These 13 Survival Tips Could Be the Difference Between Life and Death

You may never need to know how to find food, build a shelter, create clean water, or complete any other survival tasks to save your own life…don’t you think it’s better to have an idea how to do it, just in case?

I mean, when it comes to the whole be prepared thing, I think the Boy Scouts are right, and you never know if and when tips like these 13 will come in handy.

13. Always play it safe.

Always be wary of children that have “lost their parents” as it’s a common ruse for abduction, especially if the child tries to lead you somewhere.

What you should do in those situations is keep the child with you and contact emergency services.

It may be in your instincts to follow a lost child to where they claim they last saw their parents but it isn’t worth the risk.

Let the authorities take care of it, if the child is lost, you’ll have helped them, if they aren’t, you’ve dodged a bullet. Always play it safe in situations like that.

12. Your vanity could save you.

A mirror is the best way to signal for help. You can use the reflection of the sun directed at a boat or plane like you sibling would to annoy you

11. Snow can keep you warm (ish).

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.

10. Lieutenant Dan tried to tell y’all!

The most important thing I’ve been taught to take care of is my feet. He mentioned how if you’re gonna wash one thing that it should be your feet as you take them for granted.

Think of how difficult it is to get out of a survival situation where you have trench foot.

9. Well I’m always going to do this now.

When I was a producer on The Amazing Race, our security team always briefed us that the safest floors, in general, in a hotel were 4 thru 7.

Above the 4th floor is the safest zone from any kind of bomb or explosive that might be driven or tossed into a building and below the 7th floor gives you the best chance of survival from a fire.

I got so many other great travel tips from them, but that one has always stood out and to this day, I request a room between those floors.

8. A handy list.

Water filters are really easy to make. One layer of gravel and a layer of sand split half and half on your container will pull most stuff out. Just boil the water before drinking.

Glasses lenses can be used to start a fire (think magnifying glass), much easier than the two sticks method.

It’s better to run a little colder when outside in winter then to sweat. If you sweat and you have no shelter you die. Being colder just burns more calories (to a degree) (applies at any temperature below +10C generally)

Irrigation canals and culverts make mediocre shelter from tornadoes, but better than nothing. Lay flat and point your feet in the direction of the wind if in an open ditch. (Same advice applies for explosions)

Lightning will strike the same place twice

Coyotes are not friendly nor wiley

If lost in the wilderness order of survival is Shelter->fire->water->security->food. Half of surviving is staying positive.

Landlines will work if the power is out.

7. Do whatever it takes.

When defending yourself, there is no need to “fight fair.”

6. I thought everyone knew this.

If you are stabbed with something and that object is still stuck in you – DON’T FUCKING PULL IT OUT.

5. Sad how relevant this advice has become.

If you hear of a mass shooting currently taking place in a location where a loved one is (like their workplace/school/church/the mall they said they were visiting/etc.), you may feel very, very tempted to call them.


If they’re alive, they’re hiding and trying to stay invisible.

If their phone rings or even vibrates, it will draw attention to them, quite possibly that of the shooter(s), and give away their hiding space. Don’t try to contact them at all until you are certain that the perpetrator(s) have been stopped.

4. Even the idea of the under water thing gives me the willies.

If you are disorientated under water hold your hand over your mouth and exhale lightly, bubbles go up.

If you are disorientated on land you can let some spit dribble out, spit goes down.

3. Don’t let them put you in the car.

If anyone ever is trying to get you to a second location via abduction, fight like hell and make a massive scene. Even if you are killed on the spot that’s better than whatever they’ve got in store for you.

2. The little things can make a big difference.

I’m a little late to this thread, but I’ve hiked and backpacked thousands of miles over the years, and the simplest thing that could make or break your survival in many outdoor situations (especially a lost in the wilderness situation) is:

A bandaid.

Always bring a bandaid or moleskin hiking. Not for cuts, per se. But for blisters. If you start to feel irritation when walking long distances, you have to address the spot quickly.

A blister can absolutely debilitate even the most in-shape, athletic people. It’s what every seasoned hiker learned the hard way at some point.

1. In a pinch.

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.

Definitely locking those away in my brain (and updating my emergency kit!).

Is there anything you would add to this list? If so, leave it in the comments!