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Questions tagged [survival]

Questions relating to staying alive in the wilderness and learning survival techniques.

2
votes
2answers
121 views

Start a fire with nail clippers?

My inexpensive nail clippers are chrome plated steel. All the keys on my key ring are brass or some other non-ferrous metal (I checked with a magnet). The nail clippers have that small nail file ...
7
votes
2answers
214 views

Start a fire with key fob battery?

We know that you can start a fire with a battery. the better prepared you are the easier it is going to be. I am not prepared and all I have in my pockets is my car keys, which includes a keyless ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

How to keep your fingernail clippers together?

Fingernail clippers are super helpful in outdoor situations. This is my number one always in my pocket survival tool. But they have a tendency to come apart, there are even videos showing how to put ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

What top 10 items did the teams on the TV survival show Alone most frequently choose?

This a question about the outdoor survival show Alone. The teams are allowed to choose 10 items from a list of 40. Currently season 5 has aired as of this writing, I have never seen the show, but ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Suvival: logs/wood, split or not to split?

Given we are in a non-life-threatening situation, splitting logs is often beneficial. However, I feel things get murkier in a survival situation. I have brainstormed about this for a while, here is ...
6
votes
1answer
214 views

What is bushcrafting?

Some people say it is just a term some people use for wilderness survival, but some people say it is not survival. What actually is bushcraft?
1
vote
1answer
93 views

How does dental floss compare to fishing line in a survival situation?

It is possible to catch fish with a hook and dental floss, and the flies can just be stored stuck in the brim of a hat or very small tin and then one improvises a rod from a stick. The advantage of ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Is fish tickling a reliable survival skill?

The practice of tickling fish in an attempt catch and eat them has a long history, and is often mentioned in passing in some circles. If I was going to focus building a single skill, I wonder if ...
24
votes
8answers
8k views

Are there any natural materials found in the wild that can be used as an effective sunscreen?

There are animals such as pigs and elephants that wallow in mud which possibly serves as protection from sunburn. There are also some plants such as Aloe vera (Aloe vera) and Jewelweed (Impatiens ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

SERE Surival Kit includes velcro finger lights, but why?

I have seen a survival kit that has been spoken well of by many reviewers: the SERE Air Force Survival Kit. SERE stands for: survival, evasion, resistance, escape. It is a rather small kit fitting in ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

When is improvised water filtration warranted for survival?

In the comments of the accepted answer to this longstanding question: Water filters - why sand and rocks? the makings of a debate started, but no definitive consensus was reached. I'm going to do my ...
5
votes
0answers
126 views

Does listening with an ear to the ground actually work?

In movies, sometimes the character will put an ear to the ground and then hear people moving a long ways away(example). Does this actually work in the wild at all or is it just insufficient for ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

How to craft container for cooking and filtering/purifying water [duplicate]

If a scenario in which you go in the forest or next to one, how are you supposed to craft a containers? All the web-ressources I can find for filtering water thanks to the multi-layer rocks (from ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

What knot is this that starts off like a taut line hitch but ends differently?

I thought that Les Stroud was about to make a taut line hitch. But at the end he did a couple of things a little different. What is this knot? Does it hold better than a taut line hitch?
75
votes
7answers
21k views

Is it actually useful to ration food?

Is it actually useful to ration food? What is the difference between eating a little bit of food at an interval and eating enough to be full at once? I'm getting the same amount of calories/...
9
votes
1answer
148 views

How to find water in thick tropical forests?

A couple of years ago, we hiked up to a place in the western ghats during the month of December (end of it). Which is actually the end of winter in the Indian subcontinent. The biggest problem we ...
58
votes
12answers
20k views

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent?

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent? Suppose that our old internal-combustion-engine car breaks down in a remote place at -30°C, -40°C, or -50°C, and the engine won't run at all. Suppose we'...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Titanic survival, ice cold water?

When the RMS Titanic sank, there were not enough life boats, many hundreds of people went into the cold water and many died from hypothermia. The water temperature in the area where Titanic sank, ...
92
votes
14answers
38k views

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

Some time ago, while driving on a snowy road, someone told me a kind of horror story. It involved a guy who was driving alone with an old car on an overland road in Siberia during winter, so the ...
0
votes
0answers
91 views

How much weight should I carry for heavy hiking? I'm a 18yo 65kg female (BMI 23) [duplicate]

I want to attempt indefinite survival in the Tasmanian bush, which I have the knowledge and survival tools for. I'm an 18yo female who weighs 65kg and currently is lightly active (light exercise 1hr ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the minimum amount of water per day to survive?

I am disabled in the wildness, there are no natural water sources available. I have 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water. The only practical solution is to sit and wait for rescue. I will be resting in ...
8
votes
2answers
511 views

Can any automotive fluids be made safe to drink?

My vehicle has broken down in the middle of a desert, I have some tools but I am out of water. I have the ability to make a fire. I know that drinking antifreeze is fatal, but I am wondering if I ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Does warming an enclosed area with an open flame provide help with drying wet fabric?

Comments at a recent question How many tea light candles are needed to equal the heat output of a person? suggest that burning a candle can produce water vaper that masses twice as much as the candle ...
5
votes
1answer
733 views

How many tea light candles are needed to equal the heat output of a person?

A recent answer said: In an emergency a tea light candle carefully set on/in a disposable pie tin can heat a 4 season tent enough to aid the drying process - just be sure to isolate, ventalate, and ...
8
votes
4answers
601 views

What types of food make for good emergency rations that I can store in a car?

I have a backpack with emergency survival gear for my car. The scenario being it might take a couple of days of walking to get someplace that money and/or a credit card will increase my chances of ...
4
votes
0answers
186 views

Where in Europe is it legal to hunt small game without a licence?

