaho, as the people. Ah, you know those country rural folk, I like to say Montana is like the Texas of the North,
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Matthew Hunter: because you know the people. That remind me a lot of good old, you know. Rural Texans. Yeah, it was. It was a good trip. Yeah,
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Lee Burton: yeah, learning by trial and error, right? That sounds a lot like it sounds like you were more prepared than if you've read the book or the movie into the wild the alexander's super-tramp guy.
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Lee Burton: We made it out. Yeah, Yeah. Well, I sort of can relate to him as much as people give him crap for going out there and doing what he did.
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Matthew Hunter: I sort of understand it because I could have been. I could have been him in a way. I think he was a little bit a little bit further than I was, and on sort of the romantic idea of the wilderness. But I definitely can relate to how you know you can think that the wilderness. Is
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Matthew Hunter: this this beautiful, wonderful place, and then forget that it's also a deadly place. And yeah,
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Lee Burton: well, I think that's a great segue, because you know our our country in terms of our European ancestry. Obviously, native Americans were here for a lot longer, but was founded on that pioneer spirit. And so one of the things that maybe you could speak a little more about is
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Lee Burton: and I and I know you do this when you are teaching this difference between primitive living or pioneer living. And you know, we see a lot when people discuss survival about bushcraft, contrasting that with wilderness survival, Can you share your thoughts on that.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. So well, one of the first things is that you know native Americans were not. Um, you know, for the for the most part they weren't really doing survival skills. So they were living in the woods in the wilderness
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Matthew Hunter: full time. And so you know a lot of the
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Matthew Hunter: sort of. You know I sort of had this idea when I first started survival like I would like to be able to survive like what if I had like nothing on me, and I had to survive like completely, primitively, with only what I could find in the wilderness, you know, like stone tools and and sticks, and and
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Matthew Hunter: you know how would. How would I go about that? And I think that's the wrong place to start with wilderness survival,
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Matthew Hunter: because when you look at those those types of skills that the native Americans were doing. You know the main thing that makes it different is they didn't have, you know, For the most part it didn't have metal working, so they were using bone, stone and wood.
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Lee Burton: Um, I think we don't a lot of times. Give native Americans enough credit for the um. We call them primitive skills, but in reality we only say that because they didn't have metal, we don't it wasn't really that they were primitive at all. I've never liked that term.
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Lee Burton: Yeah, exactly.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah. So the technology we say was primitive, but in reality it was. It was very advanced. I mean these people were, you know, artesians, if that's the word I could use they, you know they weren't just unprepared and just manufacturing things out of the bush,
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Matthew Hunter: you know, sort of as they needed it. I mean, these people had, you know, complex systems, and
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Matthew Hunter: you know it well. I mean I could go on and on. But you know, like, for example, if you want to make broke, you don't just go out in the woods and just make rope whenever you need it. You have a certain tree that you wait till a very specific time of year. You harvest it in large amounts. So we're talking about, you know whole systems. You don't just go and make a primitive. Oh, you you know you
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Matthew Hunter: pick the right tree that you maybe you even traveled miles and miles to get, or maybe you traded it.
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Matthew Hunter: Let it be, you know you have to let the stave drive for a year, and then you spin,
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Lee Burton: you know, hours and hours, making it just perfect. And so so there's this idea, That sort of the native American, like primitive skills, which are really cool, but not not great for a beginner who really wants to have like practical knowledge, you know, out of the woods.
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Lee Burton: I'm sorry, because they take a long time to master. I mean just when I've done them. You know It's It's not something. And someone particularly obviously like flint mapping is Some people pick that up more quickly than others, but that is not an easy skill. I I remember a site here just north of here, a really old native American site called the Gulf site, and they found these points that just have all these design features, that the archaeologists here are trials of show off points, because they make
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Lee Burton: the point weaker. But they're beautiful, Right? I mean they really were artificial, but it's really difficult to have these fine little indentations.
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Lee Burton: Um. And and I know you told me, too, about, you know, having these long ropes, you know. Ah, really long nets they created for, you know, capturing rabbits, and you know, and and all this things they didn't tan them. So yeah, it really was sophisticated, not at all primitive, very sophisticated. And and all that to say is that if you want to learn survival skills don't start by learning
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Matthew Hunter: native American
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Matthew Hunter: what's called native American survival skills, because you'll get a headache, and it'll be way too difficult for you to master. And so that's the sort of the ending goal, if you want to get into that into that lifestyle of because there's there's still people today who will go out on these primitive trips with only you know um bucks game clothing like I mean, I've seen these groups of people who, like they have a rule. You can only bring what you've manufactured, you know, from the wilderness primitively,
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Matthew Hunter: or you know primitively right, and that's those are really cool skills. But I wouldn't call them survival skills in the modern sense. So
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Matthew Hunter: where we actually get survival from is is really different, like survival in the past one hundred years has evolved into something completely different from anything we've ever had before.
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Lee Burton: Talk, talk a little more about that. Where did that? If I remember correctly, you make sort of a couple differentiations. So there's primitive living, and then
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Lee Burton: one hundred and fifty years ago, whatever time framing exact but pioneer living right where you you know. You might have had a musket or something. But you're still living out there like Jeremiah Johnson, you know, and it's hardcore you. You can't count on modern conveniences or supplies. Certainly not, or at least not for a long period of time. You might go several months, and then modern wilderness survival. So how did that last category come about? And and again makes it different from the other two?
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah. So
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Matthew Hunter: Well, your your sort of pioneer skills are closer to the modern wilderness survival skills and and with all three of those categories there's a lot of overlap. So it's not that we don't use any native American knowledge, and where we don't use any pioneer knowledge. But where a wilderness survival came from today, it's
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Matthew Hunter: Well, I would argue It's a direct result of warfare largely. Now you do have civilian things. Sports like mountaineering you know. Ah, ah! Ah! Skiing right cross-country, skiing. And and these types of you know, dogs sledding sports that people still do, and they still need those survival skills. So you do have some civilians contributing to our body of modern survival knowledge. But largely, I would argue
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Matthew Hunter: it's a direct result of warfare. So the very first survival school in the United States
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Matthew Hunter: was in, I think, Carson, Colorado. It it
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Matthew Hunter: moved to Sted Air Force Base in Nevada pretty early on, so that's like early nineteen fifty S. You have the very first survival school, and that's not to say that we didn't have other types of training like we didn't. You know we had, you know, Arctic training schools and things like that. So there were other sort of survival type of schools, but the very first, you know. Ah, real survival school. That was their goal. Um, like, I said early on they moved to Stead Air Force Base,
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Matthew Hunter: Ah! Which I think is today even still known for their Sears school, and you know um. And so it was the Air Force. It was the at that time, you know. The Air Force was still a department of the army, and so the purpose of
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Matthew Hunter: um, the survival school. Ah, really probably had. You know, two major groups of people that they were concerned with. The main group was pilots. So the original survival knowledge we have today originated with pilots. So what they found in
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Matthew Hunter: you know World War two was that a lot of pilots were were going down in their plane, and we're still. We're actually surviving the crash,
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Matthew Hunter: and then they were dying from the elements. Ah! After after the initial crash. Okay, So you got to think pilots very, very valuable people. Ah, you know, in World War Ii. Right? We need pilots. You lose good pilots. You have a bunch of
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Lee Burton: lots of training involved there, lots of training involved, and you you don't want to have rookie pilots fighting, you know the other the other side with with the, you know veteran pilots, so they're no match, so they really, you know, pilots are valuable, very valuable assets to the military, as you can imagine.
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Matthew Hunter: And ah! So so the very first school was actually um, you know, really made for pilots, and the the goal was to teach pilots how to survive in Arctic conditions, desert conditions, and you know, jungle conditions.
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Matthew Hunter: Then the second group of people really concerned with was people in the navy, so you know,
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Matthew Hunter: see survivors right? Your ship goes down, and you have all of these people, you know, hundreds, or you know, maybe even thousands of people who are dying at sea. And so the next question was, What do you do whenever you're at like? How do you
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Matthew Hunter: you know? How do you survive at sea. And so we get a We get books sort of like this: United States
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Matthew Hunter: Air Force Search and rescue survival. And so understanding where survival actually came from. It starts to make a lot more sense like, you know. Why, in a survival book, am I reading about which
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Matthew Hunter: fish are poisonous like That's That's a really strange, you know, because, you know, in the in the Us. We don't have any like really poisonous fish that I know of. Maybe like one or two. But you know you're like how I don't understand why it's like such strange topics they choose to cover in these survival manuals. But when you look at like where that information came from, you know people were were getting poisoned by fish in the Pacific, because there's more poison to fish out there, so they're They're catching a fish off their life raft and getting poisoned,
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Matthew Hunter: you know, and you see like how to. You know how to use a parachute as a shelter, and you're like.
