You know what they say: Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. People can spread misinformation online, so when you’re reading something on the web, it’s important to take things with a grain of salt. However, internet users can be quite helpful when it comes to sharing some life-saving tips. Some of their surprising advice can make your life more convenient, while others can literally save it.
From putting out fires to starting them, here are some life hacks that could help you in the great outdoors or in the comfort of your own house. Here are some life-saving tips internet users have been suggesting, and some of them are quite useful! But just like everything on the internet, these are ordinary folks giving advice so take it how you will but turn to an expert for any real emergencies.
Not all of us have master-chef skills to cook a delightful 5-star dinner for a family. If you are not particularly skilled in the kitchen, you have probably dealt with small grease fires. Grease fires are generally easy to manage, but there is a simple way to prevent them from getting out of hand.
Your instincts might tell you to pour water on it, but that’s not the best idea. Instead, you should dump baking powder on the fire and then cover it with a lid. The carbon dioxide will displace the oxygen as it burns which will extinguish the flame. Science!
Here is a tip straight from the horse’s mouth – the Charleston firefighters. Since they put out fires every day, they probably know what they are talking about. Next time you invite people over for a backyard barbecue and you need to fire up the propane pit, it’s important to leave the lid wide open.
If you turn on the gas and close the lid, the propane could accumulate and create a huge fireball when lit. However, if you are using lighter fluid and charcoal, you can leave the lid down before throwing a match through a hole to ignite the fluid.
Luckily, the only time I have seen a tornado was on TV. So, I can only imagine how terrifying it is for someone to see one in real life. High winds cause catastrophic and even life-altering destruction. If you live in a tornado-prone area, here is a warning that might really come in handy.
If a tornado looks immobile, don’t be fooled. The tornado may actually be headed in your direction. The gist of this one is to find underground shelter immediately. You have a much greater chance of surviving if there is a structure above you, and at least five to ten inches of concrete between you and your living room floor.
When we were younger, we used to imagine that we would have to deal with quicksand way more often than we actually do. I personally encountered quicksand a total of zero times. But, then again, maybe I’m just not an outdoorsy type of person. Well, if you find yourself sinking in quicksand, the first thing to do is stay calm.
Then, try and hold onto a solid object nearby and pull yourself out to safety. If there is no such object around, try and lift your stomach and legs up to create as much surface area as possible on top of the quicksand. After that, slowly make your way to solid ground and pull yourself out.
If you don’t have a jar of almonds on you at all times, what are you even doing with your life? There are several reasons why keeping almonds in your back pocket is a great idea. They are delicious, smell delightful and are a wonderful source of protein.
But there is something you should know about the almond scent. Almonds smell like cyanide, a colorless gas that can kill you in small doses. In fact, raw almonds contain cyanide which explains the smell. If you are all out of almonds but smell the distinct aroma in your home, get out as soon as possible!
I know what you are thinking: If you see a snake, make a run for it. Good for you; that’s certainly one rational reaction. However, it could be useful to know how to differentiate between venomous snakes and not-so-venomous ones.
This simple picture will show you how to distinguish one from the other and may even save your life one day. Again, if you encounter a snake, you should get out of the way whether it’s poisonous or not. Just because it won’t kill you doesn’t mean you won’t be terrified if a snake wraps its body around you.
Unfortunately, the average person doesn’t know as many survival techniques as he or she probably should. For example, do you know how to react when you or someone around you is having a heart attack? Well, they should take an aspirin right away.
Don’t bother looking for a glass of water. The person should actually chew the tablet before swallowing it. In powder form, the pill will enter the bloodstream much more quickly, possibly breaking up and clots in the blood vessels. Of course, this won’t guarantee the survival of the heart-attack patient, but will certainly give him or her a much better chance.
If you are like 99.99% of the world, chances are you own a smartphone. You should probably know that this handheld device could be used for survival purposes. And, no, I don’t mean using the Google or Siri feature to find survival tips. You can simply download survival apps, which come in handy when heading into the wilderness.
