SAFETY & SURVIVAL
Basic safety and survival tips for the outdoors type
There are a bunch of safety and survival tips that people need to know, especially if you’re off on your own on a hike (which is never recommended, always go with a friend). For starters, when finding a camp site you want to stay high and dry, so avoid alleys and paths that can become flooded easily in rain. Try to find somewhere close to a water source, dry wood, or rock walls for shelter and security purposes and avoid danger areas that look like they can be harboring insect nests or trees with rotten branches that can come crashing down on you.
If you have a watch you can navigate easily by using the sky to find your way. The most obvious method to get a general bearing by day is to look at the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west anywhere in the world. But you can also use an analog watch to find the north-south line in midday if you lose track; hold the watch horizontally and point the hour hand at the sun. Imagine a line running exactly midway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock (1 o’clock if in daylight savings). This is the north-south line.
At night you can find the North star by finding the big dipper, draw an imaginary line from the 2 outer edge stars of the dipper, follow them straight to the little dipper, the beginning of the handle, is the North Star. Face it, and you are facing true north.
Here are some tips to help you through, should you ever find yourself in need;
Misc tools you should consider for your survival kit
- Knife to cut down and gather shelter, food, and/or fuel for your fire
- Toothpaste is good for relieving the pain from burns, wounds and some bug bites
- tampons are great for deep wounds since they can absorb and expand, stopping blood loss
- lighter; bic or an old zippo that still has spark can go a long way
- aluminum foil is good to use as a dry surface for a fire
- flashlight and masking tape to dim it, if necessary, to draw less attention to yourself
- guitar cases make great survival bags
- glow sticks, if you’re looking to be found at night
- cotton balls covered in vaseline are good for starting fires
- Char cloth
Tips to create a fire
If you are stuck in the outdoors, you will need to make a fire to provide warmth, light, cook your food or to keep pests and predators away, here are some tips;
- To make a good fire and keep it going you need 3 things; fuel, oxygen and heat
- Dry grass, leaves, pine needles, paper, wood shavings like bark, and small sticks are great for starting fires. You will need larger branches or sticks of wood to keep it going.
- Best way to produce more smoke if you are looking to signal someone is using live and/or wet trees
Tips to keep cool
- Stay in shade and out of wind to keep your sweat in
- Hike at dawn and dusk to avoid the desert elements
- In worst case scenario, urinating on a bandana or shirt and wrapping it around your head can help prevent heatstroke
Tips to keep warm
- Insulate your clothing with newspapers, leaves, dry grass, etc. That extra padding will help you retain body heat
- if possible make a bed about 6″ thick of debris to separate you and the ground
- use rocks around your campfire, rocks store heat so they can still help long after the fire has died and can be used to purify water as well
Tips to stay hydrated
- Extract water from trees and plants by wrapping a plastic bag around healthy leaves in the sun, as the sun causes the evaporation, that water will just collect in the bag.
- Add charcoal to questionable or smelly water when boiling for a more tolerable taste
- boil water you find to kill off pathogens in the water
- try to harvest water from rain, snow, or dew
- You can squeeze water from vines, thistles and some cactus, although most cactus water can make you sick so boil it all to be safe
- Maple trees store water, cut a hole in the bark for a watery syrup flow
Tips to find food
- You can eat plants like cattail, dandelions, and lambsquarter but it is recommended to research what plants are in your area before going out so you can memorize the good ones and make sure the bad don’t kill you
- make a 4-pronged spear easily by cutting a sapling about an inch in diameter, then split the fat end down in 4 equal sections, about 10″ down, jam a stick in the middle and sharpen those 4 prongs with a knife or rock
CPR AED walkthrough and a “what to do if….”
I was able to take a Heartsaver first aid CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) AED (automated external defibrillator) class and learned a lot of valuable information. I have attached photos of the pamphlets I received in hopes it can help someone else out should the need arise.
CPR AED on an adult
It is taught now that if you are going to give mouth to mouth or use an AED you should always start with compressions first, in case there is something blocking the airways
CPR AED on a child
When conducting CPR on a child the same rules apply as an adult except that just one hand should be enough to avoid collapsing their chest.
CPR AED on an infant
When conducting CPR on an infant the only things to remember are use 2 fingers on the chest area so you don’t collapse the chest and your mouth goes over their nose and mouth, not just mouth like adults or children.
“WHAT YOU SEE, WHAT YOU DO”
Recognize the signs of heart attack & stroke
External bleeding, tourniquets and more CPR
A tournaquet is something you use to alleviate blood loss by tightening down on the area just above the wound to restrict blood flow. If you don’t have the elastic band, you can always use a cloth, like a shirt, and use a stick wrapped in it and turn in a circle to tighten it