The jungle is full of small feeder streams which offer the easiest way of finding protein should you end up in a survival situation.

There are many ways of catching the fish and I’ll cover these later on, but one very effective method is simply to use your hands.  When you enter the stream the fish will hide under rocks or banks and you can simply reach in and – slowly and carefully – envelop them in your hand.

I had always thought this was extremely difficult to do, but it really isn’t: when my young nephew came to visit last year, he picked it up in a matter of minutes and caught his first fish.

In the video below, my friend Baha explains this technique and demonstrates how it is done.

In an emergency, fishing in jungle streams is clearly the thing to do, however, when I go in camping I take in tinned fish (namely sardines) instead.  Some river fish in Malaysia are now endangered from over-fishing and to catch fish is to remove food from the forest’s food chain and deprive some other creature.

I am big fan of tinned sardines – they are very easy to find in even the most remote villages in the tropics, they are very good for you (full of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium)  and delicious if you know how to prepare them (I’ll cover some recipes later on).  They are also ‘eco-food’: they are not over fished, replenish their numbers fast and, because they are low down in the food chain, don’t pick up levels of mercury that are associated with fish higher up the chain.

If you buy sardines in the larger supermarkets you may also be able to pick up premium varieties – my personal favourite being sardines in olive oil with chilli.

Another useful thing to know about tinned sardines is that you can puncture the tin with your parang and place the tin in the fire to cook them.  By doing this the sardines will keep much longer so any that are left over can be eaten the following day.  I’m told that sardines re-cooked like this are good for 2-3 days even in the tropics, but you’ll need to judge this for yourself.

On a different note, one of my dogs was attacked by a wild boar yesterday (they are nightly visitors to our back garden) and was sliced open as you can see in the photo below.  The cut from the wild boar’s tusk was amazingly clean – it looked like it had been done by a knife – and the dog was very lucky not to have been disemboweled.

I have come across these large male wild boars before while trekking in the jungle with Baha; sleeping somewhere nearby, they suddenly react to your presence and stomp around snorting loudly to show their displeasure.  They move shockingly fast and can charge through the jungle like a freight train.   I have never had a problem with them, however if you are walking with dogs it is a very different story – wild boar hate dogs and the feeling appears to be mutual.  I long ago gave up the idea of taking my dogs jungle trekking – even on a lead the risks are just too great – but as I live in the jungle the wild boar sometimes find us…

Another common jungle animal to watch out for are the alpha-male macaques – they too can be aggressive if they feel threatened or attacked.

Two workers I know were taunting one in a tree shouting up to it “come on then, come down and fight!” – the macaque picked up on their aggression and did exactly that, biting one of the workers before his friend managed to beat it away.

So, generally speaking, wild animals will leave you alone if they don’t feel threatened but if a wild boar takes exception to you, get ready to climb that tree …fast!