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25+ Clever Survival Hacks That Can Help You Escape the Worst

Alexander Oboimov, an Arctic explorer, will never forget how one of his students saved a whole team that was under attack by a hungry polar bear, by undressing himself. At first, the student dropped his gloves and fur hat, and saw the bear pause. Once he saw that this worked, he then dropped his jacket too and the polar bear stopped to sniff it while they all managed to make it on their boat and get away.

Bright Side gathered a pile of survival tips that will help you make it out of dangerous situations safe and sound. It’s beneficial for all of us to know how to act immediately to avoid the worst-case scenario.

  • If a polar bear is chasing you, drop clothing items like a hat or gloves and run away. They have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and it will most likely stop to sniff them, giving you more time to get back to safety.
  • When you travel, remember to always leave your itinerary with someone. In case you come across dangerous people, let them know that someone’s waiting for you where you are going at a specific time. This way you are not an “easy” victim.
  • If in an emergency you need to get through a locked door, kick hard right next to the handle, near the lock, and avoid using your shoulders or back. The lock will break more easily.
  • If you’re on a bus and robbers get on, pretend to be asleep. This way it’s likely that they will not bother with you, because they need to pay full attention to their surroundings.
  • If you call 911 — always state your location first, followed by the problem. If you happen to get cut off before you can say what the problem is, at least the police have a location to send an officer to, to check it out.
  • Electrical fires usually smell like fish and urine when exposed to heat. So if you smell something like that in your house or building it’s likely that you are in danger.
  • If you need to perform CPR on someone, don’t stop until the EMTs take them. CPR isn’t supposed to wake up the person, but it’s supposed to prevent brain damage by forcing the blood to get to the brain. And try to find somebody to alternate with, because you’ll probably get tired quickly.
  • If you happen to be in a burning building and there is a lot of smoke, crawl to find the exit with your feet not your head in front of you. This way you won’t risk falling down a staircase and getting seriously injured.
  • If you are kayaking and your kayak turns upside-down, you should unleash yourself and swim deeper down into the water to escape the kayak, instead of trying to flip it over, which might not happen.
  • Never use bleach and ammonia-based cleaning products at the same time. The mixing of these 2 things releases toxic vapors called chloramines, which can kill you if inhaled.
  • In case of a heart-attack doctors advise taking an aspirin. You should chew the pill and swallow it with a glass of water, instead of swallowing it whole. This way it will be absorbed faster.
  • If a person asks you for the time in the street, don’t just look down at your watch. Instead, raise your arm slightly so you can see your watch and keep eye contact with them. They don’t want your full attention, so they’ll get disoriented.
  • If you are about to cross the street and see the reflection of the sun on the windshield of a coming car, don’t cross, the driver might not be able to see you because of the sunlight.
  • On the rare occasion that you are under attack by a moose — those creatures are huge! — try to find an opportunity to get behind a tree. Moose have a blind spot in their peripheral vision, they will lose you, and you can escape easier.
  • If you fall into cold, open water try to float first to calm yourself down and resist the urge to swim. With your breathing and body under control, you can then start swimming to safety.
  • If someone gets stabbed, do not remove the knife from the wound. The knife — or any other object — acts as a plug to the injury and reduces blood loss. Try to apply pressure around it with a piece of fabric and call an ambulance.
  • Holding your ground against a pack of wolves might sound terrifying — and it is — but will eventually cause them to back off. Their instinct is to hunt their prey, they want to chase you.
  • If you realize that you are being followed, hug the first person you find while whispering to them about what’s going on. It’s highly likely that they’ll pretend to know you and walk with you to safety.
  • If you happen to start choking when no one is around to help, you can perform the Heimlich Maneuver on yourself using a hard surface like the back of a chair or a table. Push one fist with your other hand into your stomach while bent over a hard surface.
  • To make it out of a moving car alive and with a minimum number of injuries, you need to put one foot down and take a step out instead of jumping out. This will reduce your speed a lot.
  • It’s a myth that you cannot report that someone is missing in less than 24 hours. Actually, reporting it sooner gives you a better chance of finding them safe and sound.
  • What you need to remember to survive a black bear that is chasing you is that they climb trees really fast, but have trouble running down a hill because they gain too much speed because of their weight. So, instead of going up a tree, head for a hill.
  • When you’re diving out in the open water and you realize that all the fish have suddenly disappeared or started jumping out of the water, this is not a good sign, it means that sharks are approaching. The same thing applies in the forest with small animals and predators. Sudden quietness is never a good omen.
  • Leaving the lights on in the house at night is not safe because it works like a beacon for burglars. Most robbers believe that house owners leave the lights on when they’re on vacation, to pretend they’re inside, so it seems like an easy target for them.
  • If you are near-sighted and you lose your glasses and are in need of something on the fly, quickly try to make a tiny hole using your index finger and thumb. The image you see through that will always be sharper. You’re using your finger as if you’re using binoculars.

We are sure that these hacks are useful, but we hope you’ll never have to use them. Have you ever found yourself in danger and acted wisely in the heat of the moment? Share your stories in the comments.

Preview photo credit
Illustrated by Polina Chernevina for Bright Side
Bright Side/Tips & tricks/25+ Clever Survival Hacks That Can Help You Escape the Worst
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