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Matthew Hunter: How is this practical like? Who has a parachute? They're like? Oh, that's because this information came from the military originally. And so, said Air Force Base, what became a central point where all of the survival information
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Matthew Hunter: could sort of flow to. And so they started interviewing pilots and interviewing people who survived um, you know. See? See incidents and asking them. You know what you know. What did you do? What did you do wrong. How did people die? And they started compiling all this information, and
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Matthew Hunter: and along with that, with other things, too, you know, with the Cold War era. The United States was just in a perpetual state of anxiety, you know, getting ready for another potential war. And so that's when a lot of money became available for research. So,
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Matthew Hunter: for example, the what's called a golden Age of frostbite research was in like the fiftys and sixtys where you know you're learning all about the human body.
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Matthew Hunter: You're getting these new insights. I think it was in like the fiftys and sixtys where the um the protocol for actually treating frostbite, you know, changed after
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Lee Burton: you know, hundreds of years of people doing one thing they change and say, Oh, actually, that's that was not effective. We're going to start treating frostbite this way, you know.
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Matthew Hunter: And so they start, actually, you know, doing these scientific studies, learning about the human body and having this central point. Ah, where all the survival information can sort of flow to. And you have people who, you know, at the instructors, and it's their full time job to to come up with new survival methods, and to compile this information into,
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Matthew Hunter: make something with it. And so and so largely, warfare, and even back in World War Two,
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Matthew Hunter: you know, research and study different types of studies that were done which I talk about in my course.
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Lee Burton: Yeah, that's That's a great answer. Thank you. I actually have a family connection on that. My uncle was a pows shot down in Korea
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Lee Burton: and nearly froze to death, and unfortunately he got cat. Well, maybe it was a good thing actually, in the end, but he got captured right away. So the evasion part of Siri's survival evasion. Ah, resistance escape. He didn't get too far past the second letter. But ah, yeah, They tried to freeze him to death on a couple of occasions, and actually he learned a lot, and he's told me a lot of these stories, and I can see exactly what you're talking about. In fact, a a Jack London book. He
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Lee Burton: kind of credits to saving his life in terms of he was recognized, and what not. He was about to freeze to death and started exercising. So that's makes a lot of sense.
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah, Yeah. When you think of Korea battle, of Chosen reservoir, where you know you have this huge amount of frostbite casualties and people dying from the cold, and then that spurs research.
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Matthew Hunter: So now the government it's like, Oh, we need to start researching how to prevent this. And So you know the information that was originated with government research, we're still using today.
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Lee Burton: So that's actually a great entre into the next topic, which is, if That's how modern survival came about, and we learned all these techniques.
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Lee Burton: Fortunately we are not in major wars today, and so, but we do have people who get into survival situations. Obviously a lot of it, maybe almost all of it recreationally. Not all of it. But
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Lee Burton: what are the main causes? I know you've done a lot of research on this today. When people get in these situations, what what typically leads to those?
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Matthew Hunter: Yeah, it's a good question.
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Matthew Hunter: And so you know the first thing you'll find when you start researching survival situations. You know how people have died in the wilderness or near-death experiences. One of the interesting things is that
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Matthew Hunter: there's like a striking ah resemblance between different situations. I mean it could have happened at different parts of the world, and that people were doing completely different activities. You know, one's mountain climbing. One's a you know, a boating, or you know whatever.
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Matthew Hunter: Ah, and you know. But if you really look at like. How did you know what were the the ah things that you know the five different things The person did wrong, and you sort of boil it all down.
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Matthew Hunter: Um! There is a a really striking resemblance between all these different situations, where you can sort of boil it all down to like a list, I, and that's what I've done with my course. You know I have a list of like fifteen or so um mistakes, and what I teach my students. If I could sum it all up in one sentence, it would be um
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Matthew Hunter: not being prepared. So not preparing beforehand to be in the wilderness. And So a lot of what kills people like. For example, even in the Phoenix area, where i'm at every year people die from heat stroke.
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Matthew Hunter: And so one of the biggest things is what I call the day hiker mentality. It's the idea that you know. I'm only going out for the day, and so i'm only going to prepare for the for the four hour hike. I'm planning on going on, and nothing more, and
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Matthew Hunter: so ultimately Oh, sorry for i'm going off
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Matthew Hunter: so ultimately it boils down to that. So like, for example, here in Phoenix people don't realize that, you know you would think like you. You know, you see like a movie where they're dying in the desert, and they're running out of water slowly. And you know well, in reality
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Matthew Hunter: Ah, actually, almost all of the people that die here in Phoenix from the heap. Um, they don't die from dehydration. They actually die from heat stroke. So it is, you know, sort of related to dehydration, but they're not like running out of water and sitting under a tree and slowly wasting away.
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Matthew Hunter: It usually happens a lot quicker than that most of the people last year who died out in the desert actually all of the ones I saw reported by the news.
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Matthew Hunter: They died within one day. So they died on it on a day hike
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Matthew Hunter: and and die from heat stroke within one day, you know. So i'm talking about a few hours like they just go out for a hike. Think they're going to be back at their car in a few hours, and you know they either get lost a little bit turned around. They forget, you know they didn't bring water
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Matthew Hunter: um, and it's actually amazing how fast people can die in the wilderness, you know, just about anywhere,
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Matthew Hunter: but largely, you know, it's a lack of preparedness, Right? That's why the Voice Scout motto is, Be prepared because it's it really is simple. But I think you know a lot of people sort of ah fantasize survival and sort of have this idea of. You know what it's, what it's going to be like when in reality
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Matthew Hunter: sometimes it's, you know, survival skills and wilderness. Comfort is something as simple as you know where we where we're pants instead of short. So the mosquitoes don't
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Matthew Hunter: tear your legs up all night, or something as simple as that, you know. Hey, tell someone we're gonna be. Bring a compass a lot of times. It's more simple. And now there, you know, that's not to say that learning survival is always simple like that. But some of the
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Matthew Hunter: you know some of the things that are gonna kill you. You really don't even have to learn any fancy skills. You just have to learn what not to do so. A lot of my job as a survival instructor is is telling people what not to do. You know so how to prepare and how to not get yourself in a crazy situation, to begin with.
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Lee Burton: And I think that's a great point. Because, again, contrasting with primitive living, the idea of primitive living, and you know, and I've been out and done some not as long as you have it gone out for extended periods of time, and it's really enjoyable. It's like if you have everything right. You know it's like, hey? I'd like to stay out here, but that's very different from a survival situation, and I think you point this out really well when you're teaching, and that
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Lee Burton: it's usually going to be a short duration
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Lee Burton: one way or the other,
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Lee Burton: You know you're either going to make it out. However, you make it out, and we'll talk about that more in a minute, or you're not, but it's really about being prepared not not to live there, but having the things with you um, and doing your homework, so that you know you can make it through this next really cold night, right? Um. And you know, or or find some water like you were talking about people, you know, out in Arizona, where obviously it's very hot in the summer.
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Lee Burton: And so I think that's again that was kind of an eye-opener for me you know just from a contextual standpoint way of looking at things. It's very different from like you said. It's kind of glorious, you know. Well, i'm going to turn it to a native American, and you know. Catch a buffalo, and
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Lee Burton: you know. Put them on a splint, and, you know, Kick back in my hammock, and you know that's that's not really what we mean by survival situations, is it?
00:25:25.380 --> 00:25:32.759
Matthew Hunter: No, yeah. And I think a lot of survival training is sort of geared, in my opinion, sort of in the wrong way.
00:25:32.920 --> 00:26:02.910
Matthew Hunter: It's sort of geared for what people want, and not for what people need. So if you were to go on Youtube right now and see in type in wilderness survival, and see, like all the top videos that have millions of views, it's mostly people like living in the wood, like you know, doing like how to build this crazy big shelter out of nothing and and stuff like that, because that's what we want. That's what we think about. And that's what we really want deep down. Ah, but you know, if I'm going to train someone to to do like wilderness survival like you,
00:26:02.920 --> 00:26:22.059
Matthew Hunter: we were going shipped off to a war zone tomorrow, and I could teach you, you know, and I had like a weekend with you to teach you wilderness survival skills. I wouldn't be teaching you how to trap animals, and you know primitively, or how to build. Maybe I might teach you how to build a shelter. But more realistically, I'd probably teach you how to tie a few knots. You could set up a tar.
