Survival stories (episodes)

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Creation Date June 26th, 2020
Updated Date Updated March 26th, 2021
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  1. Rerun - Imagine the Hurculean effort it takes to summit 29,035' Mt Everest. Now imagine reaching the summit and enjoying the fruits of your accomplishment only to realize your vision is fading rapidly with no one around to help you get back down. Brian Dickinson is on the show to tell us about his Blind Descent. ( ) The Book: Blind Descent: Surviving Alone and Blind on Mt. Everest ( ) Instagram: ( ) Youtube: ( ) Facebook: ( ) Twitter: ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:
  2. Being a restaurant owner during this Coronavirus outbreak is not a walk in the park. However, facing seemingly insurmountable challenges is nothing new to Melissa. Today she tells us her story of overcoming a terrible accident that nearly completely jeopardized her love of climbing. She still deals with trauma, but she has learned to use it as fuel to continue moving forward. I hope it inspires you, no matter what you’re going through. ( ) Instagram: @melissaistrong ( ) @birdandjim ( ) Facebook: @melissaistrong ( ) @birdandjim ( ) ( ) ( ) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:
  3. Originally aired February 6, 2017 In May of 2001, Brad, Melissa, Brad's father, and their dog were stranded overnight on Mount Evans in Colorado during a freak late-spring blizzard. With the day not going as planned, the group made the tough decision to take shelter and stay the night. After the traumatizing ordeal, Brad and Melissa are on a mission to share their story for the benefit of others. Their story is about overcoming tragedy, a deep love for mountains, and continuing forward to make a difference in the lives of others. Don't miss this episode about Colorado 14ers, tragedy, and triumph. Book: Exposed: Tragedy & Triumph in Mountain Climbing ( ) Try CS Instant Coffee for 50% off your first order for the months of September and October only! Go to ( ) and use the code "ADVENTURE" at checkout. Ombraz fix what frustrates you about sunglasses. Completely armless, Ombraz attach directly to a built-in cord that keeps the sunnies securely and comfortably in place.  For every pair sold, they plant 20 trees. Find out more at ( ) Support the Adventure Sports Podcast by giving as low as $1/month to our efforts to produce this show at ( ) Call and leave us a voicemail at 812-MAIL-POD or 812-624-5763 or send an email to Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:
  4. In Episode #27 I talk extensively about the true Survival Legacy of Christopher McCandless, what we can and should learn from his legacy and why his life and death matters in the world of Bushcraft and Survival training.
  5. In survival stories, we often play the “what if” game, and wonder what we would do differently under the same circumstances. Here are two true stories of people lost in the jungle, including the remarkable...
  6. In 1979, a four person Cessna crashed on the frozen peak of a California mountain. One of those people on board was a remarkable 11 year old boy named Norman Ollestad, Jr., and he would be pushed to the limits as he attempted to climb down the mountain alone.  Notes: Music: Dexter Britain, The Tea Party Kai Engel, March, Floret, Difference, January, Far From Home, Laceration, Heart and Mind, Rejecting the Sirens, Nothing
  7. Join Tim Hewitt and I, as we discuss his career racing the most extreme human powered race in the United States and possibly even the world! Tim details his experiences with packs of wolves, frost bite, and fractured bones, all in the pursuit of exploration and determination!
