Medical Aspects of Camping and Other Tips You Need to Know About

As the weather begins to warm up, it is time to think about outdoor activities we can pursue not only for pleasure but to hone and practice our outdoor survival skills.  Speaking for myself, camping is high on my list of summer activities, including a first-time adventure using a tent.

Most of us plan to hunker down and shelter in place in the event of a disruptive event. That said, if our homes are no longer safe, either due to location or to physical destruction, we must have a plan to evacuate.  In some cases, the answer will be short term camping.

Dr. Joe Alton is here to today to weigh in on what we need to know about the medical aspect of camping plus some other tips to make the overall experience both pleasurable and educational.

Medical Aspects of Camping | Backdoor Survival

Safe Camping Tips for Preppers

School will be out soon and a great way to teach your family survival basics is by taking them camping. The skills needed for successful camping are akin to those required for the activities of daily survival. Once learned, these lessons last a lifetime. There’s no greater gift that you can give young people than the ability to be self-reliant.

Camping trips create bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.  A poorly planned campout, however, can become memorable in a way you don’t want, especially if someone gets injured. Luckily, a few preparations and an evaluation of your party’s limitations will help you enjoy a terrific outing with the people you care about, and maybe impart some skills that would serve them well in dark times.

Start Small

If you haven’t been camping much, don’t start by attempting to hike the Donner Trail. Begin by taking day trips to National Parks or a nearby lake.   Set up your tent and campfire, and see how it goes when you don’t have to stay in the woods overnight.  Once you have that under your belt, start planning your overnight outings.

Whatever type of camping you do, always assess the capabilities and general health of the people in your party. Children and elderly family members will determine the limits of your activities. The more ambitious you are, the more likely the kids and oldsters won’t be able to handle it.  Disappointment and injuries are the end result.

Important Considerations

An important first step to a safe camping trip is knowledge about the weather and terrain you’ll be encountering. Talk with park rangers, consult guidebooks, and check out online sources. Some specific issues you’ll want to know about:

· Temperature Ranges
· Rain or Snowfall
· Trails and Campsite Facilities
· Plant, Insect, or Animal Issues
· Availability of Clean Water
· How to Get Help in an Emergency

Medical Aspects of Camping

A very common error campers (and survivalists) make is not bringing the right clothing and equipment for the weather and terrain. If you haven’t planned for the environment you’ll be camping in, you have made it your enemy, and believe me, it’s a formidable one.

Although Spring and Fall have the most uncertainty with regards to temperatures and weather, you could encounter storms in any season. Always take enough clothing to allow layering to deal with the unpredictability of the season.

Conditions in high elevations lead to wind chill factors that could cause hypothermia. If the temperature is 50 degrees, but the windchill factor is 30 degrees, you lose heat from your body as if it were below freezing. Be aware that temperatures at night may be surprisingly cold.

In cold weather, you’ll want your family clothed in tightly woven, water-repellent material for protection against the wind. Wool holds body heat better than cotton does. Some synthetic materials work well, also, such as Gore-Tex. Add or remove layers as needed.

If you’re at the seashore or lakefront in summer, your main problem will be heat exhaustion and burns. Have your family members wear sunscreen, as well as hats and light cotton fabrics. Plan your strenuous activities for mornings, when it’s cooler. In any type of weather, keep everyone well-hydrated.  Dehydration causes more rapid deterioration in physical condition in any type of stressful circumstance. Allow a pint of fluids an hour for strenuous activities.

The most important item of clothing is, perhaps, your shoes. If you’ve got the wrong shoes for the outing, you will most likely regret it. If you’re in the woods, high tops that you can fit your pant legs into are most appropriate. If you go with a lighter shoe in hot weather, Vibram soles are your best bet.

Special Tips: Choosing the right clothing isn’t just for weather protection.  If you have the kids wear bright colors, you’ll have an easier time keeping track of their whereabouts. Long sleeves and pants offer added protection against insect bites that can transmit disease, such as Lyme disease caused by ticks.

Location, Location, Location

A real estate agent’s motto is “location, location, location” and it’s also true when it comes to camping.   Scout prospective campsites by looking for broken glass and other garbage that can pose a hazard.  Sadly, you can’t depend on other campers to pick up after themselves.

Look for evidence of animals/insects nearby, such as large droppings or wasp nests/bee hives.    Advise the children to stay away from any animals, even the cute little fuzzy ones. If there are berry bushes nearby, you can bet it’s on the menu for bears. Despite this, things that birds and animals can eat aren’t always safe for humans.

Learn to identify the plants in your environment that should be avoided. This especially includes poison ivy, oak, and sumac.  Show your kids pictures of the plants so that they can steer clear of them. The old adage is “leaves of three, let it be”. Fels-Naptha soap is especially effective in removing toxic resin from skin and clothes if you suspect exposure.

Build your fire in established fire pits and away from dry brush. In drought conditions, consider using a portable stove instead.  Children are fascinated by fires, so watch them closely or you’ll be dealing with burn injuries. Food (especially cooked food) should be hung in trees in such a way that animals can’t access it. Animals are drawn to food odors, so use resealable plastic containers.

