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A Woman Survived 5 Days in the Australian Bush With Just a Bottle of Wine to Drink

It's not the recommended means of hydration, but it did the trick.

Dirt road through the bush in rural Victoria near Benalla Getty Images

If you were ever to get lost in the wilderness, you’d hope that you would have some nonperishable food and lots of water with you. But could you survive without that? Apparently so.

One woman was recently stranded in the Australian wilderness for five days, and she didn’t have much more with her besides a bottle of wine, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Lillian Ip got lost in Bright, Australia, at the bottom of the Victorian Alps, and she stayed alive by drinking the only liquid she had with her: that one bottle of wine.

Ip had been planning on taking a short day trip to a nearby dam, but she made a wrong turn and her car got stuck in a muddy track. Without cellphone service, she wasn’t able to call for help, and her family contacted local authorities when they hadn’t heard from her.

Because Ip didn’t intend to be gone for long, she only had with her a couple of snacks, some candy, and the bottle of wine—meant as a gift for her mother. In fact, Ip herself doesn’t drink, but she made an exception this one time.

“That got her through,” Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey said in a statement. “She used great common sense to stay with her car and not wander off into bushland, which assisted in police being able to find her.”

After days of searching for Ip, a police helicopter finally spotted her car on Friday, and she can be seen waving to authorities in a video that the Victoria Police posted on Twitter. Once they retrieved her, she told a local news outlet, she had just one request: water and a cigarette.

The Post noted that this isn’t the first time someone has survived on a vastly limited diet while stranded. One man was lost at sea for 24 days with not much more than a bottle of ketchup, and two women who were stuck in Maine had only a frozen, half-full bottle of Mountain Dew when rescuers finally got to them.

While none of those is the recommended option for sustenance during an emergency, you may perhaps consider stashing a bottle of wine alongside your gallons of water and shelf-stable snacks.

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