Friday, April 23, 2010

Survival Lessons

I have always loved Discovery Channel and some of the shows there are truly fantastic. Many of them are my favourites. I shouldn't be alive, Man vs wild are just a few of them which can teach you a lot and also inspire you. Thus, with the reference of Discovery channel, here, I am going to tell you a few survival lessons. You never know when you might need them.


1. Landing in quicksand- Lay a pole on the quicksand surface, flop on your back onto the pole, and pull out your legs!

2. Finding direction- Point the hour hand of a watch towards the sun. South direction is between that and the 12 digit on the watch as the north-south line runs halfway between the hour hand and the 12.

3. Giant python attacking from over-hanging branch- Slash at its eyes and nose. They have hard heads - Just hitting with something won't help.

4. Crossing a roaring river- Use a pole as a rudder and deflector, & make it across the river.

5. Coming across a wild dog- Never run away or display submissive behaviour in this case. Charge/yell suddenly! You'll scare the dog back into jungle. Dogs are pack animals & submit to dominant behaviour.

6. Venomous bite by spider- Use the belt as a tourniquet to slow the spread of venom and hope the rescue party has anti-venom.  If you make incisions across the bite site & suck out the venom, you may reabsorb the venom through tiny lacerations in your mouth while sucking out the poison blood and applying clay-rich dirt doesn't leach out the venom either.


1. While hiking, you come across a bear- Don't try to run & climb a tree. Clicking jaws indicate the bear is on the hunt. You can't outrun a bear & most are also good climbers. Trying to stare down a bear won't work. It sees it as aggressive behaviour and attacks, instead display submissive behaviour like dropping in the fetal position & show the bear you are not a threat.

2. Dehydration- If you have corn chips, the oil in the corn chips burns, even in wet, windy conditions thus you can make fire to melt the snow into water.

3. Hunger- If you have nothing else for food but have a wallet and the leather is thin enough to chew, it can be eaten. Yes leather can be eaten..cooked or if not possible, directly, Other foods for survival when there is no food available- tree barks- Some of the most popular edible choices would be aspen, birch, willow, maple, and pine trees, insects - crickets, grasshoppers, ants, caterpillars, worms etc and even chewing on grass is a great way to get some added nutrients into a starving body. Do not eat the grass. Just chew on it to get the juices out and spit it out.

4. White-out Blizzard- Most blizzard deaths are caused by disorientation. Lay out the rope pointing in the direction you were heading and dig a snow cave. After the storm, you pull up the rope and follow the direction

5. Again dehydration- If you are thinking snow is frozen water and there's TONs of it & pop some in your mouth & drink, it actually dehydrates you. It lowers body temperature further & you come close to hypothermia. You can fill the empty chips bag with snow & stick it inside your clothes to melt it but the bag should be 2 layers away from skin. Or you can fill the bag with snow and urinate on it to melt the snow too though it's not the best choice.

6. A monster avalanche while hiking through a valley - Ditch your equipment and make swimming motions as the wave lifts you. It helps you keep you on top of the "wave" and cover your mouth to clear breathing room.


1. Boat sinks- If you have to pick up only one nearby item, pick a sweater. Most lost-at-sea scenarios end in hypothermia, even in warm climates. Wool insulates, even when wet.

2. For water- When you look at the port side & see several items floating by, and you have to pick something for water, pick up Tarp. It rains often in the tropics now you have the means to collect rain and dew/condensation and can use it for shade and sweat less/ retain water.

3. Protection from Sun- When you are getting dangerously cooked out there, you can use motor oil. The raft's engine has heavy weight motor oil, viscous enough to provide protection from the sun- it can act as a sun screen so you can slather up.

4. Sharks- Use a wooden oar. As scouts approach, you can whack them on the nose with the oar sending them to hopefully distant hunting grounds. If you use a spear or knife to stab the shark, the blood in the water will create a feeding frenzy and you will be knocked out of the raft and devoured.

5. Lack of water- Even if you have been collecting water and it is not enough, you can use a fishing pole. Fish have potable aqueous fluid. You can slice the fish in half, drink the liquid along the spine, and suck the liquid out of the eyes. Gross but anything for survival!

6. Reaching an island - Don't paddle the raft in. Landing on islands is very difficult and dangerous. The breakers can capsize your raft and shred you on the razor sharp coral. If you swim in with raft in tow, the raft may slow and distract you and the deadly wave may smash you on the reef. You should go to the other side of the island. The side of the island not exposed to waves will have safer approaches/landing sites.

- In the sea, if you run out of fresh drinking water and are tempted to drink sea water, it is not a good idea. Drink sea water & your metabolism very quickly goes into crisis. From every cell, water molecules rush off to try to dilute and carry off the sudden intake of salt. This leaves the cells dangerously short of the water (dehydrated) they need to carry out their normal functions. In extreme situations, dehydration will lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and brain damage. Meanwhile, the overworked blood cells carry the salt to the kidneys, which eventually become overwhelmed and shut down. Without functioning kidneys you die. That is why we don't drink seawater. Truly water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink!  But there is a theory that you can mix it in some percentage with fresh water to consume.

* One thing you can do if you are stuck out there in a jungle or somewhere with no water source at all is actually drink the fluid from a fresh elephant dung. Pretty disgusting but it could save your life. It's a last resort. There can be harmful bacteria in that water but if you have nothing else to drink, it can buy you some extra time!
Also regarding elephants, they have poor eyesight and if an elephant flattens its ears and curls its trunk, it means the elephant is about to charge.

- Water is so important because people can survive much longer without food but not too long without water. Generally it is said that a human being can survive an average of three to five days(it can vary) without the intake of water, assuming sea-level altitude, room temperature and favorable relative humidity but a human can survive for several weeks without food.

- If you are in the jungle with no food and see an animal hunted by a lion (like raw zebra meat of a lion kill), to ascertain whether it is fresh and can be eaten is - the first sign is vultures- as they only eat fresh meat. Also look out for maggots or if the carcass smells rotten, then obviously it isn't safe to eat.

- For water, if you see reeds surrounding a pool of free-standing water, a dead tortoise nearby, the water isn't safe at all, and is with parasites etc. Always try to drink from fast moving water.

* This was based on the Discovery channel and its games. Although the warning- The information provided is for informational and entertainment purposes only. By using this, you agree that you will not hold me or Discovery liable for any errors in content, or for any action taken based on information provided. Use the information at your own risk.
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