Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Survivor - the real thing

By Michael and Jane Pelusey

Survivor Imagine this: you're stranded in the outback, 50km from the nearest homestead, without food or water - or a satellite phone or any means of communication.

It's hot during the day, cold and wet at night, and to get help you're going to have to walk 50, 100 or even 200km. Could you survive?

Unlike the completely contrived TV Survivor series, Jane Thorson and Des Bunter of Bush Perceptions provide the opportunity for would-be outback adventurers to learn whether their skills - or lack of them - could cope with such an emergency.

In spring, autumn and winter they teach survival skills in Western Australia's Murchison region, 700km north-east of Perth. For obvious reasons the courses aren't held in summer.

There is an air of nervous anticipation as our group assembles for the trip to Wooleen Station.

SurvivorWe don't yet know each other, but soon we'll have to gel as a team. Our survival will depend on it. Jane, the only female bush survival instructor in Australia, is well qualified to teach us survival techniques.

She has worked in the outdoor education industry for eight years, teaching people from government departments, mining companies, colleges and anybody willing to go beyond their comfort zone.

Her partner, Des, the other half of Bush Perceptions, knows the Murchison region like the back of his hand, having worked on stations in the area.

He and Jane have completed 200km/10-day survival treks without food, pushing themselves well beyond the limits of what we will encounter on this introductory survival course. Story end

Full story: Issue 19, October/ November 2001

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