There are two types of people, those who would have no problem surviving in the Great Outdoors or even through a nuclear fallout, and those who should read the following list because they need to learn a survival skill or two. A month ago a Reddit user asked "What are some life-saving tips you think people need to know and in what situation would they be used?" and most of us could benefit from the responses.
Even if you live in a city and rarely do travel, these tips can save you and the lives of those around you in many "What if?" situations. From creating a compass out of a leaf and a needle to performing life-saving CPR, these are the survival tips and life hacks that might help you in the future!
In the list beneath, you'll find very informative descriptions in various survival scenarios below the photos. Be sure to read it carefully, because these life tips might just save you one day!
More info: u/cantbebothered_tk
#1 What To Do If You See A Service Dog Without Their Owner
"If a service dog comes to you for attention, immediately locate their owner, they could be using a last ditch effort to get help. A few months ago when I was on a delivery for work, I was stopped by a dog who ran out in the middle of the road (residential). I got out and tried to move the dog, but it followed me all the way to the door of my delivery. Once I was done I checked the dogs tag to bring it home, and I noticed he had all kinds of medical tags. After I realized what the dog was trying to do, I ran towards the correct address and the dog led me through a screen door on the porch. His owner was passed out on the floor, and I called 911. The individual had a phone (brought by the dog) by its head, and a bag of medications by his side. The dog had done everything it was trained to do, but the person had passed out before it could do anything. The ambulance came, got his pulse back, and took him to the hospital. I don't know if he ended up surviving, but if I hadn't checked the dog's tags and realized it was a medical animal, I wouldn't have hurried, blatantly invite myself in his house, and ultimately get him to a point of survival."
#2 What To Do After A Nuclear Explosion
"Nuclear warfare is a serious threat that hasn't been mentioned yet. The following was common knowledge during the cold war era, but most people my age don't know what to do in a nuclear disaster. In a nuclear explosion most of the damage and death is caused by the shockwave the blast creates, not the fireball which has a comparatively small radius. One day you may find yourself outside or looking out a window to see an extremely bright flash. As bright as if you were staring straight at the sun. Do not attempt to locate the source of the flash. You have maybe 8-10 seconds to respond if you're far enough away from the fireball. Lay face down on the ground and put your thumbs in your ears and fingers over your eyes. Breathe through your teeth. Since you're laying face down the shockwave will mostly pass over you. If you're standing up it can cause your lungs, eardrums, and other organs to explode. Once the shockwave passes over you, you need to find shelter immediately. I said before that most death from the explosion is caused by the shockwave. Well, FAR more death is subsequently caused by nuclear fallout AFTER the blast. Do not attempt to travel anywhere. Just get underground. If you're next to a complete stranger's house or a business, don't hesitate to go inside and hide out under as much concrete and steel as possible. You need to remain in this location for the next 48 hours. This is critical. Even if you survive the blast if you attempt to go home and spend just 20 minutes outside traveling you will more than likely die of radiation sickness. Radioactive material after a blast decays exponentially and you will be safe to try and find your loved ones after 48 hours. If you don't wait this out, you definitely won't be alive to find them. When you're ready you need to leave the city and get as far from the fallout as you can."
#3 How To Call For Help In A Public Area
"If you find yourself hurt in a public place, direct your pleas to one person, not to the crowd cause everyone will think that ”somebody else will help you”. It is called the bystander effect."
#4 If You're Lost - Stop Freaking Out
"If you ever get lost, the first thing to do is stop moving. Sit down, stop freaking out, and think. If you give in to panic and lose your head, you can screw things up so badly for yourself that help will never find you. Remember the rule of three: Starvation will kill you in three weeks. Thirst will kill you in three days. Cold will kill you in three hours. Lack of oxygen will kill you in three minutes. Panic will kill you in three seconds."
#5 If You Think You're Being Followed - Turn Right Four Times
"If you think you're being followed turn right four times. Since you'll get to the same place they shouldn't be following you anymore. If they do, you might be in trouble. Since it's a common warning that you shouldn't go home when you think someone is following you, the smartest is to go to a police station."
#6 Seek Shelter If Your Hair Starts Floating Before A Storm
"If you're outside in a lightning storm and your hair starts floating, seek immediate shelter. You're about to be struck by lightning. If immediate (within 15 seconds of movement) shelter is not available, put both your feet together, squat down on the balls of your feet, and grab your ankles. If you're struck, this will give the lightning a direct path down to the ground and hopefully minimize damage."
