People Share Surprisingly Little-Known Survival Facts Everyone Should Know


If you're ever in an accident, when its feels like you're trapped with no way out, when your life is literally on the line, you won't be thinking of your material things at home or your job or how you didn't stick to that diet. No, there will only be one thing going through your mind:

Knowing the best way to stay alive.

Reddit user, u/GlumExcitement9, wanted to know exactly that when they asked:

People of Reddit, what is a surprisingly unknown survival fact that everyone should know?

Dig In The Cold


If you're trapped in an extremely cold environment, a rudimentary igloo will keep you relatively warm if you're smart about it. They keep heat in fairly well. However always be sure to mark where you are with something that won't get covered in snow so if rescue comes they don't miss you in the snow.


You don't need to actually build an igloo (that's a lot of work). In Norway we learn rhat if you get caught out in a blizzard, dig a cave in the snow and seal it with a block of snow as best you can.


Keep It In

During the winter, it is WAY better to be slightly cold than it is to sweat. If you start to sweat, you can go hypothermic way faster.


Reminds me of a quote from Bear Grylls. "I need to work quickly before hypothermia sets in. But not too quickly, because then I'll start to sweat, the sweat will freeze, and then hypothermia sets in."


Weave It Back And Forth

The ability to weave. Looked at as more of a craft than a survival skill. But my grandma taught me that if you can weave you can make clothing, shoes, traps, shelter, etc. with nothing more than the vegatation on hand.

This was hammered home later when watching that show with naked survival people. The guy harassed the girl because she spent most of the first 2 days weaving but in the end he had to be taken out because he was sick yet there she was having crab for dinner.


More Than Just A Watch

If you have a watch. (with hands and dial, not digital display) you can use it as a compass. Hold the watch flat, and point the hour hand at the sun. Half way between the hour hand and 12 o'clock points south. You use the shorter gap to 12. So if the hour hand is a 4, 2 would be south. If the hour hand is at 8, 10 would be south. There's a few problems such as night time, and when the sun is directly over head... But it helps in a pinch.


Keep These In Mind, No Matter Where You Live

Two come to mind:

Hypothermia can strike extremely quickly even when temps are well above freezing. In fact, it's said that more people die of hypothermia in summer than in winter. I've experienced it several times - wind and a sudden cold rain are the common denominator.Here's a great first-hand story of a guy who experienced hypothermia on a 100 degree day in Virginia. So even in the summer, be very careful about hypothermia, particularly if you're going into higher elevations.

The vast majority of people I see on day-hiking trails seem to be completely unprepared for any change in weather - they're worried about bears, but not about rain. Totally backwards. Here in North America, hypothermia is almost always the greatest danger when you're doing stuff in the outdoors. When I'm doing a multiday backpack or canoe/kayak trip, I always pack a set of dry, non-cotton thermal underwear and wool socks in a small dry sack, not to be touched unless everything else is soaked and I'm shivering. To date, that's happened twice, and I've been extremely grateful to have it.

Short hikes are, in my experience, the most dangerous. This is because we tend to not take them as seriously. A person going on a two-hour hike will likely not pack much, may not take a map or even really consult a map, may not tell anyone where they're going, etc. They may think that a litre of water and their cell phone is basically all that they need.

All it takes for disaster to strike is getting off the trail and getting turned around and/or for an ankle or leg to get broken. Throw in dampness and a miserable night of shivering- hypothermia can strike at temps well above freezing, especially if you're wet - and suddenly that person is substantially weakened, less than 24 hours after setting out.

Here in the PNW, it happens all of the time: somebody will venture off of a well-established day-hiking trail, not respecting the fact that it's a rugged semi-wilderness all around them, and they'll get turned around and suddenly find that their phone lost coverage in all of those mountains. They'll start wandering. They'll do something stupid like "follow the river to civilization" (which in the mountains is generally horrible advice). And...cue the rescue team.

I'd consider myself a veteran hiker/backpacker, but I once got turned around on a crazy simple day hike. Ended up not getting back to my car until well after dark. After that experience, I made a simple survival kit in a Nalgene bottle - essentially, the bare minimum that I'd need to reliably survive a few days on my own - and I always throw it in my backpack on even the shortest trails.


Douglas Adams Would Be Proud


A towel is the most useful thing to have.

You can dry yourself if you are wet. But it is also a blanket if you are cold, can give shade if it is warm or you can use it to wipe your sweat.

It's a hat, a cushion, a bag,...


Don't Climb Up. Roll Over.

Most subway platforms have a space for a person to crawl under in case they fall on the subways tracks. So if you fall off the edge of the platform and onto the tracks. Instead of trying to climb back up, if you see a train coming there's a crawl area underneath. It might be tight, and you'll certainly get dirty, but better than dying


Drink The Plant Water

You can squeeze relatively safe water out of moss.

Obviously you should still boil it and and it's going to have some dirt but it way better than drinking out of a steam or puddle.


They Pop Off For A Reason

You can remove the top of your car seats to break the windows of your car in case you can't open the doors. Specially useful if you drive into a lake or something like that.


It's important to note that you don't just swing the headrest at the window, it'll just bounce off. You have to wedge the metal down where the glass meets the door and pry it. The pressure will shatter the glass, then you can use the headrest or something else in the car to clear the glass without cutting your hands up.


Not all are removable or sturdy enough for this, but it's an option of last resort.

Just get a window hammer. They're dirt cheap and often come as part of a tool you wanted anyways. In my case, it's also a seatbelt cutter, pocketknife, and magnesium strip.


Just Remember "The Rule of 3's"


Exposure and dehydration will f-ck you up much faster than hunger.

Bring spare socks, your feet will rot if you don't


Rule of 3's

3 minutes without air - ya dead

3 hours exposed to extreme weather - ya dead

3 days without water - ya dead

3 weeks without food - ya dead


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