In ‘SOS: How to Survive’ on The Weather Channel, Eagle Scout shares camp hacks that could save your life

It started with the Wilderness Survival merit badge, earned at Maumee Scout Reservation in Indiana.

Then there was the 2-inch ad in the back of Boys’ Life magazine promising “amazing hidden secrets about rugged wilderness survival” to anyone who sent $1 for postage and handling.

Beginning Sunday, Eagle Scout Creek Stewart’s quest to become the ultimate survivalist takes him back to prime-time television.

In SOS: How to Survive on The Weather Channel, Creek recaps real-life survival situations and gives his take on what the individuals did right or wrong when fighting for their lives.

Some of his coolest tips include ways to repurpose everyday objects — using a camera lens to start a fire, for example — when survival is at stake.

“There’s so much to learn, not only from what they went through but also, maybe, what they could’ve done,” Creek says in a promo for the show.

Set your DVR now because SOS: How to Survive premieres at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on The Weather Channel.

Creek is back

Fans of Creek (or this blog) know that SOS: How to Survive isn’t Creek’s first foray into television.

In 2014 and 2015, Creek hosted Fat Guys in the Woods, also on The Weather Channel.

Each week on Fat Guys in the Woods, Creek joined three average Joes on a trip into the wilderness with limited supplies. Creek helped them work through challenges and learn the art and science of outdoor survival while battling the threats of Mother Nature.

SOS: How to Survive takes the stakes even higher. This time, the survival scenarios are completely real. Creek, with the benefit of hindsight, tells what the potential victims could’ve done better.

In the premiere, a young couple leaves the trail for a photo and can’t find their way back. This begins a three-day attempt to hike down extreme mountainous terrain that leads them into a dead-end canyon.

I got a sneak peek at the premiere, and I’m in. In the hourlong episode, Creek offers actual tips that may save your life. He even discusses the mental survival skills needed to keep your head right when the going gets tough.

Future episodes will deal with surviving extreme cold, extreme heat, injuries in the wilderness and hurricanes.

A true friend of Scouting

Creek, a recipient of the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, has been a supporter of Scouting all his life.

He addressed 15,000 Arrowmen at the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference and more than twice that many Boy Scouts, Venturers and adults at the 2017 National Jamboree.

His message to Jamboree participants: Do what you love — even if it doesn’t pay the most money.

Creek’s ad in Boys’ Life

Creek’s survival prowess has only grown since the ad below appeared in the February 1998 issue of Boys’ Life.



    • Car batteries can explode if you generate a spark on or next to them if there’s a leak in the battery. But there’s little danger in generating a spark from a car battery if it’s not connected to a running engine and the spark is generated well away from the battery.

      Of course you could give yourself a good shock if you connect the cables to yourself, which no one should do.

      I’ve used an old car battery on occasion when teaching survival skills. I attach a separate thin long wire (which could be obtained from a car’s electrical wires in a survival emergency) to each terminal and show people how to generate the spark on the far end of the wires to ignite tinder.

      I’ve done the same by taking multiple C or D batteries, duct taping them on top of each other positive-to-negative, and duct taping separate wires to each end and touching the other ends to make the spark. I’m sure many of us have tried or seen the 9-volt battery and fine steel wool technique. Same concept, but people are more likely to have C/D batteries in a flashlight or access to a car battery than carry around a 9-volt and steel wool. It’s good to teach survival concepts in different ways.

  1. Thanks! IMO this kind of material makes good TV. I realize that being able to light a fire in the rain doesn’t necessarily correlate with the BSA’s mission of preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices throughout their lives based on the Scout Oath and Law, BUT, BEING A “SCHOOL OF THE WOODS” as B.-P. put it, and because of its TIMELESS AND ENDURING APPEAL, one of our movement’s most quintessential attractions REMAINS learning how to be resourceful by using our acquired outdoor skills, and putting them into action in ways that are challenging and FUN! (Wouldn’t it be great if Eagle Scout Creek Stewart publicly credited the Boy Scouts on every telecast?)

  2. Oh, this is the GOOD “Reality TV”.
    Playing the “What If….” game is never a bad thing. My SM used to ask “Who’s not ready?” not “Are you ready?” before an adventure.
    When I teach IOLS , I always talk about possibilities when starting a camp fire…. pocket lint, belly button lint, even that dollar bill in your pocket. Water? Warmth? Where are we?

  3. If anybody has been in scouting a long or short time. And has been camping a long time. And a good camper. Just like me, forty one years in scouting. You’re able to survive in the woods without any problem. Regardless of any situation.
    Even in your own home. If there’s a natural disaster. It’s an emergency situation. You’re able to survive at home. I was able to survive during and after hurricane sandy.

  4. I just have a question.
    when you use the pants as a life preserver, do you have the butt of the pants in front of you or behind you?

Join the conversation