Luckily, this guy shared a helpful post on Twitter, showing all the different apps that can help you survive in the wild. Of course, there are numerous other apps you can find. You might as well fill up your phone’s memory with apps that could save your life one day.
Most of the time, homeowners are too preoccupied to check their wall outlets very often. I’m certainly guilty of ignoring my wall outlets, especially when I don’t need them. However, it’s important to get them checked regularly – once a year should suffice. But if you live in an old house or apartment you should check your outlets more frequently.
Apparently, faulty outlets and electrical wiring can create a fishy smell. If you catch a whiff of this fishy aroma and didn’t have salmon recently, check every wall outlet! The scent means faulty wires which can result in an electrical fire.
One of the most underrated but extremely useful survival items is a candle. Although a candle has a dim light and barely gives off heat, the little heat it does produce can potentially save a person from freezing to death.
So, if you’re planning an adventure through Siberia, you should definitely pack a few candles in your bag. Better yet, a bunch of safety candles that can stay lit for 36 hours per stick. And, of course don’t forget lighters and matches. I mean, building your own fire out in the dark cold doesn’t sound like fun.
If you’re a Florida girl like me, you know what it’s like owning a backyard with an in-ground swimming pool, but there are a few things you should consider. For example, do you know how much water to put into the pool? How often you need to change the water? And where does all that slippery moss go?
But, more important, what does it mean if your pool water tastes like metal? There might be an electrical short somewhere, and everyone in the pool needs to get out immediately. It can just be a matter of seconds before electricity enters the swimming pool in full force.
Here is a rule of thumb that every outdoorsman should know. The rule of threes refers to how long you can survive in extreme temperatures without food or water. However, the length of survival without nutrients varies for each person.
The rule of threes goes as follows: You can survive in extreme heat or cold for three hours before getting hypothermia or heat exhaustion; you can survive with no water for three days without dehydration; and you can survive without food for three weeks before succumbing to starvation. So, keep the rule of threes in mind for your next nature activity.
So, would you ever believe that songs could actually save your life? Well, there was a meme circulating a little while ago where someone claimed to have woken up from a coma to turn on the radio because Justin Bieber was playing. Obviously, that was a joke, but this tip could potentially help save a life.
While performing CPR, there are three songs that could help you keep a steady beat: Nelly the Elephant, Stayin’ Alive, and Another One Bits the Dust. If you don’t know any of these songs, definitely YouTube them. But really, who doesn’t know Another One Bites the Dust by Queen?
It’s no easy feat to start a fire in the middle of nowhere. Especially, if you don’t have the necessary supplies on hand. Do you remember how proud Tom Hanks was in Castaway after making a fire? Yeah, you would probably be just as excited if you made a fire out of nothing.
But if you have some batteries with just a little bit of juice left in them, you are halfway to creating a blazing bonfire. You will also need a sheet of gum wrapper to pull this off, but, basically, just connect the wrapper to the two ends of the battery. It really works!
Depending on who you are, winter can either be the best or the worst time of the year. For those of you who don’t have to drive to work, it could be the best season, but for everyone else, the cold weather can truly be a pain in the neck. Defrosting windows can be time-consuming, but it must be done for your safety as well as that of others.
Well, here is a cool trick! Before going to bed at night, rub half an onion on the windshield, windows, and mirrors of your car. This will apparently prevent ice from forming on the surfaces, meaning you could cut out 30-40 minutes of time chipping away at the ice on your car window in the morning.
It’s human nature to seek shelter wherever you can. After living in cities for most of my adult life, this instinct is unintentionally pushed to the back of my mind. So, when it’s time to venture out into the wilderness, no AC isn’t the worst thing in the world, right? After all, I get to experience the great outdoors.
You can sleep on the grass if you so desire, but I suggest searching for shelter if you are out in the wild. If there are no caves in the area, use branches and leaves to build your own shelter. Bringing a tent along is always a good idea.
