Tips for the Road #2 – Wilderness

This is the Second installment of my ongoing series of Random Survival Information.

Traveler tips have been around for a long time;

  • Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water.
    Lay your bed where the cat sleeps.
    Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm.
    Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit.
    Plant the tree where the mole digs.
    Build your house where the snake sits to warm itself.
    Dig your fountain where the birds hide from heat.
  • From Saint Seraphim of Sarov  who lived 1754-1833

I think we will stick with the outdoor wilderness theme for this installment, much of this is from Winkgo;

(1) First wilderness survival tip: How to tell a non-venomous bite from a venomous one.

Not all snake bites are the same but knowing which ones are dangerous can prevent panic attacks. Here are 3 ways to identify a venomous snake vs a non-venomous snake:

  • Eyes: Non-poisonous snakes have round pupils but poisonous snakes have eyes with elongated pupils that look similar to cat pupils.
  • Body scales: Non-poisonous snakes will have a double row of scales that seem to overlap each other while poisonous snakes will have a single row.
  • Bite marks: Non-poisonous snakes will leave a double set of teeth marks while a poisonous snake bite will start with 2 distinctive holes.

(2) Stuff your clothes with branches and grass to help stay warm.

Leaves, grass, and tiny branches act as insulation and can help you stay warm when the temperature drops in the evening. This parallels the urban tip about using newspapers.

(3) To stop any bleeding, use a maxi pad.

Feminine hygiene products are sterile which makes them perfect to help stop bleeding or use as a makeshift bandage.

(4) Protect scratches from infection by applying Chapstick lip balm.

Being in the woods increases the chances of cuts getting infected. Help seal cuts and scrapes by applying lip balm. This provides a barrier over your injury.

Wilderness survival tips like these ones don’t replace common sense. Having a first aid kit ensures you have all the tools needed during an emergency.

(5) Soothe insect bites with a dab of toothpaste.

Most toothpaste brands contain menthol which helps soothe insect bites and reduce itching. Toothpaste also contains anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and swelling. Deodorant works to soothe bug bites as well.

(6) Burn herbs to help drive away mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.

Insect and even animals hate the smell of burning herbs. Throw some sprigs of thyme, mint, or lavender on a campfire to keep away mosquitos and other insects.

If you’ve ever spent an evening in the outdoors, you know how insects like mosquitoes and black flies can be relentless.

(7) To help start a fire, light a wax crayon.

Wax crayons can be used as a candle and burn as much as 30 minutes! Because it contains combustible material, it can also be used to easily start a fire in combination with small dry branches and twigs.

(8) Last Wilderness tip; Filter dirty water using a t-shirt.

Your body needs water to survive and getting fresh water, even a little in survival situations. All you need is two containers and a t-shirt or other clean fabric. Place the container of dirty water elevated above another container and place the t-shirt so that both ends are at the bottom of both buckets. You’ll start to get clean water within an hour but as a precaution, it’s best to boil it first.

Another version of the ‘Please make my water clean’ system;

Here is another way to try and get water, build – then check back in the morning;

Remember the Rule of 3‘s when trying to survive in the elements;

Here are the Insects you can eat in a pinch.

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