23 Survival Tips And Tricks You Might Not Have Known, As Shared By This Twitter Page
If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have? How would you build shelter? What would you eat? Do you actually think you would make it?
If you’ve spent countless hours watching Survivor or you’ve seen Cast Away and 127 Hours more times than you’d like to admit, chances are you’ve pondered how well you would fair in a life-threatening situation. And while most of us will never actually be confronted with being stranded or being suddenly attacked in the wild (Thankfully! I don't think I'm cut out for that...), it can bring us a bit of peace of mind to know just how we should respond in those situations.
Below, we’ve gathered useful survival tips from the HOW TO… Twitter account that you never know when you might need. Whether you need to break down a door, survive a shark attack or shield yourself from an oncoming train, this list has got you covered. Be sure to upvote the tips you think could save someone’s life, and feel free to share any of your own Bear Grylls-esque tips in the comments. Then if you’re looking to expand your survival knowledge even more, we’d recommend giving this Bored Panda article a read next.
Whether you love hiking, rock climbing and spending time outdoors, or your idea of camping is staying in an air conditioned cabin in the woods, it’s smart to know some basic survival skills. You really never know when you might need them, and as much as we like to think that watching films has prepared us for zombie apocalypses and various other life-threatening situations, it’s probably a good idea to have some real-world, practical tips.
The HOW TO… Twitter account just launched in September 2022, but they’ve been sharing neat and useful tips and tutorials ever since. The page has already amassed over 42k followers, who it happily teaches how to make coffee, how to translate in Google Sheets, and, oh yeah, how to survive shark attacks. Of course, the tips on this list are useful for some pretty extraordinary scenarios, and they might not always save a life. But they are definitely good to have hidden up our sleeves when that one in a million moment comes along and we find ourselves lost in the forest as nightfall is approaching.
If you’re a city dweller who is not convinced that you could last a week out in the elements, first of all, you’re not alone. I shudder to think about what I would have to eat and where I would get that food if I was left to my own devices in the wild. But if you don’t know the first thing about survival, let’s start with some of the most basic tips. According to Alex, or The Smart Survivalist, there are 6 basic survival skills that we should all know, just in case.
First, Alex notes that we should all be capable of finding and purifying water. We’ve got to stay hydrated, and if you’re in a desperate situation, you can actually survive for longer than you might think by fasting and drinking clean, purified water. To find said water that might save your life, Alex first recommends searching downhill. Find low terrain, and listen for streams or follow green patches and animals. But if you can’t find fresh water, you will definitely need to have a purification system.
When it comes to purifying the water you find, you will likely need to boil it first. This can prove to be a difficult task when you’re without a stove or a pot. Knowing how to start a fire is the next skill Alex notes as essential for all travelers to know. One method he notes that might help you out is the “hand drill method”, which includes moving a twig against another twig to create friction and eventually sparks. Alex says this can work, if you set everything up correctly, but it takes a lot of effort.
If you have some sunlight and a pair of glasses, turning your glasses into a magnifying glass to create a concentrated beam of light can be a much simpler method of igniting your kindling. Flint and steel are also essential parts of any survival kit, Alex notes. But if you don’t have flint, a pocket knife and a nice quartzite rock can create a nice spark as well. And of course, if you're packing a survival kit, including matches and a lighter is never a bad idea either.
Once you’ve got water and fire taken care of, you’re going to want to know how to create temporary shelter. Whether you need shade from the sun or shield from the rain, having some sort of roof over your head can be crucial to your survival in the elements. What you can build will always depend on what is available where you are, Alex notes. Rock formations and crevices can be very helpful, as well as fallen trees and large rocks. If you can use one or several of these things as some “walls”, you’re off to a great start. But Alex notes it also matters where you build your shelter, as you don’t want to be too close or too far away from water. And always be mindful of your campfire; the last thing you want is your shelter going up in flames.
Do you have a good sense of direction? If you’re stranded in the wild, it’s going to be very useful to know how to navigate without a compass. Alex says that the best survival kits will have a compass and map included, but if you find yourself without them, it’s useful to know how to read your surroundings. You can always try to find a high point to look around and orient yourself. You can also look at where the sun is and how it has been moving. And if you’re really confused and lost, Alex says to find a water source. “You can follow the flow of the river to find people along the same path,” he writes. “If you aren’t completely off the grid in an unknown land, you will run across someone who can help. At the very least, you can fill your water bottle up and keep yourself hydrated as you look for a way back.”
Eventually, all of this searching for a means of survival is going to have you work up a pretty good appetite. But you have to be cautious when finding food, as ingesting a poison berry or having a dangerous encounter with an animal can be the end of you. So Alex says to try to only go after small creatures that you can easily spot and capture. Try fishing first or setting up traps to catch small mice and squirrels. You can also go foraging for food as well, but it will be much safer if you have a book such as Edible Wild Plants Field Guide to help you know what is safe. And once you catch or find something that won't be your last meal, bon appétit!
Finally, a survival skill we should all know is how to dress a wound. We should always have some sort of first aid kit with us out in the wild, and a way to clean any wounds we might endure. Be sure to bandage any injuries carefully, as having something too tight, even if it’s bleeding, can cause more problems in the long run. You don't want to survive being stranded in the woods for days only to have to get a limb amputated when you get home! And if you have a broken bone, it’s important to find something to brace it with, like a tree branch or twig and some cloth.
Are you feeling prepared to go on the next season of Naked and Afraid or venture out into the woods with nothing but a backpack and your survival knowledge? Remember to upvote the tips you found most useful, and feel free to share any more of your own in the comments below. Thanks to the cushy lives most of us get to lead nowadays (thank you, technology!), we don’t often find ourselves in life threatening situations. But if you’re interested in being even more prepared for those dangerous and thrilling scenarios, be sure to check out this Bored Panda article next.