Questions relating to staying alive in the wilderness and learning survival techniques. Please **do not** use this tag for questions about general survival that are not related to the outdoors. Surviving in town or city environments will likely be closed.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

19
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I eat when I don't have anything to drink in a survival situations?

I've had a pretty interesting discussion beneath this survival question. A source given in the answer to this question states that you shouldn't eat when dehydration can become or is a problem: (.....
6
votes
1answer
188 views

Is it a good idea to drink blood to avoid dehydration?

When in an emergency survival situation were you don't have access to clean or at least "okay" water but to wildlife (or it is at least easier to grab a snake for example than to gather water), is it ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

Method to test if wood is suitable to start a friction fire

As far as I know a wood (for the "hearth board") has to full fill several characteristics (at least they've to be soft) to be suitable for a friction fire. When in a survival situation, how can I ...
7
votes
2answers
471 views

Am I able to “open up” a snake bite and suck the venom out of it?

Someone told me that you should treat a snake bite (in the wilderness) by cutting a X in the skin (with a knife) and sucking the stuff out of it. This sounds a little weird to me. Is this really a ...
10
votes
1answer
120 views

How dangerous are polar routes, if an aircraft must land on water or wild land?

Suppose an emergency landing necessary for a commercial aircraft on a polar route on water or in the unoccupied, secluded Arctic outback (e.g. Siberia, far northern Canada). What is the time ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

Is there a portable fluoride water filter?

Is there a portable water filter product (for backpacking), like the following two... MSR AutoFlow Gravity Filter by MSR, which seems to filter relatively large volumes of water (~4 Liters) quickly (...
8
votes
1answer
181 views

Starting a Fire with a Battery - what are the fundamental guidelines for safety and efficacy?

There are numerous videos online demonstrating that its possible to start a fire using a battery. Here are four examples using different starting materials. But I have not found any tutorials that ...
6
votes
2answers
332 views

How did/do scouts venture into the wild?

Scouts, messengers, pioneers exploring the frontiers of civilization - images of these sorts of characters paints an ancient archetype, one that I think could be useful to understand in present times. ...
5
votes
3answers
167 views

How can one tiller a bow without a tillering tree or similar wooden device?

I've been crafting a longbow from ash and am about ready for tillering. By tillering I mean: stringing the bow loosely and drawing the bowstring back little by little to give the bow some flex, making ...
11
votes
4answers
319 views

How dependable is a cheap compass?

I was reading the BBC news today and there was an ad for an inexpensive "5 in 1 Outdoor Survival Gear Escape Paracord Bracelet Flint / Whistle / Compass / Scraper" I clicked on the link and saw this ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

If I am in a survival situation, is there any reason I shouldn't drink the available water? I am aware of Giardia and cholera. Are these worthy concerns, or are there good enough cures available that ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What to eat if survivaling in ireland? [closed]

Just going on a trip through the nature of ireland soon. Was curious whats there nice to eat in the nature? Any good fish in the river or some greens in the woods? I heared there is some nice ...
18
votes
4answers
681 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
10
votes
3answers
142 views

What materials are suitable for constructing a sleeping mat?

This weekend I forgot my expanded-foam sleeping mat and was cold during the night. The environment was an autumn forest. There were plenty of dry fallen branches. However, I couldn't work out a way ...
6
votes
3answers
99 views

How can I tell if a plant is poisonous?

I know that there are exceptions to every rule. Like for example not all plants with leaves in groups of 3 are poisonous. Also there is mimicry in some plants to deter animals from eating it even ...
8
votes
1answer
90 views

How to make a fish hook?

I am in a survival situation and need to make a supply of fish hooks. What are my best options. I have a knife and in my travels I have noticed much native vegetation as well as a couple of animal ...
8
votes
1answer
223 views

How much does body fat actually insulate you against the cold?

I'm not a big guy, but I can sit in a cold pool of still water for a long time if I stay still and control my breathing, my skin gets cold, but after you get past the cold shock I can sit there rather ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

How to deal with a tooth infection?

Caries and other similar disease can be a painful threat. It even can be a danger to life if not threatened over several months. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Building a fridge in the wild [duplicate]

I've read that one can create a (actually a pretty decent) fridge with quite common materials a few years ago. How do you do that?
4
votes
2answers
496 views

When stranded, how do I choose a place to camp on an island?

We are in a Robinson Crusoe situation where we're stranded on a tropical island (lonely or not). We've to setup our camp. How to determine the right piece of land? For example you might wanna have a ...
1
vote
3answers
606 views

In an emergency situation, is it healthy to eat human flesh?

We all know these scary stories where people had to eat their fellow sufferers after a plane crash or something. I don't know if there is even one of them true. I feel like it might result into more ...
7
votes
3answers
359 views

How to create a cast or splint to aid a broken bone?

Assuming you or one of your party has broken his leg (or something). How can you create a provisional splint or cast to bring you/him/her back to the next hospital etc.? Would be cool if it's made ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Heal burn wounds in the wild

When out in the wild and a companion falls into the fire and gets injured very badly. How can I aid his wounds? Would be great to hear from some possible herbs (natural materials in general) but ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Avoid swimming into climbing plants/creepers

As far as I know there is a danger of swimming into "climbing plants/creebers" in lakes. This can bring you in an extremely dangerous situation where you tangle up more and more cause you panic. Am ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How to react if stuck in quicksand? [duplicate]

If I step accidentally on quicksand and get "caught". How do I react? How can I avoid stepping on it in the first place? Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular material (such as ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

How to measure the temperature without a thermometer?