If you camp near a water source, realize that even the clearest mountain stream may harbor parasites that cause diarrheal disease and dehydration.  Water sterilization is basic to any outdoor outing.  There are iodine tablets that serve this purpose, and portable filters like the “Lifestraw™” which are light and effective.  Although time-consuming, boiling local water is a good idea to avoid trouble.

Get Your Bearings

Few people can look back to their childhood and not remember a time when they lost their bearings. Your kids should always be aware of landmarks near the camp or on trails.  A great skill to teach the youngsters is how to use a compass; make sure they have one on them at all times.

A great item to give each child (and adult) is a loud whistle that they can blow if you get separated.  Three blasts are the universal signal for “help!” If lost, kids should stay put in a secure spot.  Of course, if you have cell phone service where you are, consider that option as well.

Bug Bites

Even kids in protective clothing can still wind up with insect bites.  Important supplies to carry are antihistamines like Benadryl, sting relief pads, and calamine lotion to deal with allergic reactions.  Asking your doctor for a prescription “Epi-Pen” is a good idea, as they’re meant to be used by the average person. They’re effective for severe reactions to toxins from insect bites or poison ivy.

Citronella-based products are helpful to repel insects; put it on clothing instead of skin (absorbs too easily) whenever possible. Repellents containing DEET also can be used, but not on children less than 2 years old.

Don’t forget to inspect daily for ticks or the bulls-eye pattern rash you might see in Lyme disease. I mean it when I say daily: If you remove the tick in the first 24 hours, you will rarely contract the disease.

Of course, you’ll need a medical kit as part of your supplies. Consider some of the items in our compact, lightweight personal IFAK kit, specifically meant to deal with mishaps on the trail. You might have your own favorite items to bring with you; if so, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

The Final Word

Now that I live adjacent to the forest, I want to get a tent.  The plan is to get something easy to set up because, after all, I am not a young as I used to be and want to save my energy for things like hiking and doing a bit of wood chopping.  Then, as Joe suggests, I plan to camp in my own one-acre backyard before venturing further.

One thing is certain, it is a lot more fun to practice survival skills when you couple the experience with a family adventure!

 

Backdoor Survival Featured Articles

Staying Safe in the Great Outdoors: Camping Safety

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With 38 million Americans going camping in 2012 and travelling up to 200 miles away, on average, to their campsites*, having a plan and being prepared for a camping trip is a must.

 

So in honor of June being National Camping Month, we want to make sure every camping trip this summer goes as smoothly and safely as possible. Nate Williams, who studied outdoor leadership at Malone University in Canton, OH, has safety and preparedness tips for every stage of your camping trip.

camping_safety

Before you leave:

 

-check the weather conditions of where you’re going so you can pack the proper clothing

 

-have the right food and equipment packed

 

-make sure the medicine in your first aid kit isn’t expired

 

-be sure to address any concerns or medical conditions with the group you’re camping with, including food or insect allergies and pre-existing medical conditions

 

-create a risk management plan that includes a list of everybody going on the trip, their emergency contact information, emergency services you’ll need (ranger station, nearest hospital, etc.), the time you’re arriving at the campsite and where you’ll be in case people need to find you

camping_safety2

Setting up your campsite:

 

-make sure there’s nothing hanging over your tent, like dead tree limbs, etc.

 

-be aware of where the potential water drainage is going so you don’t get washed out of your site

 

-store food either in a bear canister downwind from the campsite so the smell of it doesn’t go through your site and attract animals or in a bear bag that’s hanging at least 15 feet off the ground

Safety practices during your trip:

 

-constantly be aware of your surroundings, whether it’s trees, weather or other people

 

-make sure you have adequate footwear to protect yourself from foot and ankle injuries

 

-drink lots of water so you don’t become dehydrated

Equipment to always have:

 

-extra food

 

-rain gear and an extra layer of clothing in case the weather shifts

 

-a first aid kit to address any injuries

 

-a water filter so you always have water

Mr. Beams camping safety lighting:

 

-keep an UltraBright Lantern at your campsite and on hiking trips so if you’re out longer than expected or get lost at night, you won’t be wandering around in the dark

 

 

12 Rainwater Collection Tips

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Why is it important to learn rainwater collection methods?

Living in such a modern world nowadays, most people don’t worry about much at all. They can mostly get what they need at home with just a push of a button or a flip of a switch. Even going camping outdoors is more like “glamping” these days, with food, water and even internet easily accessible.

But what if you run out of water, either at home or while spending time outdoors? What if there’s no way to get water elsewhere? Even if you were able to collect water, how would you make it safe to drink?

The following rainwater collection tips are for those who may find themselves in dry spell conditions, or even those who might like to save some money on their water bill.

Rainwater Collection Tips for Preppers

1. Check State Laws Before Collecting Rainwater

state laws rainwater collection

 

Are rainwater collection systems legal in your area? A water permit is required for some states in the US, while others don’t allow you to collect any rainwater at all. Better safe than sorry.

