5 Survival Hacks That Could Save Your Life In The Wild

Surviving in the woods is something that you may, at some point, need to know about. Even if we never experience a local or global natural disaster that would force you into the woods in order to survive, there are always other times when you may need it.

For instance, if you’re camping and lose your way or if your car breaks down in the woods and you are miles away from civilization, you’ll need to know how to survive for a day or two.

Survivopedia has teamed up with the guys from Survival Know How to bring you a series of videos about 5 crucial hacks for your wilderness survival. We will teach you how to build a snare to catch small game, how to make a simple water filter, how to create fire using a mirror, how to make a tarp shelter and how to make a 2-liter bottle fish trap.

Each of these survival hacks requires very little in the way of materials and most of them, you’ll have in your bug-out bag or your vehicle bag anyway. If not, they’d be good to add.

1. Catch Live Game with a Wood Cage Trap

This is a pretty cool way to create a basic snare to catch small game. In the video below, Malcolm uses bamboo and a few feet of string but you could use any kind of sticks that you can find. It’s important that the sticks be relatively small in diameter. This is because the snare is going to be built by stacking the sticks atop each other in a manner that will leave gaps as large as the stick. If you use sticks that are too big around, your prey will be able to escape through these gaps.

You’ll be using the strings as the frame for the snare and will build the walls in such a way that when the snare is complete, it will be held together by the tension on the string. It’s extremely simple to put together.

Next you’ll learn how to make the stick that holds the trap up, which is actually quite clever. Finally, he’ll show you how to set the bushcraft trap so that it will snare a small animal. It’s easy and it seems as it would be effective. Check out the video!

Watch this video on Survival Know How.

2. How to Make a Simple Water Filter

There’s nothing more critical to survival than water. Our bodies are made mostly of it and your brain and organs are quickly affected if you don’t have enough. As a matter of fact, you can only go about 24 hours without water before your body and your brain stops functioning optimally. It won’t be long after that you die.

The how-to video below shows you how to make a simple water filter using a scrap of cloth and two empty containers. It works on the wicking method and the water will still need to be boiled or sanitized, but it will be free of debris and dirt.

Watch this video on Survival Know How.

3. How to Create Fire from a Mirror

Next to lack of water or food, exposure to the elements is the next biggest danger to you if you’re stuck in the woods. You need to know how to build a fire for a couple of reasons. First, many places get incredibly cold once the sun sets, and may even be dangerously cold during the day. You’ll need to build a fire to keep warm and to cook your food.

Another reason that you may want to build a fire is so that rescuers can find you. One of the first things that search parties look for is smoke, especially if they’re searching from the sky. Of course, if you’re trying to hide, you’ll want to build a smaller fire in the cover of trees of in a cave in order to hide the smoke.

Regardless, you’ll still need to stay warm and cook the meat that you caught in the snare, so watch this video to see how to start a fire using a vanity mirror. We’ve always said to include a mirror in your kits, so you won’t have anything more to add; you’ll already have what you need. Well, that and sunshine. Check it out – you may be surprised by how well this works!

Watch this video on Survival Know How.

4. How to Make a Tarp Shelter

You’ve got food, you’ve got water, you’ve got fire, and now you need shelter. Those are the basics that will keep you alive if you’re stuck in the woods trying to survive. Since we always recommend carrying a tarp or plastic garbage bags and 550 cord with you in your bug-out and vehicle bags, you won’t need much more other than a little bit of elbow grease.

The video below goes into detail about where you should build your shelter and offers some advice about where NOT to build it. He also talks about the prepping steps that you should take prior to putting your shelter up then tells you how to make it warmer and more comfortable. Check it out – you’ll love the simplicity of it.

Watch this video on Survival Know How.

5. How to Make a 2 Liter Bottle Fish Trap

Just in case your snare doesn’t work, you may want to have a back-up plan. Fish is pretty tasty and it’s also extremely good for you. It has a ton of protein and healthy fat that will help you to survive no matter what your circumstances are.

