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What makes a good explorer? Adaptability, ambition, stamina, self-confidence, curiosity, optimism, authority--and fund-raising ability. Though few of us will ever have to face a charging elephant, or survive solely on penguin stew, when it comes to project management, crisis aversion, or any number of everyday problems, there is much we can learn from the larger-than-life tales of the world's most famous adventurers. Here, award-winning documentarian Mick Conefrey pulls practical advice from their original diaries and logs, like how to survive an anaconda attack (wait until it has swallowed your legs, then reach down and cut its head off), and how to keep morale up (according to Ernest Shackleton, "A good laugh doesn't require any additional weight"). In addition to the wonderful characters and stories, this book offers many lessons on how to set sail without a clear path home.

Answers to some important questions, courtesy of The Adventurer's Handbook:
* How many corpses are believed to be on Mt. Everest?
Answer: 120

* How is polar bear meat best prepared?
Answer: Raw and frozen.

* What do you do if attacked by a charging lion?
Answer: Stand very still and stare it down.

* What should you wear when crossing a desert?
Answer: Lots of layers--fabric absorbs sweat and prolongs
its cooling action.

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