 

2. Collecting Rainwater At Home Using Food Grade Rain Barrels

rainwater barrels

Place the barrels beneath your downspouts. You can use cheesecloth, a coffee filter or a screen trap will help filter the water from sediments.

 

3. Make Your Own Rain Barrel

This tip will help you go through the Do’s and Don’ts in making your own rain barrel.

3. DIY Rainwater Collection System

five gallon bucket

This tip will help you collect rainwater mostly using materials that can already be found lying around your house. It may take a few hours of your time every day but it will surely put your power tools to good use. Plus, you don’t spend much for by paying someone else to do it for you.

 

4. Make An Emergency Water Filter

Using an ordinary bucket, you can fill it with different layers of certain materials that probably won’t cost you a cent. Just don’t forget to place a hole at the bottom.

 

5. Build An UltraModern Rainwater Harvesting System

rainwater collection system

Collecting and transporting a rainwater barrel outside your home can be tiring and time-consuming. Installing a system with a more complex design may help. Some systems have an overflow pipe that releases excess rainwater to a designated location in your property.

 

6. Install A Greywater System

If rain is scarce in your area and you’re just trying to save on your water bill, you might want to consider installing this system. You can recycle water from dishwashers, sinks, showers, and washing machines for use other than drinking.

 

7. Make A Belowground Still

This would increase your chances of survival for outdoor enthusiasts. This is a very basic way of collecting water if there isn’t any fresh water source for miles.

 

8. Make A Solar Still

solar still infographic

This is another ingenious way to collect drinking water in the wilderness. Just choose an inclined surface then dig a trench. With a stick, plastic bag and a few rocks you’ll quench your thirst in no time.

 

9. Plant Condensation

plant condensation

If there are a lot of plants nearby you can collect water through the process of condensation. You will need a plastic bag and a 550 cord or anything similar to that material. Wrap the plastic bag around the end of the plant or a branch of a small tree then wait for the water to condense at the bottom of the bag.

 

10. Use Rags To Collect Dew

wringing out rag

Dew is most heavy right before sunrise or shortly after that. By tying rags on your ankles and walking through grass covered with dew you can wring the now wet rags into a container. It may not be enough but it will get you through a couple of more hours.

 

11. Purify Water Taken From Unreliable Water Sources

water purification tablets

Purification tablets or 2% tincture iodine can come in handy when you need to purify water to make it safe for drinking. Make sure you purify water taken from swamps, lakes, streams, springs and ponds.

 

12. Use Tiny Zinc Oxide Wires Made In The Form Of  Spiny Cactus

cactus

These cacti spike inspired design was able to collect water from the air five times more efficiently than its original counterpart. This will work wonders for those that run out of water in the desert. If caught unprepared, collecting water from miniature cactus spines can suffice.

Just surf the web and you can find a lot more tips in collecting water from a variety of sources. Regardless of your location or type of environment you are in, knowing how to collect water in different ways is crucial for everyday living and survival.

Linked from: http://survivallife.com/rainwater-collection-tips/

Tips and Tricks for Living without Air Conditioning

Air conditioning seems to be one of those “necessities” we simply can’t do without in our modern society.

But humanity has managed to spend most of its existence without air conditioning. Electromechanical air conditioning has only been around since the beginning of the 20th century. Let’s look at some of the things people did to stay cool before modern air conditioning came along.

Prior to Modern AC

front porch living without air conditionerIf you are building a home, then you can take these points into consideration. Before modern AC, people built their homes differently than they do now. The right structural elements and building materials made it possible for people to live relatively comfortably with the heat of the summer. Here are a few ways:

Stone, Brick, and Clay

Building materials for homes were always something thick and heavy, some natural stone-like material that could mimic the rock surrounding a cave. The stone or brick act link a heat sink, absorbing the heat that is shining down on your home and trapping it, releasing it slowly later on. This keeps a large portion of the heat out of your house, making the interior more comfortable. Modern homes and buildings are built with lighter materials that allow the heat to pass right through them.

High Ceilings

If you have ever been in an old house, one built in the 19th century or early 20thcentury, you might have noticed the 10-foot ceilings. These served the purpose of climate control. Heat rises, so with such high ceilings, the heat would collect in the top 3 feet, leaving the cooler air closer to the floor. People tended to only use the upstairs in the evenings and at night, with the windows open.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans have long been used to help cool a home and are especially effective when used with high ceilings. Fans can be set to pull the warm air up during the summer months (pushing it down during the winter), helping to keep the cooler air down by the floor.

Basements and Split-Level Homes

The idea behind the split-level home and basements was to find a way to keep part of the home underground, where it was cooler. This would allow for good food storage and for a cooler area of the house in which to live during the heat of the summer.

Shade Trees

Having trees planted so that they provide shade for the house was a common way to keep a house cool. The trees were traditionally planted on the east and west sides of the house, keeping the sun from heating up the interior in the morning and the evening. The trees would also cool down the breeze before it reached the house.

