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24 Lost Survival Tips from 100 Years Ago – with Illustrations - Must See !!!

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When we’ll have no running water, no hyperactive emergency services, no electricity… we are going to turn back to what people did 100 years ago. Here you’ll find some “little” survival tricks popular in the early 1900’s and (some of them) useful even today.

100 years ago Gallaher Ltd printed a short “How-To” series, with clever hints for emergency situations. The cards were distributed with packs of cigarettes. All the pictures bellow are part of the George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. Please enjoy the article.

1. How to Extract a Splinter

Take a wide mouthed bottle and fill it with hot water nearly to the brim. Now press the affected hand or foot tightly against the mouth of the bottle.

This will then cause a suction and pull the flesh down. The suction plus the steam will help pull out the splinter.

2. How to Make an Emergency Water Filter

A handy and efficient water filter can be made out of an ordinary bucket.

First make a hole at the bottom of the bucket.

Instructions: “The water percolates through the layers of fine and coarse sand, and clean picked gravel and stones, with which the pail is filled, filtering through to the bottom in a clear state.”

One of the best layers you should add to this bucket is one made of charcoal. Here is an 100-Year-Old Way to Filter Rainwater Directly in a Barrel

3. How to Engrave on a Knife

This method was widely used during the Middle Ages and all the engravings in swords or armors. Here are some armors engraved using this traditional way: example 1example 2example 3.

Instructions: “The steel to be worked upon should be covered completely with a coating of beeswax. The lettering or design to be engraved can then be drawn with the point of a clean quill pen. This lays bare the metal. A strong solution of sulphate of iron should then be repeatedly poured over the exposed surface for about ten minutes. The more prolonged the action of the sulphate the deeper will the steel be engraved.”

↑↑↑  Click and learn why you need your own sustainable food source and how you can build your own eco-system capable of producing food in any crisis. ↑↑↑ (video)

4. How to Make a Fire Extinguisher

Although is good to know, probably none of us will make these old fashion extinguishers since is much easier to buy one. And because the new ones are more effective (I guess) and definitely safer.

Dissolve one pound of salt and half a pound of salt-ammoniac into two quarts of water. Then bottle the liquid in thin glass bottles holding about a quart each.

Should a fire break out, dash one or more bottles into the flames, and any serious outbreak will probably be averted.

5. How to Purify Water in a Cistern

Easy! Stir in a tablespoon of powdered alum.

After 30 minutes the alum cause the particles and the bacteria to bound together and cause them to drop to the bottom leaving a clear purified water.

A tablespoon or half an ounce of alum will purify from sixteen to twenty gallons of water.

Related: Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water

6. How to Treat an Animal Bite

First tight a ligature round the limb above the wound. This will stop a little bit the bleeding and it will give you a better visibility to evaluate the wound.

The next advice given back then was: “Thoroughly cleanse the wound 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.”

The advice was really good for that time, when there were no vaccines. And even today doctors recommend thoroughly washing the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes (to reduce the number of rabies particles). Povidone iodine or alcohol is then recommended to reduce the virus further. When SHTF and we’ll no longer be able to access vaccines this is your only option available.

Related: This Bug Will Kill Most of the Americans during the Next Crisis. Must See ! 

7. How to Detect Escaping Gas

Gas leaks can be caused by faulty appliances, or by those that have been incorrectly installed or poorly maintained.

Some of us don’t even use gas anymore (like me) or some may have gas detectors, but either way, after an earthquake, or a hurricane or a tornado there will always be gas leaks.

This 100 years old method is risk free and quite reliable.

“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.”

8. How to Light a Match in the Wind

Instructions: “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.”

9. How to Find a Lost Trail

If a trail is lost, there isn’t much to do but to search for it.

A very good way to do that is to mark the last foot-print or sign you notice as the center of the circle and go round it at a distance of anything from 30 to 100 yards.

The trail should be discovered somewhere crossing the circular track you are following.