#7 How To Save Yourself And Others From Drowning
"If you fall into water, don't panic. You don't have to be able to swim; you just have to float. Hold your breath and let yourself bob to the surface. If someone is in trouble in the water, they will absolutely kill you in mindless panic. Bring something with you - a float, a rope, a towel - and use that to bridge the gap between you so you can tow the person in. If you must make direct contact, come up from behind and slip your arm across the victim's chest. Pull the victim's back to your chest and keep his/her arms facing away from you. I've been in the deathgrip of a fat little 8 year old and he nearly took me out. If a panicked drowner does grab you, do everything in your power to go down toward the bottom. Most will let go; that's the last place they want to go. Recognize that even if you are both a strong swimmer and a trained rescuer, you are still risking your own life if you go to the aid of a swimmer in trouble. Take it very seriously."
#8 The Rule Of Three - Getting Lost In The Desert
"A few survival tips for mainly the desert but also a lot of places. If you are lost in the desert, or a lot of places for that mater, the number one thing you can carry to increase your chances of being found is a small reflective mirror. Anytime a plane flies overhead you can reflect light towards them and you greatly increase your chances of being found. This seriously is more important than carrying more water with you (not that water doesn't help, its just not realistic to carry that much water on your back). Furthermore, if you get stranded in the desert with a vehicle, do not leave your vehicle to find people. You are a lot harder to see than your vehicle and your car can provide shelter (your car has some good reflective mirrors to signal with, especially the rearview mirror). People die all the time doing this, often found only mere miles from their car. Finally, the universal sign for needing to be rescued is waving two arms up and down. If you wave only one arm to a passing plane, you will not be helped, or at least are less likely to be helped. Also, because a few people have been wondering what to do if you can't use both of your arms, there is another universal way to signal for help that is more versatile. The way I can best describe it is three of anything quick signal. Three gunshots, three whistle blows, three flashes of a flashlight, three flashes from a reflective mirror, etc. Just make sure they are spaced widely enough (at least one second) and that you spend a considerable time before making your next three signals. There have been many deaths that could have been prevented had this advice been followed."
#9 How To Know If Someone Is Drowning
"A person who is drowning doesn't look like people drowning on TV. When someone is drowning they rarely cry out, can't wave their arms around, and will often just bob/sink at the surface for a very little while, often gasping, before submerging. Don't expect it to look like the movies when you're keeping an eye on swimmers."
#10 How To Remove A Sharp Object From A Deep Wound
"Do not pull objects (knife, glass, splinter etc) from a deep wound. They might be sealing or slowing flow from an artery or they might cut an artery when you pull them out. Put pressure around such an object to slow bleeding till emergency responders take over."
#11 What To Do If You See A Bear
"If it's brown lie down, if it's black fight back, if it's white you're f**ked. For bear encounters. I've met so many casual hikers in bear country with no idea there are bears in the same woods as them."
#12 Pay Attention To Your Gut
"Pay attention to your gut and natural intuition. If you feel like you're in danger, it's because you're in danger, even if you can't quite articulate why. If a person seems sketchy or threatening, it's because they are. Intuition is finely developed by evolution, and generally speaking it will only fail you when you mindf**k yourself and deny it in order to appease an extremely modern sense of political correctness. Read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. Frequent pre-victimization indicators displayed by predators include: 1. Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that they have something in common with their chosen victim, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn't really true. Speaking in "we" terms is a mark of this, i.e. "We don't need to talk outside... Let's go in." 2. Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust. 3. Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim. 4. Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: "Oh, I bet you're too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me." The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue. 5. Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they'll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return. 6. The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, "I promise I'll leave you alone after this," usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited "I promise I won't hurt you" usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim. 7. Discounting the Word "No". Refusing to accept rejection."
#13 Buy A Plunger And A Fire Extinguisher
"Buy a plunger and fire extinguisher before you need a plunger or fire extinguisher."
#14 What To Do If You're Being Tied Up
"If you’re being tied up, puff yourself out as much as possible so it’ll be easier to wiggle out of. Tense muscles, inhale deep and stretch out your arms and legs to make more space."
#15 How To Start A Fire With Chips
If you’re having trouble starting a fire due to damp tinder, any high-calorie food can help, especially chips. Simply take a few chips and light them on fire - it won’t deplete your food supplies and will greatly aid starting a fire.