00:26:22.070 --> 00:26:30.440
Matthew Hunter: You know. A lot of people want to learn these these sort of primitive skills. But I think those surreal survival skills
00:26:30.450 --> 00:26:46.929
Matthew Hunter: are they a lot more surprisingly academic, like? There's quite a bit you can learn scientifically about wilderness survival, but it's definitely not as like It's not as fun, you know It's not as fun, and that's one of the problems i'm having even selling My course is that
00:26:47.000 --> 00:26:50.519
Matthew Hunter: you know I'm. I'm trying to give people what they need,
00:26:50.610 --> 00:26:55.339
Matthew Hunter: but what not what they want. So what people want is entertainment
00:26:55.350 --> 00:27:18.759
Matthew Hunter: is entertaining what I'm trying to give; but if it's not necessarily entertaining, it's not really fun to learn how to like navigate with the map encompass It's actually like kind of like learning math that you don't really want to do it, you know, learning like how to how to prevent frostbite and hypothermia isn't really fun. It's not like. Oh, yeah, that's going to be awesome. Let me watch a video on how to on how the body responds to the cold,
00:27:18.770 --> 00:27:34.990
Matthew Hunter: you know. It's not really fun. It's more like It's It's like, you know. You should do it to be responsible. And so i'm actually i'm even having trouble. Ah, I wouldn't say i'm having trouble selling my course. I'm having trouble positioning it to, you know, because I don't want to be dishonest and be like you're gonna be a desperate living.
00:27:35.000 --> 00:27:41.689
Lee Burton: I actually I actually I love navigating. But that's kind of you know. I think it's interesting. But anyway, well actually
00:27:41.700 --> 00:27:54.600
Lee Burton: just getting into a few specifics here. How hard is it to prepare? I mean just, you know, taking a few things. Maybe you're not going to become a master, you know, in orienteering or navigating, but
00:27:54.610 --> 00:28:24.509
Lee Burton: you know, being able to pack the right things, whether it's a day pack or a backpack trip, because I I find personally, and I've done. You know, a lot of back country backpacking, just having a few key tips like you said about knots, or you know, knowing how to. You know some basic ideas about repairs or dealing in a situation. It's incredibly valuable, and so are there. Things people can learn fairly quickly, you know, to prepare themselves, or I know you've done a lot of work on, you know, being able to tell people, and even
00:28:24.520 --> 00:28:47.540
Lee Burton: you know, for me. I was a little astounded about, you know, when you're out in a desert environment, how fast you can lose water, and particularly if you're carrying weight, or you know you can really run its problems very quickly. But are there some things you can do to help offset that? And you know that are practical. And you know, someone can learn or or prepare, you know, fairly quickly.
00:28:47.920 --> 00:29:05.369
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, yeah, Actually, you can learn, You know, some of the most important survival skills really quickly, because, like I said, it's mostly learning what not to do in a lot of ways, but it's really not learning it. It's the discipline of actually doing it.
00:29:05.380 --> 00:29:11.479
Matthew Hunter: And so what I what I tell my students is, you know I could teach you how to put on a seat belt in, you know,
00:29:11.490 --> 00:29:27.510
Matthew Hunter: thirty seconds. I can explain what it's for I can tell you the statistics of why you should do it. But if you don't do it every single time. It's not going to really be worth anything to you. So it's not just learning, you know, and sometimes it's. I have to really stress some of these the points
00:29:27.520 --> 00:29:46.379
Matthew Hunter: to my students, because I feel like It's so simple. It's like, Oh, I already know that you know where you're seeing, but I already know that. Um! And it's so easy to just be like. Well, that's easy, of course, but it's another thing altogether to actually do it every time. So that's what takes the discipline it's, you know. Hey, how do you not get a flat tire when you're out way out in the desert?
00:29:46.460 --> 00:29:54.899
Matthew Hunter: Well, you have to check your the air pressure and your tires. You have to check the tread. You may even have to pay a few hundred dollars to get a couple of your tires replaced,
00:29:54.910 --> 00:30:09.430
Matthew Hunter: And so that's the discipline aspect of it, and it's also, you know, putting all of that together, I could teach you how to read a map, but if you didn't print one out for your area, you didn't take the thirty minutes to find one. Print one out, or you didn't even look at it before you left,
00:30:09.440 --> 00:30:33.409
Matthew Hunter: or you just you have a compass, but you left it in your backpack, and when you got out of your car and started hiking you. Didn't even look at it it So a lot of it's really simple. You can learn it relatively quickly, but I think it's the um, the ingraining it into the back of your mind, where you always do it without thinking. That's the real, you know. Survival knowledge, so some of it can be pretty simple. But but
00:30:33.420 --> 00:30:44.429
Lee Burton: it's another thing altogether to actually do it every time. I think that's a great point, and I mean I should know better. But I've made that mistake before. I think something that goes along with that is that
00:30:44.440 --> 00:31:04.070
Lee Burton: people particularly if they know an area, or maybe they know it a little bit, or they've had experience there before, and everything went right, just assuming that the next time they go out, particularly in an area like the mountains, where things can change very quickly with the weather. It's going to be just like that again,
00:31:04.080 --> 00:31:16.320
Lee Burton: and I think they get complacent. You know I don't need the compass or what I I personally. One time I was in the Sierras, and it was right. About this time of year a few weeks later, early October.
00:31:16.610 --> 00:31:44.160
Lee Burton: But when the weather can start changing out there normally, October is pretty nice. Um! And so we went and showed up I was with the Buddy mine and got to the gate, and it was cold. I mean we're at only like four thousand five hundred feet, and you know it's like forty five degrees. And I asked the Ranger. He goes: Yeah, we don't usually get this till Thanksgiving, and so that that was a that should have been a light bulb moment, and we get in camp, you know, at the campground the first night we're going in for like two weeks,
00:31:44.170 --> 00:31:54.530
Lee Burton: and we go in the first night, and I had a T on one of these that has a tarp on the bottom. But if you want to save wakes. We are going in a long time. You can just take the fly with the tart,
00:31:54.540 --> 00:32:14.199
Lee Burton: and you know we went in about. I don't know, probably eight miles first day camped, and I tell you what it was so cold that night, and we were only at, you know, six to seven thousand feet. We're going at thirteen, and my friend he's a pretty tough guy he wanted to keep going. I'm like no no way.
00:32:14.210 --> 00:32:34.690
Lee Burton: Went six miles that morning, ran down to the car, got the rest of my tent, ran back up, made a really good time, got back in about three hours, and continued: and you know I was very tired that day. But thank goodness, it did that because I tell you what we got up. I mean it was bitterly cold, you know, from the top, and we would have. We had a real problem, and it just would have been a stupidity.
00:32:34.700 --> 00:32:36.989
Lee Burton: Yeah, this would have been a dumb mistake,
00:32:37.000 --> 00:32:51.930
Lee Burton: and that that actually describes most survival situations in the United States. It's not this, you know, extended ordeal where it's this you know, fight for your life, and ah, well, it is fighting for your life, but it's not this, you know. Um,
00:32:51.940 --> 00:32:59.590
Matthew Hunter: I need to trap a raccoon to survive and build this this fancy shelter
00:32:59.600 --> 00:33:06.530
Matthew Hunter: Sometimes I guess you know shelter building comes in, and i'm not saying i'm not. You know It's important to learn that stuff, but
00:33:06.590 --> 00:33:25.059
Matthew Hunter: it's it's much more mundane. It's much more everyday stuff situations. It's it's a lot more simple, you know. It's something as simple as hey? If you would have brought an extra hat, a jacket, maybe, as maybe a sleeping pad. They could thickened up your your bag a little bit, you know, but maybe brought a little bit heavier sleeping back.
00:33:25.070 --> 00:33:39.680
Matthew Hunter: You would have been all good, whereas if you didn't turn around and go get your stuff. You could have got into a serious, you know situation, and I think a lot of survival situations are fall into that category more than people want to admit.
