Not Your Typical Survival Tips & Tricks

If I had a nickel for every survival tip I've ever heard or have communicated to others, I'd be a wealthy man. But I don't, and I'm not. 

You may have heard some of these tips yourself. Either from us or from other sources.

So rather than provide you with a laundry list of survival tips in the hopes that a few might be new to you, I'm going to do something a little different today.

I'm going to give you survival tips I'm hoping you're not familiar with. Yes, a few of them might be a little "out there." And most you'll probably never have the chance to use. But who knows? One or more of them might come in handy someday.

Animal instincts

If you get bit by an animal, first clean and bandage the wound. But next – and this is crucial – go to your doctor. If you get rabies from the bite, you might feel fine for a while. But by the time you have symptoms, you could get very sick and maybe die. 

Let's say you're suddenly confronted with a wild animal starting to come toward you. Running away will be your first instinct, but it could get you killed. The animal will probably catch you quickly. Instead, get behind or up into the nearest tree.

Now, if that animal is a bear and you have a choice of running uphill or downhill to get away, choose downhill. Because their front legs are longer than their back legs, they struggle with running downhill. They'll catch you quickly if you run uphill.

Spider bites hurt, but their poison could hurt more once it gets fully into your bloodstream. Look to see if there is a red line running away from the bite toward your body. If so, find your way to the nearest emergency room asap.

Situational awareness

Anytime you enter a building you're unfamiliar with, quickly familiarize yourself with as many of the exits as possible. You never know where you'll be when an emergency might occur, but this way you'll know where the nearest exit is.

The same is true with a hotel. Once you've checked into your room, find a diagram to determine several escape routes from your floor to the lobby or underground garage.

What would you do if you woke up in a coffin underground? The sides of a coffin are weaker than the top and bottom, so try to kick one of them out. Then take as deep of a breath as you can and start clawing your way up through the dirt. There will be plenty of time to hunt down your spouse later.

Always be aware of your surroundings and be ready to run if an attacker confronts you. But unless they have a weapon and you don't, putting up a fight might buy you enough time to convince the assailant to flee.


If you've ever been in a burning building, you know how petrifying it can be. Obviously you want to get out as quickly as possible. But if the smoke is getting thick, you're better off crawling than running. The lower you are, the less smoke there will be.

Would you drive if you knew you were drunk? I certainly hope the answer to that question is a resounding "No!" But being overly tired is pretty much the same thing as being intoxicated. Pull over before you hurt yourself and/or someone else.

Anytime you're going somewhere (camping, hiking, etc.) where cellphone service might be iffy, give your itinerary to family members and friends. If you get trapped somewhere, you're going to need that person to alert someone who can find you.

You fall into a rapidly moving river. You should immediately try to swim to shore, right? Wrong. You could drown from hyperventilating. First focus on getting your breathing under control and floating. Then watch for something you can grab onto. 


Here are a few more…

  • Always carry a lighter. Even if you don't smoke (good for you), you may need to start a fire.
  • Always carry a water purification device. Such as a straw or tablets. You might need them for drinking or washing a wound.
  • If you get a bug bite and don't have an anti-itch ointment, use toothpaste on it.
  • If you have to sleep outdoors without a sleeping bag, use leaves for insulation. Sleeping on the ground will lower your body temperature.
  •  If you're caught outdoors in a lightning storm and can't find shelter, get as low to the ground as possible and remove anything metal from your body, such as a belt buckle or jewelry.
  • Never mix bleach and ammonia in the same room when cleaning. The vapors could make you sick or worse.
  • If you have to break through a locked door, running into it could injure your shoulder. Instead, kick at its weakest point, which is next to the handle.
  • When you call 911, first say where you are, then describe the emergency. If you get cut off, at least they'll know how to find you.
  • While camping, if you need to relieve yourself, do it at least 100 yards away and downwind from your campsite. Animals can smell that stuff.
  • If you check into an Airbnb, ask if there are any hidden cameras in the room. They may not answer honestly, so shine a bright light at possible locations such as a smoke detector. A camera lens will give off a bluish reflection.  

Bear-ly surviving

I saved what I think is the most interesting one for last. Can you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear? Being able to do so could save your life.

