I’m not quite sure why Bob Cooper is known as Lucky Bob — it’s not exactly lucky to have your helicopter crash in the desert but I guess you’re pretty fortunate to survive the experience.
While Bear Grylls has been building a glossy marketing empire on his tough brand of wilderness survival, Cooper is a quiet achiever whose passion is more aligned to sharing his hard-won knowledge than in swinging off a cliff in daredevil fashion to make gripping TV.
If you’ve got any doubts about the credibility of Cooper’s knowledge and experience they’ll quickly vanish after a chapter or two of his updated Outback Survival guide.
Part One is an easy read with a chuckle or three at the dry wit of a laconic survivor.
The meat of the book is an overwhelming amount of truly useful and practical information on how to survive in an emergency. Overwhelming, because there is so much detail and when sitting in the comfort of your armchair you might not imagine ever having to put it into practice.
But truly useful because it’s clear, well-organised and with easy, full instructions.
I reckon Outback Survival should be an essential addition to your glove box. While you can get an electronic version for $11.99, I’d rather have the comfort of being able to refer to decades of experience without worrying about my iPad battery going flat before I’ve followed all the instructions on creating a solar still.
Cooper generously includes a full description of his recommended survival gear. He’s made it easy for you by giving you the option of building your own kit or buying a ready-made pre-packed version.
But this is not a marketing and merchandising grab for your dollar; there’s a genuine desire to make outback travellers as safe as possible and increase their chances of survival in an emergency.
Cooper keeps trying to make it easier to be prepared. He’s recently released another simple but highly effective survival aid. A strong, ultralight blanket printed with top survival tips and a bold “HELP” in huge letters to draw rescue eyes in your direction. It’s a daytime sun reflector, provides shade or shelter, is useful in the case of hypothermia and strong enough to use as a stretcher.
“I have designed this HELP blanket as a real survival tool that is light and small enough to be carried in any mode of travel on land, sea or air,” Cooper said. “It satisfies three of the priorities for survival in any climate or condition — warmth, shelter and a distress signal — all in one.”
So, while a survival course is more expensive an investment of time and money that you might need to plan for, at $24.99 from Cooper’s online store, Outback Survival is possibly the cheapest insurance policy you can put in the glovebox. The emergency blanket is $19.99.
Source: The West Australian
Author: Ray Cully