TODAY   |  June 18, 2013

Learn how to survive when stranded outdoors

TODAY contributing correspondent Sara Haines visits the Mountain Scout Survival School in Upstate New York where outdoor survival expert Shane Hobel teaches her how to get water from nature, create a fire, and use smoke as natural bug repellant.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's that time when sara breaks out of the city. this week we told her to get lost! which she did. she is actually home sick today.

>> we hope you are feeling better, sara . but when she was well she went out in the wilderness to learn you how to sur vifb in the great outdoors. whether your car gets stuck on the side of the road or you find yourself off the trail in a family hike.

>> sara enrolled in the mountain scout survival school in upstate new york so we could all learn a few lessons.

>> reporter: on the discovery channel show "man versus wild," adventurers put their survival skills to the test. that wasn't me just yet. i needed to start with the basics. i headed into the woods to meet survival guru shane hobo and learn the rules about roughing it.

>> there are four basic steps. shelter, water, fire, food. so, we're going to start with shelter.

>> i was thinking food but -- actually, now that it's raining, maybe we should start with shelter.

>> this is what's known as a debris hut. the trick is, it is very small, low lying. we shouldn't be able to sit up in this shelter.

>> living in new york, i was used to small spaces but this was my first time building a home out of sticks, mud and moss.

>> shelter -- check.

>> reporter: getting thirsty, i wondered -- what does a girl have to do to get a drink around here? apparently, you have to dig a hole, cut a water bot until half, cover it with a garbage bag and wait until morning.

>> the earth will evacuate that water moisture in the term of vapor. has no place to go. it's trapped inside the hole.

>> that's what the rock does, it directs it into the cup.

>> correct.

>> why do i even buy bottled water when i can drink like this? using three sticks and a few bandanas, shane tried to temperature me how to filter rain water. but i got a little distracted.

>> are the bugs getting you?

>> i'm okay.

>> reporter: next on my checklist -- fire. whoa, whoa, whoa! what's happening? rubbing two sticks together we created coal and placed it in the tinder made out of bark.

>> yeah! nice! there it is. now we clearly want to be out of the --

>> no, i want to be in it because it is giving me bug repellant.

>> reporter: i learned that smoke is a natural bug repelant. so of course i bathed in it. and finally, food. we were going vegetarian. sampling a plant called the soldier's foot?

>> it's very rich green. it's a hearty green. got a little bitter snap to it.

>> lot of bitter snap to it. i promise i will take these lessons with me. but my five things i pack are food, food, food, food and more food. so i brought something --

>> woman after my own heart.

>> don't leave home without them.