Questions tagged [survival]

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

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9
votes
5answers
2k views

Transition to “Starvation Mode” in Survival Situations

The textbook "Fundamentals of Search and Rescue" in Chapter 6 describes the priorities of needs in survival situations. The priorities listed are Air Shelter Rest Signals/Communication Water Food ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What formation to best survive a flood?

I just heard of an incident where a group of people were caught unprepared by a flood. It is known as the "Bulacan State University Field Trip", Looking at the images online, I couldn't help but ...
94
votes
14answers
40k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
302 views

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

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
320 views

How to escape a cave in an emergency situation?

I have been doing a lot of cave climbing recently. So I am not talking about your average tourist cave, I talk about real miles deep labyrinth like caves, where nature never thought of humans getting ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Uses of a rabbit in a survival situation? [closed]

Let's say your plane crashes and you end up in a forest in a cold Russian winter miles away from civilization. You have lost all your clothing; completely butt naked. You manage to get fire and make ...
-6
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2answers
89 views

Can you shoot and eat animals such as deer and stuff on England or is that specified as poaching? [duplicate]

I don’t know if shooting animals and eating them such as catch and cook in England is specified as poaching these days so anyone who gets what I’m actually trying to say I would appreciate if u do ...
12
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4answers
984 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 ...
21
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3answers
8k 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k views

How do you make an emergency water filter and purifier?

How do you make an effective water filter using the natural elements of the great outdoors? Suppose your only source of water was dirty and questionable at best. How could you make it potable without ...
9
votes
5answers
886 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
30
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2answers
6k views

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'

I've recently become aware of the american 'survivalist' or 'prepper' phenomenon. The general idea seems to be that 'something bad' (exactly what seems to vary) is going to happen, civilization will ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Mimosa Pudica (touch-me-not) medicinal uses and edibility

I started reading about an interesting plant that is common around here called Mimosa Pudica, known as "touch-me-not" because of its leaves that close upon touching. It seems to be a plant with ...
31
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3answers
3k views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
20
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1answer
9k 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 ...
5
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2answers
253 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?
4
votes
1answer
171 views

How much land would one family need for sustainable food production?

Help me settle an argument. How big a patch of temperate wilderness terrain would you need to produce enough food to feed a family of four (two adults, two teens) indefinitely in an off the grid or ...
29
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4answers
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: (......
5
votes
2answers
379 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)...
5
votes
2answers
451 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
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1answer
15k 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
674 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
92 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
118 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
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5answers
36k 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?
5
votes
2answers
417 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
votes
8answers
54k 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
261 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
14k 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
187 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
70 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
321 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
491 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
171 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
4k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
284 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
316 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
210 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
906 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
115 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
984 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 ...
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
733 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/...