Survival Tip of the Day

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Jesse17, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    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.
     
  2. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

    2,310
    0
    0
    Nice topic Jesse, I've heard of that technique. Don't know if it works though, never tried it myself.
     

  3. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

    6,262
    5
    0
    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.
     
  4. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

    3,287
    0
    0
    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.
     
  5. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    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.
     
  6. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    13,934
    3
    0
    I always used a wine cork or something like that.
     
  7. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    10,888
    1
    0
    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. :D

    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.
     
  8. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    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):eek:

    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.
     
  9. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    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)

    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.:)

    Exactly the type of reply I was looking for...

    But I'm lost in the woods at night, and it's a new moon.:p
     
  10. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    10,888
    1
    0
    Jesse, regarding the perpetual motion deal, I did say that it was good for you and yours. I even followed it with a :D

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

    skullcrusher New Member

    10,888
    1
    0
    If you are lost at night, you should have already set camp. New moon means good fire and good sleep if camp has been made. In the morn, you will see the sun rise, kind of a dead giveaway of North. :cool:
     
  12. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    +1 on time spent between father and son.

    BTW, I took no offense from your post. I was just acknowlegeing the fact that we figured out that it wouldn't work/wouldn't count. Yet trying was the best part of my childhood.

    In a way, starting this thread was kind of my tribute to him, for something he taught me.

    PS. I'll meet your :D and raise you 2 :). LOL.
     
  13. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    Ok, fine I give up. There's no use for this make-shift compass.

    But someday when you're on Jeopardy and Alex says..."You float a needle on a piece of TP in a cup of water." well, now you can say..."How do you make a useless compass?" :D

    Really, I just thought of this thread when I was out Geo caching today, and I hope it will continue for a while. I love reading little tips like this. You never know when you might need some little bit of info you remember from a thread like this.

    Let's keep it going.:)
     
  14. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    10,888
    1
    0
    Actually, just knowing how to do it is very useful and a great tool to teach someone!

    Understanding the need to understand directional compass points is one of those things that most people think they don't need to know until it is time to know. :)

    My pop and I built an electromagnet that could pick up a school desk, no jive, no bull!!! :cool:
     
  15. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

    2,310
    0
    0
    Or you could just navigate using these simple rules: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you want to travel west, just go away from the sun in the morning and towards it in the afternoon.

    Also, moss only grows on the northside of trees.
     
  16. mpd8488

    mpd8488 New Member

    245
    0
    0
    Be careful with relying on moss on trees. Moss can grow on all sides of a tree, but the key is that there will typically be more moss on the north side because it receives the least sunlight. Using moss can only give you a general sense of direction and may in fact send you in the wrong direction depending on where shadows from the landscape fall.
     
  17. orangello

    orangello New Member

    19,156
    0
    0
    Agreed! In hot & humid MS, it often grows all the way around the base of a tree.

    Regarding the tip about using your hand to measure remaining daylight in hours, the version i heard indicated that each finger marked 20 minutes. That is pretty close, IMO.
     
  18. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,926
    710
    113
    Every time I try the wine cork,I can't see the needle any more.:D
    Test taste, when-ever in a suvival mode,many things can be eaten to stay alive. If unsure,test taste,wait an hour or two,if no ill effects,it's edible.
    Avoid mushrooms,there is no nutritional value,not worth the risk.
     
  19. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,926
    710
    113
    Unfortunately,moss does not just grow on the north side of things,it will grow in any low light area.
     
  20. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,344
    222
    63
    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.