For most of us, polar bear attacks are the least of our worries. I mean, we have moose, geese, and children to worry about. Unless you live in Alaska, you probably don’t even think about polar bear attacks. Still, it doesn’t hurt to know what to do when one comes charging right at you.
First, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Next, throw your bag or supplies to lighten your load (safety first – you can go back for your belongings later). Lastly, take off your shirt and throw it on the ground. Hopefully, this will distract the bear enough to allow you to run away shirtless. If that doesn’t work, take your pants off.
We get cuts pretty often, but we can always rely on a good ole first aid kit to help treat and clean our wound. But how do you clean an open wound if you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or iodine on hand? Apparently, salt and water should do the trick.
The combination of salt and water creates a heating element. To make your own saline solution, mix 0.9% of salt into the water. To simplify it, put half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of water and boil it with the lid on. It should take about 15 minutes to cool, and there you have it!
There is nothing more satisfying than zooming through an empty freeway. The front seat passenger will likely make him or herself comfortable by putting their feet up on the dashboard, but you should try to discourage this action. I mean, they are getting footprints everywhere!
Seriously, the reason you shouldn’t put your feet up on the dashboard is for safety precautions. In the chance of a car accident, the airbags might force your feet toward your body. Best-case scenario, you knee yourself in the face. Worst-case scenario, major facial or chest trauma. Yikes!
This might sound a bit counterproductive but stay with me: If you get stabbed by a sharp object, don’t pull it out. Instead, you should wait for a trained medical professional to arrive. As you know, one of the things our body needs to survive is blood.
The object that is poking you may actually serve as kind of a band-aid, keeping the wound closed and preventing more blood from leaking out. If you’re dealing with something tiny like a splinter, simply use tweezers to pull it out. Another way to remove a splinter is to pour hot water into a container with a small opening and put the pricked area on your skin inside. The negative pressure that is created by the heat will pull the splinter right out.
Everyone has heard of low tide and high tide. Low tide can be quite depressing, especially if you’ve traveled miles to get to a lake, only to discover that it barely has any water. High tide, on the other hand, can be fun but also incredibly dangerous. Remember, unnatural tides can be a sign of an imminent tsunami.
If the ocean’s tides appear to be unnaturally low, you should seek higher ground right away. There is a chance that a tsunami is heading in your direction. Get in the car and drive to the tallest hill in the area.
Getting lost in the wilderness can be extremely dangerous and a painful way to die. You can end up deeper and deeper in the woods until you’re standing face-to-face with a grizzly bear. Sure, you might encounter a wild animal in civilization, but we’re looking at probabilities here.
If you don’t have reception in the woods, and you forgot to pack your handy dandy compass, you can make one. All you need is a needle, a leaf, water, hair (or a piece of clothing). Rub the needle against your hair or shirt to magnetize it, then, gently place it on top of the leaf with a shallow pool of water. If you did it correctly, the needle should be pointing north.
Nowadays, learning Morse code isn’t a necessity. We always have our smartphones on hand and can text or call during emergencies. However, if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere and can’t get a signal, Morse code might come in handy.
The international Morse code, dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot, universally means “help.” Many phones have SOS notifications built-in, which can shine their flashlights to give the SOS call in Morse. If you need to call out SOS using your voice, you can clap your hands to the tune. Remember, the dots are done in quick succession, while the dashes have slight pauses in between them and the character that follows.
Here’s a little trick that might save your life in the wild one day. Before leaving, pick up a box of chalk. Make sure it’s regular white chalk – not the colorful ones we used in elementary school. You want to make sure your chalk is visible in poorly lit areas.
While strolling through the forest, draw symbols on tree trunks to remember where you have been and how to get back. Also, if you lose your adventure partner, follow the chalk marks to find your way back. Spray paint works too, but it is more difficult to carry and will leave permanent marks on the trees.
For the most part, signing a legal document isn’t a life-or-death matter, but it can mean risking your livelihood and family’s security. So, you should always read the document from start to finish before signing in pen. Also, when writing the date, don’t use the DD/MM/YY format.