  8. The terms Survival, Adversity and Resilience will certainly be redefined in this Flatline episode. Coming to you from Seattle, Washington the hometown of our guest Brian Dickinson. Brian served in the U.S Navy as Special Operations Air Rescue Swimmer and Combat Rescue. His duties were combat Search & Rescue, Anti Submarine Warfare Operator, Aerial gunner & Special warfare support. Brian Dickinson story did not come from serving 2 tours of duty but started on May the 15th of 2011 after summiting solo to the top of Everest. As he started his descent the world turned white and Brian was Blind and he was running out of Oxygen. Brian holds the record for the highest solo blind descent. His story of survival, faith and resilience has been reenacted in television and with global coverage on:CNN: Anderson CooperCNN: Chris CuomoABC: Good morning AmericaFOX businessNBC NEWS: Today showCBN-700ClubTRT WorldSpartan Up PodcastHuffpostThe Weather Channel and much more..Brian Dickinson is an Author, Motivational Speaker, Mountain Guide and an Adventurer.Adventures CV – Everest, Island Peak, Aconcagua, Patagonia, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Kosciusko, Vinson Massif, Cascades, Waddington Range (British Columbia), Alaska Range, Canadian Rockies, Smokies, Sierras, White Mountains, Appalachian, Andes, Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains (Russia), Sierra Nevada Range (Spain), and Sentinel Range (Antarctica).In this episode, you will learn and hear about:The power of Faith.How to control panic and keep going. Applying survival mode.  Choosing purpose over fame. Planning for things within your controlThe ability to respond to things outside your controlPushing yourself beyond your perceived limitsCreating and maintaining perspectiveConnect with Brian Dickinson:Brian Website  InstagramYoutubeFacebookTwitterYou can find Brian's Book "Blind Descent: on : Amazon
  9. In this episode we are turning up the dial with our incredible guest, Justin Oliver Davis. Justin is a motivational Keynote speaker, turning adversity & hardship into powerful journeys of unsurpassed resilience. Its taken Justin 8 years of rehab, filled with trials and tribulations, surgeries and set backs, but never did he allow it to rob him from his pursuit of setting new physical and psychological boundaries. This is a man that recently summited Mot Blanc @4810m and Mount Kilimanjaro at a height of 5896m in January of 2020. What is extraordinary about Justin resilience, is that while serving in Afghanistan in 2011 and while leading a quick reaction force patrol to intercept a group of enemy insurgents. Justin unfortunately stepped on an IED resulting in the loss of both his lower limbs. Justin is a retired soldier, double above the knee amputee, mountaineer, adventurer and a key note speaker. Justin takes you on a journey starting from the battle fields of Afghanistan, through the battle field evacuation, into his journey of recovery and medical choices he made. Up the summits that he has already conquered and the others to come. This is an Episode of the true meaning of Uninterrupted resilience. Justin does not let anything interrupt his journey to grow, conquer and inspire. In this episode, you will learn:There is no guarantee of tomorrow. What is it like to be pinned down in a battlefield after stepping on an IED. How positive mindset can save your life in the most critical situations in life. Acceptance of taking on a disability and progression.How to train your body, mind and determination.Power of the fire inside you ( The aggression)  Extreme measures in decision making against all the experts and how it could play in your favor. How adversity unveils your inner resilience . Having a purpose. Not everyday is a success , but going forward is. Connect with JUSTIN OLIVER DAVIS:Justin website InstagramLinkedin
  10. Caroline D Leon certainly comprehends the power of falling from heights (Literally).Shattered & broken body, 14 surgeries, 23 blood transfusions and 2 years to recovery. Listen to this powerful and detailed story from Caroline and the tools she implemented to go from being told that she will never walk again to have already attempted a world climbing record in 2019 in the most hostile territories in the world, to her next record planned later in 2020. A true story of being smashed by adversity and overcoming it with Uninterrupted Resilience. In this episode, you will learn:How quickly can life changeWhat it takes to overcome a physical and mental adversityAccountability and AcceptanceHow to train your body, mind and determinationConnect with Caroline D leone:Instagram
  11. Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat were nearly finished with the most ambitious trip of their lives, a 4000-mile trek across the Yukon and Alaska following animal migrations. But bad weather and a missed food drop put their lives in jeopardy. (more…)
  12. For her final episode as the host of HumaNature, Caroline has chosen an old favorite. Brian Corliss just wanted to quench his thirst. But on a snowmobile outing, he grabbed the wrong bottle. *Disclaimer: The actions taken in this story do not constitute medical advice. In the case of poisoning, call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222. (more…)
  13. Travis Kauffman went for a trail run near his home in Colorado. But an unexpected run-in almost turned him into trail mix. Then the internet got involved. (more…)
  14. For this special two-part story, the Australian podcast Off Track takes us across the globe to the coast of Tasmania and back in time to 1973 for a story of survival and loss. (more…)
  15. For this special two-part story, the Australian podcast Off Track takes us across the globe to the coast of Tasmania and back in time to 1973 for a story of survival and loss. (more…)
  16. In the backcountry of Glacier National Park, two seasoned trail-crew workers watched a couple of cute, fuzzy cubs cross their path. "And then you think, uh oh, where's mom at?" Jon Bentzel and Micah Nelson tell producer Charlie Ebbers what happened when they found mom, or rather this is what happened when mom found them. Also in this episode: the musings and stylings of journeyman musician Bob Athearn, who's got a lot of thoughts about love and sex and women. But his best advice: Take care of your teeth!
