Questions tagged [survival]

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

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8
votes
1answer
1k 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
0answers
1k 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 ...
38
votes
8answers
11k views

Jumping off of a cliff into water - survival tips

Another scary scenario: Let's say you're in a situation where you have to jump off of a cliff into the water to survive. The cliff is at least 100 feet high. What would be the best way to survive ...
0
votes
2answers
302 views

Nails in an emergency/survival kit

After reading this question about emergency kits, I noticed that no one mentioned nails. Why shouldn't we include 10 or 12, common 6d (2", 6 penny) nails in the kit? Ten 6d nails weigh about an ...
48
votes
10answers
5k views

How can you navigate without a compass or GPS

What are the ways you can navigate when you don't have a compass or a GPS? For example how can you tell which way is north.
58
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12answers
33k 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'...
65
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5answers
4k views

What are essential items in an emergency kit?

What are must-have items in an emergency kit for a multi-day hiking trip?
8
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3answers
23k 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 ...
56
votes
4answers
189k views

How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses?

This has come up a few times in a few other questions, but I've heard varying opinions from different people in a number of answers and comments on here - some saying that just boiling for a moment is ...
18
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4answers
7k views

Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

Here is a scary scenario: Let's say you were in a ship or submarine that sunk to the bottom of the ocean. No scuba gear, no oxygen tank, nothing. The depth of the ocean is such that nitrogen ...
10
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5answers
294 views

Water preparation on desert hiking

I have heard that if you drink a lot of water as a habit, the body doesn't do much retention. Therefore, if you are preparing for a hiking in the desert where not much water will be available, is ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
257 views

What signs can I use to navigate a cave if lost?

I'm working on a story where a character gets trapped in a cave but use his knowledge as a weatherman to navigate and escape! Are the any weather-related clues you could use to escape a cave ...
18
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2answers
17k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

What materials from nature can you use to build a pair of skis on a mountain?

I'm working on a survival story and want to make it authentic. If you were stranded on a mountain trying to get down as fast as possible, what would you do? EDIT: What if this was after a plane crash ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 (~...
22
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3answers
10k 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 ...
14
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3answers
1k views

How real is the danger of suffocation 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
2answers
10k 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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Is “survival” paracord with fire starter strand dangerous

There are a number of "survival" products on the market that integrate "extra" strands into the standard paracord (US MIL spec, ~4mm accessory cord, usually 7 strand nylon or cotton) Most of them ...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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
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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 ...
96
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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
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1answer
332 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 ...
3
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3answers
443 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
129 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
1k 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 ...
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
1k 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
votes
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
64 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
10k 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
votes
2answers
277 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
324 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 ...
30
votes
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
406 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
497 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 ...
8
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3answers
710 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
votes
0answers
115 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
177 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
41k 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
464 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
56k 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
274 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
17k 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 ...

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