We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [survival]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I find north using a watch?

I've heard this is possible but I'm not sure on the details. Can someone elaborate?
8
votes
2answers
821 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Top gear presenter pees on snare, why?

I was watching Top Gear last night and Richard Hammond was (supposedly) trapped on a mountain in British Columbia and had to "survive". At one point he laid a snare for rabbits on a track and said: ...
8
votes
3answers
908 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
390 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
499 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Calculating time until sunset

Is there a relatively reliable way of calculating the time until sunset, without any specialist equipment, when I'm in the wilderness?
8
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
249 views

Primitive fire starting in northeastern Brazil

I live on the coast of the northeastern part of Brazil (Rio Grande do Norte). As you go inland, the terrain becomes very arid. There are cactus and a lot of xerophilic plants that remind me a lot of ...
8
votes
1answer
966 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/...
8
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
314 views

When to perform a filtering of the water?

Let's imagine I'm hiking and I find a water source - like a lake, a stream or a well, and I want to fill my water bottle with it. I have a bottle and a water filter. And a bandana. Since I can't ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
361 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
511 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
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 ...
7
votes
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
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
324 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
334 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
992 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
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
294 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 (...
6
votes
2answers
35k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
278 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?
6
votes
1answer
3k 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?
6
votes
1answer
272 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
votes
1answer
353 views

What is the most energy efficient way to get food in the wilderness(Central Sweden)?

I have gained an interest in arranging a full week camping trip together with some friends(party of 4). We are looking to cut down on our packing by limiting ourselves to emergency rations(freeze-...
6
votes
1answer
511 views

If I lose my compass, what is the easiest way to identify and follow a heading? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can you navigate without a compass or GPS Obviously we all carry a compass and a map when we go trekking, but if I lose them but know I need to get back to my car two days ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Is fish tickling a reliable survival skill?

The practice of tickling fish in an attempt catch and eat them has a long history, and is often mentioned in passing in some circles. If I was going to focus building a single skill, I wonder if ...
6
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
432 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
386 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
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
votes
2answers
477 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
721 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, ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Can I get fresh water from ocean plants?

In the answer to Can I get fresh water from ocean fish flesh? I learned that the water I can get from eating fish has a low enough salt content that it will hydrate me, BUT the high protein count will ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I eat Rabbit Poop?

I know that rabbits eat their droppings (cecotropes) and I have heard of feeding rabbit droppings to pigs. Rabbits are vegetarians. There droppings do not have the same consistency or negative ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
0answers
98 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, ...
5
votes
0answers
356 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
264 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
2answers
196 views

Suvival: logs/wood, split or not to split?

Given we are in a non-life-threatening situation, splitting logs is often beneficial. However, I feel things get murkier in a survival situation. I have brainstormed about this for a while, here is ...