  17. On this episode, we have a guest story from the podcast Hear in the Gorge, about what happens when something goes terribly wrong in the outdoors. Producer Sarah Fox brings us the story of an accident that happened to a 10-year-old boy in Oregon, and she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Crag Rats, the oldest mountain search and rescue team in the U.S. They’re the people who get called to save lives in places where ambulances can’t get to. And they’re all volunteers.
  18. Miriam Lancewood was born in a loving home in a small village in the Netherlands in 1983. After completing her university degree, she worked for a year in Zimbabwe, and then traveled to India. And in India she met her now husband Peter Raine.   Peter had resigned from his job as university lecturer in New Zealand and had moved to India to live like a ‘modern nomad’. He had lived five years in India when they met.   Together they hiked over eight mountains ranges in the Himalayas, journeyed for years through South East Asia, including Papua New Guinea, and eventually they ended up in Peter’s home country: New Zealand.   Miriam worked for a while as a teacher, then they decided to give up all their worldly belongings and move into the mountains with a tent and bow and arrow.   They wanted to learn how to hunt and survive in the wilderness, and they wanted to find out what happens to the mind and body, when living in the beauty of the wildest nature on earth.   Show notes   -   Growing up in Holland Wanting to be a sports teacher Heading off travelling at 21 years old Meeting her husband Peter and travelling together Climbing 8 mountain ranges in the Himalayas  Deciding to live in the wilderness Making it to New Zealand and having to work as a teacher for a year Tramping in the mountains Deciding to spend a year in the mountains How to afford to live What it was like living in the wilderness Learning how to hunt… Deciding to catch possums Not knowing what to do Learning the art of doing nothing Walking the Te Araroa Trail, 3,000km from the North to the South Keeping clean and healthy Dealing with periods Keeping in contact with friends and family  Not taking anything for granted Her relationship with Peter Deciding to write a book about her life Having to find a house  Stress and anxiety in the wilderness Thinking short term to not get overwhelmed Lessons learned from living in the wilderness Walking the Lycian Way in Turkey Second book on it’s way with plans to release it in October 2020 Plans for the future Attending writers festivals around the world Learning how to cook and skin the animals The roles in the relationship Why you should read the book and how it will inspire you Not understanding social media Final words of advice The power of sleeping   Social Media   Website -   
  19. Hear Mark Beshore's amazing story of survival in the alpine wilderness, how early CPR and HACA saved his life, and why living in Eldora provides everything the outdoorsy type needs to call home.
