Though Brian's story is fiction, many real people find themselves in situations similar to his, stranded in the wilderness after perhaps becoming lost on a hiking or camping trip. Wilderness survival is an important subject, especially for people living in or frequently traveling to remote areas, and there are some important lessons to remember in these situations that Brian also makes use of in his own.
1. Attitude and mentality are important. A key part of survival is the will to survive, so it is important to maintain confidence and positivity in any dire situation. Brian does this when he thinks about his English teacher, Perpich, and becomes motivated to keep trying.
2. Plan ahead. When hiking or camping in a remote area, always have an emergency pack with necessary tools and supplies in case of incidents. This can include first aid items, water, food, flashlights, fishhooks, a compass, and/or a knife, along with many other useful objects. If Brian had not found the plane's survival kit, he would not have had the emergency transmitter that eventually got him rescued.
3. Create a shelter to protect yourself from the sun, insects, weather, and cold temperatures. Brian's shelter is one of the most important features of his campsite, and he learns quickly that it must be fortified in order to keep him safe from thieving animals.
4. Seek water immediately, because you cannot live long without it. Brian is lucky enough to find a lake to land in, with water safe enough for him to drink. Carrying water purification tablets can be a good solution to the problem of impure drinking water.
5. Live off the land as much as possible. Being familiar with some edible or medicinal plants in an area is a good way to do this, as plants can play a huge role in survival. Beware of poisonous plants—a good rule of thumb is to watch what the animals in the area eat, as those things are likely safe. Brian finds berries as his very first food source.
6. Get to the highest area possible in order to set up an effective signaling procedure. Fire, smoke, or mirrors are typical signaling devices. Brian gets up on the rocky ridge above the lake in order to set up his signal fire.