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Questions tagged [survival]

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

4
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2answers
377 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
13k views

How to react to an aggressive 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
654 views

What does it take to become a wilderness skills guide as a business?

I see lots of schools around different states and countries that teach wilderness skills and they seem to vary a lot in their basis (that is, what qualifies them to do what they do). Some are led by ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What are survival tools I should have when in the wilderness? [closed]

When venturing out into the wilderness, what are crucial things I should bring?
5
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0answers
76 views

Is it possible to make a slingshot from “Natural” resources?

According to Wikipedia, slingshots did not exist prior to the invention of vulcanized rubber. Slingshots depend on strong elastic materials, typically vulcanized natural rubber or the equivalent, ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

What woods have been used to build primitive shelters in northern climates, especially around the Adirondacks Mountains?

I'm exploring primitive shelter building in northern cool temperate climates. I mean primitive as a compliment: the prime, first, original, indigenous, low-tech/base-tech. Things like the ...
22
votes
5answers
34k views

Can you eat pine needles in an emergency?

If you are in a survival situation in the woods and really hungry, and you are unsure about which plants are edible, can you eat pine needles?
6
votes
2answers
379 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 ...
57
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8answers
53k views

Does eating snow help dehydration?

I have heard many people say that eating snow actually can increase dehydration since the energy required for the body to heat up and melt the snow is greater than the benefits received from the ...
18
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4answers
3k views

Tree bark as food

I saw a youtube video where this guy skinned a spruce tree stick and ate the bark while claiming it is nutritious. That got me curious since trees are everywhere and this could be a great tip so I ...
2
votes
4answers
241 views

What is the best way to cross a wide river in winter?

Conditions: I live near a wide (~1000ft or 300m) and fairly deep river across from the area where I work. This area is slightly earthquake prone -- near a fault line that has had multiple magnitude 7+...
16
votes
5answers
13k views

Can I heat a shelter with fire?

So I built my survival shelter and I decide a nice fire would really warm things up. Is there a way I can build a fire that would heat the shelter without too much smoke? I know I could make the ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Salt Vs Smoke as a preservative

A recent question about travelling with dried food where the recipe did not include salt caused the OP some concern. As far as I know salt just dries out food. So if you get the food completely dry ...
3
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0answers
65 views

How can I identify wild edible plants of southern and eastern China?

What wild edible plants can be found in southern and eastern China? I have combed through various search queries but keep finding information on North American flora. Are there any good resources ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How to find natural salt licks?

There are a number of places where salt can easily be found at or near the surface. Notably Salt Lake Utah, but there are also other Salt lick places of note. How would I recognize a natural salt ...
14
votes
2answers
290 views

Why is traditional marine advice to stay still, rather than swim vigorously, if fallen in cold water?

Traditional marine advice says that, if one falls into cold water, it is better to stay still rather than try to swim (unless the shore is so close that you are absolutely able to make it) to extend ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I build a safe, effective igloo?

If I want to build an igloo to keep me warm in a snowy climate, how can I go about this? What size blocks should I cut? How big should the entrance be? How can I mitigate the risk of the igloo ...
12
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2answers
379 views

How real is the danger to suffocate in an Igloo?

Last weekend I spent a night in an igloo. The event was organised by professionals (it was a company retreat) and during the night there was always one of the guides awake making rounds and checking ...
3
votes
3answers
158 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
1answer
3k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
246 views

What is an efficient and effective way to test an emergency day-hike kit?

Questions like these two have made me wonder about my own answer in the first linked question. I have to admit, I haven't 'tested' the kits I put together. I have some wilderness survival training (...
8
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
30
votes
12answers
5k views

What gear should I carry along for winter emergencies?

This question is prompted by a real accident, in which a young, healthy and experienced hiker I knew was found dead from hypothermia ridiculously close to civilization. The assumptions behind it: a ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Best practices for physical and inventory management of a ready pack/bug out bag

Hopefully this is acceptable. I figure this could be relevant as my bug out bag is essentially what I would bring on a camping trip (first aid, fire starters, some food, shelter materials, mess kit, ...
13
votes
4answers
491 views

Do emergency space blankets actually work?

Inspired by a space blanket being included in emergency winter kits, I wonder if there's any rigorous study about whether these things actually work and in what ways to best use them. In my own ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Different woods and how they burn/what if we are unsure of the wood?