Awnings and porches act in the same manner, shading the windows of a house to block the sun. In fact, the porch is where people went to escape the heat of inside, where they could sit and socialize in the shade with a cool breeze. And have you ever noticed all those old houses with vines, such as English Ivy, all over them? Again, the vines helped keep the heat out of the structure.

Tips and Tricks for Living without Air Conditioning

Having talked about the way homes were built prior to the invention of modern AC, most people don’t actually live in those kinds of homes. Even back then, a lot of people, particularly in big cities, lived in apartments. It is more likely that you live in a home built after the use of AC in homes became common place, something from the 1920s on, or that you live in an apartment building.

If you don’t have air conditioning or don’t want to be dependent on it, then you still have some options. If you do own your own home, you can do some of the things mentioned above, such as installing ceiling fans and using awnings, building a porch, or planting trees and/or vines to provide some shade. Obviously, if you live in an apartment, you don’t have many options, but here are some things you can do, regardless of where you live:

Windows and Coverings

Have your windows open from evening to morning and then close them and all window coverings before the morning sun can start sending its first rays in through the windows. This will help keep the heat of the day out and let the cool night air in. You can couple this with closing off the warm rooms in your home.

Lights and Electrical Equipment

Lights, particularly incandescent light bulbs, and electrical equipment generate heat. When it’s hot during the day, turn off all lights and only use them when necessary, even in the evenings. Turn off all electrical equipment and appliances, or better yet, unplug them.

Use Appliances When It’s Cool

When you need to cook, do laundry, iron, or use any appliance that generates a significant amount of heat, do it during the hours when it is cooler, either early in the morning or in the evening. Get a clothesline and dry your clothes that way, instead of running the dryer.

insulate home living without air conditionerSeal and Insulate Your Home

If you own your home, you can add extra insulation in the attic, which will help in all seasons. You can also add weather stripping, caulking, and other sealants around doors and windows to ensure you keep warm air out and cool air in.

Unusual Ways to Keep Cool

They say that back before air conditioning, when the nights were really hot, people used to sleep on their porches and people who lived in apartments took to their fire escapes. Chances are, you won’t see anyone doing that these days, although there is no reason people couldn’t. The thing is, if there is no way you can change your landscaping or add features to your home or if you live in an apartment, then you are going to have to find other ways to keep cool. Yes, you can leave your home and go to the movies, a museum, or the mall, but you can’t do that every day. Here are some unique ways to stay cool during the summer heat.

Evaporative Cooling

This is an ideal way to keep cool, but it only works in low humidity environments. If you take old linens and tack them up over open windows and then spray down the linens to make them damp, they will keep your home very cool. The dampness in the sheets will evaporate, taking the heat with it. All you need to do is rewet the sheets when they get dry. This is not only a great way to keep cool, but it works even if you have no electricity. Note that the reason this doesn’t work in a high-humidity environment is that in humid air evaporation cannot take place as efficiently, if at all.

Get Wet

You can also use water to keep yourself wet and cool. Keep your hair wet or wet a bandana and wrap it around your neck or head. You can also mist yourself, both skin and clothing, with a water bottle. Back in the 30’s, people were even known to put their underwear in the freezer before wearing it!

Create Your Own Breeze

If you have a nice breeze coming in your window, but it isn’t as cool as you would like, and you have electricity, you can make that breeze cooler. No, I’m not talking about a fan. You can do the following. Place a saucer on a windowsill and place a piece of paper towel over it. Then place a bowl on top of the paper towel and put ice in it. As the breeze blows through the window, the ice will cool it. You just have to have enough ice to get you through the hot part of the day. An alternative to this is to place the ice in a small cooler (regular or Styrofoam) and position a fan so it blows over the ice, creating a cool breeze.

Cool Down Your Bedding

You can also make your bed cooler before you climb into it. You can dampen your sheet if you wish or you can stick your sheets in the freezer before going to bed. That way they will be very cool when you settle down, helping you stay comfortable while you fall asleep. Just be sure you use cotton sheets, as they are more breathable and cooler.

A few other tips include:

  • Cooling-down-living without ACTake cool showers
  • Stay as close to the ground/floor as possible
  • Sleep alone (sorry no cuddling)
  • Sleep in a hammock or cot
  • Sit and sleep in the cross-breeze between windows
  • Wear as little clothing as possible, keep what you do wear light in color and ensure the fabric is light and breathable
  • Keep your level of activity down in the middle of the day (think siesta!)
  • Drink a lot of water to keep from getting dehydrated and overheated, something that can happen before you know it in the heat

Linked from: http://www.askaprepper.com/living-without-air-conditioning/

94 Wilderness Survival Tricks

Part of the advice in these two videos is clearly questionable, but there are also some good points. Technically, in 25 minutes you can learn a lot of stuff just by watching the videos. Enjoy!

wilderness

Part of the advice in these two videos is clearly questionable, but there are also some good points. Technically, in 25 minutes you can learn a lot of stuff just by watching the videos. Enjoy!