  20. This time on Across The Peak Rich and I bring you an amazing story of wilderness survival with grizzly attack survivor, Todd Orr! Enough said. Full show notes available at
  21. Robert Leon Davis hid out in the woods and evaded the law for 22 years -- he recounts his remarkable story from his book, "Running Scared: The Corrupt Cop Busted by God." (Encore Presentation)
  22. Eric's interview with Robert Leon Davis continues with Robert's thrilling account of his evasion of the law for 22 years, sharing stories from his book, "Running Scared." (Encore Presentation)
  23. Episode 164: 23-Day Alaskan Wilderness Survival: Interview - Tyson SteeleHis last semester of grad school Tiberius Steele lived in his car. When the university revoked all the grad student teaching scholarships he was forced to find a way to continue on with his schooling, but he couldn’t afford rent, so Tyson removed the passenger seat from his tiny Hyundai Accent, built a bed where the seat had been and parked up the canyon at nights. “It was great,” he said, “No rent, fresh mountain air. From that point on I was hooked on the idea of budget, small living.” But that’s just the beginning. How do we get from here to surviving in the Alaskan wilderness—in the lowlands south of Denali National Park, for 23 days in below freezing temperatures after his home burnt to the ground, killing his best friend and dog - a lab who had been with him through six years of rough living, and eating from burned out cans of food with melted plastic in them from the fire that decimated all his belongings? Tune into the audio program for my interview with Tiberius Steele - mountain man, survivor, poet, hermit, and teacher. To follow Tyson on social media: Instagram: @homesteadalaska You can also find him on YouTube. Tyson made his way through very dark days of cold, hunger and deprivation. What was the key? He says it was looking for the beauty around him - focusing on the northern lights, looking a moose in the eyes, noticing the beautiful countryside and singing to himself.
  24. Nouria Newman is one of the best whitewater kayakers in the world. She’s won numerous prestigious competitions and has completed historic first descents of some of the planet’s most dangerous rapids. But it wasn’t until she nearly drowned on a solo expedition in the Himalayas that she was able to truly reckon with the deadly toll of her sport—and discover what matters most. This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Visit Florida, one of the country’s great adventure destinations. Have you met a manatee? Airboated in the Everglades? Snorkeled the coral reef? Plan your next Florida adventure at
  25. It’s an established fact that outdoorsy people have the best stories about dating. Getting to know a potential partner while climbing, paddling, or otherwise exploring an unpredictable environment just offers more opportunities for memorable surprises. Usually, these experiences are shared with friends over beers. Sometimes they make their way into wedding toasts. And then there are the incidents that make headlines. So it was with Kayleigh Davis and Kyler Bourgeous’s encounters with some ornery bison on an island in Utah’s Great Salt Lake. This episode comes from the award-wining team at This is Love, a show that investigates life’s most persistent mystery. This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Visit Florida, one of the country’s great adventure destinations. Have you met a manatee? Airboated in the Everglades? Snorkeled the coral reef? Plan your next Florida adventure at
  26. Last summer, 34-year-old Andrew Bernstein, known to his friends as Bernie, was riding his bike alone on a road outside Boulder, Colorado, when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver fled the scene and left him laying in a ditch, where he would have soon died if a passerby hadn’t noticed him and called 911. Bernie was a passionate amateur cyclist who competed regularly in elite track races, but in an instant his body was shattered and his life was forever changed. Unfortunately, his experience is all too common: 857 cyclists were killed by drivers on American roads in 2018, making it the deadliest year in almost three decades. In this episode, we detail what happened to Bernie, how he’s fared since, and where he goes from here. It’s a deeply personal account—but also a story that has the power to change all of our behavior in ways that will save lives and reduce the number of people who will go through what Bernie has endured. This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Visit Florida, one of the country’s great adventure destinations. Have you met a manatee? Airboated in the Everglades? Snorkeled the coral reef? Plan your next Florida adventure at
  27. The longer we’re stuck at home, sheltering in place, the greater our hunger for tales of far-flung journeys. For this week’s episode, we’re offering one of our favorite adventure stories from our archives, about a daring crew of twentysomethings who, back in 1970, had a crazy idea to canoe remote rivers though the Amazon Basin. Their half-baked plan was to hunt, fish, and forage for food until it wasn’t fun anymore. They had no jungle experience and few supplies beyond a machete and a small rifle. Not surprisingly, they ran into all sorts of trouble—including a hungry jaguar who chased them up a tree.