I'm keen on learning more about different woods and how they burn in particular in the context of bushcraft. There is a lot of existing literature on all the different woods out there. I started to ...
7
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
935 views

Would a tampon be a good addition to a survival kit

Jezebel magazine suggests a tampon for your survival kit. I don't question that, if you just happen to have a tampon, you can use it. But at the end of the article they suggest even guys carry one ...
27
votes
3answers
5k 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: (......
9
votes
5answers
779 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

What pattern for casual planes should a castaway create on a desert island?

This answer has inspired me to a question: say you are a castaway on a desert island. There might be a plane flying casualy but you can miss it. So you want to create some pattern (e.g. put some ...
8
votes
1answer
408 views

Best way to use “space” blanket to boost heat when bivy camping

A thin, heat-reflective sheet (aka “space” blanket) is a popular outdoors emergency item, having a number of uses. See adventure.howstuffworks.com/survival/gear/space-blanket and gotimegear.com/blogs/...
49
votes
10answers
17k views

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

If I am lost in the woods, and I find a trail or a road, how do I decide which way to go? Autumn Veatch was 16 years old in 2015, when her grandparents small plane crashed in the North Cascade ...
6
votes
0answers
858 views

What is the longest dead end road on US public land?

In this answer at; I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go? It claims ...logging roads These may extend many miles into the forest, with multiple branches, all ending in dead ends. There can ...
27
votes
2answers
30k views

Is whiskey a good disinfectant?

You see this a lot on films, the hero/heroine is injured and disinfects their wound(s) by pouring whiskey on it. I'm a bit sceptical. If I'm in an emergency scenario and need to prevent infection. ...
16
votes
3answers
20k views

How much heat can a candle lantern provide while winter camping?

In answering this question I tossed out that a candle lantern can provide as much as 10 degrees (F) of temperature difference while winter camping. I've heard this tossed about before, but is it true? ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I get fresh water from ocean fish flesh?

Ocean water has about 35 Grams of salt per liter. For the human body salt content in body fluids is about 9 Grams per liter. See related question How much sea water can I safely drink? While it is ...
10
votes
3answers
459 views

In a survival situation is it actually efficient to eat edible plants?

In a survival situation is it actually efficient to eat edible plants? Assume late spring to early fall in a temperate climate. We have plenty of questions about where to find edible plants and how ...
6
votes
1answer
973 views

What is the most methodical way to try to get yourself unlost? (Assume below timberline in a temperate climate)

My question is prompted by the answer of @Aaron to this question; his answer referenced Geraldine's Largay's death on the Appalachian Trail. Ms. Largay was hiking alone on the AT in Maine. She got ...
4
votes
2answers
442 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, ...
37
votes
4answers
12k views

Ways to desalinate water when “lost at sea”?

In recent news reports that all seem to be saying the same things: Jakarta Post Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift in Guam waters NPR: 19-Year-Old Survives 49 Days At Sea After Floating Hut ...
32
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Can I get fresh water from ocean plants?

In the answer to Can I get fresh water from ocean fish flesh? I learned that the water I can get from eating fish has a low enough salt content that it will hydrate me, BUT the high protein count will ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

Portable desalination hand pump filter life?

I was looking into portable desalination hand pumps. and I found this one one Amazon for $959 it says the Katadyn Survivor 06 is the world's smallest hand-operated desalinator and can easily fit ...
6
votes
1answer
950 views

Can I eat Rabbit Poop?

I know that rabbits eat their droppings (cecotropes) and I have heard of feeding rabbit droppings to pigs. Rabbits are vegetarians. There droppings do not have the same consistency or negative ...
19
votes
8answers
4k views

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

I am currently stuck in the wilderness, and I have been out here for a while. I want to focus light. There are various reasons for wanting to do this, with the two biggest reasons being for vision and ...
3
votes
0answers
187 views

If you are stranded at sea, how reliable of a food supply are fish with a basic set of fishing equipment?

We have a question about desalinating water while stranded at sea, and another that asks if you can get desalinated water from eating fish. However, even if you could get desalinated water from fish ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a way to light a fire in the wild using rocks?

Just for fun, how would I go about lighting a fire with naturally shaped rocks by striking sparks? It might be useful if I were to camp in the far north, where there are no trees. What should I use ...
2
votes
2answers
225 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 ...