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People Share Little-Known Survival Tips That Could Save Your Life

Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In a perfect world, none of us would need to know or use any of the information we’re about to go over.

We don’t live in anything remotely close to a perfect world.

Tragedies happen, accidents occur, life gets heavy. In those moments, the thing that tips the scales might be something as seemingly unimportant as “that random factoid I read on the internet.”

Reddit user GlumExcitement9 asked: 

“People of Reddit, what is a surprisingly unknown survival fact that everyone should know?” 

So listen, we sincerely hope you never need this stuff.

We hope you never find yourself waiting to be rescued, facing down a person determined to hurt you, or falling off of a ship in the middle of the open ocean.

But just in case …

Whistle While You Wait

“Pack a whistle.”

“There’s no chance your voice will hold out yelling at the top of your lungs, and whistles carry long distances. Especially handy if you’ve injured yourself, and need to rely on others finding you.”

“SOS in Morse code is … – – – …”

“So three short blasts, three longer ones, three short, pause….and repeat.”

“This is an especially handy and harmless device to give kids that are along for a hike (along with, ‘if you get separated, stop walking and blow the whistle lots, and we’ll come to you’).”Bubbafett33

Don’t Climb

“Contractor and someone who has designed quite a few subway and stations here.”

“Here’s something we’re taught during the first day of security clearance classes and this is how we design stations as a standard feature on every new platform being built. Older platforms may not have this or will have some other safety feature.”

“Having said that – many subway platforms have a space big enough for a person to fit under in case they fall onto the subways tracks.”

“So if you fall off the edge of the platform and onto the tracks and there’s a train coming, roll to the side. There’s likely a gap you can fit in.”

“It might be tight, and you’ll certainly get dirty, but better than standing up, scrambling to try and climb out, and dying.”IndianInferno

“I work for NYCT. There are niches you can stand that are safe if you fall.”

“As long as there isn’t a red and white stripped board, you’re good.”

“Another fatal and idiotic piece of advice I hear a lot is to lie down flat between the running rails. This may work in a few stations and in specific spots in those stations but do not try this!”

“Just look along the wall for niches and flatten yourself against the wall in there. If there’s no wall then stand next to a column and hold onto it with one hand.”

“Then just try to stand flush with the column.”CrankBar

Self Defense Is Cowardly

“My family runs self-defense classes. They include multiple black belts and lawyers.”

“In terms of ‘fights’ – bar brawls, people in the street, muggings, etc.:”

“- If they have a weapon, any weapon, run. Seriously, you will die, no matter how good you think you are or how many test-disarms you’ve done in a dojo.”

“Run like f*ck and be prepared to kill if cornered.”

“We’ve witnessed experienced black-belts hurt themselves with a real knife (after signing disclaimers!) so badly that they were hospitalized when they were JUST SPARRING, not fighting for real.”

“It’s just not worth it.”

“- If the fight is just ‘brewing’, repeatedly announce that you don’t want to fight them (attracts help, shows you’re not trying to one-up them, covers you legally, and doesn’t prepare them if you do fight).”

‘ Say things like ‘Nah, man, I don’t want to fight you. I don’t want to fight you. Look, I don’t want to fight you. Whatever, man, I don’t want to fight. I’m just gonna walk away, alright, I don’t wanna fight you’.” 

“- If it’s not immediately life-threatening and you can avoid it, try not to throw the first punch. Again, legal coverage, but also means you’re not the guy who gets into something they didn’t want to.”

“The first punch is the trigger for everything to kick off. Up until that point you can still defuse everything back to harsh words and idle threats.”

“Once a punch is thrown, someone’s getting really hurt and you literally have no idea if the other guy is more experienced or better at it that you. No matter who you are.”

“However, you can *react* to anything that appears to come towards you perfectly legitimately… if he’s “faking out” a punch, you have no idea of that but can act as if it was real.”

“- If you’re surprised, ‘attacked’, etc… without warning… it’s no holds barred.”

“Literally, who cares about his eyesight, his future fatherhood prospects, whether his kneecaps will ever work again or if he can breathe.”

“You can’t afford to end up on the floor, be incapacitated yourself, stunned, reeling, unconscious, for him to summon aid, or even just to fall to the ground awkwardly.”

“And YES, that guy could stab you and you wouldn’t know until after he walked away, things are really that quick!”

“Your brain doesn’t notice some subtle movements, your body won’t scream out in pain because of the adrenaline, and someone who knows what they’re doing will not attract attention to the weapon until it’s in you, etc…”

“You can’t take that risk.”

“Once it gets physical, don’t stop until you’re sure he’s not able to harm you, and then run away anyway for good measure (legal hint: report to the police at the first opportunity, don’t wait).”

