Questions tagged [survival]

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

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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 ...
97
votes
14answers
41k 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
382 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
736 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
4k 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 ...
-7
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2answers
193 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 ...
11
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3answers
4k 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
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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 ...
31
votes
2answers
8k 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
69 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 ...
5
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2answers
309 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
601 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 ...
31
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4answers
6k 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
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2answers
488 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
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2answers
988 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 ...
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
600 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
242 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
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5answers
45k 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
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2answers
618 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 ...
58
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8answers
57k 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
4k 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
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4answers
333 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+...
17
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5answers
23k 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
257 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
votes
0answers
77 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
4k 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
395 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
227 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
6k 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
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4answers
347 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
949 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 ...
31
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
254 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
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4answers
4k 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
188 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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/...
28
votes
2answers
52k 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
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3answers
22k 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
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
627 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
40
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...