By Kacey Herlihy
If you’re going to spend time in the outdoors, there are tips and tricks you should know to help you survive and make your time in the wilderness more comfortable. Whether you’re car camping or navigating the backcountry, these tricks will impress your friends and can save you in a sticky situation.
1. Use the sun and an analog watch as a compass to find your way in a pinch. If you’re in the northern hemisphere and it’s daylight savings time, use this neat trick to find your way when you’re lost or to guide your friends on a hike.
Holding your watch in the palm of your hand facing up, point the hour hand of your watch towards the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock marks south, and the opposing number will be north (for example, if it’s 2 pm, the 1 o’clock marker would point south and the 7 o’clock marker would point north.)
Note: if it isn’t daylight savings, use the center between the hour hand and the 1 o’clock marker.
2. If you’re stranded in the snow, try to find a clearing and write “SOS” as largely as possible in the snow. Use dark objects, like sticks, rocks, branches, etc., to make your signal more visible. Do this in addition to other distress signals like colored flags and signal fires to make it clear that you need help.
3. If you need water, tie a plastic bag around a leafy tree branch with the leaves inside the bag. Make sure to seal the bag airtight around the tree. The water retained in the leaves will be extracted by condensation and your bag will collect the water, which is drinkable (unless you have reason to suspect that it is not. Never drink water you believe to be contaminated).
4. If your only water supply is muddy or murky, here’s a simple trip to filter the water. Fill a container with the dirty water. Place a second, shorter container (or set the first one up on something) along side it. Roughly cut the edges of a clean strip of fabric (cotton, flannel, or something absorbent) and drape it between the two containers, with one end submerged in the water and the other touching the bottom of the empty container. The fabric will absorb the water but not the dirt, and as it becomes saturated it will deposit the water into the lower container.
5. Float using your clothing. If you are at risk of drowning, you can use your jeans, sweat pants, sweatshirts, or other heavy clothing to make a floatation device. Pants work best because there are less holes to seal.
Simply tie the legs or arms into tight knots, and fill with air. Allow the wind to puff your garment up like a balloon, or, if you have to, blow into it as much as you can to fill it with air, holding it tightly around your mouth. Once it is filled with air, tie off the remaining opening, or hold it tightly shut (rolling or folding the edges into themselves is helpful for waistbands. Hold your floatation device above the water, rather than trying to use it as a boat, because it will not support your weight. Continue to refill it with air as it depletes.
Tampons are extremely useful in a survival situation. If you’re purchasing tampons to take with you into the wilderness, be sure to get the type with a plastic applicator as the cardboard ones will not hold up in wet conditions. They come in an airtight wrapper, and consist of the applicator, the cotton tampon, and a string. The following are several tricks you can use for putting tampons into use.
- Use the wrapper as a fishing bobber. Open carefully from one end and remove the tampon. Take some cotton from the tampon and stuff it back into the packaging. Tie the packaging stuffed with cotton (and air) onto your fishing line or string and float it in the water.
- Use the cotton from the tampon as tinder for starting a fire.
- If someone gets hurt, use the tampon as a bandage, cleaning cloth, or even a plug for a deep or gaping wound. The sanitary nature of the product allows it to aid in many types of injuries, just as long as you unwrap them when you need them and not beforehand.
- fill the end of a straw or tube with the cotton to drink dirty or muddy water. The cotton will filter out most of the dirt, rocks, and grime. This should only be used if you have no other way to filter water (see above).
7. Remove the cotton from your zippo lighter and use the striker to start a fire with tinder. Even without lighter fluid you can use your zippo to start a fire!
8. Had success hunting but don’t know how to prepare your meal? Place large logs parallel on the ground, with enough space in between for a fire. Start a fire between the logs and lay tent poles (or some other metal poles you may have) across the logs and the fire. Now you have a grill to cook your meat or fish on.
9. If you’re stranded in the woods, don’t just lie on the ground when you sleep. The cold earth will drain you of your body heat. Instead, build a platform out of logs and leaves and sleep on that. Or, if you’ve got enough space in your pack, bring a collapsable hammock with you when you head out into the wilderness. Stay warm and safe by sleeping above the ground.
10. If you start to feel a hotspot on your foot (or somewhere that you’re skin is being rubbed, like on your back under your pack or behind your knee) it probably means a blister is forming, and that can be really uncomfortable and debilitating while you’re trying to survive. Simply stick a piece of clean duct tape over the hotspot or blister to prevent it from getting worse. The duct tape will act as a barrier and protect your skin from chafing and allow it to heal.
It’s important to know how to protect yourself and your loved ones while out in the wilderness or in a survival situation. Always prepare before a trip, learn basic safety procedures, and pack thoughtfully. These tips and tricks will impress your friends, and can, when used properly, help you out in a survival situation.
SOURCE : http://www.survivalbased.com