BOB Cooper learned the hard way that he has what it takes to survive.
After being thrown numerous times into potentially fatal situations during his adventurous youth, Australia's most in-demand survival expert came out alive.
“I must have been doing something right,” he said, when speaking to the Gazette last week.
Now, more than 30 years and countless wilderness survival stories later, the Success resident of 17 years has just released his first book, Outback Survival, which he says can help anyone from the most hardened bushie to a person with a simple spider or insect phobia to avoid panic and stay safe in any situation.
The book describes how Cooper tested himself by being alone in the 40C+ heat of the Australian desert with only a map, his self-made pocket survival kit and without food, water or sleeping gear.
He walked for 10 days across 160km of remote country to prove that when armed with the right knowledge and a suitable survival kit, people can survive the outback's harshest conditions.
“I read other survival manuals and realised that what was missing was the real-life stories of when things go wrong and also the success stories, so I put those real-life stories into the book,” he said.
“Because I have been there, I know how people feel.
“Along with knowledge, people now respect the environment and that respect means that they look after it a lot better. From an environmental point of view, that's my contribution to the world, looking after people and making sure they are going to have a safe trip, so it's a win-win situation.”