Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
If you’ve ever googled “survival tips,” you probably came across a litany of articles teaching crucial skills. For example, using a rock and a stick to figure out which way is north, or collecting water using green vegetation and a plastic bag.
Tips like these are helpful, but most of you have probably already heard them before. So today, we’re going to go over unusual survival tips that you might not have heard yet. These are tips that you can apply in a survival situation or in your everyday life.
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Here are 30 random survival tips that you probably never heard before, in no particular order.
1. If you ever go camping, hiking, on a road trip, or anywhere you could get lost or hurt, be sure you leave your itinerary with someone first.
Aron Ralston (on whom the movie 127 Hours is based) was trapped in a canyon for days while his arm was trapped beneath a rock. If he had told someone where he was going to be, he would have been found. Instead, he had to amputate his own arm in order to escape.
2. If you are in a subway station and you fall from the platform onto the rails, and if a subway is coming quickly and you don’t have time to get back onto the platform, roll under the platform. Most subway stations have overhang space there for this reason.
3. If you get bit by an animal with rabies and nothing happens and you think you’re fine, you’re almost certainly not. Rabies will never kill you in the opening weeks, but it will kill you 100% once it incubates and you begin noting symptoms.
4. When you’re in a building, especially one that is crowded, be sure to look for exits other than the one you used to come in. This is part of situational awareness. In an emergency, most people will run for the main exit, but if you know the alternate exits, you may have a better chance of getting out safely.
5. If you ever go to Africa on a hunting trip or a safari and you come across a charging rhino (or if you fall into a zoo pen where there is a rhino), never turn around and run. The rhino will catch up eventually. Instead, wait until the last couple seconds and then jump out of the way.
Due to their body structure, rhino’s are incapable of making sudden turns and will require some time to turn around. You can use that extra time to gain a head start when running for a place of safety where the rhino can’t reach you, such as up a tree.
6. Likewise, if you are out hiking or hunting in the North American wilderness (or in Europe or northern Asia) and come across a charging bull moose, you won’t be able to outrun it either. What you can do instead is run behind a tree. Moose have a blind spot of around ten inches and they will most likely lose you, or at least be very confused at first.
7. If a bear every charges you, always run downhill and never uphill. Bears have great difficulty in moving at a fast pace downhill (especially if the slope is steep) because their front legs are longer than their back legs. The reverse is true for moving uphill or on a flat area, where bears can easily run at fast speeds and outrun any human.
8. If you fall into open raging water, don’t instantly try to swim to safety. Instead, focus on floating and getting your breathing under control. Otherwise, you run the risk of hyperventilating and possibly drowning.
9. Trust your subconscious when it comes to your physical health. For instance, if you feel sick but are told by your doctors that there isn’t anything wrong with you and that you have hypochondria, don’t give up looking for answers.
Mental illnesses such as hypochondria are not as common as many doctors or physicians seem to believe it is. Only you know your own body, and if something is wrong, and a doctor diagnosing the correct condition can be extremely difficult.
10. When cleaning products, never use bleach and ammonia together or in the same room. Doing so will combine the two, which will create vapors that can potentially be fatal if you inhale them.
11. If you need to get through a locked door, do not charge into it using your shoulder like you see in the movies. Instead, you should kick the door right next to the handle. This is the weakest point in the door and therefore gives you the strongest possible chance of breaking down the door.
12. When you need to call 911, the first thing out of your mouth should always be where the emergency is occurring and not what is occurring, This is because there is a chance that you could get cut off before you explain where you are.
13. If you ever find yourself buried alive, you should know that the chances of you getting out are actually greater than you think. This is because if you wake up in a coffin underground, the dirt above you hasn’t set yet because not much time has passed. This means climbing out will require less effort than you may have thought.
Furthermore, most standard coffins are not designed to last long, and have rather weak sides. Rather than kicking or hitting up in an attempt to get out, you should kick the sides in order to break it down. Always cover your face and head with something first, such as your shirt, so you can keep the soil and dirt out of your nostrils.
Once the sides are blown out, start crawling your way out immediately and don’t waste any time as the oxygen won’t last forever.
14. Make it a habit that whenever you check into a hotel, you always read the emergency diagram indicating where the escape route is. Then, actually walk down the escape route so you have it down in your mind.
15. If you see someone who is choking on food, ask them if they are choking first. If they can answer you, they are not choking. If they cannot answer you, you can take action to help them immediately by performing the Heimlich maneuver.
