12 August 2009

URBAN SURVIVAL! With Bear Grylls!!

The City is full of hazards. To keep you safe, here are some words of wisdom from macho SAS adventure man Bear Grylls (feel the testosterone fumes coming off his mere name) that I ripped out of a freebie paper [pdf version here]:

Bear, we're walking down Oxford Street on our way to buy some new pants when a giant savage poodle tries to maul us to death. What should we do to survive?

"I was always told in my army days just to whip your shirt off, wrap it round your arm to protect it, offer it that, let it go for it and then jam your fingers together straight into both eyes. Then squeeze together into its brain, hold it there, and it will release you and die. You're safe."

We're ice skating on the frozen Serpentine and then - crack! - the ice breaks and we plunge into the freezing water. We don't want to die wearing ice skates, so what should we do?

"The first thiing is don't panic. You can die from the gasp reflex when the shock makes you breathe water into your lungs, so you need to control your panic. Turn around and look at where you fell in - you know the ice is good to get out from. Break the ice, then ease your weight up and wriggle like a seal, kicking hard and spreading your weight. When you get out you need to get warm, so take your clothes off and start doing press-ups."

We're on the London Eye and it's really hot - bloody global warming - but it gets stuck, the sun is baking through the capsule and the air conditioning is screwed. How do we stay cool?

"Have you got a window in there? ['Not sure,' we say.] Well, that's very hard. Dehydration is a real killer. I've been in deserts where it's so hot they say that, if you don't have any water or survival skills, you're dead in three hours. Smash a window, get a bit of airflow through and, if nobody is ever going to get you, you're going to have to climb down. I've often thought about climbing the London Eye. I've examined it - it looks quite straightforward."

Now there's a challenge for the City Project to live up to this weekend!

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