133 votes
Accepted

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 ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
107 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,668
92 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Medievalist's user avatar
65 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Sebastiaan van den Broek's user avatar
55 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 (...
Sebastiaan van den Broek's user avatar
52 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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

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 ...
avanalfen's user avatar
  • 590
51 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 ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.3k
49 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 ...
Sergey  Gulbin's user avatar
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. ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.6k
37 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.3k
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 ...
Robin's user avatar
  • 471
35 votes
Accepted

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/...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
  • 1,543
34 votes
Accepted

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. ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,202
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 ...
Amy Dee Dempster's user avatar
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 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
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 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

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 ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 12.9k
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 ...
Monster's user avatar
  • 1,923
28 votes

Is it actually useful to ration food?

What I've always understood to be the rationale, and doesn't seem to be directly addressed with the other answers, is that the human body adjusts its metabolism to its resources. If you gorge on all ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
26 votes

How do you aim a signal mirror?

A modern (Korean War era and later, at least) signal mirror has a hole in the center, and the hole is surrounded by a grid of retroreflectors. You aim the mirror spot at something close by, then look ...
Jamie Hanrahan's user avatar
26 votes

What gear should I carry along for winter emergencies?

As usual, skills are the lightest and most effective thing one can carry. From how to bushcraft useful things from natural materials, to clever ways to satisfy needs like signaling or navigation, to ...
cr0's user avatar
  • 3,981
25 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'?

Theoretically, it might be possible to survive on fish, rainwater and desalinated seawater. In one 1930 experiment, two men survived for a year eating exclusively meat without experiencing any health ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 1,329
24 votes

Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

First and foremost: Don't Panic At 30m, you'll be fine if you can free yourself within about 20 minutes and know what you're doing. That being said, there is a good chance you won't know your exact ...
TemporalWolf's user avatar
23 votes

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

This is not constrained to Siberia. A snowstorm/blizzard can occur at many locations and throw down so much snow that roads are blocked and people outside the main routes (or even on main routes) get ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
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
23 votes
Accepted

Can I get fresh water from ocean fish flesh?

Let's say you lose 2 liters of water per day. To replace 2 liters of water by eating fish, you need to eat, for example, 2,500 g of cooked Pacific cod, which, besides water, also contains 500 g of ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 1,329
23 votes

What gear should I carry along for winter emergencies?

Second Edit: Thanks for all the upvotes. I just want to clarify one thing: I don't think I've done a good job in answering the OP's question. I think cr0's answer is much better for winter hiking. ...
Van's user avatar
  • 991

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible