Introduction: The Do and Do-nots of Surviving
So your plane crashes down on an empty island and you are the only one left alive. What are you to do? DON'T panic is the very first thing people think, but actually the more optimistic you are about being saved, the higher chance you will die. Think about it for a minute, you are thinking you will be saved so don't do much in your time but wait so you probably wait for days and end up dying. On the other hand, you think you are going to die so, being a human, you do everything in your power to survive, wether it's eating bugs or fighting a bear. So having an adrenaline-rush is a very good thing BUT that's not panicking.
Surviving is simple. I will go over the 7 priorities of survival and explain some basics. They are put in order from the Wilderness Survival merit badge so you should start with first aid then shelter,then fire etc...
DO change the priorities to fit the situation you are in
DON'T start a priority that you like. I.E don't start a fire because you like it.
Read the comments as there are lots of people with suggestions (hopefully. suggest your own if you have any. ). If you think this is worthy survival skill, remember to vote for me :)
Step 1: First-Aid
The next thing you should do is first-aid. Start with your own injuries, if you have any. then help your friends. It's no good if you are half alive trying to do CPR on your friend. You are both dead that way.
1. If you have cold water. Pour it over the cut. Obviously, it should be clean. Mix with soap if available. DON'T use hot water. That could increase bleeding.
2. Apply pressure with a pad or a cloth. DON'T rip up your shirt over a 1 cm cut thats not deep. DO use a large piece of cloth for a cut of 1 in. or longer.
1. Check for pulse. DON'T spend 2 minutes looking for a pulse. DO go on with CPR if you can't find one.
2. Check for any airway constrictions in the mouth and nose. Then leave their mouth open for air to come in.
3. Give 30 chest compressions rapidly. DON'T try to flatten the person. DO try to push down about 1-2 inches.
4. Give 2 rescue breaths. Remember to keep the victim's nose closed with you fingers. DON'T blow as fast as you can. DO blow slowly so the air goes to the lungs and not the stomach.
5. Restart and continue with CPR for minutes. Then check for life. Go on for as long as you can or until you can get help.
DO help your friends as fast as possible. cover up a cut as much as possible, then go straight for your friends. Every second counts.
Step 2: Shelter
When making a shelter. DON'T consider sleeping on bare ground unless you have tried everything to avoid it. Also DON'T go Bear Grylls and try to sleep off of a cliff. DO attempt to make some sort of a shelter and DO consider every option before resorting to Bear Grylls.
A very simple shelter would be a lean-to.
Lay a long branch over 2 trees. Then put small branches so that it leans on the long branch.
A shelter in snowy conditions would be a simple igloo or snow cave.
If the conditions are harsh, quickly dig a a hole that you can fit in and use it like a trench. When the wind and snow passes over, build a snow cave.
When you finish a shelter, you could make a bed from leaves or a raised bed to stay above small insects.
A bed of leaves keeps heat in so you keep warm, but you aren't the only one cold at night. The heat could attract insects and small animals.
To make a raised bed, first find 3 big rocks and move them so you can fit in between them. Then lay long sticks so the there is a bridge connecting the 2 rocks together. Then add little sticks over them so you find the gap.
You could add a rock in the middle to support you better.
You could also add a pile of leaves under or on top of the bed so you keep warm.
here's a detailed instructables i made: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-easy-survival-bed/
DON'T lay on rocks as there could be scorpions underneath
DON'T spend you day building a bed. You could be saved in time, but without warmth or food, you could die.
DON'T worry about comfort of the bed. Worry more about your safety on it and your shelter.
DO think about comfort and common sense when making shelters.
DO consider safety when using and making a shelter.
Step 3: Fire
Fire is very important because it gives warmth, it's a light source, and it's hot. Using fire for it's properties are endless. You could make a signal fire, boil water, cook meat, keep warm, use it as a weapon, use it as a shield, use it as a light etc... Usually its very simple to do all those things, but it's not easy starting a fire. You need oxygen, fuel, and heat for fire to work. Oxygen is easiest to get (obviously), then fuel which is not as hard, then you have heat,very hard.
It should by dry and have alot of it.
you should have 3 piles: small dry sticks/leaves ,bigger sticks no bigger than a pencil, and big logs the size of your arm and bigger
You could try the caveman style rubbing sticks and making fire which usually fails for first-time survivors. The easy version of rubbing sticks together is the friction board
If you can find flint, you are very lucky. Using flint as a fire starter is much more simpler than rubbing sticks.
You could try the magnifying glass or glasses method where you angle the lens so the suns rays are focused right on the tinder (small dry leaves/sticks)
When you have a match-head-sized fire, place the small dry leaves and sticks on top. Avoid throwing them down and extinguishing the fire.When that catches on fire, place the bigger sticks on top. Then the big logs. When thats all done, you should have a nice sized fire.
DON'T spend too much time on fire.
DON'T use greens in your fire. anything green has water so water in fire equals no fire.
You could harness the sun's solar power to cook instead of using fire. Using reflective material, you could get enough heat to cook something small.
You could cut open a tin can. Then bend the can to make a bowl shape. Angle the "bowl" under the sun and aim the beam of light at whatever you want hot. If you can't aim the beam of light at the object you want hot, try raising the object you want hot.This is more of a last resort way of "fire"
Alternatively you can use the bowl as a fire-starter by aiming the beam of light at dry leaves and grass.
Step 4: Signaling
Making a signal is like going to school again. Trying to attract as much attention as possible. You probably don't need my help on this as we all know what works and what doesn't. Think about how ads capture you attention outside. Make a HUGH sign saying that you are here and need help. S.O.S is easiest. Try a smoke signal if you have fire or leave marks saying you were around so if there is a search party, they can find you.
To make lots of smoke from a fire:
Burn something! plastic works well. If you happen to have left over shoes, throw em in. Dropping a ton of dead leaves creates a huge ball of smoke.
DON'T scream as you can. you could lose you voice and that wouldn't help if there was really somebody around and they can't here you.
DON'T start a wildfire. Unless you think you know what you are doing.
DO try and be creative. They don't have laws on surviving so do whatever you can to attract attention.
DO try greens for a signal fire. It's not really smoke that they give off though, it's steam so it won't get as high up as smoke does.
Step 5: Water
Finding a water isn't hard. Finding drinkable water is hard. Making water drinkable is easy. A boiling water is best. Filtering also works as well.
Remember, there is water in everything that grows so eating something will give you water. Try eating plants that have lots of water. Aloe Vera is a good source of water from plants.
Use a shirt and put it over a water bottle, cup, bowl. Then put it in a river or a lake and let the water go in. It may seem dirty, but its much more cleaner that the water before.
If you can, boil your water afterwards.
DON'T go Bear Grylls and drink you own urine and do all sorts of other stuff.
DO try and get water from plants and conserve as much as possible.
Step 6: Food
When looking for food look for basic items that are edible. berries, onions, carrots, nuts etc... Try and eat food with lots of water so you don't have to drink as much of the other water. There isn't a universal rule on poisonous plants so learn about them if you are camp or hike alot. Doing that allows you to carry less food so you don't have as much to carry.
"There are a couple good rules to follow when it comes to wild foods: avoid WHITE berries and WHITE sap; avoid anything that smells foul or bitter; try a small bit of the unsure plant before eating a lot of it. Keep in mind that many plants can absorb minerals from the environment that can make you very ill... be very cautious of WHERE you are getting the plants. ALSO, don't eat anything that look like a carrot, as poison hemlock can appear similar!"-Windosia.
DON'T eat something unless you absolutely know its a food.
DO be careful with what you are eating.