  28. At some point, almost every skier or snowboarder who has sat on a stalled chairlift has wondered, Could I just jump off here? The resounding reply from the experts is no, no, no. Don’t jump off the chairlift. Not ever. In addition to the high risk of getting injured yourself, you’re putting the people on other chairs around you in danger in ways you don’t understand. So stay put, and wait for the lift to restart. Or, in those rare instances when the chair really is broken, wait for ski patrol to get you down. But there are those truly unique cases when breaking the rules may be the only option. In this episode, we tell the story of very unlucky snowboarder who was forced to make the worst kind of choice. 
  29. It’s around this time of year that we tend to ask ourselves the big questions: Am I living the life I want to be living? Am I a good a person? And, of course, is this going to be an epic ski season, or a bust? This week, we present a story that miraculously addresses all of these questions. It comes to us from the good folks at the Dirtbag Diaries, and has outdoor industry veteran Dan Kostrzewski sharing a very personal tale about a skiing accident with his young daughter, and how it helped him gain a new perspective on the sport that has long been at the center of his personal and professional identity.
  30. About two years ago, Outside Podcast host Peter Frick-Wright was canyoneering in Oregon when he jumped off a ledge and broke his leg. He was stuck at the bottom of a canyon, and it took an epic effort by search and rescue teams to get him out of there. The experience was rough on Peter and rough on the many volunteers involved with transporting him safely to a hospital. Many of them had to go right back to work the next day. This week we’re going to replay our 2017 episode about the accident to set the stage for an upcoming conversation between Peter and one of his rescuers about a part of the healing process most people don’t talk about.
  31. In our last episode, Peter Frick-Wright told the story of the time he broke his leg at the bottom of a remote canyon and was saved through the efforts of multiple search and rescue teams. Now, more than two years later, Peter is still processing what happened to him. Meanwhile, the rescuers who cared for him have participated in numerous other high-stakes incidents in the wilderness. This week, Peter speaks with one of the people who hauled him out of the canyon about the coping strategies that have worked—and haven’t—in the aftermath of a life-altering trauma. This episode was produced for the podcast Rescuer MBS, a show that aims to increase the resilience of the volunteer search and rescue community.
  32. The odds of getting seriously injured by a bear in North America are slim. There are just a few dozen bear attacks on the continent every year, and only a handful of them put someone in the hospital. But bear-human encounters are on the rise, in part because more people than ever before are heading out into bear country. This year in particular there have been a lot of stories of people fighting off attacks in dramatic ways, including that guy in British Columbia who ended up killing a black bear with a hatchet. But Colin Dowler has the most incredible story of them all, and his tale offers potentially lifesaving lessons for anyone venturing into the wild.
  33. The 2018 Carr Fire was one of the worst wildfires in California history. By the time it was contained, it had burned 359 square miles, destroyed close to 2,000 buildings, and killed seven people. It also spawned a massive fire tornado—only the second ever recorded. Meteorologists examining the damage afterward estimated that the vortex had generated winds of up to 165 miles per hour. When a blaze like that is coming your way, the only sane thing to do is run for your life. But Gary and Lori Lyon did the opposite, staying to defend their home. Outside contributor Stephanie Joyce has the story on why, in an era of increasingly intense fires, someone would dare to stand and fight an inferno.
  34. For the last 19 years, Tim Friede, a truck mechanic from Wisconsin, has endured more than 200 snakebites and 700 injections of lethal snake venom—all part of a masochistic quest to immunize his body and offer his blood to scientists seeking a universal antivenom. For nearly two decades, few took him seriously. Then a gifted young immunologist stumbled upon Friede on YouTube—and became convinced that he was the key to conquering snakebites forever.
  35. When Kyle Dickman set out on a spring road trip with his wife and infant son, he was fueled by a carefree sense of adventure that had defined his life. Then he got bit by a rattlesnake in a remote part of Yosemite National Park. The harrowing event changed his entire outlook on the world. Now he’s on a quest to understand the toxins that nearly killed him—and trying to come to terms with a world where everything slithers.
