129 votes
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My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

When travelling on extremely remote roads, you need to prepare for the worst. This is even more true if you are travelling in a climate where the weather might kill you within days, such as in ...
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  • 26k
108 votes
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Is it actually useful to ration food?

There are several reasons why I think rationing is useful. Morale - If you eat all your food on the first day you won't have anything to look forward to. If you eat a little bit twice a day you can ...
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  • 9,608
76 votes
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Jumping off of a cliff into water - survival tips

There's an abandoned quarry near me where local kids used to jump off the topmost cliff edge, 100 feet up, every summer. When done properly it is survivable without injury. You have to break the ...
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65 votes
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I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

Settlements tend to be near water like rivers, lakes or oceans and the larger the body of water, the more likely there are people. A small stream is likely to join another at some point. This is why ...
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56 votes

Is it actually useful to ration food?

Aside from the previously mentioned micronutrients, your body doesn’t really store protein in any significant way, so in order to ‘repair’ your body you need a relatively constant stream of protein (...
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53 votes
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How do you aim a signal mirror?

How I've practiced is I hold my left hand palm out, and I create a "V" between my ring and middle fingers with the plane or person between my fingers. I then hold the mirror by my face and shine the ...
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  • 590
50 votes

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

First, if you go somewhere in a car, take along the clothes necessary to be outside for an extended period. 406 MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) All the tragedies have one thing in common: they ...
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49 votes

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent?

I suggest using both the car and the tent together. A car will lose heat fastest through the windows, so use the tent to cover them (and the top). The windows are a thin single layer of glass, while ...
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46 votes

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

Well, I'm from Russia, and I heard that in the most desperate situation like this you can burn your car's tires. The tires are made of oil, so they burn well. Using fire from tires you can use other ...
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41 votes

Does cotton really kill?

Here is an article that quantifies the heat loss effects of cotton, polyester and polypropylene: Rossi et al., Dry and Wet Heat Transfer Through Clothing Dependent on the Clothing Properties Under ...
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  • 3,603
41 votes

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

In many parts of life, you have to play the percentages. The likelihood is higher that going downstream will lead you to a trailhead or some other sign of civilization than it is for going upstream. ...
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  • 22.2k
37 votes
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Ways to desalinate water when "lost at sea"?

Salt dissolves in water so will pass though a normal filter or cloth. You can try that with a coffee filter at home. So there's definitely an error in the article. A still (i.e. distillation ...
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  • 22.5k
37 votes

Ways to desalinate water when "lost at sea"?

You can place an empty cup in the middle of a lightly filled bucket of sea water. You then place a plastic bag over the bucket, with a stone in the middle so it has a dip in it over the cup. The sea ...
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  • 471
36 votes

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

First, you won't need to make this observation if you routinely drink when you stop to rest, and if you eat something at least slightly salty whenever you snack (if your snacks include jerky or salted ...
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36 votes

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

Hot soup mostly, it does depend on the individual diets of the climbers, not everybody eats the same thing, but most carry hot soup with them. Despite the massive amounts of energy needed to summit ...
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  • 53k
35 votes

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

It is likely caused by iron in the pump or pipes. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health: Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the ...
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  • 8,011
35 votes
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Can you boil/decontaminate water with heat from a magnifying glass?

Let's do some back-of-the-envelope calculations. The specific heat of water is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a particular amount of water by 1 degree C. This is 4.186 joules/...
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  • 1,313
34 votes
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In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

Dehydration will very quickly reduce your ability to undertake the activities required to survive and so finding and conserving water should be a very high priority in any survival situation. ...
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  • 6,172
33 votes

Is it actually useful to ration food?

There are many nutrients that your body cannot store, or not in decent extra amounts. Water, salt, potassium, vitamin C, etc. You will rapidly excrete these, and then greatly feel the lack of them ...
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32 votes
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How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

TL;DR - First try to identify if the wire is supposed to carry electricity (insulators on posts/wire goes to an electrical box/posted warning signs/ect...). There's really not much you can do to check ...
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  • 53k
31 votes
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What is the first thing to do, when buried in an avalanche?

The correct answer is to put your avalung mouthpiece in your mouth and inflate your airbag. If you don't have either of those things, then you are NOT properly equipped to be in avalanche terrain. ...
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  • 53k
31 votes

Is it actually useful to ration food?

The simple answer is that yes it does make sense to ration, see the stories of the men who survived the Essex or the Mutiny on the Bounty or the Chilean Miners or many countries during wartime. From ...
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31 votes
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Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

Even though the question describes a hypothetical and unlikely situation I think it has some merits as it is somewhat relevant for SCUBA diving also: it describes an emergency uncontrolled SCUBA ...
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30 votes
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What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

I've been up close with grizzly and black bears before, I've had them come sniffing through my camp and I've done nothing but lay quiet in my sleeping bag and wait for them to wander off, which they ...
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  • 53k
30 votes

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

Trails show less use the farther from the trailhead one goes because fewer people walk the trail all of the way to the end and most turn around far more quickly. The odds are that going downhill will ...
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29 votes
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What makes certain mountains more dangerous than others?

I personally had a similar sort of a question when I first went through similar kind of stats about these mountains. Getting introduced to these stats is different than totally understanding the ...
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  • 31.5k
29 votes
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When will a rattlesnake strike?

When a rattlesnake gets his rattle on, what exactly is the desired reaction it's expecting from you, and what other indicators does it give you that a strike is imminent? It's a warning that it's ...
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  • 22.4k
29 votes

Are there any natural materials found in the wild that can be used as an effective sunscreen?

As you said yourself: mud. Or cotton as Gabriel answered, or wood, or leaves, or bark, or anything that stops light from reaching your skin. Is there any natural material that without any processing ...
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  • 1,893
28 votes

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

Dehydration occurs when there is more water going out or being used than is going in. Additionally, if you're drinking too fast (more than a litre an hour for an average adult male), you're not ...
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  • 1,091
27 votes
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In a survival situation, what can I use from a green coconut palm?

Ah, why wasn't this question already asked here! As Food and Hydration: If you are trapped on an Island (Refer: Castaway) probably Coconut Water can be only major source of potable water for you. As ...
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