Usually, no one expects to wake up and face a life threatening situation. It just happens. Knowing how to handle those dangerous situations could mean the difference between life and death. With that in mind, it makes sense to brush up on some safety and survival tips. In whatever situation, whether it’s hiking, camping, or merely leaving your house, sometimes the smallest tips can help you overcome the greatest challenges. Ready to become a little safer today? Here are 25 quick facts that could save your life.
If you're in a crowded space, take note of the exits.
In the case of an emergency, people tend to instinctually head for the exit they entered from which can lead to bottlenecks. They can also run to the most convenient exit. If you know about other exits in a space or building, then you’re more likely to get out faster.
If someone points a gun at you, hold eye contact with the person.
Having a gun pointed at you would be a horrible and stressful situation. However, if you stay calm and keep eye contact with the person holding the gun, you might make it out alive. Keeping eye contact with them will make them uncomfortable with pulling the trigger and at least hesitate.
Always have a signaling mirror and whistle when hiking.
One of the best ways to get someone’s attention when they’re far away is light and sound. With a mirror and whistle, you can reflect the sun’s light and make a high pitched sound which will more than likely help rescuers find you.
Keep a harmonica handy when camping.
A harmonica might be the last thing anyone thinks of when trying to survive, but it can come in handy. First, if you’re stranded and alone, it can keep you company and lift your spirits. It can also act as a bottle opener, finger splint, fishing lure, and plenty of other things if you’re in a pinch.
Always keep a pack of gum around.
Gum can provide a whole host of survival benefits including higher morale, lower stress, and the ability to curb your appetite. It might also make for a good adhesive if you need it.
Remember the rule of threes.
This one is a common rule, but many might not know about it, so it bears repeating. The survival rule of threes is this: You can survive roughly three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Of course, many of this depends on the harsh environment you’re in at the time, but it helps prioritize your needs.
Use charcoal and a plastic jug for water purification.
If you need to find a way to purify your dirty water, using charcoal and a plastic jug will help act as a filter. Once you’ve purified the water a few times, you’ll then want to bring it to a boil. We’d recommend doing a lot more research on the step-by-step process.
When walking downstairs, don't put your hands in your pockets.
It doesn’t take much to slip and fall on stairs. If you’re going down and don’t have your hands to grab a railing or break your fall, you’re going to injure your head or other vital body parts.
Super glue can help close up small cuts.
If you have other alternatives like band-aids then obviously use those first. If for some reason you have nothing else but super glue and need to address small cuts, then super glue has been known to help. However, don’t use it on large wounds. Whenever you can, see a health care professional.
Do everything you can to stay warm and dry.
Hypothermia is a sneaky killer. Many don’t realize they have hypothermia before it’s too late. Ways to prevent it include preparing before you go out for camping or a hike and wearing proper clothes and water resistant boots. However, if you didn’t prepare for it, do everything you can to stay warm and dry.
Apple cider vinegar can be used to treat wounds.
Vinegar has been used to treat wounds all the way back to 400 B.C. There have been studies to show apple cider vinegar specifically keeps bacteria at bay. However, it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for antibiotics or professional medical care.
Sit at the back of the plane.
Flying is very safe. But if you’re concerned the plane will crash, buy a ticket for a middle seat in the back of the plane. Statistics have shown the fatality rate in these seats is only 28%. Compare that with 44% fatality in the middle third of the cabin and your chances of survival are much greater…in the unlikely event your plane goes down.
If you're going on a trip, tell people where you're going.
One of the worst things you can do before going hiking or camping is not telling anyone where you’re going. If you end up lost or stuck in the middle of the wilderness, it’s unlikely anyone will find you. Telling family where you will be can help search and rescue teams locate you quickly and could save your life.
Keep your car keys by your bedside table.
Before you go to bed, keep your keys by your bedside table. If a burglar comes in the house at night, you can press the panic button on your car to scare the intruder away. However, keep in mind this isn’t fool proof nor an alternative to locking your doors at night and having a home security system.
Potatoes are a good survival food.