00:33:39.690 --> 00:33:58.379
Lee Burton: Yeah. And I for people listening. I I know that you know so much about this and you. You said this earlier. It really is a crossover between the traditional skills and modern, because, you know, native Americans might not have been able to tell you about conduction or convection, but they sure knew about it
00:33:58.390 --> 00:34:28.170
Lee Burton: right. I mean scientifically. They may not have been able to do the math on or whatever, and they would say, No, don't You're not going to sleep on a rock, you know, at night, when it's cold, you know you're going to have to get off that ground. Get some insulation, and I think you do a really good job of explaining the science, you know, in a modern framework, and how important that is, because if you understand those things and you find yourself hopefully not You find yourself in the situations, or just for comfort, you know, and a story I mentioned a while ago. You can make some really good decisions
00:34:28.179 --> 00:34:36.489
Lee Burton: can either keep you from getting in trouble right, or if you do get in trouble, something happens, can keep you alive until you can get out.
00:34:36.500 --> 00:34:38.889
Lee Burton: Yeah, sorry. Go ahead.
00:34:38.900 --> 00:34:55.690
Matthew Hunter: Yeah. And and a lot of it is um comfort. So you know, a lot of people think of survival skills that they are sort of like a like insurance, you know, like Oh, that's it. That's I'm gonna take a survival course for the one in a million chance that I get into a survival situation in
00:34:55.699 --> 00:35:05.230
Matthew Hunter: That's just really not how you know how I teach. I teach from a very practical standpoint. So whenever you take the my survival course. You're not just going to learn.
00:35:05.240 --> 00:35:15.740
Matthew Hunter: You know what to do in that one and a million, you know. Chance, but it's made to make you more comfortable because at the end of the day that's what survival is. Survival is staying comfortable
00:35:15.750 --> 00:35:45.020
Matthew Hunter: and versus being cold or being, you know, dehydrated or being hot or whatever. And so a lot of it really, you know, for people who do want to live in the woods. Um! Ah! You know, learning the actual wilderness survival is like a prerequisite. So I you know I love it. When people want to learn primitive skills and the wilderness living, and how to build it, but you know, use an axe and and build a cool shelter, and that's all you know, really fun. Awesome skills. But the prerequisites, all of that is like is the more basic,
00:35:45.030 --> 00:35:46.780
Matthew Hunter: you know, survival skills.
00:35:46.790 --> 00:36:10.149
Lee Burton: And yeah, if you do find yourself in a bad situation and your comfort level, you know, colds, taking it out of your dehydrated. Obviously, you're probably going to be limited on food. Insects are following you. That brings your whole system down, and I've heard you talk about more stressors, and you know that lessens your survival chances. If things get really bad, just a few things in particular,
00:36:10.160 --> 00:36:20.760
Lee Burton: and I think A lot of people know this who are experienced, certainly like in the mountains. But clothing is really important, Right? And is that something people overlook a lot of times or don't take the right things.
00:36:20.770 --> 00:36:42.800
Matthew Hunter: Oh, absolutely yeah, absolutely. Um. I more than overlook. I think it's just completely. Ah, Ah just absolutely ignored um. People. People in the North are a little bit better, you know. They They grew up learning to dress in layers, and to, you know, have your little base layer, and to maybe even wear a hat and a scarf, and things like that.
00:36:42.810 --> 00:36:43.750
Matthew Hunter: Um,
00:36:43.930 --> 00:36:48.689
Matthew Hunter: but you know a lot of people who like, for you know you and me. I don't know where you did. You grew up in Texas.
00:36:48.700 --> 00:36:49.390
Lee Burton: Yes,
00:36:49.400 --> 00:37:08.790
Lee Burton: yeah. So yeah. So Texans. I was watching King of the Hill last night, and on one of the episodes it started snowing, and they said, People of Ireland are not prepared for this, but you know they don't know what to do. And this whole thing. You know this whole thing about getting propane to the people, and you know um. I love that show.
00:37:08.800 --> 00:37:13.520
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, And So that's It's very much like that. It's that like we Tex and we
00:37:13.530 --> 00:37:39.059
Lee Burton: I don't know what to do when it gets cold. Uh and well, you know all jokes aside, though you know you did see that. Uh, what was it? Two two winters ago I was here. I lived through it. I lost power it was. Uh, yeah, it was the winter of twenty twenty one and uh, you know, when it started coming on I I did some basic things, and you know I knew the pipes going to freeze. Fill my bathrooms up, and then I kind of had fun with it. I
00:37:39.070 --> 00:37:57.689
Lee Burton: I think I told you this. I went and made a snow shelter and stayed in it one night, but I mean it. It was. Some people were really struggling, and you know the communities were not at all, and obviously the power Grid Wasn't set up to deal with that. And so, you know. Fortunately, I think if it had lasted much longer, it would start being a real problem.
00:37:57.700 --> 00:38:04.789
Lee Burton: Yeah. But anyway, it certainly wasn't comfortable for a lot of people and a lot of people didn't know what to do.
00:38:04.800 --> 00:38:23.089
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, yeah, I mean, you know, you have people dying in their own home. It's really sad, you know, and I I felt, you know, helpless over here in Arizona, and being from Texas, it kind of hit me like man. I could actually be helping the people out there. Um, you know, but it's. You know people are dying
00:38:23.100 --> 00:38:41.710
Matthew Hunter: in their own home when it's. You know what? Thirty degrees outside, or something like that. Ah, and you know people have have lived at, you know, over a hundred degrees lower than that, you know. Arctic explorers and stuff like that have been out in, you know one hundred degrees lower than that,
00:38:41.760 --> 00:39:05.910
Matthew Hunter: you know at ah, at like seventy below Ah! And been able to survive. So you know it definitely, you know, having the survival skills, knowing what to wear and where. I think we're about to see that again, Lee. Ah, at least that's what people are saying in Europe right now, because of all of the ah, the shortages on ah natural gas um! And a lot of people are thinking that when winter comes around there's going to be people who Ah,
00:39:06.260 --> 00:39:36.199
Matthew Hunter: you know, we're going to be needing, you know, needing heat and not having it. So that's kind of scary. But you know. Yeah, clothing is definitely a major major factor on, and there's literally whole books that have been written about clothing and some that are even too advanced for me to understand. You know, science, like engineers writing like the science of floating. And there's a lot of things in the modern day that this technology just came out in studies that people neglect. But definitely here, even in the desert, you know, people don't realize you need to wear long clothes instead of short
00:39:36.210 --> 00:39:44.650
Matthew Hunter: in a T-shirt, and that's actually going to help you stay protected from the sun. So it's a major factor. In everything we do is how we dress.
00:39:44.660 --> 00:40:14.310
Lee Burton: Yeah, And I know just for personal experience. You're very well versed in that, and you know, maybe underselling yourself. But you know understanding about evaporation and and sensible perspiration and layering. And there really is a lot you can do, and, as you say, particularly with these modern garments, of course, now they're getting into sort of nanotechnology, and yet I think it's pretty sophisticated, but you certainly can do things to protect yourself and prevent from. And again I I've done stupid things before you know you. You learn,
00:40:14.810 --> 00:40:44.800
Lee Burton: you know, wearing cotton shirt, you know. All of a sudden the big front comes in your soap, and you know that's just not a place you want to be um the other a couple other items that you know people commonly think about in survival in terms of skills, maybe speak to one of them. Is this fire, and I know a lot of people think. Oh, I can start a fire. But I tell you what when you get out there, and if the conditions aren't right, you know it can be very challenging, and that's such a crucial thing, both in terms of just maintaining body.
00:40:44.810 --> 00:40:47.870
Lee Burton: But it's also psychologically very important.
00:40:48.390 --> 00:41:03.309
Matthew Hunter: Yeah. I I tell my students that if there was one skill that could really save your life more than almost any other skill other than just being prepared. In general, I would say, fire is the number one skill, because well,
00:41:03.520 --> 00:41:07.759
Matthew Hunter: you know, when you look at how people actually die in the wilderness,
00:41:07.770 --> 00:41:26.710
Lee Burton: I'd say a lot of people surprisingly die from slipping and falling. That's probably like the number one way people back, but as far as like practical every day, you know. How are you like? If I was to ask you what are the most miserable times you've had in the wilderness, I guarantee. Probably on the top three would be a time you were really really cold and miserable,
00:41:26.720 --> 00:41:40.129
Matthew Hunter: and um the the the couple of times I've had, you know, near-death experiences in the wilderness. It was from the cold as well, you know. And so yeah, fire is A is a major thing, and I actually just taught a lesson
00:41:40.310 --> 00:41:45.339
Matthew Hunter: yesterday to my students on the importance of fire and
00:41:45.350 --> 00:42:05.319
Lee Burton: a lot of people. Don't realize you need a six foot long fire to stay warm in the wilderness. You can't have a little campfire because it only warm apart, like one part of your body in the right. So you actually have to have like a a six foot long fire, and then the amount of wood you need to to last the night, I think of most most people. I underestimate that.
