The WA-born outback survival expert shows Beth Rivers his favourite things.

1. Mini playing cards – this play your cards right to survive pack took me years to develop. They represent the basis of my bush survival teachings and convey simple truths shared with me over the years by wonderful teachers. These cards are my contribution to the well-being of all people who enjoy the outback and other wilderness areas. They will hopefully prevent a mishap from turning into a tragedy.

Bob Cooper’s Favourite Things

2. Sally the Snake – Sally is one of many snakes I keep for reptile awareness courses, which are a passion of mine. The course replaces fear with respect for these widely misunderstood creatures.

3. Rugby – I joined the Perth-Bayswater Rugby Union Football Club 39 years ago and I am still a playing member – now in fourth grade. I love it.

4. Feather and Claw – One of my best friends – Dave Alloway, a part Cherokee Indian – gave me this feather and claw when I was in Texas teaching desert survival skills. I keep them in memory of him.

5. Fish trap – I was honoured to be the first white person to visit one of the Orang Asli villages in Malaysia to hone my jungle survival skills. I was shown how to make this fish trap by these beautiful and gentle people.

6. Kalahari Bushmen survival kit – It was humbling to spend time in Botswana with the Bushmen and these few possessions are all you need to survive. These tools remind me not to seek unnecessary material wealth.

7. Shell and knife – In the mid 80’s I was a pearl diver in Broome and used this knife. It was an unbelievably adventurous time in my life.

8. Fire-lighting sticks – These simple sticks represent the ability to take care of ourselves and the many good things that fire can do for us.

9. Mark III Survival Kit – This kit has been designed and developed over two decades and represents my business of being prepared. I’m very proud of the different people from around the world who have chosen to use this kit.

10. Hat and boots – The hat band has beads from the Sioux Indians, echidna quills and natural string from the places I have spent time in. The boots continue to take me back there.

Source: The Sunday Times

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