Australian mother, son's bush survival inspired by Bear Grylls

A single mother and her nine-year-old son have revealed they drank their own tears and urine, while lost for 10 days in the Australian bush.

The pair's survival against the odds was inspired by reality TV star Bear Grylls, who says their "dogged determination" is what kept the mother and son alive.

After 10 days without food in the Australian bush, Michelle Small was too weak to speak.

But on Monday, she revealed her incredible story of a mother and son's fight for survival, side-by-side.

"I made myself a promise - if he didn't get out I wasn't [going to] either," she said.

"We were either going to both walk out or none."

Ms Small and son Dylan had planned a day trip in a national park two hours northwest of Newcastle, Australia.

But a wrong turn took them away from the track and they became utterly lost, without any supplies.

After days of thirst and exhaustion, tears were all they had to drink. On day four, despair turned to desperation.

Ms Small told her son to drink his own urine, like they had seen on survival show Man Vs Wild.

"I was like, 'Mummy will go first', he was like, 'We're what?'," she said.

"I was like, 'We have to, we're very thirsty and this could save our lives.' And he was like, 'OK, just think apple juice, apple juice and yummy'."

Eventually, they found a source of water and their TV tuition was again put to use, using leaves to drink water from a shallow pool.

It was enough to keep them alive for 10 days, when they found a road and were rescued.

"I knew then it was done. We were done, it was all over," Ms Small said.

Drinking urine can actually increase dehydration and isn't recommended, even to surive.

But their efforts earned praise from Grylls himself, whose actions on Man Vs Wild inspired them.

"They had that survivor spirit, that dogged determination to never give up," he said.

It was spirit, even more than food or water, that proved to be essential to life.