  1. How to start a fire with your lighter when it runs out of gas (0:00)
  2. Use an aluminum foil as a dry platform to start the fire in wet weather (0:10)
  3. How to lower the light of your flashlight to operate in stealth mode (0:24)
  4. How to find north and south using your watch and the sun (0:32)
  5. How to easily find The North Star (0:52)
  6. Having a guitar case as a B.O.B. (1:20)
  7. Homemade ballistic protection – stops a 22 long rifle bullet (I wouldn’t count on this though) (1:36)
  8. Purify water with bleach (ratio in the video) (1:57)
  9. Use toothpaste to treat insect bites or stings; (2:03)
  10. If you put tent pegs laid across 2 logs you have a shift grill; (2:13)
  11. Make your own fishing kit using a can, a thorn and some string; (2:16)
  12. In wet conditions you can easily acquire tinder by shaving off strips of the inner bark of twigs and logs; (2:20)
  13. Placing large rocks around a camp fire will keep your warmer because they will absorb heat even though the fire dies; (2:27)
  14. Add charcoal to the water while boiling in order to remove the unpleasant smell; (2:39)
  15. The inner strands of a paracord helps you tie your equipment or make a shelter without using the whole paracord. (2:52)
  16. Duct tape a thermal blanket to the inside of your shelter to stay warm; (3:00)
  17. Put a glowstick in your B.O.B. in case you’ll want to attract attention. (3:10)
  18. If you carry a rain coat you can use it as a make shift shelter, you can also create a solar still to gather and purify sea water or you can use it to collect rain water; (3:23)
  19. Put some water purification tablets in your pack; (3:47)
  20. Use barbwire to make a fishing hook with paracord. (3:56)
  21. Don’t throw away animal entrails; use them as bait for fishing, traps and snares; (4:20)
  22. How to remove the stinging sensation after you accidentally touch a stinging nettle; (4:36)
  23. Don’t waste time on chopping logs, a swift kick is perfect; (4:50)
  24. Don’t forget your first aid kit and copies of important documents (birth certificate, medical records etc.); (5:02)
  25. Pack a small amount of money; (5:19)
  26. Make yourself a platform out of leaves and weeds to create yourself a soft raised bed (5:27)
  27. When you pack your bag, put the light equipment at the bottom and the heavy things on top; (5:57)
  28. Avoid sweating in cold weather; (6:10)
  29. Carry a pack of cigarettes even though you are not a smoker; (6:33)
  30. Keep insects away with smoke; (6:42)
  31. Don’t forget to pack some pairs of socks; (6:59)
  32. If you get a blister, take a duct tape and place it directly over the area; (7:10)
  33. Carry chewing gum with you, it has a mild laxative effect; (7:41)
  34. Don’t drink too much water on an empty stomach; (7:51)
  35. Know how to signal S.O.S; (8:18)
  36. Don’t set up camp near water; (8:43)
  37. The internationally recognized distress signal: raise both arms up into Y position and back down erratically; (9:00)
  38. 4 reasons to stop smoking during a survival situation; (9:49)
  39. Don’t drink water just because you see an animal doing it (10:18)
  40. If you come across coconuts, drink the milk only from green coconuts (10:28)
  41. Another reason to carry aluminum foil in your B.O.B.; (10:43)

  1. Cramp balls can be very useful when you need to start a fire; (0:00)
  2. How to make an easy signal torch; (0:45)
  3. Start a fire using bark; (0:59)
  4. Start a fire using a pencil sharper; (1:24)
  5. Start a fire using dandelion; (1:33)
  6. Start a fire using feathers; (1:43)
  7. Start a fire using pine resin; (1:50)
  8. If you melt some pine resin, you will get a glue which can be used in different situations; (1:56)
  9. How to make a signal fire; (2:35)
  10. Don’t just insulate your shelter, insulate yourself; (2:46)
  11. Use your plastic sandwich bag and a water purification tablet to purify water;  (2:54)
  12. Gather water from moss; (3:05)
  13. Gather dew water using your clothes; (3:18)
  14. Waterproofing your gear; (3:29)
  15. Make a water filter using charcoal, sand and grass; (3:44)
  16. You can use your aluminum foil to make a bowl to boil the water; (4:12)
  17. Used shotgun shells can be melted down and reshaped in order to build different tools; (4:26)
  18. Start a fire using pine cones; (4:43)
  19. Place an aluminum foil next to the fire to use as much of the heat as possible; (4:56)
  20. Reflecting the heat of the fire with natural materials; (5:12)
  21. Make a giant mirror using aluminum foil; (5:25)
  22. Put in your BOB a simple signal device; (5:38)
  23. Don’t rely on signal mirrors because they depend on the sunlight and can’t reflect sunlight in a northern direction, you will need two mirrors to do that; (5:54)
  24. If you are in the northern hemisphere, and the sun is in the highest point of the sky, then that’s south; (6:15)
  25. Use raw apples to heal a wound or ulceration; (6:27)
  26. The pine resin can also be used as an antiseptic liquid; (6:38)
  27. Use acorns, oak bark or blackberry as a remedy for diarrhea; (7:12)
  28. Use rose hips or dandelion for constipation problems; (7:45)
  29. Avoid being snow blinded using charcoal or bark; (8:03)
  30. Melt the snow before drinking it; (8:51)
  31. How to use dock leaves as a natural antihistamine; (9:01)
  32. Use willow tree inner-bark as aspirin; (9:19)
  33. Use cattails to start a fire; (9:41)
  34. Make a toothpaste using charcoal; (9:55)
  35. If the food is almost over, then the best thing you can do is to wait until night to eat because your body will burn a lot of calories during the night to keep you warm; (10:06)
  36. Use alcohol as an antiseptic; (10:17)
  37. If you are dehydrated, drinking your own urine is not the answer, it will dehydrate you even more; (10:30)
  38. Use paracord to make a glue; (10:47)
  39. Tampons can be used to stop bleeding or to start a fire; (11:01)
  40. How to harden your wooden tools; (11:15)
  41. Placing duct tape on the edge of a hot water container will prevent burning your lips; (11:24)
  42. Use aluminum foil to boil water faster; (11:32)
  43. Make a pillow using trash bags and leaves; (11:52)
  44. A scarf can help you do a lot of things; (12:12)
  45. A duct tape is very useful; (12:23)
  46. A reflecting emergency blanket can be used to cool down or to heat yourself; (12:34)
  47. Insulate your shelter with natural materials, such as pine branches; (12:51)
  48. Bark from a dead tree will help you build up your waterproof roof; (13:00)
  49. Use strings (guitar strings here) to catch animals; (13:29)
  50. Rat traps can be very useful; (13:32)
  51. A red sky can be a sign that a storm is close; (13:43)
  52. Pack up some toilet paper; (13:57)

