Questions tagged [survival]

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

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8
votes
3answers
1k 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
137 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
votes
5answers
10k 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
vote
0answers
72 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 ...
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. ...
6
votes
1answer
312 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
448 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
votes
3answers
394 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
votes
2answers
6k 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
747 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
votes
1answer
329 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
votes
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 ...
31
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: (......
10
votes
1answer
6k 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
218 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
379 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 ...
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 (~...
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
1k 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. ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How can one tiller a bow without a tillering tree or similar wooden device?

I've been crafting a longbow from ash and am about ready for tillering. By tillering I mean: stringing the bow loosely and drawing the bowstring back little by little to give the bow some flex, making ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

How dependable is a cheap compass?

I was reading the BBC news today and there was an ad for an inexpensive "5 in 1 Outdoor Survival Gear Escape Paracord Bracelet Flint / Whistle / Compass / Scraper" I clicked on the link and saw this ...
27
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

What to eat if survivaling in Ireland? [closed]

Just going on a trip through the nature of Ireland soon. Was curious as to what there is to eat in the nature? Any good fish in the river or some greens in the woods? I heared there is some nice ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What materials are suitable for constructing a sleeping mat?

This weekend I forgot my expanded-foam sleeping mat and was cold during the night. The environment was an autumn forest. There were plenty of dry fallen branches. However, I couldn't work out a way ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tell if a plant is poisonous?

I know that there are exceptions to every rule. Like for example not all plants with leaves in groups of 3 are poisonous. Also there is mimicry in some plants to deter animals from eating it even ...
8
votes
1answer
633 views

How to make a fish hook?

I am in a survival situation and need to make a supply of fish hooks. What are my best options. I have a knife and in my travels I have noticed much native vegetation as well as a couple of animal ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

How much does body fat actually insulate you against the cold?

I'm not a big guy, but I can sit in a cold pool of still water for a long time if I stay still and control my breathing, my skin gets cold, but after you get past the cold shock I can sit there rather ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How to deal with a tooth infection?

Caries and other similar disease can be a painful threat. It even can be a danger to life if not threatened over several months. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Building a fridge in the wild [duplicate]

I've read that one can create a (actually a pretty decent) fridge with quite common materials a few years ago. How do you do that?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

When stranded, how do I choose a place to camp on an island?

We are in a Robinson Crusoe situation where we're stranded on a tropical island (lonely or not). We've to setup our camp. How to determine the right piece of land? For example you might wanna have a ...
3
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How to create a cast or splint to aid a broken bone?

Assuming you or one of your party has broken his leg (or something). How can you create a provisional splint or cast to bring you/him/her back to the next hospital etc.? Would be cool if it's made ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Heal burn wounds in the wild

When out in the wild and a companion falls into the fire and gets injured very badly. How can I aid his wounds? Would be great to hear from some possible herbs (natural materials in general) but ...
5
votes
2answers
974 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

In a survival situation, what can I use from a green coconut palm?

Why is a coconut palm so valuable for a person in a survival situation?
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How to deal with Serbian scorpions?

I always wanted to visit Balkan region, but I'm affraid of scorpions. As far as I searched there's plenty of those terrifying creatures, but none of species I found was poisonous. So I have two ...
1
vote
0answers
90 views

Surviving a forest fire while backpacking [duplicate]

A friend of mine recently was forced to cancel a backpacking trip because Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada side of Glacier National Park in Montana) canceled his backcountry permit due to a forest ...
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
16k views

How to make a traditional torch?

How would you go about preparing an old fashioned torch for use in survival situations where an electrical torch has failed?
5
votes
2answers
278 views

Could spray foam insulation be used effectively as an emergency sleeping bag?

Is it harmful for our health? How thick should the foam be around the body to be okay down to 0degC with warm clothes underneath? Is there enough foam for this in a 500ml can (average man)? Or two? I ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Encountering a bear in water?

I found myself in a situation the other day that I've never been in before. I was paddling along in my canoe with my wife and kids, when suddenly a young black bear came scrambling down the slope, ...
14
votes
18answers
95k views

What are good baits for crabbing?

Now certainly if you're British you likely just had a wave of nostalgia over the idea of Crabbing! I did when I thought this through certainly. Crabbing is not only a great way to spend the afternoon ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Drinking alcohol as the last choice in survival situation

I'm asking this just for curiosity: Imagine your are alone in the wilderness without any resources since a few days. You're dehydrated and you find a bottle of an alcoholic liquor in your baggage. ...
21
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
85k views

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

Even if I was to follow the advice of letting bears know I am in the area, keeping my cooking and anything that smells at least 100m from my camp & downwind, etc, suppose a bear finds my tent and ...