While eating a potato-only diet isn’t recommended for longs periods of time, if you’re trying to survive and need a basic source of food to get you by, potatoes are packed with nutrients and are easy to grow.
Use sanitary napkins to dress large wounds.
In World War I, Kimberly-Clark developed Cellucotton, a material that absorbed blood, and made bandages out of it. However, after the war, they repurposed the product for women’s sanitary napkins. So, if you’ve got a large wound and sanitary napkins around, wrap it up and tape it down.
If you're walking to your car in a dark place, have your keys out in your hand.
If you have a long way to get to your car in a dark parking lot, it makes sense to keep your keys in your hand well before you get to your car. It’ll be easier for you to get inside the car quickly, and if you are attacked, you can use the key as a self-defense weapon.
Swim parallel to the shore.
If you get caught in a rip tide, a narrow channel of water going from the beach to the sea, do not fight against it to get to shore. You’ll only wear yourself out. Instead, swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip tide.
Baking soda can help put out fires in a pinch.
If a fire is getting out of control and you don’t have an extinguisher, you can use baking soda to put the fire out quickly. As a side note, it’s also a great cleaning solution for tough stains and could also help hide your scent from predators.
Check the locks of your house if strangers have been in your home.
Whether you just had a big party or you have a plumber in your house, no matter who it is, if you don’t know them, then you’re leaving open the possibility of intrusion later. It might seem paranoid, but strangers could potentially unlock back doors or windows to come in to steal things. So, once the person leaves your home, check window and door locks.
Use a condom to hold up to 2 liters of water.
Yeah, we know it sounds crazy, but a condom is very elastic and is made to hold water. If you keep it wrapped up in a sock or other material and pour water into it, it can act as a way to hold water. Of course, you’ll want to purify the water afterward.
Do not eat snow if you're in a cold climate.
If you’re in a snowy climate and need water, don’t eat the snow because it actually makes your body colder and puts you at risk of hypothermia. Instead, you would need to find a way to melt the snow over a fire.
Point out an individual during an emergency.
If you’re in an emergency situation surrounded by people, something strange happens called “The Bystander Effect” where no one runs to help you, especially if you call out, “Call 911.” To try to break this, point to someone specifically and tell them to call 911. They will feel more accountable and will be more likely to help.
If you're lost on a hike, look for fences or streams.
If you’re truly lost on a hike and don’t have materials to get you back on track, then you’ll need to try to find a fence or a stream. A stream is a better option overall because it provides a source of water and if it’s a big enough river, it could lead you to a town or other people who can help. A fence, on the other hand, is a sign of civilization and could lead you to someone faster.
A flashlight can be used as a self-defense weapon.
Of course, if you’re lost in the dark, a flashlight is incredibly helpful to find a solid path. However, having a powerful flashlight and shining it in an attackers face can disorient them and buy you enough time to escape.
Want to learn more about survival? You have to check out 25 Survival Myths That Could Actually Hurt You
Photo: 25. Ellin Beltz, Do Not Block Fire Exit, CC BY-SA 3.0, 24. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 23. Alno, Fox40-black-whistle, CC BY-SA 1.0, 22. Thesupermat, Foire de Paris 2011 – Concours Lépine – 1928 – Harmonica chromonika – 001, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 20. Kyle James via flickr. CC BY 2.o, 19. Ryo Chijiiwa via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 18. MaxPixel.com (Public Domain), 17. anonymous, Super glue, CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 15. Phongnguyen1410, Apple cider vinegar, CC BY-SA 4.0, 14. Henry Burrows via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 13. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 12. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 11. McKay Savage from London, UK, India – Koyambedu Market – Potatoes 01 (3987050638), CC BY 2.0, 10. anonymous, Sanitary towel 1, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Miltondawson, UC Merced CA Solar Parking Lot Lighting, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. NOAA.gov (Public Domain), 7. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 6. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 5. Infcom113, Inflated condom, CC BY-SA 4.0, 4. Pexels.com (Public Domain), 3. رمزي زودة, Bystander effect, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. GinaD, Small streams, CC BY-SA 3.0, 1. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain)