The Answers to Our Tests


1. The student to the left is:
a. making fire - and with a little practice and instruction from Mountain Mel, you can do it too!

2. The cattail plant is used for:
c. edible food source. Honest! Mountain Mel can show you how to prepare it.

3. The desert solar still is:
b. unreliable. Too much work, too little water. Looks good in the books, though.

4. The best area to select your shelter site is:
c. using a natural feature. Cliffs, etc. are pre-made shelter areas.

5. The best signaling method is:
b. a mirror. Smoke can't be seen on some days as it may be too windy. Likewise for the whistle, wind can carry the sound away.

6. For headache treatment use:
c. willow bark. Nature’s plants contain many healing wonders.

7. The best survival kit is:
b. one you plan and personalize for your needs. Being prepared is the key. Knowledge + skill + will power = a survivor.

8. A high priority item to always carry with you is:
a. a knife. A book of matches can get lost or wet and cell phones don't always work everywhere.

OK, so how'd you do? If you missed even one of these questions (they were very basic), you ought to take Mountain Mel's class! E-mail us and say: "Yo, Mountain Mel, I really need to Learn to Return!"

Return to Test Page



This “advanced test” information, questions and answers are selected from two excellent
survival reference books:
1.  Camping and Wilderness Survival,  by Paul Tawrell.
2.  U.S. Air Force Survival Manual.

Plus the addition of 30 years of instructing wilderness survival skills experience from the arctic,
desert, jungle and mountain environments.  I have tested and applied this information with
actual hands on application.


1.  Cattails, dandelion, watercress, yucca, acorns, nettles, burdock, onion, cactus, mallow,
milkweed, purslane.
2.  Bamboo, taro, breadfruit, papaya, palm, guava, santol, rattan.
3.  The liver of polar animals are extremely high in vitamin A -- a health hazard.
4.  Sardines will provide longer lasting heat for the body.  Candy is quick energy.
5.  Crawfish/crawdads.
6.  Trigger four, Piute trigger, drag snare, pole run, Ojibwa bird snare, treadle snare.
7.  Mullein leaves and green walnut husks.


1.  Oxygen, tinder/fuel, spark/friction.
2.  Flint & steel, magnesium/flint stick, battery and steel wool, magnifying lens, chemicals, fire
3.  Bow/drill, hand drill, pump drill.
4.  Bamboo fire saw, fire thong, fire plough, fire piston.
5.  Wax paper, glue, Vaseline, rubber, nylon spoon, cotton balls, candle, popsicle sticks.
6.  Pine sap and pitch pine stick shavings.
7.  Dry grass, birch bark, inner cottonwood bark, pine needles, cattail fuzz.


1.  Boiling, filtering, household bleach, iodine, purification tablets, distilling.
2.  Not enough to survive!  The solar still is a waste of time, sweat and energy.
3.  Taboy tree, rattan-water vine, banana tree.
4.  Greenery areas, insects/bees, animal trails, flying birds.
5.  False.  Never!


1.  Snow cave, fighters trench, quinzee, igloo.
2.  Snow cave.
3.  Sleeping platform with overhead cover.
4.  Digging below the ground surface and using two layers of material with an airspace.
5.  Make a 3 inch diameter hole at 45 degree angle from inside wall to outside, plus a small
opening near door snow block as to create air movement.


1.  Contrast!  (Orange trash bag on white snow)
2.  Shadows -- digging a trench, making a wall with the snow blocks.
3.  For sighting -- as it creates a fire like bright ball for aiming.


1.  Direct pressure bandage.
2.  Wild onion/garlic rubbed on skin.
3.  Willow bark (tea).
4.  Yes.  Although this method is not recommended in a regular situation -- a person in a
survival situation would have no other choice.
5.  Dark urine.
6.  Bamboo, papaya, coconut palm, emamale, calebetbet.


1.  Fire making, pressure cooker, cup, cook pot, canteen, knife, eating utensils, shelter
building, traps/snares, edible shoots.
2.  You would have night time signals, thereby extending your signaling capabilities.
3.  Fuzz scraped from the backside of the saw.
4.  Socket, spindle, fire board, bow stick, string, tinder nest, ember tray.
5.  The head. Approx. 75% goes out through your chimney.
6.  Rabbit stick for throwing.
7. Yucca, dogbane, milkweed.


1.  Container or construct into a funnel type trap for catching crayfish, minnows, etc.
2.  In fire making as a “fire-aid”.
3.  Container, a cooking utensil, making into a signal whistle.
4.  Gun powder can be used in fire making.
5.  (You’ll have to attend our program for this answer).
6.  Heating water.
7.  Fish hook.

“Fire aids” are items which “assist” in burning.  Example -- petroleum jelly.
“Tinders” are small fuel materials which will catch a spark in the step towards adding flame to
create the actual final results of fire.  Example -- cotton ball.

Return to Test Page