We are in the wild and need to know how cold/hot it is. How can we measure the temperature if we don't have any thermometers? Can we build something similar, etc.? It doesn't have to be necessarily ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Is it a good idea to eat snow? [duplicate]

I'm in a survival situation in the mountains and I'm short of water. I don't have anything but the snow around me. As far as I know you should avoid "eating" snow cause it cools you down too much. ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

How to react to an aggresive boar

As far as I know, boars are pretty aggressive when they have piglets. In the appropriate season, one might happen to hike into the path of an overprotective mother and get attacked. How do I react ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Is it a good idea to drink your own urine [duplicate]

I mean, we all know the famous "Bear Grylls" scene where he drinks his own urine. I've ever wondered if it's a good idea to do so if you are in such a situation? My thought was that it can't be a ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

How to open a coconut with no tools? [duplicate]

After reading this question about the usefulness of coconuts in survival situations, I was wondering: How can I open a coconut with no tools without hurting myself? Whenever I've been in a tropical ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

In a survival situation what all I can use from a green coconut?

Why is a coconut tree so valuable for a person in survival situation?
25
votes
4answers
5k views

What do mountaineers eat and drink on the day of an Everest summit?

I was watching Everest (2015) on the weekend and was wondering what the mountaineers do for sustenance on the day they attempt to summit. It appeared they left around midnight, aiming for a 2pm ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

How to deal with Serbian scorpions?

I always wanted to visit Balkan region, but I'm affraid of scorpions. As far as I searched there's plenty of those terrifying creatures, but none of species I found was poisonous. So I have two ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Surviving a forest fire while backpacking [duplicate]

A friend of mine recently was forced to cancel a backpacking trip because Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada side of Glacier National Park in Montana) canceled his backcountry permit due to a forest ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

When will a rattlesnake strike?

There are a few questions about how to avoid rattlers, and what to do if you're bit, but at what point does a rattler actually strike? I had my first rattler encounter ever yesterday, just out in ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make a traditional torch?

How would you go about preparing an old fashioned torch for use in survival situations where an electrical torch has failed?
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Could spray foam insulation be used effectively as an emergency sleeping bag?

Is it harmful for our health? How thick should the foam be around the body to be okay down to 0degC with warm clothes underneath? Is there enough foam for this in a 500ml can (average man)? Or two? I ...
11
votes
2answers
438 views

Encountering a bear in water?

I found myself in a situation the other day that I've never been in before. I was paddling along in my canoe with my wife and kids, when suddenly a young black bear came scrambling down the slope, ...
12
votes
15answers
18k views

What are good baits for crabbing?

Now certainly if you're British you likely just had a wave of nostalgia over the idea of Crabbing! I did when I thought this through certainly. Crabbing is not only a great way to spend the afternoon ...
6
votes
5answers
499 views

Drinking alcohol as the last choice in survival situation

I'm asking this just for curiosity: Imagine your are alone in the wilderness without any resources since a few days. You're dehydrated and you find a bottle of an alcoholic liquor in your baggage. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

eating ash in Soviet Union

My Polish grandfather in early 1950's was sent by communist regime to a gulag. People were starving there and malnourishment was common, so they came up with idea of burning some kind of trees and ...
16
votes
5answers
14k views

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

Even if I was to follow the advice of letting bears know I am in the area, keeping my cooking and anything that smells at least 100m from my camp & downwind, etc, suppose a bear finds my tent and ...
9
votes
2answers
367 views

How do you survive getting towed under a log jam?

When I was a boy, my father and I were unexpectedly swept into a log jam (pile of logs the size of a house) on the banks of the Elk River while canoeing near our home. Somewhat similar looking jam, ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Top gear presenter pees on snare, why?

I was watching Top Gear last night and Richard Hammond was (supposedly) trapped on a mountain in British Columbia and had to "survive". At one point he laid a snare for rabbits on a track and said: ...
8
votes
2answers
509 views

What is the most effective way to flee from an alligator?

I've heard that running in a zig-zag pattern makes it more difficult for the alligator to keep up with you. Is that true?
6
votes
6answers
388 views

How can I survive multiple days in cold environment?

What can I do to survive multiple (2-4) days in a cold environment (like in mountains in winter)? As resources I've normal Skitouring gear with me for a single day, no sleeping bag or bivy bag. What ...
10
votes
2answers
492 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling "...
42
votes
7answers
11k views

Does cotton really kill?

For outdoor hiking, backpacking or camping trips, I always hear people saying Cotton Kills. That means don't wear cotton anywhere (underwear, shirts, pants), and no cotton blends. Usually it's given ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

If you are buried in an avalanche will you survive?

Obviously, my best chance of survival is in not being buried, but if I am unfortunate enough to become buried in an avalanche what are my chances of surviving it?
18
votes
6answers
11k views

How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

You run across a wire cable, or wire fence in the wild, with which you would have to interact in some way. How to check if electricity runs through it without having special tools? EDIT: As the ...