As I'd like to do some survival in Europe, one way to gather food is hunting. In which Europese countries is it legal to hunt small game like rabbits and ducks, without or with an easy to obtain ...
8
votes
4answers
218 views

As an outdoor beginner, what features in knife/tool combinations should I look for?

As an outdoor beginner, I was interested in some possible tool combinations for shorter outdoor hiking trips, say, 2-5 days. From what little experience I have, I reckon that the most common tasks ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I make an obsidian knife?

I have some obsidian and I know that it can be made into knives and other sharp objects such as arrowheads. Historically this was done for a long time in the United States before there were steel ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Can I use the blade of a multi tool as a spear point?

A recent question asks about disassembling a multi tool pictured below. We have an existing question How do you fashion a spear with a fixed blade. All of the blades pictured are long handled and/...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Trick from a Novel to find cardinal point [duplicate]

In Treasure Of Khan by Clive Cussler, the main protagonist is lost in a desert and uses his watch to determine directions, here is the quote : An old survival trick, he knew that south must be ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What to do if someone gets impaled in the stomach?

Background: This question is motivated by an accident that happened to my sister in a very rural area. She was on a fence and fell onto a t-post which basically impaled her, but which fell out by the ...
9
votes
2answers
385 views

Quick and easy winter shelter for kids to build

What would be the easiest type of shelter for a young kid to build, alone and with minimal tools, in a deep winter survival situation? For a kid 10-12 years old, carrying only a Swiss army-knife, a ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Unconventional ways to light a fire [closed]

In a survival situation, lets say post apocalyptic, what are some unconventional ways a campfire could be lit? Obviously there are the classic flint and steel, rod and bow, and of course matches. But ...
6
votes
1answer
58 views

How to tell if piñon trees have good cones

I started harvesting pine nut cones from the piñon trees in my area yesterday and am a bit worried about the crop. From the cones I have been able to open I notice that most of the nuts are ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

Can you boil/decontaminate water with heat from a magnifying glass?

A bit hypothetical, but ruling out being able to use a solar still, or the SODIS method, could you make water drinkable by using the suns heat through a magnifying glass? Paper self ignites at 451° F ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I be scared if a black bear is outside of my tent at night? [duplicate]

I know that they say to make as much noise as possible to try and show your dominance, but what happens if I am sleeping? If I wake up with a bear right outside my tent while i'm sleeping, and I have ...
10
votes
4answers
536 views

How can I desalinate ocean water enough for cleaning or showering?

I'm planning for a long cruise in my small yacht. The water tank in the yacht has enough clean water to drink, but not quite enough for showers, cleaning the dishes etc.. Desalinating ocean water ...
31
votes
5answers
5k views

How do you aim a signal mirror?

Say you are in the middle of a desert where there is lots of sunshine, and you are trying to signal for help with a signal mirror. Either in the distance there is a person, or there is an airplane ...
3
votes
2answers
233 views

What is the minimum amount of gear that would allow one to ascend a climbing rope?

If you had a climbing rope anchored above you on either a sheer cliff or a really steep incline, what is the minimum amount of gear that a person would need to ascend the rope without assistance from ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Collecting plant foodstuff in the Canadian wilderness of Alberta during winter?

Context: I'm writing a story that will have two people forced to spend the winter (late November to mid-February) in the middle of a forest (Alberta, Canada). They'll have food but it'll be mostly ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

How effective is survival trapping?

Is it true worth someone's time to learn survival trapping in case of an emergency situation to get food, especially in the winter months? My gut feeling is that this is not worth my effort to learn ...
8
votes
1answer
359 views

How can people survive really cold nights outside with minimal equipment?

There are people who had to survive one or more nights in altitudes above 7000 m at temperatures far below zero, without tent, sometimes without sleeping bag or even a proper jacket. Some examples are ...
2
votes
2answers
370 views

What are some usable sources of iron for producing iron tools in the wilderness?

Hematite is one of the more common ores for smelting iron, but as illustrated in the comments from this question—the answers to which focus on the processing of iron—there are apparently other sources ...
11
votes
4answers
368 views

If in a survival situation, how can one preserve a hide of an animal with a minimum amount of tools and skill?

If in a survival situation, how can one preserve the hide of an animal with a minimum amount of tools and skill in order to make clothing or bedding? I am not asking how to make things with the hides....
1
vote
2answers
174 views

If you are faced with surviving on your own for a prolonged period, should a sling make your short list of hunting tools, and why or why not? [closed]

If you are putting together a survival package for a prolonged period, should a sling make the short list of your hunting tools, and if so, why? By prolonged, I mean a year to decades, during which ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How to find natural sulfur sources?

According to a google search sulfur is widely available in nature. Volcanic regions and hot springs are common sources of it in elemental state. Less obvious sources are iron pyrites (iron sulfide), ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

In the absence of lead, what can I use for a projectile in a flintlock rifle?

A flintlock rifle is a weapon that can be indefinitely reloaded without any reliance on infrastructure. Gunpowder can be made from resources commonly found in the outdoors (urine as the nitrate source)...
10
votes
2answers
546 views

What materials can be used to make cordage in forests of the Adirondacks?

Context: Rope, aka cordage, is useful in many bushcraft projects. Cordage can be useful to hang things up, and it is particularly valuable in constructing tools (e.g. bow drills for fire making, ...
9
votes
3answers
639 views

How do you make a stone axe?

If I am in a survival situation with a knife as my only cutting implement, and I need an axe to chop trees (because I know burning through them is not practical) how would I make one? What ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Is all ocular fluid potable?

Many years ago I read that buffalo hunters would drink the liquid out of buffalo's eyes to gross out the greenhorns and tenderfeet (people new to the West). Attached to this anecdote was a claim that ...