#16 Wear A Belt If You're Working Near Something Sharp
"If you work around stuff that can cut someone easy (metal scrap, sheet metal or really any factory or construction work) wear a belt. I don't care if you don't need one to hold your pants up. A belt can be a quick easy tourniquet and save a life."
#17 How To Respond If Someone's Having A Seizure
"If I'm having a seizure, don't move me, wake me or try to stick a spoon in my mouth. Instead, start timing it, move things out my way and ring an ambulance, if it's the persons first seizure/you don't know them. If you know someone with epilepsy, ask them what to do in their case. When someone comes round from a seizure, they are usually confused and dazed. They may have memory loss and not be sure where they are or who you are. It's okay to say 'you had a seizure but everything is okay. I'm such and such, your friend/husband/random stranger, and you're here at X place.' If you want to find out more about epilepsy, I recommend Epilepsy Action."
#18 If You See Someone Choking And Coughing - Do Not Intervene
"If someone is choking but they are coughing/talking, DO NOT INTERVENE. Let them cough it out. The ability to cough is a sign that air is able to get in and out and that they only have a partial obstruction in their airway. If you try to intervene with the Heimlich or backblows, you could force it out, or you could dislodge the blockage and cause a full obstruction. Obviously, if they're not breathing or coughing then you should definitely administer backblows, just remember to check in between each one incase you partially dislodge the object."
#19 What To Do If You Get Caught In A Rip Current
"If you get caught in a rip current, swim horizontally / parallel to the shore at the fastest speed you can comfortably maintain. Don't worry that you're going further out. Eventually you'll be out of the current and can slowly head back inland. Try to swim against it and you'll just tire yourself until you drown."
#20 How To Keep Safe While Hiking
"Look behind you every so often when you’re hiking. If you think you’re being watched, chances are you probably are, have been for quite a while. Bring a mirror as well. If you turn around you ruin the element of surprise for any hungry predators, and they’ll likely scurry away or at least give you time to escape. If you turn around and DO see something, start making as much noise as you can, don’t stay quiet, and do not, for the love of god, turn back around if you think it’s gone. Back away slowly for as long as you can."
#21 How To Pull Away If Someone Grabs Your Wrists
"If someone grabs your wrists, pull away quickly where their thumbs are - thumbs are the weakest parts in a grip."
#22 How To Break A Car Window
"If you EVER need to break your car window - all headrests detach and can the metal ends are meant to be used to break the glass. Helpful if you are in a sinking car."
#23 Don't Run If You See A Lion
"When walking in big 5 territory, if you encounter lions, DON'T RUN. If they come towards you, growling, it's to say you are too close but they will not attack you. Just walk away slowly and don't lose sight of them. Or stand your ground. Intelligence is your biggest weapon then; shout and clap your hands and they will run away."
#24 Notify Your Department Of State If You Are Going Overseas
"In the US (and I think some other Western countries), you can notify your Department of State that you are going overseas for free (I think it is the smart traveller program). This means in event of a natural disaster/political issue/etc , they will know you need evacuation. They also update you on the state of the country as time goes by so you don't accidentally collide with some trouble. A lot of accidents happen just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, so if you're travelling, it might be worth looking into."
#25 How To Properly Administer CPR
"If you are giving CPR and worrying about getting the compression timing right, just do it in time with 'another one bites the dust'. Or if that makes you uncomfortable... You can also do it to 'staying alive'."
#26 A Way To Identify If Someone Is Having A Stroke
"F.A.S.T. which is a way to identify if you or someone else is having a stroke. Facial drooping: A section of the face, usually only on one side, that is drooping and hard to move. This can be recognized by a crooked smile; Arm weakness: The inability to raise one's arm fully; Speech difficulties: An inability or difficulty to understand or produce speech; Time: If any of the symptoms above are showing, time is of the essence; call the emergency services or go to the hospital."
#27 What To Do If You're Stuck In A Stampede
"If you're stuck in a stampede. As soon as you get knocked down your chances decrease significantly. If this is the case, however, and you can’t get up immediately, assume a protective posture with your feet tucked up and your hands covering your head. Try to position your face in the direction the crowd is moving so you don’t get kicked and try to get back on your feet ASAP."
#28 Staying Safe While Turning Across Oncoming Traffic
"When you're making a turn across oncoming traffic, keep your wheels pointing straight ahead until the opportunity comes for you to make the turn. If your wheels are facing into the turn and someone hits you from behind, they will push you into the oncoming traffic and dead you will go."
