Recently, Redditor GlumExcitement9 asked the AskReddit community, "What's a surprisingly unknown survival fact that everyone should know?"
The thread received more than 17,000 comments, including some actually surprising and helpful tips! Of course, take all of these with a grain of salt...this is the internet, after all.
1. "During the winter, it is WAY better to be slightly cold than it is to sweat. If you start to sweat, you can go hypothermic way faster."
This is because your sweat can freeze and lower your body temperature even quicker!
2. "Every part of a dandelion, from the flower to the stem to the root, is edible."
3. Water isn't the sole key to proper hydration.
"If you are drinking plenty of water but still showing signs of dehydration (headache, fatigue, muscle aches, blurred vision, stumbling around), you may be low on electrolytes. Salty foods can really help with this, but oral rehydration salts such as Pedialyte work even better and should probably be in more people's backpacks."
4. "If you are in the car, to confirm someone is following you, take four right turns. If they follow you around the block, call for help or drive to a busy location/police station."
5. If you fall off a ship while out at sea, try to stay put and float instead of swimming.
6. "If you’re about to pass out from being exposed to heat, pour cold water on your forearms. Ice works even better."
"This is an old farmer trick. You will feel the effects immediately. You will stop being dizzy and feel better almost immediately."
This will help alleviate some of the symptoms of heat stroke and dehydration, but you'll still need to find a way to cool off and drink safe water!
7. Bring a whistle if you're heading out into the wilderness.
"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."
8. "The star symbol on the elevator panel indicates the floor that is the most direct route to outside."
9. Try to stay with your car if you're stranded in winter. Also, keep an emergency kit in your car!
"If you get stuck in your car in the snow, STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE!!! Hypothermia makes you delirious and you can wander in the wrong direction and freeze to death. Your vehicle is also a LOT easier to locate than YOU are."
"A friend from Minnesota told me to keep an unopened bottle of water, a blanket, matches, a candle, and a rope in the car during the winter months. A wax candle will provide enough heat to keep the car warm enough to survive with the blanket around you. Tie the rope to the car if you get out to relieve yourself, that way you can find your way back by following the rope (if snowing). Water — well, that is obvious."
10. Take note of where the nearest exit is when you're at a crowded venue.
"Here's one you can use every day — know your exits! People will naturally want to go out the way they came in because it's the only exit they remember, especially at places like concert venues."
11. "If you accidentally disturb a bee hive or wasp nest and are being swarmed, DO NOT run for water."
12. "Contrary to popular belief, if an alligator is chasing you, you should NOT run in a zigzag pattern."
"Do one 'zig' and then run straight. The alligator is not going to try to follow the zigzag, it will just run for you straight and you'll be slower. Do one 'zig' so that the alligator will have to do one zig if it wants to get you, and then just run in a straight line like your ass is on fire."
13. "If you are ever caught in a rip current, swim perpendicular to it."
14. When building a shelter, don't forget about bedding.
"In terms of shelter, most people immediately think roof and fire, forgetting that insulating yourself from the cold ground at night will help prevent loss of body heat. If you need to use your environment to build a shelter, do not forget to lay a good bed out for yourself."
15. Statistically, the safest floors in a hotel/building are floors 4 through 7.
"When I was a producer on The Amazing Race, our security team always briefed us that the safest floors, in general, in a hotel were 4 through 7. Above the 4th floor is the safest zone from any kind of bomb or explosive that might be driven or tossed into a building, and below the 7th floor gives you the best chance of survival from a fire. I got so many other great travel tips from them, but that one has always stood out and to this day, I request a room between those floors."