For this project, you’re going to need a 2-liter bottle, some string and a knife. Though the video shows a 2-liter bottle, you could use a smaller water bottle or even a larger jug. You’ll be catching minnows, which you can eat or use as bait to catch other fish. This is actually a pretty cool trick that you may want to use if you’re a fisherman in order to catch fresh bait throughout the day as you float along.

The concept is the same as commercial crab traps and is a pretty slick hack.

Watch this video on Survival Know How.

All five of these hacks are easy to do and don’t require any other materials than you should have in your bug-out kit or vehicle bag. Not only are they great for survival, they’re even good if you’re just out camping and having fun.

We’d love to hear what you think if the videos so let’s hear your opinion in the comments section below. Also, if you have any other cool hacks, feel free to share those, too!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. The videos have been created by Survival Know How.

Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

Latest comments
  • These tips are pretty good. The fish trap, a really good idea, could be a bit of a problem to implement in a creek, or other current environment. sin addition to selecting a somewhat sheltered placement, I would suggest using the knife to sharpen a stick into a point and piercing the base and sides of the jug/bottle to permit water to exit, but small enough to restrict the escape of your catch.
    If you are careful to place the jug on a firm surface, the piercing will not be uncontrollable.

  • Why was your site not responding last night 06/28/15

  • The fish trap is excellent for catching minnows which can then be used as bait for other animals.

    I was most impressed with the free-fall trap. It’s possible to get dowel sticks to do the same thing and put the minnow on the string. I also liked the water filter trick. The rivers and creeks always have loose sand and debris in them, That is an effective way get only the water.

    As for the fire, I prefer the waterproof matches. A single cloud could interfere with the sunlight. Plus, if you’re in a bug out stiuation, you may not be able to make a campsite unil an hour before the sun goes down. In the woods, that could interfere with your comfort that night. With a waterproof match, you have an immediate means of making a small fire to keep you warm on those cold nights. Just don’t forget to set some trip lines with bells or cans to alert you when animals or people are approaching.

    • You can carry only so many matches. The mirror saves your matches for when it won’t work. Why waste a match to start a fire if you can start it easily with something that won’t run out? Now the size and weight may make it a problem to backpack and a Fresnel lens may be better to have. They come in credit card size, bookmark, half page, full page and many other sizes. They also can be used to see slivers, read fine print, do fine detail work, etc.

  • All Five tips were EXCELLENT! I learned something new from each one. Many thanks for giving us this information.

  • The use of the magnifying mirror to start fires is a great suggestion. In that context, it is not necessary to boil water to purify it for consumption. Raising the temperature to about 160 degrees and sustaining it there is usually sufficient, Research this to be certain about the time lag and degree. This would be just under a simmer on the stove. Using the mirror focused on a glass jug or jar would work well if no other means of treating water is available, for example no dry fuel to use, or no metal container. I have used a magnifying glass to heat water in a home canning jar. Glass, jars, bowls, pyrex , or food safe plastic (as in Microwave safe containers) may well offer an alternative to heating over a fire. Once it starts to steam the process is on and working. As I recall, the timing is about 5-7 minutes per quart. Double check that, I don;t claim to be a bio-chemist, just an old-time Scout.
    Please feel free to correct my recollections on this subject It has been years since I needed to use this technique.

  • Make dental floss part of your sewing kit. For sewing up skin
    A curved needle in your sewing kit. For sewing up skin

  • I love the videos! The visual content adds greatly for us neophytes; so I would like to see more of these type short clip videos if possible.

  • Just saw your video about your survival tent an it reminded me of a time I took my boys camping in the Oregon forests. We waited hours for the boys’ father to show up with the tent, but it never happened. Luckily I had a 20′ x 16′ tarp, a couple of sheets, rope, and a box of clothes pins. I tied two sections of rope parallel to each other, threw the tarp over both ropes, and made adjustment so that the inside looked like a square. I pinned the sheets so that they made a door on each end. I never traveled without food so after eating and washing up we were able to sleep, stay dry and warm for the night. The only thing that happened was that I had a bruise on my hip from sleeping on my gun. This was 40 years ago and at 70 it is amazing to see things come back around again.

  • one of the best articles on survival i have read in awhile. factual and no BS.