00:42:05.330 --> 00:42:11.889
Lee Burton: Yeah, you need like a pickup truck full of, You know, a piles of wood. A:
00:42:11.900 --> 00:42:12.589
Matthew Hunter: Yeah,
00:42:12.600 --> 00:42:23.889
Lee Burton: yeah, seriously, I mean, especially if you're using like softwoods like pine or something. It burns a lot quicker than hard. Was. You need a lot of wood, or if it's only if it's desiccated, it just goes fast. Yeah,
00:42:23.900 --> 00:42:24.770
00:42:24.780 --> 00:42:26.330
Matthew Hunter: uh, and uh,
00:42:26.350 --> 00:42:35.289
Lee Burton: let's see what I was. What was I gonna say? So Yeah, staying warm is is a well an iron, just just the lighting one can be so challenging.
00:42:35.300 --> 00:42:44.729
Lee Burton: Oh, here's what I was gonna say. So I tell my students, if you have, if you need to practice firelighting and like the worst possible conditions. And
00:42:44.740 --> 00:43:10.140
Matthew Hunter: there are people who who will try to say, you know. Ah, that you, you know you should. Um! You should have an extra, you know, sleeping bag, and have the cold weather clothing, because you might not always be able to get a fire started, and I to that I would say that if you can't get a fire started and you're not practicing enough, I tell my students you need to be practicing in the worst possible conditions, you know, while it's raining or after it's rained for multiple days straight, and if you Haven't failed
00:43:10.290 --> 00:43:16.810
Matthew Hunter: getting a fire started, at least, you know, five, five or ten times, which means, if you haven't went out
00:43:16.820 --> 00:43:36.139
Matthew Hunter: for you know, thirty minutes to an hour to get a fire started, and then failed, and had to give up. If you haven't done done that at least five times, then you're not going to be ready when you really need it. So you should be practicing in in such conditions that you can't get a fire started, and Then, once you can't get a buyer started five to ten times,
00:43:36.150 --> 00:43:38.409
Matthew Hunter: and then eventually you overcome that.
00:43:38.420 --> 00:43:57.170
Matthew Hunter: Then, you know. Okay. Now I know I can get a fire started because I failed enough times that I finally started to overcome, and so I would say that's anyone watching that if if you think you can. Um! You can get a fire in any circumstance. Well, how many times have you failed at getting a fire because I had to. I had to not be able to get a fire
00:43:57.210 --> 00:44:07.830
Lee Burton: but a few times before I got good enough, you know. Does that make sense absolutely? I? I have a couple of personal experiences with that in in the Wilderness, New Mexico,
00:44:07.840 --> 00:44:31.859
Lee Burton: where it took me over an hour, I mean. One time it took me almost two hours, and everything was wet, and you know there's some tricks you do to help, and finally got it going. But and it wasn't a life or death situation. But you know, I think about that. Um, you know. If it were, it's i'd be really nervous, I mean Ah, and and that's another thing. I think it's a good reminder You tell me about how people you know don't prepare.
00:44:31.870 --> 00:44:37.089
Lee Burton: I have a practice of I try to remind myself. Whenever I go in the back country,
00:44:37.480 --> 00:44:54.430
Lee Burton: you know. Yeah, chances are things going to go right or something. Did have you run across somebody, but you can't be guaranteed of that. And so sometimes i'll just stop and just remind myself, you know, maybe a beautiful day. I feel great. I have everything my need, but i'm back in here thirty miles.
00:44:54.680 --> 00:44:59.579
Lee Burton: If somehow I you mentioned slipping and falling, you know it can change like that,
00:44:59.620 --> 00:45:28.779
Lee Burton: and so I need to be prepared and keep my wits about me, and also I need to not take things for granted. One of my favorite expressions is, you know, in terms of that is Don't. Take chances. It's okay to take calculated risks like I may want to go up to this peak to get this view, and there's a payoff for that. But don't do stupid things, you know, like you said, Leave your compass at home, you know. There's no reason for that. Right? You're just taking a chance. I mean, Yeah, you save a little way, but it's that really worth it. And so
00:45:28.790 --> 00:45:35.110
Lee Burton: I just try to remind myself that because you can really get sucked in. And just think everything is gonna go just this honky dory.
00:45:35.680 --> 00:45:47.439
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, I'm gonna read a quote from my very first lesson on survival, the introduction. I'll try to have like a relevant quote at the beginning. So the quote for my very first lesson is,
00:45:47.450 --> 00:46:02.030
Matthew Hunter: it might seem, or sorry. It might almost seem as if with the aid of modern equipment in science, man had overcome natural hazards. But this is an illusion. The very illusion by which most amateur adventure seekers are deceived.
00:46:02.510 --> 00:46:03.790
Lee Burton: And so
00:46:03.800 --> 00:46:28.970
Lee Burton: for Christian tropes, art of survival. And so, yeah, we tend to think because we live in a modern time. And because I mean, you know you could die and literally be able to see the lights of the highway. But you just can't get there in time to do anything about it, you know. We tend to ah forget as modern people with all of our equipment. And you know there's you know you're always a phone call away from an ambulance. You can always just drive to the store, and
00:46:28.980 --> 00:46:50.049
Matthew Hunter: you know not a lot can really go wrong here in the city. Ah, or you know, in the town, but we so, as we sort of forget how vulnerable we actually are out in the back country, and I don't a lot of people even people who are, you know, more self-sufficient A lot of people forget how self-sufficient we truly have to be in the back country.
00:46:50.240 --> 00:46:55.670
Lee Burton: I have a good friend of mine, who is out at Los Angeles in New Mexico, and
00:46:55.680 --> 00:47:24.670
Lee Burton: just went out for a day hike uh with his girlfriend, left his shoes there, walking barefoot's. Nice day, you know. It might have been like late spring, or maybe early fall, and they got lost, which a lot of people do at White Sands and Ah were going through. And then darkness came on, and they had no idea where they were, and I I guess it must have been overclass, so he couldn't see the sun direction, but he he did know roughly where a highway was walked all the way through the night. He clasped.
00:47:24.680 --> 00:47:36.859
Lee Burton: He had to carry her like the last mile or two, and he finally got to that road about eight o'clock in the morning, their barefoot, and you know it was cold at night, and about thirty minutes after somebody picked him up. It started snowing.
00:47:36.870 --> 00:48:04.860
Lee Burton: Wow! And so I mean It's like these things can happen. Ah, you know it's it happens a lot more than than we think. What What about? Ah, Matthew? Another thing I know you've done a lot of work on this. Can you talk a little about, and particularly in hot climates, But even in and colder and temperate clients, how easy it is to get dehydrated, and what happens? And and just then also about being able to find or save water. And just some things people should be aware of.
00:48:05.310 --> 00:48:07.939
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, Yeah. So Um:
00:48:08.180 --> 00:48:18.040
Matthew Hunter: yeah, I have a whole lesson on dehydration, and it's an interesting lesson where you sort of trace the science of dehydration, and how it happens to the body.
00:48:18.240 --> 00:48:47.159
Matthew Hunter: So you know, here in the desert dehydration can happen. You know a lot of people say you can last three days without water. Well, that's you know. Ah, it not here in the desert. You can't last that long without water, Um, you know. Maybe one one day. Ah, you know, here in one hundred and fifteen. It can just get brutal. But I think dehydration ah, a lot a lot more than just the survival of not having water. Dehydration is a major threat, even when you have water. So one of the things I teach
00:48:47.170 --> 00:48:50.869
Matthew Hunter: that in high heat people will dehydrate themselves
00:48:51.180 --> 00:49:04.140
Matthew Hunter: even when they have water readily available. So we call that voluntary dehydration. And the reason for that is because you don't feel thirsty until you've already lost two percent of your body weight in water.
00:49:04.520 --> 00:49:16.120
Matthew Hunter: Okay, so that would be a four pounds for a two. If you're two hundred pounds, then you lost two. You lost four pounds of water, and that's something like That's something like two liters. Okay?
00:49:16.130 --> 00:49:26.889
Matthew Hunter: And so you may so think of like a two liter bottle like a soda bottle. So you, if you're a two hundred pound man, you may not even feel thirsty until you've lost nearly two liters of water from your.
00:49:26.900 --> 00:49:28.689
That's a lot. That's a lot of water loss.
00:49:28.700 --> 00:49:35.580
Matthew Hunter: That's a lot of water. And so, even if you're not going to die, you know, dehydration increases your risk for frostbite.
