I have just spent exactly four hours on the side of the highway with my car broken down and I can tell you that it was a life lesson like I had never received. I was going to write everything in a book but I finally decided to stop when I saw that the title I had chosen “a long road to freedom” had already been taken by a certain Nelson Mandela. Instead I’m going to spin you right here the few survival techniques that I tested during my ordeal because it’s really big bullshit and I prefer to know you safe rather than reproduce them.
1. Ration your water
Wanting to ration your water is not necessarily a huge bullshit, but in reality it is better to try to limit the things that can dehydrate rather than stop drinking. Avoid sweating, staying in the sun, eating because digestion requires energy, doing push-ups, throwing water on the ground for fun or that kind of stuff. One should drink when one is thirsty, even when resources are scarce.
2. Suck out venom from a snakebite
You see this scene in a lot of movies, and I even saw a movie once where a guy was sucking the venom right out of the snake, but that’s bullshit. Unsurprisingly, the best thing to do is to take the person to the emergency room, you could already infect yourself or the other person if you put your mouth on their wound, but you could also ingest venom yourself. Already basic avoid snakes, what a shitty idea too.
3. You can drink water from a cactus to survive.
I’m not going to lie to you, when my parents lost me in the great Cora of the Cormontreuil area at the age of eight there weren’t really any cactus in the area, so it’s a rare thing. But in addition the water present in the cacti is composed of stuff that can be deadly like alkaloid acids. On the other hand, the fruit inside is generally edible and the cactus water that can be consumed comes from it, not from the plant itself.
4. If you are in an elevator in free fall you have to jump right when it hits the ground
Already explain to me when the thing is entirely in metal how you manage to know when it will touch the ground? You can’t, unless you’re a superhero but then what the hell are you doing in an elevator? Obviously one of the only ways to get out of it properly is to lie down on the ground by distributing your weight, but it’s not 100%. Basically if this happens to you, your survival will mainly depend on the height and speed of the fall. But it’s badly done.
5. If you are stabbed, you have to pull the blade straight out
In concrete terms, you have as many chances of injuring yourself or of touching vital organs when the blade is taken out as when it is entered. When the blade is inside it puts pressure on the wound, which can prevent excessive bleeding that could happen if you remove it. Let the rescuers do their thing, and if the rescuers are not there, get your first aid certificate before self-medicating.
6. If an animal eats something we can eat it too
It goes without saying that we would be tempted to eat the same thing as wild animals that we meet, thinking that it must be good for us, but no, some birds and other animals can eat berries that would make us die. In the same way we can eat things that make certain animals die, like chocolate for dogs. Wouldn’t you like to see a dog die? No, well, don’t eat anything either.
7. Moss grows on the part of the tree that faces north
If you find yourself one day lost in the forest with a former scout who tells you this bullshit, slap him for me. Then approach the tree, take a branch and hit it again saying “you see Pierric, the moss is everywhere”. Moss can grow on any part of a trunk, it depends mainly on the climate and various parameters, not necessarily on the inclination of the tree in relation to the sun.
8. You have to rub or put someone frozen in hot water.
If you want to warm someone who’s frozen by rubbing them or immersing them in a hot bath, you’re potentially making things worse. The friction on the frozen skin could create lesions, when the difference in temperature with that of hot water could cause a thermal shock. It is better to cover the person with blankets and tell him a comforting story. Did you know that when you’re going to die of hypothermia you’ll be hot? This is called counter-intuitive information and there are plenty more to know.
9. Hitting a shark in the nose will repel it
Have you ever tried to put a punch in the water? Do you really think you have power doing this? No, the water slows your stroke. So hitting a shark in the “nose” has very little chance of succeeding and hurting it, it is better to protect your face and push the animal away with an object that comes to hand, or another swimmer if you really have no race. And then try to run away instead of sitting idly by.
10. Use stones that come from a river to make a fire
If you ever want to make the hearth for a campfire with stones, avoid taking any that come from the edge of a river or that are soaked. You could tell yourself that this would prevent the fire from “moving” out of the hearth, but it is above all that these are full of water, when they heat up they risk exploding like small rock grenades, which which can quickly ruin a great barbecue moment.
11. If a snowstorm arrives you have to leave your car to find shelter
If you are driving and are caught in a snowstorm do not leave your car, you are in an isolated shelter and the emergency services will more easily see your car on a road than your head in the forest. Turn off your engine and wait for it to pass. When it’s calmed down, if you haven’t been rescued, try to clear the snow from the vehicle and try to start again in small jerks.
12. The first thing to do if you get lost in the wild is to find something to eat.
This is false, for the simple and good reason that you can survive several weeks without eating. On the other hand, drinking and finding shelter should be your priorities. The goal is also to join the rescue or to manage to get out of it, of course. If people know that you are in the forest, for example, it is better to stay in the same place until they report your disappearance, it will help the emergency services to find you rather than running around without being found. And if you are in the forest you should read the tips to not be confused with game, hunters do not always see very well.