#29 Help Others Find You By Using A Burnt Stick Or A Charcoal
If you get lost and want to leave a trail for the search party, use burnt sticks from your fire and draw messages on trees, logs, rocks or anything you can find using the burnt end. The markings left by this makeshift sharpie will last for weeks and eventually weather away leaving no permanent damage.
#30 Car Breaks Down In A Remote Area? Burn A Tire
"If your car breaks down in a remote area cut off from civilisation, stay with it. To draw attention, burn a tire during daylight. Somebody is likely to see the thick, black smoke."
#31 Using Liquor As A Sanitizer
In an emergency, any liquor can be used as a sanitizer. Rub yourself in vodka or any other strong spirit to ward off mosquitoes or other pests. It can also help in disinfecting wounds, ease discomfort after jellyfish stings and poison ivy and even keep your teeth and gums in good shape.
#32 How To Make A Compass
When lost, a makeshift compass can be made by using a magnetized metal object, like a needle. To magnetize it, rub the eye of the needle against hair, fur or silk about a hundred times. Then, place the needle on a leaf that can float on water and make sure no wind hits it. If done correctly, the needle should start pointing North - South. Be careful that no other metal objects are nearby - they can pull the needle off course.
#33 Call Your Embassy If You Need Any Help Abroad
"Embassies/consuls have emergency numbers they answer 24 hours a day. Save (on your phone) this phone number of your nearest embassy/consul when abroad. If you get in many kinds of trouble (with the police, other legal issues, medical stuff, if you’re a victim of a crime, lost your passport, etc), they can help you much more effectively than your family/friends back home can."
#34 Give A Diabetic Person Some Sugar If They Are Dizzy
"If a known diabetic person faints/gets dizzy, give them something sugary immediately. If they got sick because of high sugar levels (hyperglycemia), the repercussions of increasing their sugar won’t be as terrible as the damage caused if no action is taken. Giving that little amount of sugar (if they fainted due to a hypoglycemic episode) can be life saving!"
#35 Always Carry A Basic First Aid Or Emergency Kit In Your Car
"Carry a basic first aid or emergency kit in your car on your person/work/home. Everyone laughs at me for this. (I have a kit I added a whole bunch to. Mylar, little snacks, etc) not just for doomsday prep but imagine you get stranded in a storm or snow. Having some water, food, mylar blankets, and some others could very well save your life until you can be rescued. Not only this but my work first aid kit sucks. (Legit. Some tiny bandaids and a few alcohol wipes) I've gotten bad wounds that weren't hospital/go home worthy but would have been a b**ch to go the rest of the shift without a bandage. My little sister had a bad bug bite. They weren't laughing when I had sting relief. My co-worker forgot her lunch. I gave her one of the bars, a fruit snack and shared some of my lunch."
#36 How To Dress When It's Cold Outside
"Tips for cold weather. Dress in layers-holds heat in better. Stay dry. Protect your feet,hands,and face. If you plan on going long distances have a plan to move on top of the snow and let people know where you are going. Never go on ice unless it is at least 4” thick. 6” if you have a snowmobile. 8” for a small car. 12” for medium trucks. Clear ice is stronger than “snow ice” Always watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia."
#37 Use A Bra To Help Yourself In The Event Of A Natural Disaster
If, in the event of a natural disaster you start feeling dangerous dust in the air, don’t worry - a solution might be closer than you think. If you’re a woman, of course. If such an event occurs, a bra can be used as a makeshift dust mask. Remove the bra and cut it in half between the cups. Then poke a hole in the side of the cup where it was cut and thread the straps from that side through the opening. Tightly place the cup over your face and tie the strap. You can repeat the process with the other cup and give it to someone in need.
#38 Use Aspirin If You Witness Someone Having A Heart Attack
In case you witness someone having a heart attack, aspirin is the number one drug that can help in an emergency. Start by calling 911 and asking the operator if the victim can take the aspirin. If the operator gives the OK, have the victim chew the aspirin for quickest absorption. It should start working in as little as 5 minutes."
#39 Use Anything Reflective To Signal For Help
When signaling for help, anything reflective can be used get noticed - CD’s, car mirrors, polished metal - anything works. Use these items to reflect light towards your target and sweep up and down, and side to side until someone notices your signal. Keep in mind that objects - boats, planes, vehicles - that are further away are harder to hit, so don’t give up and keep trying.