We complain about traffic jams and videos that take too long to load, but when one's life is on the line, people can be pretty tough. At least some people. Adventure Journal has a list of amazing survival stories, beginning with the Antarctic adventures of Ernest Shackleton and his crew.
When the going got tough: In 1914, Shackleton’s crew intended to attempt the first Trans-Antarctic Expedition, a crossing of Antarctica over the south pole. Then their ship, the Endurance, was trapped in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, stranding 28 men.
The tough: Hung out for nine months, but then the ice crushed their ship, so they took lifeboats and camped on the ice for six months eating seal meat and eventually the expedition dogs, until an ice floe suddenly split and they were forced to take the lifeboats to nearby Elephant Island, in freezing water and -20 F temps. From there, Shackleton and five men took four weeks’ worth of supplies and launched a 22.5-foot lifeboat for an 800-mile trip to South Georgia Island, where they hoped to get help at a whaling village. After 16 days of navigating based on dead reckoning, the men landed on South Georgia, but on the wrong (unpopulated) side. Shackleton and two other men crossed the then-unmapped, unexplored island in 36 hours. After several attempts over the course of three months, Shackleton eventually returned to Elephant Island to rescue the rest of his crew. All crew members survived. The first Antarctic crossing would not happen for another 40 years.