00:49:35.750 --> 00:49:41.799
Matthew Hunter: Most people who get hypothermic are actually dehydrated to some extent most of the time.
00:49:41.810 --> 00:50:05.000
Matthew Hunter: Ah, it increases your ah, well, obviously you get fatigue. You get exhausted right, and it also increases your chance for a Ah! Heat, heat, stroke, or heat-related injury, so heat, exhaustion, whatever, and it, you know it just makes your mood go down. It makes your morale go down. And so, being dehydrated a lot of times, isn't even like a survival, a lot of times it is, but
00:50:05.010 --> 00:50:13.450
Matthew Hunter: you know it's more. It's just wilderness comfort. So, understanding how to you know, force yourself to drink water, even when you're not thirsty to to offset that.
00:50:13.980 --> 00:50:26.210
Matthew Hunter: But then, here in the desert there's there's this idea, and in a lot of survival books of you know, they always want to talk about how to find water right, and I think the modern man wants this once like a
00:50:26.220 --> 00:50:33.990
Lee Burton: you know, sort of a need, a magical native American trick to find water or like what we're all about. Dundee do right now.
00:50:34.000 --> 00:50:48.269
Lee Burton: Yeah, what would Jeremiah Johnson do right now if they didn't have water? And in reality. What I teach my students is, if you're ever asking where to find water, You've already probably broken like five rules of survival to get where you are
00:50:48.280 --> 00:51:04.530
Matthew Hunter: um! And so you can't really like. I always teach base off like the worst case scenario. So when i'm, you know, teaching survival, i'm presupposing that you're going to be in the worst possible situation ever. And so when i'm presupposing that
00:51:04.540 --> 00:51:08.560
Matthew Hunter: if you're in the worst situation here in the desert, there is no water,
00:51:08.590 --> 00:51:37.170
Matthew Hunter: there is none to be found. Okay, there, there's this I There's this sort of idea, especially when you don't live in the desert that, like there's always water somewhere in the desert. You just have to know where to find it. But that's just like simply not true. Um, even if you know where, like a spring is, it may be dried up by the time you get there in the summer, Right? It only maybe only wet It's only wet in the winter months I've literally seen ponds dry up. It'd be upon one one, two months later. It's a it's like a dry,
00:51:37.220 --> 00:51:47.389
Lee Burton: you know. Crusted hole. It's like that last back country driven by Dizz in a desert. The spring was frozen. We're there in December solid, frozen
00:51:47.400 --> 00:51:48.790
Lee Burton: interest, and we were able to.
00:51:48.800 --> 00:51:50.790
Lee Burton: Yeah, I mean, it was very high elevation,
00:51:50.800 --> 00:52:06.090
Lee Burton: you know. Be able to break it open and and get into it. But absolutely. I I have two friends who are in the Heila Wilderness kind of got lost, but they didn't know where they were, and before that they thought everything was okay. So their packs were heavy. They dumped half of their water, major mistakes,
00:52:06.100 --> 00:52:25.639
Lee Burton: you know, So away and they really gotten to. They finally got down to the river, you know, but they paid for it. I mean another three or four days. They really didn't feel well. So I think that's a great point. One other thing, too, that I know you talk about, I find really interesting, because you know, you always see about finding water. But you talk about.
00:52:25.650 --> 00:52:37.349
Lee Burton: If you find yourself in that kind of situation there actually is quite a bit you can do, even if you don't have water to be able to help yourself in order to save water. Can you speak to that a little bit?
00:52:37.500 --> 00:52:49.899
Matthew Hunter: Yeah. So in desert survival, because there's usually not water available. Well, first of all, you want to always be realizing that there's not water and carrying extra water.
00:52:49.930 --> 00:52:55.589
Matthew Hunter: But there was a some studies done There's a book actually having here behind me, called
00:52:55.600 --> 00:53:14.870
Matthew Hunter: Physiology of man in the desert, and the fact that I even have a physical copy is somewhat of a miracle, because it's how a print book. But you can you can it for free online for? Well, the one percent of people who would want to read it. It's It's more of a science type book. It's It's not like a you know, a real page turn by any means. But ah!
00:53:14.970 --> 00:53:33.879
Matthew Hunter: So what they talk about is that some studies that were done in Southern California and during World War Ii. Um. You know, learning about man's sort of body. Water needs dehydration desert survival. So it's really it is science. But it's really practical as well. And so
00:53:33.940 --> 00:53:44.419
Matthew Hunter: basically, the the only thing you can really do if you do get into a survival situation where you don't have water is to try to conserve the water that's already in your body.
00:53:44.640 --> 00:54:07.750
Matthew Hunter: So you're trying to in the desert. That means reducing your sweat rate and reducing the other things that ah, dehydrate you so wearing. Long clothing has actually been shown scientifically to reduce your rate of dehydration. So a lot of people think you'll be hot in the desert if you wear long-sleeving pants, and you may feel a little bit hotter sometimes,
00:54:07.760 --> 00:54:20.259
Matthew Hunter: but because you have that skin covered it, it reduces the dehydration rate. So you're actually losing less water, and then well, if I could sum it up, it's a, you know. Sit under a tree all day, and don't move
00:54:20.270 --> 00:54:39.130
Matthew Hunter: and then walk at night, which is generally a bad idea. I would never recommend walking around at night anytime, because you can trip. You can poke your eye out. If there's a million things could happen. Um, even in the desert. I wouldn't recommend walking because you could. You know I was. We went on like a night hike the other night with the headlands
00:54:39.140 --> 00:54:58.339
Matthew Hunter: and um I was this close to stepping on a rattlesnake. My friend had to like put his arm back. So I don't recommend looking at night. But yeah, So when it comes to like not having water in the desert. The only thing you can do is reduce your your water loss. And so that's the only time in the desert survival situation where
00:54:58.350 --> 00:55:05.339
Matthew Hunter: you could walk at night, and there's a few other things I talk about reducing your well, keeping yourself covered,
00:55:05.550 --> 00:55:17.390
Matthew Hunter: you know, reducing your even the amount of weight in your pack can you know increase so ditch any non-essential gear that you don't really need. Just take your water. And Yeah. A few other things we talk about.
00:55:17.400 --> 00:55:21.189
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, that's that's more of a desert specific skill for the most part.
00:55:21.200 --> 00:55:44.770
Lee Burton: Yeah, no, that's fascinating. So one thing that we don't. I think, talk a lot about or as much. And this is in a lot of survival books as well, you know. Mention this if people really read. But you do see on the Tv shows, or, you know, like sit on Youtube where it becomes about. Oh, i'm going to go, you know. Kill a bush pig, right? You know. I'm going to eat it.
00:55:44.800 --> 00:55:54.210
Lee Burton: Can you talk a little bit about food? And you know again keeping in mind that we're not talking about primitive living and staying in the wilderness indefinitely,
00:55:54.220 --> 00:56:05.450
Lee Burton: you know, is that something people should be focused on or finding food, or in something like No, hey, listen. You can go. Whatever It is, three weeks without food. It's like Don't worry about that. Just try to get out.
00:56:05.990 --> 00:56:19.589
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, yes, and No, Yes and no. So definitely, you know. I think most people sort of know that they know. Hey, you can go at least three weeks without food. I would argue, probably go longer than that without food. I mean, you can go at least forty days.
00:56:19.600 --> 00:56:35.639
Lee Burton: Yeah. And you know well, you know, three weeks. But because you're in the wilderness you're doing a lot of ah heavy work and stuff like that. But I think what a lot of people don't think about is um, you know, even though you can. You won't die. You will definitely be very miserable after one or two
00:56:35.650 --> 00:56:41.520
Matthew Hunter: two days about food and one of the biggest things that I think people don't think about is
00:56:41.580 --> 00:57:05.389
Matthew Hunter: sugar, caffeine, and nicotine withdraws. So most people we were just talking about before we started this, like we're both kind of his life, and like how we're like addicted to caffeine. And ah! So a lot of people don't think about is, is, you know, going with it? Oh, my goodness, even on one of those shows I think it was making it a afraid. I saw someone they were like, Yeah, i'm using this show to like, help me stop smoking,
00:57:05.400 --> 00:57:18.990
Lee Burton: and they had their last cigarette on the boat about to get off, and they, I think it was thinking, afraid it might have been like another one of those, but they were smoking their last cigarette right before they off the boat, and I was like, What are you doing?
