23 votes

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

It's possible to do it with ice that has been shaped into a convex lens. The ice needs to be clear and fairly large like 5 inches across. Obviously this won't work in the summer, and the cold ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
18 votes

Duct tape as adhesive bandage

Yes you can. Just be aware that Duct tape is very sticky in comparison to regular medical tape, so when you go to peel it off, it puts a lot more stress on the healing wound and is likely to re-open ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Can you start a wood fire with a Spark Bunsen Burner/Laboratory Lighter?

The technical answer is simply: yes. But that answer would be deceiving, so... Can it be done? Yes. It throws out some decent sparks. The device works by scraping a tiny piece of flint over steel. ...
Loduwijk's user avatar
  • 3,536
10 votes
Accepted

Start a fire with key fob battery?

With just the right equipment in a laboratory setting, you can use the energy in a key fob battery to cause a spark. You can then use that to start a fire under the right conditions. However, that's ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

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

As principle behind this think about your old light bulb. One emergency method of lighting a fire used to be to break the glass of the light bulb in your flashlight and burn the filament, no more no ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
9 votes

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

(Taking into account that we do have an "ice" answer already) The one magnifying lens that is fast and easy to get and that does have an optical quality that actually helps vision as a magnifying ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
9 votes

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

(First of all: I'm not used to the english words here.) I think tillering trees refere to the contraptiosn you do mount on walls / something standing upright, using a string and a pulley. But you can ...
flawr's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

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

Back when I learned to build my own bows a guy in the club I belonged to used just a ledge and a baggie of lead weights (tire balancing stuff). I suppose you could reproduce it "in the wild" hanging ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How to protect sunglasses without a case?

A clean sock will protect them from scratches with no need for fasteners and it takes a fair bit of pressure or impact to actually damage glasses (bending them slightly is another matter). Once ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
8 votes

Is it safe to use denatured alcohol as an antiseptic?

I'm a physician. High proof alcohol – be it ethanol or rubbing – causes osmotic bursting of cells – like distilled water – and hurts like Hell. It is only suitable for surfaces,...
user14993's user avatar
8 votes

Is there a way to light a fire in the wild using rocks?

Yes you will need a special kind of rock. The spark is a tiny bit of burning iron struck off the source of iron by a really hard rock. So if you are only using rocks then you will need 1 iron rich ...
Restless Adventurer's user avatar
8 votes

Duct tape as adhesive bandage

Given your comment that you want to replace an adhesive bandage, rather than medical tape: Yes, you can use duct tape + CLEAN cloth for this, but you can do a few things to make it more pleasant. Cut ...
user3067860's user avatar
  • 1,287
7 votes

How to measure the temperature without a thermometer?

Yes, you can build a basic thermometer using just water, or any liquid. You first need to mostly seal it in a container (like a glass bottle) and use a straw or thin clear tube immersed in it to allow ...
billy's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

Hot water system as a heater for car camping?

In the outdoors, the way to deal with cold is not to heat the environment, but to insulate yourself. You say "snow line", so it appears you aren't asking about anything particularly cold. Just get a ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
6 votes

How to protect sunglasses without a case?

For the scenario, no backpack, no nothing, just a short hike and you find your treasure shining in the sun. Find a piece of grass that won't break easily and can be bended without breaking in ...
Tschallacka's user avatar
6 votes

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

To answer your question, I can refer to this answer on this question. Check out point 5: 5. Tillering Hang the bow up horizontally on a branch or piece of scrap wood by the handhold. Now ...
OddDeer's user avatar
  • 23.4k
5 votes

How to protect sunglasses without a case?

Any sturdy box big enough to hold them would work, also when the box is a lot bigger. You can fill the empty space with something soft, like a piece of clothing you happen to have handy. The smaller (...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,162
5 votes

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

As has been mentioned in other answers, for vision, a pinhole device, similar to what is used for pinhole cameras, is your best bet. Short of water (which you have already ruled out), that's about ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
5 votes

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

A clear mineral crystal can be worked to a lens shape with enough time and effort. Quartz, sapphire and ruby are likely candidates. Ruby lenses were common on wand style barcode reader pens. Even ...
KalleP's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes

Start a fire with key fob battery?

A bit more than a comment on Olin's answer: I've done an experiment, and no, you can't. I took: a brand new CR2025 some steel wool to make it easier; this is a nice firelighting filament with ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
4 votes

Start a fire with nail clippers?

Nail Clipper file is very likely made of stainless steel, which cannot produce spark. Same analogy in stainless knife vs. carbon steel knife. Even it is high carbon steel under the chrome, you have to ...
Bogdan's user avatar
  • 429
4 votes

What are some alternative ways of fishing - i.e. catching fish?

Trotlining is popular in the southern U.S. for catfish. It’s reminiscent of more commercial techniques and is a passive means of catching fish, where one sets out temporary rigs of rope along a ...
user15764's user avatar
4 votes

How to improvise a pair of tweezers in the wild?

I've used bamboo tweezers before. They're normally made by gluing two flat pieces of bamboo togther with a wedge in between, but with skill and suitable thread you could lash the blades together with ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
3 votes

How to make DIY ice axe protectors?

I use an empty prescription medication plastic bottle form CVS or Wallgreens. If it's a little bit loose, I can secure it with a duct tape.
user13854's user avatar
3 votes

Hot water system as a heater for car camping?

gas heaters are obviously unwise inside a sleeping space (due to exhaust) There are a lot of different types of gas heaters, many of which would be unsafe to use inside a sleeping space. An indoor ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
3 votes

Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)?

If you can recover a source of glass, you should be able to melt it using a charcoal fire with bellows to force air and increase the temperature. You'd need a mould, for which clay would be good. This ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
3 votes
Accepted

How big a tarp for one person?

Your bare minimum option (in terms of weight, size and cost) would be plastic sheeting, eg a heavy-duty garbage bag or emergency survival blanket (the kind that's a plastic sheet with a shiny metallic ...
csk's user avatar
  • 4,364
3 votes

How big a tarp for one person?

A few more thoughts: The necessary size of tarp for rain + wind depends a lot on how much water you'd be willing to get onto/into your sleeping bag. E.g. I tend to be more picky when I'm out with my ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
3 votes

Improvised shoes in coniferous forest (winter conditions)

Leather, skin or fur are really the best “raw” natural materials for shoes. You might be able to weave something out of twigs and grass or (if you have the tools) make clogs out of a solid piece of ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 676

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