You’re probably wondering why. The problem here is the YY section. If you write 16, you can’t differentiate whether you’re talking about 2016, 1916, or 1816. It’s easy to add two numbers to the year section which can alter the clauses in the document against you. So, always write the full year.
If you’re out in the wilderness with no watch and a dead phone, what do you do? How can you possibly tell how much daylight you have left? One method that can be used to measure the distance between the horizon and the sun, is with your palm. As it turns out, the width of every finger on your hand denotes 15 minutes of daylight – thumbs not included.
Since everyone’s hands are different, there will be slight variations between each person’s estimates. But that’s exactly what an estimate is. There is no surefire way to know exactly how much longer the sun will be out, but if it’s barely above your pinky, it may be time to seek shelter.
Lightning can strike at any moment, so you should always be prepared for the worst. If possible, you should make a beeline for a shelter with a roof. However, if you’re stranded out in the open with no buildings nearby, you should do what this man is doing.
Crouch down to make yourself as small as you can. Next, lift your body using the balls of your feet to create very little contact with the ground. Also, the heels of your feet should be touching. If you get zapped and your heels are together, it will increase the chances of electricity entering one foot and exiting through the other, instead of getting a full tour through your whole body.
Until you watch them sweep kayaks away on YouTube, you never really realize how dangerous streams are. Water flowing at full speed through sharp rocks can be quite dangerous and leave any person severely injured.
If you need to cross a stream, first try throwing a branch into the water. If it moves downstream faster than you can walk, you should probably find a different route. And make sure to watch your step while crossing. Even if it’s not going too fast, you might slip on some moss and get injured.
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but you shouldn’t look directly at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection. You can purchase special glasses that dim the rays and allow you to look straight at a solar eclipse, without damaging your eyes. If you don’t have them, you should look the other way.
Staring at the concentrated beams can permanently damage your retinas in under a second. It can also be painful, and everyone around will know that you were foolish enough to look at the sun. Don’t do it! If you don’t have protective glasses, you should watch a video of the eclipse instead.
It’s incredible to see how many people forget this basic fire safety rule. Stop, drop, and roll. I mean, we learned this in elementary school, but maybe we should teach high school and college students this rule of thumb. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can find dozens of videos of people lighting themselves on fire and trying to put it out by running away.
That won’t help! If you ever catch on fire, you should stop, drop, and roll. Make sure you cover your face while rolling on the ground. Don’t stop until the flames are totally gone. In fact, maybe roll on the floor for a little bit longer, just in case.
If you live in a city where snowfall measures in feet rather than in inches, then you probably already have a bag of rock salt. Rock salt helps to break up the ice and melt the snow so that you can get into your car without slipping. Even though rock salt is helpful, it is toxic when it comes to pets.
You’re probably wondering, how toxic? Toxic enough that one lick can make them throw up. If you take your pets out in the snow, make sure you clean their paws before they come back into the house. Also, brush the snow off the soles of your boots to prevent the smallest grains of rock salt from getting on your floors.
Mosquitos are the most irritating little critters! There is no reason for them to exist. I mean, sure they pollinate plants and stuff… but so do bees! Come to think of it, bees aren’t much better. It’s just that there seem to be so many more annoying mosquitos!
Well, if you run out of mosquito repellent while taking a stroll in the woods, try and cover up as much as possible. The next best thing is to look for a termite hill, kidnap hundreds of them, smash them into a paste, and rub it all over your body. It sounds gross but mosquitos stay away from termite corpses.
Flash floods can be incredibly scary. They seemingly come out of nowhere and can take up to weeks to recede. When it comes to floods, all we can really do is try and run for the hills! If you live in an apartment building, you should go to the upper floors for safety.
But if you do need to go downstairs for emergency supplies, do NOT use the elevator! You never know how high the water is, and if the elevator touches the water, you are stuck in that tiny space. If you do manage to open the elevator doors, the water could sweep you away and even drown you.