How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know

Some accidental deaths are unavoidable—wrong place, wrong time. But most aren’t. Staying alive requires recognizing danger, feeling fear, and reacting. Here’s what you need to know to survive bear attacks, chainsaw accidents, and even vengeful vending machines.

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Accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. men 18 to 50 years old, accounting for 37,000 of the roughly 148,000 annual fatalities. Some instances of unintentional death, to use the official term, are unavoidable—wrong place, wrong time—but most aren’t. Staying alive requires recognizing danger, feeling fear, and reacting. “We interpret external cues through our subconscious fear centers very quickly,” says Harvard University’s David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It, Really? Trouble is, even smart, sober, experienced men can fail to register signals of an imminent threat. Here we present 20 easy-to-miss risks, and how to avoid or survive them.1.Outsmart Wildlife.

If you come face-to-face with a wild animal, the natural response is to bolt, but that can trigger the animal’s predatory instinct. On July 6, 2011, Brian Matayoshi, 57, and his wife, Marylyn, 58, were hiking in Yellowstone National Park when they came upon a grizzly bear and fled, screaming. Brian was bitten and clawed to death; Marylyn, who had stopped and crouched behind a tree, was approached by the bear but left unharmed.

STAT: Each year three to five people are killed in North America in wild animal attacks, primarily by sharks and bears.

DO: Avoid shark-infested waters, unless you are Andy Casagrande. As for bears, always carry repellent pepper spray when hiking; it can stop a charging bear from as much as 30 feet away. To reduce the risk of an attack, give bears a chance to get out of your way. “Try to stay in the open,” says Larry Aumiller, manager of Alaska’s McNeil River State Game Sanctuary. “If you have to move through thick brush, make noise by clapping and shouting.”

2. Don’t Mess with Vending Machines.

You skipped lunch. You need a snack. You insert money into a vending machine, press the buttons, and nothing comes out. You get mad.

STAT: Vending machines caused 37 deaths between 1978 and 1995, crushing customers who rocked and toppled the dispensers. No recent stats exist, but the machines are still a danger.

DON’T: Skip lunch.

3. Stay on the Dock.

On May 20, 2013, Kyle McGonigle was on a dock on Kentucky’s Rough River Lake. A dog swimming nearby yelped, and McGonigle, 36, saw that it was struggling to stay above water. He dove in to save the dog, but both he and the animal drowned, victims of electric-shock drowning (ESD). Cords plugged into an outlet on the dock had slipped into the water and electrified it.

STAT: The number of annual deaths from ESD in the U.S. are unknown, since they are counted among all drownings. But anecdotal evidence shows that ESD is widespread. ESD prevention groups have successfully urged some states to enact safety standards, including the installation of ground-fault circuit interrupters and a central shutoff for a dock’s electrical system.

DON’T: Swim within 100 yards of any wired dock. But do check whether docks follow safety standards.

4. Keep It on the Dirt.

On the morning of July 14, 2013, Taylor Fails, 20, turned left in his 2004 Yamaha Rhino ATV at a paved intersection near his Las Vegas–area home. The high-traction tire treads gripped the road and the vehicle flipped, ejecting Fails and a 22-year-old passenger. Fails died at the scene; the passenger sustained minor injuries.

STAT: One-third of fatal ATV accidents take place on paved roads; more than 300 people died in on-road ATV wrecks in 2011.

DO: Ride only off-road. Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the ATV Safety Institute, says, “Soft, knobby tires are designed for traction on uneven ground and will behave unpredictably on pavement.” In some cases, tires will grip enough to cause an ATV to flip, as in the recent Nevada incident. “If you must cross a paved road to continue on an approved trail, go straight across in first gear.”

5. Mow on the Level.

Whirring blades are the obvious hazard. But most lawnmower-related deaths result from riding mowers flipping over on a slope and crushing the drivers.

STAT: About 95 Americans are killed by riding mowers each year.

DO: Mow up and down a slope, not sideways along it. How steep is too steep? “If you can’t back up a slope, do not mow on it,” Carl Purvis of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises.

6. Beware Low-Head Dams.

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Found on small or moderate-size streams and rivers, low-head dams are used to regulate water flow or prevent invasive species from swimming upstream. But watch out. “They’re called drowning machines because they could not be designed better to drown people,” says Kevin Colburn of American Whitewater, a nonprofit whitewater preservation group. To a boater heading downstream, the dams look like a single line of flat reflective water. But water rushing over the dam creates a spinning cylinder of water that can trap a capsized boater.

STAT: Eight to 12 people a year die in low-head and other dam-related whitewater accidents.

DO: Curl up, drop to the bottom, and move downstream if caught in a hydraulic. “It’s a counterintuitive thing to do, but the only outflow is at the bottom,” Colburn says. Surface only after you’ve cleared the vortex near the dam.

7. Don’t Hold your Breath.

If you want to take a long swim underwater, the trick is to breathe in and out a few times and take a big gulp of air before you submerge. Right? Dead wrong. Hyperventilating not only doesn’t increase the oxygen in your blood, it also decreases the amount of CO2, the compound that informs the brain of the need to breathe. Without that natural signal, you may hold your breath until you pass out and drown. This is known as shallow-water blackout.

STAT: Drowning is the fifth largest cause of accidental death in the U.S., claiming about 10 lives a day. No one knows how many of these are due to shallow-water blackout, but its prevalence has led to the formation of advocacy groups, such as Shallow Water Blackout Prevention.

DON’T: Hyperventilate before swimming underwater, and don’t push yourself to stay submerged as long as possible.

8. Keep your Footing.

One mistake is responsible for about half of all ladder accidents: carrying something while climbing.

STAT: More than 700 people die annually in falls from ladders and scaffolding.

DO: Keep three points of contact while climbing; use work-belt hooks, a rope and pulley, or other means to get items aloft.

9. Ford Carefully.

A shallow stream can pack a surprising amount of force, making fording extremely dangerous. Once you’ve been knocked off your feet, you can get dragged down by the weight of your gear, strike rocks in the water, or succumb to hypothermia.

STAT: Water-related deaths outnumber all other fatalities in U.S. national parks; no specific statistics are available for accidents while fording streams.

DO: Cross at a straight, wide section of water. Toss a stick into the current; if it moves faster than a walking pace, don’t cross. Unhitch waist and sternum fasteners before crossing; a wet pack can pull you under.

10.Land Straight.

You have successfully negotiated free fall, deployed your canopy, and are about to touch down. Safe? Nope. Inexperienced solo jumpers trying to avoid an obstacle at the last minute, or experienced skydivers looking for a thrill, might sometimes pull a toggle and enter a low-hook turn. “If you make that turn too low, your parachute doesn’t have time to level out,” says Nancy Koreen of the United States Parachute Association. Instead, with your weight far out from the canopy, you’ll swing down like a wrecking ball.

STAT: Last year in the U.S., low-hook turns caused five of the 19 skydiving fatalities.

DO: Scope out your landing spot well in advance (from 100 to 1000 feet up, depending on your skill) so you have room to land without needing to swerve.

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11. Stay Warm and Dry.

Cold is a deceptive menace—most fatal hypothermia cases occur when it isn’t excessively cold, from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Wet clothes compound the effect of the temperature.

STAT: Hypothermia kills almost 1000 people a year in the U.S.

DO: Wear synthetic or wool clothing, not moisture-trapping cotton. If stranded, conserve heat by stuffing your clothes or shelter with dry leaves.

12. Let Leaning Trees Stand.

The motorized blade isn’t always the most dangerous thing about using a chain saw. Trees contain enormous amounts of energy that can release in ways both surprising and lethal. If a tree stands at an angle, it becomes top-heavy and transfers energy lower in the trunk. When sawed, it can shatter midcut and create a so-called barber chair. The fibers split vertically, and the rearward half pivots backward. “It’s very violent and it’s very quick,” says Mark Chisholm, chief executive of New Jersey Arborists.

STAT: In 2012, 32 people died felling trees.

DON’T: Saw into any tree or limb that’s under tension.

