Questions tagged [survival]

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

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5
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2answers
577 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, ...
94
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14answers
39k 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 ...
6
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2answers
30k views

What is the minimum amount of water per day to survive?

I am disabled in the wildness, there are no natural water sources available. I have 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water. The only practical solution is to sit and wait for rescue. I will be resting in ...
8
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2answers
882 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 ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Does warming an enclosed area with an open flame provide help with drying wet fabric?

Comments at a recent question How many tea light candles are needed to equal the heat output of a person? suggest that burning a candle can produce water vaper that masses twice as much as the candle ...
5
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1answer
1k views

How many tea light candles are needed to equal the heat output of a person?

A recent answer said: In an emergency a tea light candle carefully set on/in a disposable pie tin can heat a 4 season tent enough to aid the drying process - just be sure to isolate, ventalate, and ...
9
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5answers
884 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 ...
5
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0answers
328 views

Where in Europe is it legal to hunt small game without a licence?

As I'd like to do some survival in Europe, one way to gather food is hunting. In which Europese countries is it legal to hunt small game like rabbits and ducks, without or with an easy to obtain ...
8
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4answers
242 views

As an outdoor beginner, what features in knife/tool combinations should I look for?

As an outdoor beginner, I was interested in some possible tool combinations for shorter outdoor hiking trips, say, 2-5 days. From what little experience I have, I reckon that the most common tasks ...
5
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1answer
2k views

How can I make an obsidian knife?

I have some obsidian and I know that it can be made into knives and other sharp objects such as arrowheads. Historically this was done for a long time in the United States before there were steel ...
3
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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/...
1
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0answers
30 views

Trick from a Novel to find cardinal point [duplicate]

In Treasure Of Khan by Clive Cussler, the main protagonist is lost in a desert and uses his watch to determine directions, here is the quote : An old survival trick, he knew that south must be ...
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 ...
9
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2answers
721 views

Quick and easy winter shelter for kids to build

What would be the easiest type of shelter for a young kid to build, alone and with minimal tools, in a deep winter survival situation? For a kid 10-12 years old, carrying only a Swiss army-knife, a ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Unconventional ways to light a fire [closed]

In a survival situation, lets say post apocalyptic, what are some unconventional ways a campfire could be lit? Obviously there are the classic flint and steel, rod and bow, and of course matches. But ...
7
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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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I be scared if a black bear is outside of my tent at night? [duplicate]

I know that they say to make as much noise as possible to try and show your dominance, but what happens if I am sleeping? If I wake up with a bear right outside my tent while i'm sleeping, and I have ...
12
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4answers
980 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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
412 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 ...
6
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1answer
237 views

Collecting plant foodstuff in the Canadian wilderness of Alberta during winter?

Context: I'm writing a story that will have two people forced to spend the winter (late November to mid-February) in the middle of a forest (Alberta, Canada). They'll have food but it'll be mostly ...
6
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2answers
289 views

How effective is survival trapping?

Is it true worth someone's time to learn survival trapping in case of an emergency situation to get food, especially in the winter months? My gut feeling is that this is not worth my effort to learn ...
8
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1answer
386 views

How can people survive really cold nights outside with minimal equipment?

There are people who had to survive one or more nights in altitudes above 7000 m at temperatures far below zero, without tent, sometimes without sleeping bag or even a proper jacket. Some examples are ...
2
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2answers
544 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 ...
10
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4answers
1k views

If in a survival situation, how can one preserve a hide of an animal with a minimum amount of tools and skill?

If in a survival situation, how can one preserve the hide of an animal with a minimum amount of tools and skill in order to make clothing or bedding? I am not asking how to make things with the hides....
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2answers
200 views

If you are faced with surviving on your own for a prolonged period, should a sling make your short list of hunting tools, and why or why not? [closed]

If you are putting together a survival package for a prolonged period, should a sling make the short list of your hunting tools, and if so, why? By prolonged, I mean a year to decades, during which ...
5
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2answers
9k views

How to find natural sulfur sources?

According to a google search sulfur is widely available in nature. Volcanic regions and hot springs are common sources of it in elemental state. Less obvious sources are iron pyrites (iron sulfide), ...
5
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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)...
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, ...
8
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3answers
901 views

How do you make a stone axe?

If I am in a survival situation with a knife as my only cutting implement, and I need an axe to chop trees (because I know burning through them is not practical) how would I make one? What ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Is all ocular fluid potable?

Many years ago I read that buffalo hunters would drink the liquid out of buffalo's eyes to gross out the greenhorns and tenderfeet (people new to the West). Attached to this anecdote was a claim that ...
28
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5answers
8k views

Are there any techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in snow?

What are the techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in a survival situation when snow is present? I would like to know if there are any known techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in ...
1
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0answers
65 views

Adapting to the cold [duplicate]

Some people seem to be able (as I've noticed when camping and traveling with different people) be able to produce more heat and need fewer layers in cold situations. Are there any techniques that ...
27
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2answers
35k 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. ...
6
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1answer
269 views

How do I gut a fish?

I've caught a fish and want to gut it (remove it's insides ready to eat/keep). How do I do this? Where do I cut? What needs to be removed, etc?
2
votes
1answer
416 views

Appropriate terms for activities like camping, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, wilderness survival? [closed]

Outdoor adventure activities seems like a mouthful, so I was wondering if there was a more appropriate term for such activities? Wikipedia suggests 'Outdoor Recreation' but that implies these to be ...
6
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3answers
316 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 ...
13
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2answers
5k views

How do you boil water without a proper container?

Suppose you don't have a pot or any other fire proof container to boil water in, but you need to boil it for safe drinking water. How else can you boil the water?
2
votes
1answer
590 views

What is the smallest island that will support one person indefinitely? [closed]

In the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks the character survives 4 years on a small island. But that was a movie. It is a common cartoon image to see a single person on small island with one coconut tree,...
10
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1answer
276 views

When to know it's worth to start with agriculture?

Based on survival series, films etc. most of the people stranded on a lonely island (not necessarily restricted to this situation of course) over a long period start with agriculture at some point. ...
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 ...
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: (......
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

Method to test if wood is suitable to start a friction fire

As far as I know a wood (for the "hearth board") has to full fill several characteristics (at least they've to be soft) to be suitable for a friction fire. When in a survival situation, how can I ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Am I able to “open up” a snake bite and suck the venom out of it?

Someone told me that you should treat a snake bite (in the wilderness) by cutting a X in the skin (with a knife) and sucking the stuff out of it. This sounds a little weird to me. Is this really a ...
10
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3answers
353 views

How dangerous are polar routes, if an aircraft must land on water or wild land?

Suppose an emergency landing necessary for a commercial aircraft on a polar route on water or in the unoccupied, secluded Arctic outback (e.g. Siberia, far northern Canada). What is the time ...
2
votes
1answer
896 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 (~...
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
987 views

How did/do scouts venture into the wild?

Scouts, messengers, pioneers exploring the frontiers of civilization - images of these sorts of characters paints an ancient archetype, one that I think could be useful to understand in present times. ...