Monday, September 21, 2015

Pin of the Month: 19 Camping Hacks that Could Save Your Life in an Emergency

This is a cool conglomeration of ideas that was put together by Alison Caporimo over at Buzzfeed.com. As someone who studies a good deal of survival ideas, I am always looking to learn more and this article did not disappoint. Let's take a look at some of Alison's ideas:

  1. Use duct tape to close a wound - I have heard this before and I agree the idea is sound but darn that has to hurt when it comes time to take it off. Alternately, you can also use super glue as long as the wound is not too big.
  2. Turn your watch into a compass. You hold the watch with 12 on the left and the hour hand pointing at the sun. Halfway between the hour and and 12 is south. Keep in mind any daylight savings adjustments. I also like the method James Hart taught me on a recent podcast: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So does the moon. If you draw a line from the top of the white part of the moon to the bottom of the white part of the moon you will know north and south. The white part of the moon is always to the west so that will tell you which way east and west.
  3. Wear pantyhose to prevent hypothermia - male or female this is true. The military guys also wear pantyhose to prevent chaffing on long hikes.  
  4. Use a t-shirt to absorb dew and you have clean drinking water. I somewhat disagree here. What if the shirt is dirty or it was on a plant that is not edible? I would still boil the water three times or use my Lifestraw to drink it but it is a good collection method.  
  5. Use a bra as a debris mask. Great idea but it is really cheap to buy a box of debris masks. I think I would rather wear one of those than my bra. 
  6. Gallon jug light: use a headlamp wrapped backwards around a gallon jug filled with water and it creates a light. Such a cool idea and it really does work. I have also seen people use the jug and their cell phone to amplify the sound. 
  7. Tin Foil turns AAA batteries into AA (this one is really cool). If you pack the extra space between the batteries and connectors with tinfoil the item will still run even with the wrong size batteries! I am wondering how much shorter the life of the batteries will be but it's still a good idea and would work in a pinch. 
  8. Eat dandelion and yellow wood sorrel (a type of clover) without dying. These are both good plants to know. I would advice dandelion and cattail shoots. Both of these plants are highly identifiable and good for you. 
  9. Bike lights as nightlights. This is a good idea but one I would not be able to apply because we don't have bike lights. Living here in the mountains you need a goat not a bike.  
  10. Make lint and petroleum jelly fire starters. This is a survival basic. You can also use a cotton ball with petroleum jelly and wrap it in tinfoil for an on the go fire starter. 
  11. Toilet paper emergency splint. If you go to the buzzfeed article you will see this is basically a duct tape splint. The toilet paper is just padding to make sure the duct tape doesn't rip the guys arm off when the tape is removed. Many things can be used as a splint so just get creative and use your resources. 
  12. Cook over a candle. Great idea and it really works for simple meals. In my book Day After Disaster, Erika does this at the start because she does not have another fuel source. 
  13. Pack toothbrush and toothpaste all-in-one. Basically you put your toothpaste on your brush and wrap it in cellophane. This is a good idea but not really practical for survival. Just make sure you have a toothbrush in your go bag and look into how to make a natural paste. They key is the brush though, the paste is just a bonus. 
  14. Don't be afraid to eat cheese. It's true that cheese is going to be one of your longer lasting dairy products if you lost power and the wax coated cheese would last the longest without refrigeration. The problem is I can't stand the flavor of it but I guess necessity would rule the day at that point. 
  15. Put ice in bowls if you lose power to make water. I recommend doing this right away if you have a bag of ice as opposed to a tray. You don't want to waste any water that could be a game changer in the long run. 
  16. Use a t-shirt and Crisco for an everlasting candle. I have seen this idea tossed around and it is a good one. You don't have to use Crisco you can use any lard in a container, including bacon grease. 
  17. Waterproof your shoes with lip balm. What a great idea and it make sense. I am sure you could use that jar of petroleum jelly and get similar results quicker and without wasting a perfectly good lip balm. 
  18. Turn a cat food can into a stove by drilling 30 holes at the top and filling it with an ounce of denatured alcohol. This is the same principle as a rocket stove. The only problem I see is I am sure not many people have denatured alcohol on hand. Looks like that's something to add to my list. 
  19. Cuddle with a pet if it's cold. Very true cuddle up with one another or a pet but here's another idea: Put your camping tent up in your house and have everyone sleep in there. The smaller the space the easier it is to heat so instead of trying to heat every room in your house you will only have to heat the room with the tent and having everyone in the tent will create it's own heat as well.

  Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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