16. If you are by yourself when you start choking, you are going to need to perform the maneuver on yourself. You can do this by using the back of a chair or sofa. Forcefully throw your stomach over the back of the sofa or chair, essentially mimicking someone performing the Heimlich on you.
17. Ethanol is an effective treatment for methanol. So if you are ever poisoned with methanol and don’t have access to medical professionals right away, ethanol is the best thing to help.
18. If your vehicle goes underwater, you may think that the electronic roll down buttons for the windows won’t work but that the manual ones will. In reality, just the reverse is true. Manual handles will always be much more difficult to use when rolling down windows but electronic ones will work.
Regardless, it’s still wise to have a glass breaker within easy-to-reach access from the driver’s seat so you can break down the window anyway.
19. If someone tries to mug or abduct you, put up a fight. Many abductors will give up and flee if they encounter much physical resistance.
20. If your car is moving and you need to get out quickly, always put your foot out to reduce your speed before allowing the rest of your body to tumble out as well. While you’re still going to fall out and hit a hard surface, since your speed is reduced, chances are the physical injuries will be reduced as well.
21. Whenever you touch something that is electrical, you should use the back of your hand. This is because if you use the palm of your hand on a live wire, the wire will cause your hand to grab onto it, and you will not be able to let go.
22. If you have a spider bite on your body, and if there is a red line of some sort that is running away from the bite towards your body, you will need to go to the emergency room immediately.
This is because chances are virtually certain that you now have an infection from the bite that is now spreading your blood stream or lymphatic system, meaning that your body could turn septic at any moment (and the mortality rate of sepsis is around 50%).
23. This may sound very basic, but you really do need to keep a three hundred and sixty view of your surroundings when you drive at all times. Most driving accidents happen because one or both drivers involved in the collision were not fully aware of their surrounding environment.
24. Carry a lighter on your person as part of your everyday carry, even if you don’t smoke. A lighter is by far the fastest way to create a fire, and you should know full well the vital importance of a fire in a survival situation.
25. Always treat every wound with equal attention, even if it’s only a small cut or scrape. That’s because even a small cut or a scrape on your knees can lead to an infection which can lead to more complications. Ideally, you will rinse out the wound using clean water and then place anti-septic on it before covering it with a bandaid or gauze pad.
26. If you get stung by a honey bee, you need to cover up the site of the sting right away. This is because the sting will release a pheromone into the air that that will attract many other bees to come and sting in literally the same place. Just don’t use a banana, because the banana will also release pheromones into the air that attract honey bees.
27. Many people believe that the point of CPR is to wake up a person when they become unconscious. In reality, CPR is means to force blood to the person’s brain in order to prevent brain damage or brain death. For this reason, never stop performing CPR on a person until EMT’s or medical professionals have come to take them away.
28. If you are in the middle of a house during a fire, crawl with your feet and legs in front of you. Do not stand up or run, or else you could inhale smoke which will land you in the hospital even if you do get out.
29. If you have been awake for 17 hours or longer, your ability to drive is as bad as a drunk driver’s. That’s right, being too tired is the legal equivalent of being drunk. Either pull over and sleep or get someone else to drive. This could be very important during a bug out scenario.
30. If someone asks you for time on the street, always keep the person in your eyeline when answering the question. You can do this by raising your arm so that it joins your sight without your eyes having to leave the person.
While chances are good the person genuinely wants or needs to know the time, if they have more malicious intentions, it’s smart to keep your eyes on them because they likely won’t attack you if you do.
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Linda S says
If I’m ever on sadari in Africa & charged by a rhino? Oh, please.
The same could be said about a running attacker. Pivot and run to their left side. It takes them as a surprise and they have to take time to pivot, giving you ahead start.
The random points are all good points. I have heard of always carry a lighter point. That way if a fire for emergencies is needed you have a means available to complete this task. Being aware of all these areas from a practical point of view is always great. Thanks.
Karin L says
Do you know if it is true you can use the posts on the headrest in a car to break your window in an emergency?
That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for the tip!
Jo Caruthers says
#26 Does a banana really release pheromones?
Rick Palmer says
Only when they are looking to mate.?
Bill M says
I am a beekeeper
When a hive is happy it smells like lemon.
When a hive is mad it smells like banana.
Sideliner 1950 says
It is said that “time flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like a banana”…so it must be true.