  36. Maybe you saw the fire coming, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were ready for it, maybe you weren’t. Maybe you did everything right. Maybe not. Maybe you just lost everything. Maybe that’s not even the worst of it. For this final episode of our  wildfire series, we asked fiction writer Joseph Jordan to imagine the experience of someone whose home has been destroyed by flames. He came up with a haunting story that captures our modern relationship with wildfire, in which a single catastrophic blaze is neither the start or end of anyone’s troubles.
  37. To reduce the intensity of megafires in America, we’d need to treat and burn about 50-80 million acres of forest. So, how do we do it? What would it cost? How long would it take? Is it possible? In this episode we look at whether or not there’s anything we can do about wildfires in the West and the likelihood that we’ll take action on potential solutions.
  38. How do you protect yourself from wildfire on a warming planet? You burn everything on purpose. No, seriously. Thanks to climate change, the whole world is a tinderbox. Fire season now starts sooner and ends later, and scientists say lightning will become more frequent, and winds more powerful. Our only defense may be intentional fires. In this episode, our friends at Outside/In take a close look at the ecology of prescription burns. Why are our forests so dependent on wildfires? And why did some plants evolve to become more flammable?
  39. There are between eight and ten thousand wildfires in the United States each year, but most quietly burn out, and we never hear about them. The Pagami Creek Wildfire in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area was supposed to be like that. It was tiny and stuck in a bog that was surrounded by lakes. It was the kind of fire you could ignore. Computer models predicted that it would just sit there. But those models didn’t account for a rare convergence of atmospheric events had prepped the forest for an unprecedented burn. And Greg and Julie Welch were camping right in its path. In the first of four episodes investigating American wildfires, we tell the Welch’s extraordinary story and look at the factors that lead to this unexpected blaze.
  40. Most of the time, when lightning makes the news, it’s because of something outlandish—like the park ranger who was struck seven times, or the survivor who also won the lottery (the chances of which are about one in 2.6 trillion), or the guy who claimed lightning strike gave him sudden musical talent. This is not one of those stories. This is about Phil Broscovak—who was struck by lightning while on a climbing trip with family in 2005—and the confounding, bizarre science that can’t fully explain what Phil and other survivors endure in the aftermath of a strike. Originally broadcast in 2016, this episode is one of our favorites.
  41. It was the kind of disaster that wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. On February 11, 2017, the fishing vessel Destination disappeared in the Bering Sea on its way to the crab grounds. The boat went missing with an experienced crew, in unremarkable weather conditions, yet there was no mayday and rescue crews could find no life raft or survivors. For the past year, reporter Stephanie May Joyce has been following the investigation into what went wrong and how this mysterious tragedy has changed Alaskan fishing.
  42. Falls are the leading cause of death in the backcountry. Nothing else comes close. And while many are freak accidents that amount to nothing more than bad luck, some are more nuanced and interesting—and personal. If you found yourself stuck at the bottom of a canyon with a broken leg, what would you do? And why? In this episode we go inside the thought process of a real-life survivor—one who happens to host a podcast about survival.
  43. Bee venom is similar to a rattlesnake’s. It rapidly disperses in your tissue, and when you’re stung, the pain you feel is a combination of proteins and peptides attacking your cell membranes. Each sting contains enough venom to incapacitate a small mouse, but bees won’t really hurt you unless you’re allergic. Or at least, that’s what you thought until you disturbed a hive of Africanized bees, which have been known to chase attackers for more than ten hours.
  44. There are several thousand species of mushroom, but only a handful that will kill you. And the toxins found in poisonous mushrooms are some of the deadliest natural poisons on earth. Just seven milligrams—one quarter of a grain of rice—is enough to kill an adult. When you picked some mushrooms off the forest floor, you planned to make a nice risotto. But now you’re in the hospital, fighting for your life.
  45. What happens to people who are swept out to sea? Some survive for months and even years, alone in lifeboats eating whatever they can catch and drinking rainwater. In this episode we ask you, the listener, to imagine a surfing session gone very wrong when a strong offshore wind blows you out into the ocean. You’re alone on your board, at the mercy of the weather. No one knows you’re out here and you have no way of calling for help. Do you have what it takes to endure until a rescue arrives? And then we tell you the true story of someone who did.