13. Dodge Line Drives.

America’s national pastime may seem a gentle pursuit, but it is not without its fatal hazards. The 2008 book Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities, 1862–2007 catalogs deaths that have occurred while people were playing, watching, or officiating at baseball games. Among the causes is commotio cordis, a concussion of the heart that leads to ventrical fibrillation when the chest is struck during a critical 10- to 30-millisecond moment between heartbeats. About 50 percent of all victims are athletes (and the vast majority of these are male) engaging in sports that also include ice hockey and lacrosse, the U.S. National Commotio Cordis Registry reports.

STAT: The registry recorded 224 fatal cases from 1996 to 2010. Commotio cordis is the No. 1 killer in U.S. youth baseball, causing two to three deaths a year.

DON’T: Take a shot to the chest. Even evasive action and protective gear are not significant deterrents. Of note: Survival rates rose to 35 percent between 2000 and 2010, up from 15 percent in the previous decade, due mainly to the increased presence of defibrillators at sporting events.

14. Climb with Care.

Accidental shootings are an obvious hazard of hunting, but guess what’s just as bad: trees. “A tree stand hung 20 feet in the air should be treated like a loaded gun, because it is every bit as dangerous,” says Marilyn Bentz, executive director of the National Bow hunter Educational Foundation. Most tree-stand accidents occur while a hunter is climbing, she says.

STAT: About 100 hunters a year die falling from trees in the U.S. and Canada, a number “equal to or exceeding firearm- related hunting deaths,” Bentz says.

DO: Use a safety harness tethered to the tree when climbing, instead of relying on wooden boards nailed to the tree, which can give way suddenly.

15. Avoid Cliffing Out.

Hikers out for a scramble may end up on an uncomfortably steep patch and, finding it easier to climb up than down, keep ascending until they “cliff out,” unable to go either forward or back. Spending a night freezing on a rock face waiting to be rescued is no fun, but the alternative is worse.

STAT: Falls are one of the top three causes of death in the wilderness, along with cardiac arrest and drowning. Cliffed-out hikers account for 11 percent of all search-and-rescue calls in Yosemite National Park.

DON’T: Take a shortcut you can’t see the length of. If you realize you’ve lost your way, either backtrack or call for help. Gadgets such as DeLorme’s inReach SE provide satellite communication to send a distress call from anywhere on the planet.

16. Don’t Drink Too Much.

We all know that dehydration can be dangerous, leading to dizziness, seizures, and death, but drinking too much water can be just as bad. In 2002, 28-year-old runner Cynthia Lucero collapsed midway through the Boston Marathon. Rushed to a hospital, she fell into a coma and died. In the aftermath it emerged that she had drunk large amounts along the run. The excess liquid in her system induced a syndrome called exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH), in which an imbalance in the body’s sodium levels creates a dangerous swelling of the brain.

STAT: Up to one-third of endurance athletes who collapse during events suffer from EAH. Between 1989 and 1996, when the U.S. Army mandated heavy fluid intake during exercise in high heat, EAH caused at least six deaths.

DON’T: Drink more than 1.5 quarts per hour during sustained, intense exercise. But do consume plenty of salt along with your fluids.

17. Use Generators Safely.

After Hurricane Sandy, many homeowners used portable generators to replace lost power, leaving the machines running overnight and allowing odorless carbon monoxide to waft inside. The gas induces dizziness, headaches, and nausea in people who are awake, but “when people go to sleep with a generator running, there’s no chance for them to realize that something’s wrong,” says Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

STAT: Carbon monoxide from consumer products, including portable generators, kills nearly 200 a year. Of the Sandy-related deaths, 12 were due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

DO: Keep generators more than 20 feet from a house.

18. Don’t Slip–Slide Away.

Hikers on a glacier or in areas where patches of snow remain above the tree line may be tempted to speed downhill by sliding, or glissading. Bad idea: A gentle glide can easily lead to an unstoppable plummet. In 2005 climber Patrick Wang, 27, died on California’s Mount Whitney while glissading off the summit; he slid 300 feet before falling off a 1000-foot cliff.

STAT: One or two people die each year while glissading.

DON’T: Glissade, period. But if you ever do it, you should be an expert mountaineer with well-practiced self-arrest techniques. Glissaders should always remove their crampons and know their line of descent.

19. Go with the Flow.

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The tourist season got off to a grisly start this year in Gulf Shores, Ala. During a two-day period in early June, four men drowned after being caught in rip currents. The unusually strong currents were invisible, not even roiling the surface. Rip currents occur when water rushing back from the shoreline is channeled through a narrow gap between two sand bars, accelerating the outward flow.

STAT: More than 100 Americans drown in rip currents each year.

DO: Allow the current to carry you out beyond the riptide’s flow, then swim laterally until you reach a position where you can turn and stroke safely to shore.

20. Beat the Heat.

A rock formation in Utah called The Wave is remote and beautiful, but also arid and sweltering. This past July a couple hiking the area were found dead after the afternoon heat overwhelmed them. Scarcely three weeks later, a 27-year-old woman collapsed while hiking The Wave with her husband and died before he could get help.

STAT: An average of 675 people die each year in the U.S. from heat-related complications.

DO: Carry lots of fluids, hike in the morning, and let people know where you’re going when trekking in the desert.