Related: The Spy Escape & Evasion Techniques from Ex-CIA Operative and Shark Tank Star

10. How to Cure Chilblains

“A simple and homely remedy, which immediately relieves the irritation and pain caused by chilblains, is salt and fresh apple juice.

The affected parts are rubbed gently with a slice of apple dipped in common salt. A good juicy apple should be used.”

Related: Katrina Survivor: “I went through hell and back trying to fight this “killer”. It robbed me of my hope, my security and even someone I love. And it’s guaranteed to come back during any crisis. Here’s what you need to know !!! (Video)

11. How to Secure Loose Hammers and Axe Heads

After wedging the handle of hammer as tight as possible, drill two holes at the end of wood and drive in two large screws.

An axe-head can be secured by boring a hole through the haft just bellow head and wiring through the hole and over top.

The wire should be twisted and staple driven into a hold position.

12. 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.

13. A Simple Cure for Catarrh

Treatment for catarrh may not be necessary because it often disappears within a few days, after your body has fought off the infection. But in some cases it doesn’t go away and it can be a health problem, especially for the underfed. In food crisis when people are poorly fed, these low-risk diseases kill more people than starvation itself. (Read more about this: Ingenious Foods People Made During Famines)

Instructions: “Take a pinch of ordinary table salt up the nostrils, just as you would a pinch of snuff.

Then gargle the mouth and throat with warm water, being careful not to swallow it.

Do this each morning before breakfast.”

Related: An Insanely Effective Way to Build a 5 Year Food Stockpile (Video)

14. Three Useful Knots

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.

15. How to Bandage a Foot

A traditional method used to make the inflammation heal faster (especially for sprain ankles) was to place a leaf of cabbage between the bandage and the ankle.

In the picture: “Rest injured foot on operator’s knee on a clear towel.

Commence bandaging in manner shown by the lower diagram, the bandage being bound over and round the back of foot in spiral fashion, and eventually fixed by means of a safety pin, just beneath ankle, as shown in upper illustration.”

16. How to Make Roller Bandages

Instructions: “A roller bandage must be rolled evenly and tightly, so in the absence of a machine a chair will serve this purpose.

The picture illustrates procedure. Whilst one person carefully rolls another pulls tight opposite end of the bandage, and at the same time sees that no folds or creases are allowed to form.”

Related: The Only 4 Antibiotics You’ll Need when SHTF

17. How to Fell a Tree

Having decided which side you wish the tree to fall, cut alternatively a downward and inward cut as you can see in the picture – in this order.

When about half through, proceed to cut the other side a few inches higher, and finally pull tree down with the help of a rope.

In a survival situation (and not only) you can use trees for their nutritious sap. Here are the Trees That Can Be Tapped For Sap And Syrup.

18. How to Build a Simple Shelter

Instructions: “A simple shelter can be made by driving two forked sticks into the ground and connecting these by a pole resting on them.

Branches are then laid resting on the pole. The right angle should be around 45 degrees, and the screen fitted up with smaller branches, ferns, etc.”

19. How to Make a Water Fountain for Chickens

Instructions: “A simple water fountain, ensuring a supply of fresh water for the chickens, can be made from a pint wine bottle, supported by wire loops to a wooden upright as shown.

The bottle is inverted over an earthenware pan, with the mouth of the bottle about half an inch above the bottom of pan.”

I see that now there are even some “rodent resistant chicken feeders” which can be used together with the water fountain if you leave for 2-3 days.

20. How to Remove Foreign Particles from the Eye

Few things are more irritating than having something in the eye.

“Drop sweet or castor oil into the corner of the eye. Picture shows a ready method of allowing drop of oil to fall into eye from the poim of a paint brush.”

If the particle is of mortar or lime, bathe eye with weak vinegar and water.

21. How to Make a Chair to Cross a Stream

If your group has one or more people who cannot (maybe there are wounded) or don’t know how to swim, you might want to find a simple solution to help him cross a river. If there are nearby trees – and usually near rivers there are – all you need is a rope.

