Survival Tip of the Day


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Old 04-08-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default Survival Tip of the Day

OK, here's the rules. We take turns posting the survival tip of the day. Once one tip has been posted for that day, no other tips are allowed, but comments and variations are.

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.



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Old 04-08-2009, 02:36 AM   #2
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Nice topic Jesse, I've heard of that technique. Don't know if it works though, never tried it myself.



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Old 04-08-2009, 02:43 AM   #3
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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.

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:48 AM   #4
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Don't forget you need to magnetize the needle first. This can be done by rubbing it in one direction with silk. I suggest holding the eye of the needle and rubbing towards the point (kind of like making a spear point) so you don't get stuck. And another trick to get the needle to float is rub it on the side of your nose and coat it with oil.

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Old 04-08-2009, 03:21 AM   #5
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It works, this isn't something I just heard of.

My dad (born in '26 in Tenn. and had 3rd grade education before being forced to go to work) and I (when I was growing up) were alway into this kind of science project. We had a particular interest in magnetism, and were always tying to invent perpetual motion.

This is something he taught me, and we tried it (with success) several times. We never magnetized the needle first, and IIRC it always pointed in the same direction.

Dang it, now I'm going to have to try it again, and compare it to the compass on my GPS.

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Old 04-08-2009, 03:22 AM   #6
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I always used a wine cork or something like that.

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Old 04-08-2009, 03:36 AM   #7
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We had a particular interest in magnetism, and were always tying to invent perpetual motion.
I don't know if this is a rhetorical statement, Jesse or just an after thought. While the idea of perpetual motion has been around for centuries, it has been commonly known that exterior forces have prevented this ideal for centuries as well. Still, kinda fun project for father and son. Good for you and yours.

Did I read the rules right, or is this 1 post a day kind of thread?

Seems to me, having spent many hours in the woods that that makeshift compass is not needed at all. Make your own sun dial of sorts with a stick and markers. Once the sun makes shadows the other way, you have a good North position in the northern hemisphere. Amsel would have to view it the other way.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Don't forget you need to magnetize the needle first. This can be done by rubbing it in one direction with silk. I suggest holding the eye of the needle and rubbing toward the point (kind of like making a spear point) so you don't get stuck. And another trick to get the needle to float is rub it on the side of your nose and coat it with oil.
Ok, you're absolutely right. I just tried it again (haven't done it in years) and the needle did float, but just kind of tooled around in the bowl in any old direction. In-fact, when it did stop moving it was pointed almost exactly east and west.

So, I set the needle on top of a 9volt battery long enough for it to start to glow (to magnetize it) and tried it again (after burning myself a couple times trying to pick up the needle)

This time, as soon as the paper towel sank, it spun clockwise quite quickly, then stopped and turned back counter-clockwise. It came to rest exactly pointing to magnetic north.

So, in conclution...yes you do need to magnetize the needle first.

I've heard you can do this just by banging the living heck out of a piece of metal with a hammer (or rock) but have never tried it.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by skullcrusher View Post
I don't know if this is a rhetorical statement, Jesse or just an after thought. While the idea of perpetual motion has been around for centuries, it has been commonly known that exterior forces have prevented this ideal for centuries as well. Still, kinda fun project for father and son. Good for you and yours.
While my dad and I knew it was deemed 'imposable' we took that as 'no one has made it work yet'

One day I came home from school (sometime in JR. High) and told him that I learned that magnets didn't count because the energy used to make the magnet is technically powering the device, and thus any perpetual motion machine using magnets as the driving source wouldn't count as perpetual motion.

I don't remember us trying any more experiments after that, and I'm sorry I ever told him about what I learned in school. My MOST favorite memories of him was the two of us trying to invent something.

Que sera, sera. (I guess)

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Did I read the rules right, or is this 1 post a day kind of thread?
I originally meant it as a 'One Survival Tip per day' plus all the comments you want type of thread, but that was only to create some competition so the thread stayed alive.

But, I don't really care if anyone posts a tip on the same day as anyone else.

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Seems to me, having spent many hours in the woods that that makeshift compass is not needed at all. Make your own sun dial of sorts with a stick and markers. Once the sun makes shadows the other way, you have a good North position in the northern hemisphere. Amsel would have to view it the other way.
Exactly the type of reply I was looking for...

But I'm lost in the woods at night, and it's a new moon.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:35 AM   #10
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Jesse, regarding the perpetual motion deal, I did say that it was good for you and yours. I even followed it with a

The time spent with your dad and the time spent with a son are precious. This goes for everyone, lefty or righty.



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