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Quiz: How to Survive a Week in the Woods

Fancy yourself the resourceful type? See how your skills hold up with our quiz.

A tent and camping supplies in a remote area in the woods

What would you do if you encountered a bear in the wild? Do you know what to do if you get lost? Take our quiz, courtesy of the young experts at Scouts Canada, to test your survival smarts.

A pair of campers sit by the edge of a lake by their tent in the woods


0–33%: You might be spending too much time indoors. It’s time to get out more and explore some nature.

34–66%: Looks like you’ve got some natural savvy, but could step it up a notch.

67–100%: Way to go! You are prepared for whatever the outdoors have in store.

Ready to get outdoors?

First, check out these seven safety products for all your summer adventures. If your outdoor knowledge isn’t quite what you thought, find out how you can learn to camp with Parks Canada.

And if you want a different kind of outdoor experience, here’s how to book an almost last-minute cottage rental.

Image credit: iStock.com/Everste and iStock.com/jacoblund


A1: B. Keep them leashed and never unattended. Be sure to also secure your pets’ food and bowls in the car or safely with your food to avoid attracting wild animals.

A2: D. All of the above. Be aware of potential wildlife nearby. A baby animal may be cute, but its mom could act aggressively to protect her young. Make sure to keep your distance and leave the area immediately.

A3: D. Long pants. Insects are attracted to a variety of fragrances, from your perfume to your shampoo. It is better to be scent-free.

A4: D. Follow the STOP rule. Stop and stay calm. Think about where you were going, what you have passed and whether you can see any landmarks. Observe your surroundings, and consult your compass and maps to try to determine where you are. Plan your next step. Consider your supplies, the weather and how much time is left before nightfall. If you’re confident you can find your way out, go for it. If not, stay put and think about what to do for survival while you wait for help.

A5: D. All of the above. Lights, pools of water and rotten logs are all attractive to insects, raccoons and small mammals—not a great place to lay your tent if you want to get any sleep at night.

A6: C. To let wild animals know you’re there, so they can avoid you. There are many ways to be loud. You can sing, clap, talk or even ring a bell.

A7: D. All of the above. Collect kindling—small, dry sticks, dead leaves and grasses—then light it using the lens of your glasses on a sunny day. If the sun isn’t strong enough, use your shoelace, a curved stick and a flat piece of wood to make a bow saw. You can also rub steel wool against the terminals of a battery (a nine-volt one works best) to create a current through the steel wool, which heats up and ignites.

A8: B. Outswim you. Bears can actually outrun, outclimb and outswim you. Contrary to popular myth, they can also run very fast downhill.

A9: A. The cooking odours that remain on your clothes will attract animals. It is best to cook and sleep in different clothes to avoid smelling like food and attracting animals to your tent at night.

A10: D. All of the above. Lyme disease risk areas can be found across Canada. The first signs of Lyme disease are a rash, fever, headache and joint pain. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. You can help prevent bites by covering up with long sleeves and pants tucked into your socks, and using an insect repellent containing DEET as the active ingredient.

A11: D. Remove it using a tick key or fine tweezers, and save it in a sealed container. Remove it slowly to ensure none of the tick remains attached to the skin, then clean the bite with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol. It can take up to 72 hours for a tick to transfer bacteria to you, so early detection and removal is important. Save the tick in a sealed container and date it. Contact public health to determine if you should submit it for testing.

A12: C. Move away immediately. Be sure to check for snakes before you leave your campsite. They may be hiding in your tent if you left the zipper open, in the shade under your tent and even in your boots if you left them outside.

A13: C. Hanging from a tree branch. Select a tree well away from your tent, and hang the food in a sealed container away from the trunk and high off the ground. Animals are attracted not only to your food, but also to your dirty dishes and garbage, so store these items safely away.

A14: D. All of the above. Friends are like tools. In an emergency, it’s a good idea to have a variety to help you out.

A15: D. All of the above. If you need shelter from rain, wind or snow, a cave is a great option, but make sure it’s not home to a wild animal first. Otherwise, use a rock outcropping or fallen trees to start your shelter, then incorporate tree branches, sticks, leaves and small logs to provide an insulated barrier. Carrying an emergency pack with a tarp and rope will make building an emergency shelter a breeze.