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After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference? Examining such stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death--how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not)--Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the "stages of survival" and reveals the essence of a survivor--truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life-threatening illness, relationships, the death of a loved one, running a business during uncertain times, and even war. In the end, he finds, it is what's in your heart, not what's in your pack, that separates the living from the dead. Fascinating and absolutely essential for anyone who hikes in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors.