the 5th wave movie survival training reland

Anyone that knows me personally will probably know that I am an avid reader of anything that could be classified as teen/ young adult fiction. And when they make those books into films, well, I’ll be the first one in the cinema. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the trailer for ” The 5th Wave “, the movie version of one such book. And even more so when SONY pictures challenged me to see how well I’d do in a survival situation!

The 5th Wave

the 5th wave movie survival training ireland

 “The 5th Wave” is a tale of human survival. It follows Cassie Sullivan ( Chloë Grace Moretz),  an ordinary teenage girl from the suburbs. Cassie attempts to survive as the world is thrown into chaos by an alien species. They call these aliens “The Others”. Why are they here? What do they want? It soon becomes apparent when they start to attack in waves.

It starts with the 1st wave; an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) that takes out all electricity, cell phones, internet etc.  The 2nd wave is a massive earthquake causing tidal waves and wiping out coastal cities and towns around the world. The 3rd wave is a modified form of the avian flu that wipes out most of those left. The 4th wave is where “the Others”, inhabit the body of human hosts making it impossible to tell the difference between humans and “Others”. What’s the 5th Wave? Well, you’ll have to watch it to find out!

Now, time to find out how I survived!

Survival Training

the 5th wave movie survival training ireland

In order to celebrate the release of “The 5th Wave”, Sony challenged me to a day of survival training with The Adventure Agency in Wicklow. I’ve never been a girl scout. I’ve been camping maybe three times in my entire life. It was finally time for me to  learn some survival skills!

So what did I learn??

Well, a bit of everything really! First up was navigation (I suppose you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are!). All of us managed this bit pretty easily.

Then it was time to learn how to make a fire. Let me just tell you, definitely not as easy as it looks. We ended up having to use cotton wool dipped in Vaseline (the actual branded stuff, don’t buy the cheap versions) to get them started and even then there was really only one successful fire out of our group of 10 would-be survivalists. Though I’m gonna go ahead and blame that one on the wet ground. Let’s hope it’s not raining if aliens ever invade!!

the 5th wave movie survival training ireland

After that it was time to learn about survival first aid. What would we do if someone in our party broke their leg? Apparently “leave them behind to distract the aliens”, was not an acceptable answer. So we learnt all about splints and mountain rescue. It takes 21 people to rescue someone from a mountain! Isn’t that crazy? Though, really, in the event of an alien invasion I wouldn’t have the option of calling mountain rescue anyway. Luckily I know my first aid pretty well from all that pharmacist training.

FINALLY, It was all about the shelter building. Pretty essential considering the weather in Ireland. We split into teams and attempted to make a shelter big enough for 5 people. I’m not gonna lie….. I found this hard. My team and I ended up having to restart ours after about 10 minutes and even when we had “finished” it, there wasn’t exactly much room in there. We just about fit the 5 of us in the shelter, but only if 4 of us were sitting down and one was lying across the bottom, hah. There also may or may not have been several holes in the roof. BUT HEY, for a first go it wasn’t bad at all. Well, at least it felt that way until we saw the other team’s construction. It basically looked like one of those luxury teepees that people pay ridiculous money to camp in.  Devastated.

the 5th wave movie survival training ireland

Devil’s Glen Luxury Forest Teepee. On Air BnB now! ;P

Some key stuff my guide Bradley taught me that I think would be useful in the event of a “The 5th Wave” type situation was how to build a Dakota fire. A Dakota fire is basically a fire that cannot be seen as it’s build in a pit with a cover. The air flows into the fire through another pit and a tunnel connecting the 2 pits. I also learnt not to eat any berries etc that are bellow waist height as they will be covered in pollutants such as urine. Surviving is not glamorous.

How Would I Survive?

the 5th wave survival training ireland

After seeing “The 5th Wave” and undertaking my survival training in Wicklow, all I could think about was what I would do if a similar situation to “The 5th Wave” arose in Ireland. Would I survive?

Well, I like to think I already have a bit of an advantage over the average person for the following reasons:
1)The majority of what I eat comes from a can or a packet as it is. Feeding myself in a survival situation would be no big leap from the norm for me.
2) I like weapons. Always have. I’ve got a lovely katana and some pretty shuriken at home from my ninjutsu days. Granted…. these wouldn’t be much match for a gun, but we don’t have as many guns in Ireland as they do in America so I doubt I’d come across so many armed civilians/aliens.
3) I already live a very nomadic lifestyle. Packing up my life into a small bag and moving from place to place wouldn’t be a big shock to my system.
4) I’ve done quite a few martial arts in my day and think I’d be half-decent at hand to hand combat if I needed to be.
5) I’m a licensed pharmacist so I’d know all about the drugs and such.
6) My mother likes to buy EVERYTHING that they ever have on special in Aldi/Lidl including all the camping & survival stuff, so I’m STOCKED.

That being said, where would I go and what would I do!?

Where Would I Go?

the 5th wave survival training ireland

Well, if the “The 5th Wave”, happened RIGHT NOW, I’d be in Dublin, Ireland. So, where would I go? WELL, to survive the 2nd wave I’d head to the Smithfield viewing tower. Then, once that had passed I’d head towards the Phoenix Park, stopping at St. Bricin’s military hospital on the way to gather medical supplies.

I chose Phoenix park for many reasons. Firstly it’s completely walled with gates at the entry points. It’s also got quite a few high points that if a tidal wave DID come rushing down the Liffey I reckon that a lot of the park would be fine.

Phoenix park contains an army barracks which, I imagine, would contain weapons. There are several cafes and coffee shops in the park which would contain food and bottled water.

Also, if they survived the 2nd wave, there are plenty of “wild” deer in the park that could be used as a source of food when desperate. There is also a zoo in the park which has a farm yard area with chickens, cows, goats and pigs that could be used for food. Same goes for Farmleigh house which is also inside the Phoenix park walls. They have a few horses (which could be used for transport) and cows (for food).

I’m actually a vegetarian, but I reckon if I was in an alien apocalypse I’d probably do what I had to in order to survive!

There’s plenty of open green spaces to farm or grow vegetables if we wanted to rebuild society, after I’ve finished defeating “the Others”, that is. Also the Phoenix Park contains the American Embassy and Áras an Uachtaráin (The Irish president’s house). I don’t know for a fact, but I reckon both of those buildings would have some pretty great security bunkers and definitely some good food. Plus, if anyone if going to come and save anyone in Ireland, I imagine they’d start at the President’s house. Right?!

Finally, there’s an Ordinance Survey centre in the park which could give me a good idea of, well, anywhere and everywhere. If, for some reason, I needed to move on, I’d probably find a useful map in there. AND since I learnt navigation in my survival skills, I’d know exactly how to read the maps!

Annnnd CUT

So there you have it! Everything I learnt on my survival course, how I reckon I’d survive “The 5th Wave” and where exactly I’d go in Dublin to survive it! I’m sure there are many holes in my plan, but I’ll have to wait until the next alien apocalypse to find out. In the mean time I’ll be practising my survival skills so that I know I’m ready!

“The 5th Wave”, is in cinemas now, so make sure you go check it out. I can’t wait to see it for a second time so maybe I’ll see you in there! Here’s a video I made of my survival training in case you need any further convincing.

“The 5th Wave” IS IN CINEMAS NOW

How would you survive?? Let me know where you’d go and what you’d do to survive in your country!


* My video footage was mainly shot on the SONY Action Cam.
“Celebrate your passion for sports, adventure, arts, nature, and more with the Sony High Definition WIFI enabled Action Cam. Shoot and share your best times ever with features such as SteadyShot stability, High Speed REC, time-lapse effects, and water scene selection. Shooting confidence in action with a huge range of accessories available to cater for all types of activities!
(Visit for more details)
** The survival training was provided to me by SONY free of charge however, the opinions expressed in this article are, as always, my own. 

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5 Responses

  1. Dolores

    Another gem of a post. I can always rely on you for info & humour. I have to share this for my many emigrant friends.

  2. Suzyq

    Wow Tara… this post. Have to get the grab bag stocked up after this. The movie is on my list of things to do this weekend. Looking forward to it. ??

  3. Bee Prepared

    I have watched the trailer of “The 5th Wave” and it is an amazing film. Hoping to still watch it. Also, I have always been scared of the wilderness. Thank you for these tips that made my fears all loosen up. Great blog!


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