Questions tagged [survival]

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

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3
votes
1answer
150 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/...
94
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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 ...
30
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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 ...
30
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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 ...
20
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12answers
17k views

Survival type activies for Scout camp

I taking a bunch of scouts camping next week. While we are staying at a Scout campsite with facilities and some organised activities. We have decided we want to have a bit more of back to basics/...
22
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3answers
11k views

How do you locate the “North Star”?

What if it's night and you want to find north? How do you locate the North Star in the night sky?
19
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2answers
1k views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
29
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4answers
55k views

How can I start a fire by rubbing two sticks together?

When trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, what does one need to consider? I am assuming I can't just grab any two sticks and start rubbing... Should they be dead or green? Hard ...
26
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2answers
5k views

In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

If I am in a survival situation, is there any reason I shouldn't drink the available water? I am aware of Giardia and cholera. Are these worthy concerns, or are there good enough cures available that ...
20
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6answers
10k views

If lost in the wilderness, what is the first thing I should do?

If I get lost in the wilderness, what is the very first thing I should do?
13
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2answers
1k views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling "...
12
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4answers
1k views

If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?

Let's imagine for a moment that you're solo hiking somewhere you've never been before and take a fall off the edge of a trail, injure yourself (to the point of limited mobility), and become entirely ...
23
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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 ...
17
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2answers
14k views

If you are buried in an avalanche will you survive?

Obviously, my best chance of survival is in not being buried, but if I am unfortunate enough to become buried in an avalanche what are my chances of surviving it?
16
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3answers
877 views

Are there any specific techniques that should be used when starting a fire in the rain?

Starting a fire can sometimes be hard enough when it's dry, let alone when it's tipping it down. But when it is, what steps should you follow to try to ensure the fire gets going successfully? I'm ...
32
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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 ...
32
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4answers
10k views

What do mountaineers eat and drink on the day of an Everest summit?

I was watching Everest (2015) on the weekend and was wondering what the mountaineers do for sustenance on the day they attempt to summit. It appeared they left around midnight, aiming for a 2pm ...
22
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6answers
49k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
16
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3answers
25k views

Water filters - why sand and rocks?

Saw a video on youtube where some guy made a water filter out of a bottle, charcoal, sand and little rocks. He commented that since the charcoal is very porous it's great for filtering. Then, after ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Is there a standard set of light signals for mountaineers?

On a recent winter backpacking trip there was some confusion and danger of separation of the group. The group had not walked together before. Some members were not very experienced, while others were ...
16
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5answers
15k 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 ...
15
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7answers
3k views

Practical uses for urine

When on extended outdoor excursions are there any scenarios where you can leverage urine as an efficient tool? An example would be: You're in your sleeping bag in a tent and it's -30*C outside, you ...
15
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2answers
702 views

How to decrease the risk of being injured by a Moose?

Based on Wikipedia: Moose injure more people than any other wild mammal and, worldwide, only hippopotamuses injure more. In this case, what should I do to decrease the risk of being injured ? I ...
9
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3answers
541 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 ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Recovering from Hypothermia

I am not much used to Camping in Cold areas. But I have been told by hikers that Hypothermia is something that I should be very careful of. Since childhood, it has been like, I don't catch cold very ...
7
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2answers
348 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 ...
6
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0answers
972 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 ...
4
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2answers
660 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 ...
27
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2answers
36k 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. ...
21
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3answers
1k views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
21
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7answers
472 views

Good books to learn survival? [closed]

Does anybody have a recommendation to a good book about how to survive in the Norwegian woods and similar?
14
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4answers
1k views

Is cold shock response a real danger, if someone is used to cold water?

Various sources (mostly TV stations, at least in my region) are constantly warning about the danger of cold shock response, if someone goes to water too quickly. But on the other hand, Bear Grylls ...
13
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3answers
3k views

How do you fashion a spear with a fixed blade

What is the proper way to make a spear with a fixed blade to prevent breaking as described by Vorac in his comment here?
13
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1answer
1k views

What to do if you're bitten by an adder?

I've heard that while adder bites are venomous the number of people who have died from them are extremely low. If you're on a trek and you're bitten is it safe to continue for a couple more days ...
10
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1answer
5k views

Is it a good idea to drink blood to avoid dehydration?

When in an emergency survival situation were you don't have access to clean or at least "okay" water but to wildlife (or it is at least easier to grab a snake for example than to gather water), is it ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Starting a Fire with a Battery - what are the fundamental guidelines for safety and efficacy?

There are numerous videos online demonstrating that its possible to start a fire using a battery. Here are four examples using different starting materials. But I have not found any tutorials that ...
9
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2answers
453 views

What is the easiest way to prepare a rabbit snare with minimal tools?

If I don't have much with me and I want to catch a rabbit for food, What is the easiest way to prepare a snare? What kind of knot should I use and where should I put the snare?
9
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2answers
1k 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
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6answers
760 views

How can I survive multiple days in cold environment?

What can I do to survive multiple (2-4) days in a cold environment (like in mountains in winter)? As resources I've normal Skitouring gear with me for a single day, no sleeping bag or bivy bag. What ...
7
votes
1answer
408 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?
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
989 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 ...
6
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3answers
323 views

Making a compass from magnet and needle — which end is north?

I was watching one of those Discovery Channel wilderness survival shows last night and one of the "survivors" made a compass from a piece of wire tie and an earbud's magnet. He stripped the plastic ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the best material to make an outdoor shelter roof out of?

Say you are caught out without a tent in mild temperature conditions, e.g. moorland/woods. What material would you look for to make a good shelter roof out of?
5
votes
2answers
383 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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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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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2answers
554 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 ...
1
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1answer
411 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 ...