“Once they have shown they have an intention to hurt you, and they’ve started to act on it – nothing is out of line.”

“And to quote the legal people in our clubs who were always asked the questions: If you feel your life is genuinely in danger, you can do almost anything to protect it until the point it’s no longer in danger. Worry about the legalities later.”

“But if your life is in danger, you would act to protect.”

“Going back in for another kick, or using a weapon when he’s already down and you could run, or anything else? Yeah, that’s not self-defense.”

“You’re not *defending* yourself by walking back into a fight you could have easily escaped.”

“Victims who ‘just tried to punch him once, but he punched back, so I shot him’ are also often harder to take seriously for self-defense than ‘he was three times my size, I was on my own, he attacked, I was in a struggle for my life at that point’.”

“That’s especially true if they were heard trying to stop the fight from happening, ran away immediately when they could, and called the police as they ran.”

“You can also act in defense of others, but again – you are defending. You’re giving them time to run away – wife, child, friend, whoever.”

“If there’s a threat, that’s what you’re giving them; the opportunity to escape the threat.”

“But there’s literally nothing wrong with breaking the guy’s knee as your first action (kick it so it goes sideways) – in fact, from a self-defense point of view, it’s perfectly legitimate. It’s a perfect way to prevent pursuit and allow you to escape.”

“Self-defense is cowardly, at its heart.”

“Do everything you can to capitulate, avoid the fight, etc… but if it escalates, take the quickest, most effective way to incapacitate them and then run away.” ledow

You Vs. The Ocean

“If you are ever caught in a rip current, swim perpendicular to it. If you swim into it, you will die.”

“If you let it carry you out to sea and aren’t a strong swimmer, you will die.”[Reddit]

“I’ve been caught in a rip current. This advice is incredibly useful to know, because without it you’re also going to panic real hard when swimming towards the shore doesn’t work.”homarjr

“I was caught in one, too, during my freshman year of college. I almost died.”

“I would have if it weren’t for my friend, who was a lifeguard, that was nearby. I tried the whole swimming parallel to the beach method, but what everyone conveniently forgets to mention is that you STILL have to swim back to shore.”

“This task is seriously exhausting. If you’re not VERY in shape, you’re pretty much f*cked if you’re caught in a rip current with no one out there to help rescue you.”enginerd12

“Been a sailing merchant for 12 years. If you ever fall off a ship/ferry at sea and you’re lucky enough to be spotted – don’t try to swim your way to safety. The ocean will win.”

“The more you try to swim, the lesser your chances of survival. Just try to keep afloat and conserve energy (and body heat) while rescue team do what they’re supposed to.”

“Unless you are in hypothermic waters, the best bet always is to stay afloat without trying to swim to somewhere.”trendz19

Snakebite Position

“Lead the pack if you’re scared of snakes. You’ll disturb them but the person behind you is more likely to get bitten.”knittingtaco

“Mountain biker from southern Arizona here.”

“In the summer, we trail ride at night to avoid the heat. When on single track, whoever is behind the guy in front is in ‘snakebite’ position.”

“We’ve all at one time or another had to bunnyhop a rattlesnake”tucsonyeti

The Star

“Elevator stuff: The STAR symbol on the elevator panel indicates the floor that is the most direct route to outside. It’s not always the first floor.”AtopMountEmotion

Leave It To The Professionals

“Don’t f*ck with garage door springs.”SpitefulShrimp

“Used to work on commercial and residential doors and openers. Seen a broken spring go through a cinderblock wall.”

“The main thing to look for are the red bolts.(assuming the door was installed correctly.) Those are the ones holding tension on the springs/lines.”

“Screw with something else you might break it. Screw with the reds they might break you.”ThePrevailer

“THIS is what almost killed me!”

“I was trying to fix a gap in my garage door a couple of years ago and started to unscrew a couple of bolts with the door closed.”

“One of them flew right by my face. I almost pissed my pants and couldn’t sleep that night just thinking about how I almost won a Darwin award.”Lapare

Sure, some of this is stuff we’re not really likely to use, but how many elevators have you been in.

Did you know what that star was for?

Had you even noticed it?


Written by Erica Diaz

Have you ever read something where you just KNOW the writer talks with their hands, does the sound effects, and would bust out a little dance if it suited the story?

That's Erica.

She's a colorful storyteller whose sense of humor and fearless honesty make a big impact. Her rants might go for the emotional jugular, hit your funny bone, or shock you and your mama out of your fajas. Usually it's all three.

Often chronicling her life in Florida, her stories are full of characters like "Bikini Rifle Lady", "Mariachi Neighbor," and "Barbara The NextDoor Evangelist." There's almost always a message in the madness, and that's what people connect with most.

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