If you live in a tornado or hurricane-prone area, you are certainly familiar with power outages. Whenever a national disaster comes along, the first thing to go is electricity, which leaves thousands of homes without power. A generator is definitely a lifesaver in these kinds of situations.
Blackouts can last a couple of hours – or a couple of weeks. It’s important to freeze a bunch of water bottles before a hurricane hits so that when the inevitable happens, you’ll have ice bottles to keep the items in your fridge cooler for longer.
Have you ever scrolled through life hacks sites, only to find out that the hacks either don’t work or cause more problems? But the worst is when people spread misinformation on the internet and are self-proclaimed health and self-love gurus.
For example, one of these gurus suggested putting peppermint oil on ticks… but don’t listen to her advice. The oil is apparently meant to prevent the tick from latching on to you. Well, actually, it will increase the saliva production of the tick which will increase the chances of the pest spreading diseases.
Even if you have matches on you, you can’t guarantee that they’ll light up on the first strike. Plus, if it’s windy out, then there is no chance of lighting a match, right? Believe it or not, as long as you have a small, sharp object, it’s totally possible to light a match in the wind.
All you have to do is take the object and cut pieces of the match close to the head. The splinters will kind of catch the fire to create a larger flame. So, basically, the more splinters, the better chance of the match staying lit. Who would have thought?!
If a tornado comes sweeping through your city, we have another survival tip. Immediately find underground shelter. The basement should do just fine, and if you don’t have one, use your neighbor’s. The more space between you and the surface of the ground, the better.
Even though tornados can go as deep as three feet below ground, it is extremely unlikely. The route of the tornado is difficult to predict, and it movess mostly in an irregular pattern and blows away anything in its path. It tends to leave the people hiding in underground bunkers unharmed.
Stream water may look clean, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not. You should never put water into your body that comes from an unpurified source, no matter how clear and fresh it looks. It can contain pathogens that are much smaller than dirt particles.
If you don’t have a Brita water filter on hand, it’s okay. You can make your own using grass, sand, and charcoal. If you look at the diagram above, it shows you how to create your own water filter if you’re out in the wild, but even then, there is no guarantee that you will be completely protected from pathogens.
One of my greatest fears is driving off a bridge and ending up in a body of water. Escaping the fully submerged vehicle may be the logical thing to do, but when your body is in panic mode, you forget the simplest things. If you can stay cool in a potentially life-threatening situation, here is what you do in order to escape the vehicle.
The headrests on your seats will have two metallic prongs that can be used to shatter the windows of your car. Just make sure to unbuckle your seatbelt before doing so; that way, you’ll have an unobstructed escape route!
You never know when you’ll be caught in the middle of a stampede. Whether you’re taking an innocent stroll in the woods when a bunch of hyenas create a wildebeest stampede or enjoying a concert and getting trampled by thousands of people, just make sure you stay standing, because as soon as you fall to the ground, you’re as good as gone.
Or maybe not. I mean, you won’t come out looking like a million bucks, but you might be able to survive. To give yourself a fighting chance, cover your face and head with your arms and curl up into a tiny ball. The smaller you are, the less you will get stepped on.
Here is one you have probably never imagined. Apparently, if you’re experiencing hypothermia, your body can feel a rush of heat out of nowhere. The heat can get so intense that you’ll want to remove some of your clothing to make yourself more comfortable.
But don’t fall for this one! This process is called vasodilation, where our hearts pump more blood through our bodies. As more blood floods through our blood vessels, we start to feel warmer. However, the blood eventually cools down due to the cold air, and we lose body heat.
So, this is one that every single American should know. You can call 911 on any phone, whether it’s a smartphone, house phone, or pay phone. That’s right, calling the police is free of charge, so if your only option is a pay phone, don’t bother looking for quarters. Surprisingly, not a lot of people know this.
This also works if you don’t know someone’s iPhone code. Emergency situations are an exception. So, no need to yell out, “Someone call 911!” People tend to hesitate in emergency situations, especially if they didn’t receive clear directions. Instead, point at a person and tell them to call the police.