00:57:19.000 --> 00:57:20.689
Lee Burton: Bad idea. Yeah,
00:57:20.700 --> 00:57:37.459
Matthew Hunter: So a lot of people don't think about is in a in a three-day survival situation. Right? We always assume like three days is is the the two to three days is the average survival situation, you know, in the Us. Or even less than that. And maybe you would even say like, get prepared for like a week.
00:57:37.470 --> 00:58:04.929
Matthew Hunter: Ah, well, Caffeine is going to be one of your major problems, and even for a lot of people sugar withdraws because a lot of people eat sugar every single day, and don't even think about what they would do without it, and how bad that can affect your mood! And Ah, and ah! But really, you know, another another thing. A couple of things I teach is that in cold weather environments you actually do need food, because again, you know. People say. Oh, you know you need um. It takes you three weeks to start a death.
00:58:04.940 --> 00:58:05.680
Matthew Hunter: Well,
00:58:06.260 --> 00:58:10.240
Matthew Hunter: well, you You're probably going to freeze to death before you starve to death, right?
00:58:10.250 --> 00:58:38.989
Matthew Hunter: But the thing about freezing to death is that it's directly related to how much food you're eating, because the body is burning energy to keep itself warm, and you have to replace that energy That it's burning. So eating food is is actually important to prevent a hypothermia. When you're in a really cold environment, your body's constantly working, shivering, and you know, to to keep you warm. And you're having a hard time having some extra food definitely helps, and then the flip reverse sides of that is in hot environments.
00:58:39.070 --> 00:58:49.319
Matthew Hunter: You know a lot of people Don't, realize that depletion of salt from your body is one is oftentimes one of the causes of each stroke. And so,
00:58:49.360 --> 00:58:56.840
Matthew Hunter: you know, if you're just drinking water only without eating for a few days out in the desert. You can still, really,
00:58:56.850 --> 00:59:26.559
Matthew Hunter: you know, predispose yourself to getting heat stroke because of that. Salt salt is the most important electrolyte. You don't think about it like as an electrolyte, but it is it. You know it's the it's the electrolyte you need, so you know, food uh while you you can last quite a while without starving. It is is good idea to have some extra food on you, some snacks, some a lot of people recommend putting sugar cubes in your survival. Kit. I've never done that, but a lot of people recommend, and then, having like little like tea bags, or you know something with a little extra Kathy
00:59:26.570 --> 00:59:39.289
Matthew Hunter: instant coffee, packets, or something like that, and those can go a long way. But yeah, cold weather is the main thing where you'll really need some extra some fat, you know, some nice.
00:59:39.300 --> 00:59:53.699
Lee Burton: I think that's a really good point, because if anyone who's experiences I mean even round your house, or something, if you, you know, been fasting, or for whatever reason is that your mood changes, and as I am, i'm in a bad mood, but
00:59:53.710 --> 01:00:00.610
Lee Burton: it's not just. Your mood changes your your mind doesn't work as well you may be. You're going to be more
01:00:00.620 --> 01:00:27.110
Lee Burton: likely to have an accident. Ah, you're going to make some bad decisions, you know you're going to make some mistakes. You're you're going to fumble with things, you know. You may not be able to do basic chores nearly as well. I mean it really and worst case scenario. And you know, you know, there's obviously a survival and structure that you know it can affect your motivation. And well, I'm just gonna to sit down. Well,
01:00:27.120 --> 01:00:47.990
Lee Burton: you know, like my uncle and the when he was about to freeze the death, you know. He just wanted to go to sleep, and he started getting this kind of warm feeling which a lot of people say happens before you actually freeze to death. And so yeah, I think that's a really good point that you know, even just a little bit of food if it helps your attitude can, can actually make a big difference because of what it does. Your mental faculties.
01:00:48.000 --> 01:00:49.690
Matthew Hunter: Yeah. And a lot of people don't
01:00:49.700 --> 01:00:57.959
Matthew Hunter: considered like. What you just said is that the mood and everything and a lot of people don't consider that that's on top of not getting a lot of sleep.
01:00:58.030 --> 01:01:19.010
Matthew Hunter: Ah, over exerting yourself more than you maybe ever have before the previous day. Um, You probably a little bit dehydrated already, so you may, or maybe um if it's not cold, and you're dealing with the heat. You probably got Torah by insects the night before, so it's not just. Oh, i'm hungry or i'm a little cranky, or I have caffeine withdraws. It's that plus,
01:01:19.060 --> 01:01:25.030
Matthew Hunter: you know, five more different environmental stressors that just run you down.
01:01:25.040 --> 01:01:53.670
Matthew Hunter: So that's what I talk about with the term exposure, which is, you know, dying from the elements. It's Sometimes it's just one thing like heat stroke that got you or hypothermia, but a lot of times. It's a whole spiral of events where it's like ten different things. It's, you know, lack of sleep over exertion, dehydration, all of those different things that spiral down and not having food in being, you know, or not having caffeine, or whatever is just one more of you know that that is, on top of a whole, a whole lot of other things.
01:01:54.610 --> 01:02:09.010
Lee Burton: So, Matthew, I think that's a good way to kind of sum up the last couple items here, and I wanted to ask you if you can speak to the psychology of survival again. I think this is something you do hear about in the books. Obviously some of them put it right up front.
01:02:09.020 --> 01:02:32.990
Lee Burton: But you know, talk about how important that is. And then also in the decision making about what you do, because a lot of survival is about, you know. Do I try to get out of my own, or do I wait for someone to rescue me. So can you speak about those two things, psychology? And then the decision making on what to do. If you find yourself in a situation like this.
01:02:33.000 --> 01:02:34.089
Matthew Hunter: Sure.
01:02:34.100 --> 01:02:43.770
Matthew Hunter: Yeah. So I think psychology is actually actually over emphasized in survival. And I think it's always sort of.
01:02:44.080 --> 01:02:48.550
Matthew Hunter: There's always like a little chapter on having a positive mental attitude.
01:02:48.700 --> 01:03:06.789
Matthew Hunter: Ah, but the point I make is that um having a positive mental attitude is directly related to your physical well-being, so you can. You can read a chapter on having a positive mental attitude all you want, but if you're just completely run down,
01:03:06.860 --> 01:03:08.950
Matthew Hunter: it doesn't really matter right,
01:03:08.960 --> 01:03:38.720
Lee Burton: and and it's sort of like like what we talked about like nicotine withdrawals like right? Ah, you know someone who like tries to quit smoking Um! It doesn't matter if they know mentally that like, Oh, yeah, I'm having nicotine withdrawals. That's why i'm in a bad mood and like, And you know, being mean to everybody. Well, you try to tell them that and see how it works, hey? You just don't worry You're just having nicotine withdraws. They'll say, shut up on. I don't, you know. So it's really easy to write in your book. Have a positive mental attitude, you know. Make sure you're doing things positive.
01:03:38.730 --> 01:03:58.470
Matthew Hunter: It's like. Well, that's really hard to do. When I just fell in the creek and all my stuff got wet, and I can't get a fire started, and I feel like i'm about to die. You know people don't die because they have a bad attitude. They die because they froze to death, you know, so I don't want to say that, you know, we should never talk about this psychology
01:03:58.480 --> 01:04:06.740
Matthew Hunter: survival. There's actually only really a couple books on the psychology of survival. One of them is by a John Lee.
01:04:06.970 --> 01:04:20.290
Matthew Hunter: And so what he talks about his is actually about um disaster survival. So it's more. It's more like for first responders. For people who are like, you know, not so much for wilderness survival, although there is some overlap.
01:04:20.580 --> 01:04:27.770
Matthew Hunter: But a lot of it is when it comes to the psychology of survival, I would say the emphasis should be on the
01:04:27.920 --> 01:04:30.820
Matthew Hunter: people thinking it can't happen to them
01:04:31.680 --> 01:04:54.460
Lee Burton: so psychologically. Probably the number one thing that is going to kill people is not that they had a bad attitude, which I guess that does do it. But you know, usually your bad attitude is because you're miserable, and there's nothing you can do about it. But it's mostly because people think it can't happen to them. Anyway, they're not even thinking about a survival situation in like. Ah, you know you we talked about at the beginning of this how
01:04:54.470 --> 01:05:01.299
Matthew Hunter: your friend was like. Hey, let's just keep hiking up this trail. Let's get to thirteen thousand feet, and you were like no way i'm gonna go back to the car.
