When the electricity stops we can’t rely on modern technology to do everything for us. We need to rewind to old methods to get simple jobs done. This is where so many people are going to fail because they do not know how to do even the simplest of tasks.
We are going to take a look at 10 old survival tips we shouldn’t forget as we never know when we’re going to need them.
The tips that we are going to be looking at were originally printed as a “How-To” series on cigarette cards for different emergency situations.
All the pictures below are part of the George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library.
- 1 1. How to Extract a Splinter
- 2 2. How to Treat a Sprain
- 3 3. How to Make a Fire Extinguisher
- 4 4. How to Treat an Animal Bite
- 5 5. How to Detect Escaping Gas
- 6 6. How to Light a Match in the Wind
- 7 7. Three Useful Knots
- 8 8. How to Judge the Weather
- 9 9. How to Preserve Eggs
- 10 10. How to Tell the Points of the Compass with a Watch
1. How to Extract a Splinter
This is the simple process of using suction to remove a splinter from your skin. Just fill a wide mouthed bottle with hot water almost to the brim. Press the affected area tightly against the mouth of the bottle. The suction should be enough to remove the splinter.
2. How to Treat a Sprain
You never know when you might end up having a freak slip or fall causing a sprain. The notes that used to accompany this card state:
Elevate the injured joint and wrap in cloths wrung out in cold water. The picture above shows how you can keep the cloths constantly wet without having to change them. A jug of water placed higher than injured limb, and a strip of linen with one end in the jug and the other end resting on the wrapping of injured joint. The water will pass from jug to compress by way of linen strip. Give a rubbing with oil or liniment as sprain gets better.
3. How to Make a Fire Extinguisher
I have to admit that just going out and buying a fire extinguisher would certainly save a lot of messing around but hey, it’s information and that’s valuable. If you want to try your hand at making your own old-school fire extinguisher, do the following:
- Dissolve one pound of salt and half a pound of salt-ammoniac into two quarts of water.
- Store the liquid in small glass bottles ready for use.
4. How to Treat an Animal Bite
You can stop some of the bleeding and give yourself a better look at the area by using a tight ligature round the limb above the wound.
The next important bit of advice that they would give is to thoroughly cleanse the wound but then they went on with “and if there is any suspicion of madness in the attacking animal the place should be well sucked and cauterized with luna caustic, or a white hot iron, after cutting away the surrounding flesh with a sharp clean knife.”
Looking back we may think it madness that they printed those kinds of instructions but it’s important to note that back then they didn’t have vaccines like we have today.
I like how this one ended with” Send for doctor” which is incredibly important when you’re bitten by an animal.
5. How to Detect Escaping Gas
There are a number of things that can go wrong at home and one of those is that you can get a gas leak. Following any disaster you can’t expect help to get to you immediately so you need to make some safety checks yourself.
This method might be old but it still works!
Paint strong soap solution on the suspected length of pipe and the gas will then cause bubbles at the escaping point, which can be dealt with at once.
6. How to Light a Match in the Wind
The familiar difficulty of lighting a match in the wind can be to a great extent overcome if thin shavings are first cut on the match towards its striking end, as shown in the picture. On lighting the match, the curled strips catch fire at once; the flame is stronger and has a better chance.
7. Three Useful Knots
The Timber Hitch, The Fisherman’s Knot and the Clove Hitch. Three knots that can get you out of almost any situation. No. 1 is the Timber Hitch, which is especially useful in lifting all kinds of heavy work, such as huge beams. No. 2, the Fisherman’s Knot, shows a good method of joining two ropes tightly together. No. 3 is the famous Clove Hitch, which becomes tighter the harder it is pulled.
8. How to Judge the Weather
The traveller, setting off in the early morning, will find a fairly sure guide as to the weather he is likely to encounter by watching a very small distant cloud. If the cloud grows gradually larger, then unsettled, rainy weather will probably come. But if the cloud decreases in size, the day should be a fine one.
9. How to Preserve Eggs
Preserve only eggs that are newly laid. Bury them in a box of salt. This traditional way of keeping eggs has been almost forgotten. The eggs last about an year when they are totally buried in the salt. No air whatever must be allowed to get at the shells.
10. How to Tell the Points of the Compass with a Watch
Take the watch of your hand. Point the hour hand at the sun and then lay a piece of wire or a blade of grass crosswise between the hour hand and the figure twelve.
The end of the wire between the twelve and the hour hand points south.