  46. As we get ready to roll out new Science of Survival episodes beginning November 14, we wanted to replay the one that started it all. This thrilling re-creation of the classic Outside feature by Peter Stark leads the listener through a series of plausible mishaps on a bitterly cold night: a car accident on a lonely road, a broken ski binding that foils a backcountry escape, a disorienting tumble in the snow, and a slow descent into delirious hypothermia before (spoiler alert!) a dramatic rescue. Be prepared for a vivid and fascinating exploration of our physiological response to extreme cold that will forever change how you think about venturing into frozen landscapes.
  47. When something goes wrong in the wilderness, someone needs to evacuate and get help. When that someone is you, and every minute counts, the stress is enormous. And you just might not be fast enough. Scott Pirsig and Bob Sturtz were on a spring canoeing adventure in the Boundary Waters, a million-acre wilderness in northern Minnesota, when Bob suddenly started acting weird. He complained of a headache. Then he became disoriented, lost control of his hands, and stopped speaking. He’d suffered a stroke, which meant time was everything: the longer it took to get him to a hospital, the more brain cells he’d lose. If it took more than a few hours, he’d die. So Scott zipped his friend into his sleeping bag, begged him to stay put, and paddled off at a sprint into dense fog. What happened next forever changed both men.
  48. Water is life, we’re told. But what if you drink too much? As it turns out, there’s a little-discussed flipside to dehydration called hyponatremia—and it's been on the rise, killing athletes and otherwise healthy people every year. And while you may think you know how much you need to drink, chances are you're wrong.
  49. Once Joe Stone learned how to use his paralyzed body, he immediately set an audacious goal: he would race in an Ironman triathlon—despite the fact that no quadriplegic athlete had ever attempted the event. And after that? Well, Joe decided he could go much, much bigger.
  50. Joe Stone doesn’t do anything halfway. Back when he was a skater, he went big. When he partied, he went hard. When he took up skydiving and speed-flying, he flew almost every day. Then one day he crashed and became a C7 quadriplegic. What do you do when you’re addicted to adrenaline but confined to a wheelchair? A lot of stuff that no one else has ever done before.
  51. On the morning of May 25, 2006,  Myles Osborne was poised to become one of the last climbers of the season to summit Mount Everest. The weather was perfect, and it seemed nothing would stop his team. Then a flapping of orange fabric caught his eye. He believed it to be a tent—until the fabric spoke: “I imagine you’re surprised to see me here.” The speaker was Lincoln Hall, who'd been reported dead the night before. He was gloveless, frostbitten, and hallucinating—but alive. Osborne's expedition was faced with a dilemma: would they stay and help Hall, giving up the summit and endangering their own lives? Or finish this once-in-a-lifetime journey that had been years in the making? We explore the choice they made and look into the fascinating science around how we make decisions in high-risk environments—and live with them afterward.
  52. In the summer of 1970, Ed Welch and Bruce Frey put in a canoe at the headwaters of the Amazon and shoved off into the current. Their only plan was to travel downstream until it wasn’t fun anymore. They had a rifle, they had a machete, they had a vague idea of how to survive in the jungle. Then a jaguar chased both of them up a tree.
  53. It could be one of the most incredible, yet perplexing, survival stories of all time: In 1991, a man named Michael Proudfoot was supposedly SCUBA diving on a shipwreck off the coast of Baja, Mexico, when his regulator—or mouthpiece—broke. He was alone, deep underwater inside a sunken ship, with only minutes to survive before he would run out of air. The string of bizarre events that take place next seem unreal.
  54. When you’re stuck underwater in a submarine, the number of ways you can die is long and varied—crushing, burning, asphyxiation, exploding, the list goes on and on. Escaping alive requires maintaining calm and making all the right choices. Which makes it all the more surprising that one of the first known submarine survival stories—which includes a 19th century Prussian carpenter and a military crew—involves the first-known undersea fistfight.