Grizzly bears have a pronounced shoulder hump and black bears don't. Grizzlies have a concave facial profile, smaller ears and larger claws than black bears, which have a "Roman nose" profile.

Why does this matter? If you think a grizzly bear may attack you, leave your backpack on, lie flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck and play dead. If you absolutely have to fight to survive, try to hit the bear in the face with your backpack or fists. 

If you think a black bear might attack you, don't play dead. Apparently they like that. Try to escape downhill. Again, if you have to fight, aim for the bear's face with punches and kicks. Apparently they don't like that.

I'm willing to bet you have some weird survival tips and tricks up your sleeve. Feel free to share them in the comments section. Stay safe out there.  


  • Carolyn S - July 07, 2022

    In hotel rooms, there are hidden camera lens made into the TV. We always place a cloth over the TV when dressing. You will here a clicking sound after covering the TV screen. This click is done by management to annoy you into uncovering the TV screen. We just ignore the click for privacy. The front desk clerk came out of a back office during one of our stays at a hotel leaving the door ajar and I was able to see multiple rooms being observed on a computer monitor. I was absolutely stunned learning of this invasion of my privacy.

  • Wayne Ainsworth - July 07, 2022

    You should never run from a black bear. Raising your arms high and wide and yelling loudly will almost always drive the bear away. Black bears are curious and are usually looking for food. If you have any food throw it towards the bear and back away slowly while facing the bear. Black bears are faster than you are guaranteed and running makes you prey in their mind. I have lived in bear country all of my life and have had numerous encounters with them. They will always retreat when confronted as I’ve detailed above. The only exceptions to this is if you are between a mother bear and her cubs then you want to move away from the cubs. The other is if the bear is sick, say with rabies. They will usually froth at the mouth or act strangely if this is the case. Then I hope you have your weapon, aim just below the neck between the shoulders while the bear is facing you or just behind the shoulder if sideways to you. Never shoot a bear in the head.

  • Lynn Perry - July 07, 2022

    This is great Frank! Just wanted to say thanks!

  • Jorge - July 07, 2022

    Liked it , thank you for sharing!

  • Tom P - July 07, 2022

    In scouts we were told the way to tell a grizzly from a black bear was if you climb a tree and it comes up after you it’s a black bear. If it knocks the tree down, it’s a grizzly! 😂

  • pete sveen - July 07, 2022

    If I’m out camping in the wild, Matches can get wet and lighters don’t always work so I usually carry a cheap magnifying glass. there light and easy to start fires. Just think solar.

  • Lisa Rader - July 07, 2022

    This is great info that i will save for myself and my children. Thank you.

  • WILLIAM D SCHLUETER SR - July 07, 2022

    Have to admit, couple new thing very interesting, just to have a few more jogs put in my head. Thanks

  • Sonja Gray - July 07, 2022

    Thank u, good info. My message is to remind everyone to catch rainwater or to store some water if you have a septic system to operate the toilet 🚽🪠 whenever electric 💡⚡ goes out, had this problem even when a little rain 🌧️.

  • Barbara - July 07, 2022

    Thank you! Would love to hear more. I live in the foothills of the Smokies. Good bear info. We hike frequently. Have also encountered copper heads on trails. We also have an occasional rattlesnake. We place a small bell on our backpack so bears hear us coming. Love the info.

  • Ann Jones - July 07, 2022

    Wow. Thank you for the valuable life saving information.

  • Gerry - July 07, 2022

    Playing dead with a Grizley should be the last resort and only if they charge and contact you. Try to back away and if they charge stand your ground first as it is common for them to fake charge until they get near you. But if they do contact you then yes….play dead as you mention.

    This is what I have always been told.

  • Diane Pitzler - July 07, 2022

    Very good information. I have a question, We live in western Washington state we get lots and lots of rain and overcast ….Would you recommend your solar
    Generator, do you think it would work very well here?


  • Elaine Duncan - July 07, 2022

    Always carry bear spray activated ready to use when in bear country. Talk to the bear telling him to leave in a calm voice and use small puffs of bear spray if it starts to get closer. Don’t use it all up on one big spray. You can back away as you do this. Then move to safer area. Absolutely no way I’m laying down for the bear to maul me!

  • Jade M. Stunkel - July 03, 2022

    Great Info. Thanks.

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