01:05:01.310 --> 01:05:26.939
Matthew Hunter: Okay, So that's where, psychologically, you made the right decision. A lot of people would make the wrong decision and keep going because they don't even think you know that something bad can happen to them. So I think psychologically, the number one error people make, we call it cognitive dissonance for any of the you know. Psychology nerds out there where it's sort of like. You see one thing happening with your eyes. But you don't acknowledge
01:05:26.950 --> 01:05:41.820
Matthew Hunter: that it's like a real real threat, and I think you know that's probably where I would put The emphasis is, Think is, you know, knowing like someone sitting there telling you here's how people die in the wilderness, and then not taking the necessary steps to prevent that.
01:05:41.830 --> 01:06:07.160
Lee Burton: I think that's a good point from instructor, because a lot of that is, I I see both sides of it. But I see what you're saying. You don't want to put yourself in that situation, and a lot of that's personality driven, And there are stories of people just unbelievable, what they you know were willing to bear. And you know the old guys like, you know, Shackleton, you know, who was exploring, you know, and and guys that cross in the North Pole and and send these guys. But
01:06:07.170 --> 01:06:24.059
Lee Burton: you know a lot of times. Then everyone says, is, you don't really know for sure how you're going to respond until you're in that situation, and you're one of those, and like you said, you may just freeze to death, anyway. So why put yourself in that position? If you cannot, you know. And I think that's a really good point.
01:06:24.070 --> 01:06:42.590
Lee Burton: In any event, if you're in a situation like that. Can you talk to people about this whole idea of trying to get out on your own versus waiting for rescue? And what goes into that. Is there a hard and fast rule? Does it just depend on the circumstances? How would you advise people?
01:06:42.600 --> 01:06:56.110
Matthew Hunter: Yeah, yeah, and really, quickly, with with people like Shackleton. I don't. I also don't want to say. You know I don't want to just completely discount what people write in survival books, so i'm not saying. You know the positive mental attitude is not a good thing to talk about, but I just
01:06:56.120 --> 01:07:23.990
Matthew Hunter: just wanna also place the emphasis like there is different types of personalities. And some people just have a personality where you're gonna respond in a completely wrong way and have a horrible attitude. And so for those types of people you need to just have. If you have a backpack full of equipment, you can have the worst attitude in the world. But you have a backpack full of equipment. So you're good, and the and the flip side is, you can have the best attitude of of anybody and still die, and that's that sort of point. I was trying to get out.
01:07:24.000 --> 01:07:27.109
Matthew Hunter: But you do have the Shackleton types where it's like,
01:07:27.130 --> 01:07:46.290
Matthew Hunter: you know. You know. Ah, really, you know, getting like having the discipline it's really discipline. That's where it's not positive mental attitude it's discipline, self-control, and discipline. You know it's the people Yeah, Anyway, that's a different topic. So the question is, you know, when to when to
01:07:46.830 --> 01:07:51.980
Matthew Hunter: signal for rescue or when to strike out on your own and try to find your way back.
01:07:52.140 --> 01:08:10.409
Matthew Hunter: Um, yeah, I think this is another place where people um have this misconception that you know. Um Well, it's like self rescue. Self rescue has not really happened a whole lot in the wilderness. Probably, you know, I mean there's always survival situations that people don't report, and things like that
01:08:10.540 --> 01:08:25.949
Matthew Hunter: near-death things where people got out on their own. Of course we don't have records of that. But I think a lot of times people. Um! Ah, don't recognize that being rescued in the wilderness is the most likely outcome to your survival situation.
01:08:25.960 --> 01:08:47.499
Matthew Hunter: You know, when you get lost when you you know I mean, there's always these. My My wife always send me sends me articles about people getting rescued out of the Grand Canyon, you know. Someone and his dog got rescued by a helicopter because they were, you know, on the verge of heat stroke, and, in fact, the wilderness survival instructor, Jesse Krebs. She has a
01:08:47.710 --> 01:08:55.390
Matthew Hunter: the masterclass survival, of course, but in her and she's a seer instructor. Right? So military trains to your instructor.
01:08:55.399 --> 01:09:14.940
Matthew Hunter: She She says that signaling for rescue is like the number one survival skill in her opinion. So it like, and in her opinion, the number. One thing you should learn at first is how to signal her rescue. And so and I would, you know, sort of agree that that's one of the top, You know things. People always say like shelter, water, fire, food.
01:09:14.950 --> 01:09:16.289
Matthew Hunter: Those are the four.
01:09:16.300 --> 01:09:39.400
Lee Burton: Well, that's not realistic, because you didn't even add first aid first of all, and you know, like I said, most people in the wilderness die from slipping and falling in heart issues. Those are the two top killers in the wilderness. Cardiac issues slipping and falling. So probably a real survivalist would know how to, you know, fix a spring ankle as the like. The first thing you should, which is kind of not really how we think of survival.
01:09:39.410 --> 01:09:51.650
Matthew Hunter: But signaling for rescue is absolutely important. And ah! It is one of the most foundational things for survival training is, you know, telling someone where you're going to be
01:09:52.260 --> 01:09:55.120
Matthew Hunter: exactly when you plan to get back you,
01:09:55.130 --> 01:10:21.959
Matthew Hunter: and what time to call, search and rescue. If you don't show up, and I have to do that every time I go out, because I you know I could drive. Ah, ah! Thirty minutes away. Hike down the trail for twenty minutes, and if I got lost right there I would be toast right, because it's not. Sometimes it's over one hundred degrees over one hundred and ten. When i'm out filming. I mean my camera is overheating. It gets so hot, and i'm in the wilderness I could get in the wilderness pretty quick, you know. So um
01:10:21.980 --> 01:10:42.919
Matthew Hunter: telling someone where you're going to be, because if you do get lost, which is one of the most common ways people get into survival situations in the modern day, in the Everglades and the Desert. In even in the mountains, people getting lost is probably the root cause of of so many survival situations, and when you're lost there's not a lot you can do if you weren't prepared right.
01:10:42.930 --> 01:10:52.169
Matthew Hunter: If you don't have any Gps to signal anything like that. And so you're really, really, really just hoping that someone is looking for you,
01:10:52.330 --> 01:10:55.739
Matthew Hunter: even knowing that someone's looking for you
01:10:55.980 --> 01:11:24.810
Matthew Hunter: is a is a really, you know, psychologically. Ah, helpful thing is when you know someone's looking for you. So you should always, you know, Signaling for rescue is one of if you're lost you don't know which direction ahead is best. Just to sit still and wait for someone. Hopefully, you have a whistle. You can like, sort of below. Yeah, um people hear you far away. Maybe you have a in the desert, you know. A signal mirror is a is a really good device you can have, uh, you know, whatever it is that maybe an air horn depending on the type of you know region you're in,
01:11:24.820 --> 01:11:26.090
Matthew Hunter: uh, whatever.
01:11:26.340 --> 01:11:35.949
Matthew Hunter: And so yeah, signaling is actually one of the main things, and in a lot of areas you can't get out like, for example, in A. And if you're in a car,
01:11:36.210 --> 01:11:46.599
Matthew Hunter: um people actually die here in the desert because they get stuck in their car breaks down in the desert, and it's they're too far away for them to walk back.
01:11:46.610 --> 01:11:56.960
Matthew Hunter: So you're really hoping that someone rescues you. So one of the major survival tenants that I myself follow is, tell someone where you're going to be.
01:11:57.000 --> 01:12:00.279
Matthew Hunter: What direction you're heading Once you get to that place,
01:12:00.470 --> 01:12:16.239
Matthew Hunter: you know, when you're supposed to be back, and I even tell my wife, hey? If i'm not back at this time. Call, search, and rescue, or you know at least come and have someone drive and see if maybe the car like broke down, or something like that, and I even have a Gps Now,
01:12:16.340 --> 01:12:40.750
Matthew Hunter: of course, the signaling device that I just keep off, and I just turn it on. I can send a text message from anywhere in the world, and it has my Gps coordinates. So i'm pretty safe for the most part. But I, and even though I have that Gps. I still have a map of compass and my signaling equipment, and I tell my wife so i'm like cover. Cover all my bases, you know. But yeah, so signaling is is a lot more important than people recognize.
01:12:41.410 --> 01:12:58.640
Lee Burton: Well, Matthew, thank you so much for that. That was a fantastic way to wrap here and really appreciate all the information, the wealth of knowledge, and obviously that comes from not only research but experience. So it's been a pleasure and hope to have you on again sometime.
01:12:58.650 --> 01:13:02.370
Lee Burton: Thanks so much for having me, Lee. It's a pleasure, all right. Take care.