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Old 04-10-2009, 05:55 AM   #1
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Ok, here's the rules...
Post your best survival tips in this thread. When we get to 100 tips, we'll vote on the best one, and I'll pay that poster's membership for their next year. Also welcomed here are comments about variations on these tips, or comments debunking them. Let's have fun with this!

I'll go first...
The Floating Needle/Compass...
Take a cup of water, drop a piece of bathroom tissue or other really absorbent material on the surface.

Before it gets waterlogged and sinks, drop a sewing needle (or other small piece of ferrous metal) on the piece of paper.

When the paper sinks (you may need to coach it to sink with a couple of twigs) surface tension of the water will allow the needle to float (as long as you don't get ANY water on top of the needle).

Free from friction, the needle will align it self in the N and S magnetic direction. The needle doesn't care which way it faces, so you have a 50/50 chance of guessing which way is North and which way is South, but it will give you a good reference point.

EDIT: As pointed out by dnthmn2004, you have to find a way to magnetize the needle first. He suggested rubbing the needle in one direction with a piece of silk. I laid the needle across a 9 volt battery until it started to glow.

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Old 04-10-2009, 05:56 AM   #2
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How to find out how many hours of sunlight are left.

1.Hold your hand horizontally so that your arm is parallel with the ground.

2.Tuck in your thumb ,hold your hand at the bottom of the sun.

3.Each hand width is APPROXIMATELY 1 hour of sunlight.
Ok, we're up to 2 entries! (This message moved from the original thread.)
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:58 AM   #3
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Hypothermia (low body temperature has killed more people than starvation or thirst. It happens when your body loses heat faster than it can make it. Shivering is an uncontrolled reflex response to lowered temperatures- your body is attempting to make additional heat. Hypothermia can develop at temperatures far above freezing, and is worsened by things that draw heat from the body- moisture and wind being very high on the list.

One of the first steps should be to get out of the wind. Anything that can block air flow- a large rock, a tree trunk, etc. Evergreen branches can make an effective windscreen. Be careful about removing wet clothing unless you have dry clothing to replace it- even wet, it can help retain some heat if you can limit wind caused evaporation. Wool is one of the few fabrics that will retain heat well even when wet.

The part of your body most vulnerable to heat loss is your head. If your feet are cold, it may be due to your head- cover your head with anything to limit heat loss- hood, hat, bandanna, plastic, or any natural material you can find. You may not be stylish, but you'll live that down later.
Ok. We're up to 3 entries. (This message moved from the original thread.)
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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Cary a candle with you when in the back country. Even if you have matches that will light while wet, they will only burn for a VERY short time.

If you are in a wet environment, a match (or 10) won't burn long enough to dry out your kindling. However, even a small birthday candle will burn for 20 min. or so. That's enough time and heat to dry out a pile of kindling, and ignite it, which will in turn dry and ignite your firewood.
OK. We're up to 4 entries. (This message moved from the original thread.)
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:24 AM   #5
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I still say don't eat yellow snow

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Old 04-10-2009, 06:52 AM   #6
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I still say don't eat yellow snow
Good advise, but not always true. Didn't you see that Super Bowl commercial for for Miller (I think) where the two guys are walking through a snow covered park. They suddenly dive to the ground and start eating yellow snow. Then the camera pans up and you see that they are following a guy carrying a leaking keg of beer?

PS. Your tip still doesn't count.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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I know in my part of the county the bottom point on the crescent moon always points south. I think this holds true for all of North America. The only problem is if you get lost, the night has to be clear and the moon has to be in this phase.

This is why I always carry two compasses when traveling in the wilderness. I carry two compasses to reassure myself self that the first compass is correct and I am wrong. More than once I thought I knew better than my compass.

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Old 04-10-2009, 08:45 PM   #8
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I stole this one from survivor man but I thought it was pretty ingenious. First you fill a large container with salt water or green vegetation. Then you place a cup or whatever you have on hand in the center. Next you cover with plastic and place a rock or weight over the cup. As the condensation collects on the plastic gravity pulls it down the plastic to drip into the cup. Granted I don't think you are going to much water from this and it would take a while to work, but a pretty cool idea anyway.
Clay

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Old 04-10-2009, 10:06 PM   #9
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I know in my part of the county the bottom point on the crescent moon always points south. I think this holds true for all of North America. The only problem is if you get lost, the night has to be clear and the moon has to be in this phase.

This is why I always carry two compasses when traveling in the wilderness. I carry two compasses to reassure myself self that the first compass is correct and I am wrong. More than once I thought I knew better than my compass.
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I stole this one from survivor man but I thought it was pretty ingenious. First you fill a large container with salt water or green vegetation. Then you place a cup or whatever you have on hand in the center. Next you cover with plastic and place a rock or weight over the cup. As the condensation collects on the plastic gravity pulls it down the plastic to drip into the cup. Granted I don't think you are going to much water from this and it would take a while to work, but a pretty cool idea anyway.
Clay
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:39 AM   #10
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Good advise, but not always true. Didn't you see that Super Bowl commercial for for Miller (I think) where the two guys are walking through a snow covered park. They suddenly dive to the ground and start eating yellow snow. Then the camera pans up and you see that they are following a guy carrying a leaking keg of beer?

PS. Your tip still doesn't count.
mmmm....beer flavored snow cone.....that changes everything
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