Labello, chewing gum and potato chips

For our ramp #49 - Higgledy Piggledy we flew to New Zealand for the launch event of the new Jeep Gladiator. It turned out to be a real off-road adventure that a pair of sneakers didn't survive. Additionally, it left us with the serious question: how do you actually survive in the wilderness in extreme cases?
Text Matthias Mederer
Photo Matthias Mederer & Maximilián Balázs · ramp.pictures

Stopover, somewhere in the wilderness of the South Island of New Zealand. Experienced off-road and automotive journalists stand together in pouring rain. Jeep Gladiator vehicles have just crossed the first washed out path and flooded roads. Unanimous tenor: no other manufacturer except Jeep would be able to drive a launch event in these conditions. Anyone else would have had to cancel here.

In our case it did not come to that extreme. But the question, what does it really need in extreme cases to survive in nature, we have already asked ourselves? The so-called rule of three is pretty good in such cases. In an emergency, you can go: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.

Now there are numerous guides for people who want to survive in the harsh nature. One of them is outdoor expert Creek Stewart with his book »Survival Hacks«. The subtitle of it proclaims to teach »Survival with Everyday Objects«. We're pretty sure, they would help us in an emergency. Here are our five favourites:

- Labello as sealant: many zippers on jackets and backpacks are water-repellent but not waterproof. Tip: pull a chapstick over the zipper with a little pressure. The wax from the care stick is pressed into the gaps and seals the zipper.

- Condom as water container: up to one litre of water can be carried in a condom. However, this should be uncoated. A bamboo tube can serve as a straw, a carved branch as a plug.

- Rabbit droppings serve as tinder: According to Stewart, the dried excrements of deer, moose, rabbits, goats and cows are particularly well suited to ignite them with sunlight. In addition, the dried pellets from deer, rabbit or elk can be easily stored and transported.

- Potato chips as fire accelerant: Potato chips are an ideal fire accelerant, as they are usually fried in fat and are highly flammable.

- Chewing gum and battery as lighter: A metal-coated paper (e.g. from a chewing gum) and a battery can easily become a lighter. If you fold the paper into an hourglass shape and simultaneously hold it to the positive and negative pole of the battery, the paper will ignite immediately.

»The so-called rule of three is pretty good in such cases. In an emergency, you can go: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.«


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