  55. Recent months have seen a media frenzy around the return of great white sharks to the waters surrounding Cape Cod. And with good reason: over the summer, great whites were routinely spotted off the iconic vacation destination’s most popular beaches. In 2018, a Cape boogie boarder died after being bitten by a shark—the first fatal attack in Massachusetts since 1936. But behind the headlines about freaked-out tourists and angry locals, the real story on the Cape is about how we learn to live with fear—or, just maybe, get past it. Produced in collaboration with our friends at the Outside/In podcast, this episode investigates the extreme reactions we have to living alongside one of the world’s most terrifying predators.  
  56. Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we’re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we’re discussing the story of Anna Bågenholm, whose heart stopped in 1999 after she was trapped in a labyrinth of thick ice for nearly an hour and a half…
  57. In 2006, an Australian man named Ricky Megee travelled into the Outback, and through a series of unfortunate, and somewhat disputed, events—disappeared. What happened next is detailed in his book, Left For Dead, wherein Megee tells the story of how he survived in the Australian Outback, for an unbelievable 71 days, with nothing but the clothes on his back. This week on The What If? Podcast, we dive into a tale of disappearance, recovery and the resilience of the human spirit. We (Ryan) also put on bad Australian accents, make jokes about canned liquor, and Crocodile Dundee, and make a request of you, our lovely and faithful listeners. Enjoy the ride! Send us an email: Leave us a voicemail: 612-246-4614Get a shout out on the show, for just $50! We'll say just about anything one time, under 200 words! Join our Patreon for just $5 a month and get an extra episode every week, plus a back catalog of more than 60 episodes.  Hit up our shop for What If? hats, t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and more.
  58. In the early 1950's a man in the woods with nothing but knives and lint in his pockets was discovered along the borders of Poland and Czechoslovakia who would become an international mystery for decades to come. Knowledgable in many languages, with a variety of origin stories, no true knowledge of where he came from, and a deep well of strangeness, Karel Novak became one of the most strangely unknown humans of all time. Who was he? Why did he tell different stories of who he was? Pretend he was deaf and mute? Run from the police? We investigate this week on The What If? Podcast. Buy yourself or a loved one a holiday gift in our shop. Join us on Patreon and get an extra episode every week, plus a back catalog of nearly 100 episodes.  You can now send us stuff!  The What If? Podcast | PO box 6554 | Minneapolis, MN | 55406
  59. Skiing Soldiers, drugs, raw birds and did we mention drugs? Learn how one brave Finnish soldier survived the cold winter nights surrounded by enemies, with only his clothes, some skies, and his will power during WW2. We promise it's a wild ride.Support the show (
  60. It's the countdown to Christmas! Yes, the time has come. Five episodes to go until all the holly jolly fun. Sit back and listen - we bet you don't know about how Jean Hilliard froze in the snow.    Twitter and Instagram - @biarpodcast Facebook - Bug in a Rug Email us your ideas at   Sources:
  61. Alison Botha was abducted from outside of her South African home and taken to a remote spot where she was beaten and left for dead. Find out the details of this horrible story when we retrace the steps of her haunting and traumatic experience through the eyes of the victim in today's podcast. Support the show (
  62. Welcome to our special five-part series, Beating the Odds. Every day this week we’re telling the true tales of medical miracles that shocked the world: Today we’re discussing José Salvador Alvarenga, a Salvadoran fisherman who spent over 13 months adrift at sea…and survived.
  63. Steven Callahan is an American author, naval architect, inventor, and sailor most notable for having survived for 76 days adrift on the Atlantic Ocean in a life raft. Join us as we go back to the moment it all happened to find out how almost losing his life, changed his life. Steven is a true inspiration of human will to survive, mixed with real guts and courage. You will be amazed what one person is capable of. A Drift, the true story of one man's fight to find out who he is and what he is made of.  Visit Chattin In Manhattan for MORE Interviews
  64. In the spirit of Christmas, David and Rachel discuss the woman who fell 33,000 feet - and lived.