Fasten a strong rope to a tree and let somebody (who can swim) go across the stream and fasten the other end to a tree on an opposite bank.

Use another rope to improvise a chair fastening it into a running loop. “By means of a light rope fastened to the middle of (the) chair and held by someone at each end, those unable to swim are safely passed over.”

22. Keeping Plants Watered While Away on Holiday

There are many simple and cheap DIY tricks to keep your green friends properly hydrated so that you don’t return home to a house full of wilting and yellowing plants.

A traditional method is to fill a large bucket with water, and place it a little above the level of the plants.

You can group round or near as many plants as you want. Place one end of a strand of wool in the bucket and the other one to the plant.

You can place as many yarns as you want.

23. Rescue from Fire

If it is necessary to enter a burning house in a search of unconscious persons, or to save a family member, first place a wet bandage over your nose and mouth and crawl in on all fours. You do this because the only Oxigen you may find is on close to the floor. (and the visibility is better)

Place a rope around his ankles. The other end of the rope around your chest or shoulders.

Then turn your back on him and drag him out. (you’re going on all fours with rope underneath)

24. 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.

This way you’ll have eggs and salt for survival.

↑↑↑  Click and learn why you need your own sustainable food source and how you can build your own eco-system capable of producing food in any crisis. ↑↑↑ (video)

25. How to Treat Sprains

Elevate the injured joint and wrap in cloths wrung out in cold water. The picture shows how to keep the cloths constantly wet without having to change them.

Place a jug of water higher than the injured limb and a strip of linen with one end in the jug and the other end resting upon the wrapping of sprained joint.

The water will pass from the jug to compress keeping it constantly wet and cold.

Definitely a hundred years ago people knew how to do a lot more things that we now take for granted. Learning how to do stuff on your own – not only makes you a better man – but could be a way of life… And in time of crisis you might be able to support and sustain  your family without much outside aid. This is one of the things that I’ve learned from a well-known army officer vet Steve Walker, for whom I have all the respect in the world. Watch his video and learn quite a few efficient (DIY) fast-tips about protecting your family in time of war or social chaos.

Source: Ask a Prepper

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An insanely effective way to build a 5 year food stockpile (Video)

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Survival Lessons from the Old Army C-Rations

This Can be the End of America as we Know it (Video)

DIY String Motor (Video)

The Most Important Prophecy that is Encrypted Inside our Holy Bible (Video)


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    Total 23 comments
    • Lilly68

      These are interesting. Although, in the event of an emergency, you should turn off all gas to your house. Make sure you have one of those gas turn off things like this:

      And make sure you have an emergency radio

    • FusedNail

      Excellent post!

      • C. Davis

        Thanks !

    • Antique White

      if your saved to die is gain ! repent now say this with me. Jesus i believe you are the savior only messiah the only son of God i repent of my sins come and live in me! so be it! get only a king james only and read it or listen to the bible on this site! click on the speaker icon then i like the drama bible kjv! :idea:

      • Lou

        MARANATHA..come quickly beloved Savior

    • srsly1

      Lost survival tips?

      please explain how #3 is a survival technique: “3. How to Engrave on a Knife”

      • Mayhem

        Isn’t it obvious, seriously? For one thing the delicate and amazingly detailed engraving would bedazzle any foe allowing for easy dispatch and secondly it provides something to do during the 90% tedium of post apocalyptic survival. It’d have to beat sitting around worrying oneself sick about the 10% sheer terror aspect of surviving against all odds, wouldn’t it?

        I’m kidding :smile:

      • C. Davis

        You are right – It’s not! I posted because I found it interesting and because most survivalists, preppers … have a survival knife. It’s just a cool thing to do…

    • Pink Slime

      Yeah, this was posted somewhere else a while back. Very handy tips.

    • truthlovingsoul

      don’t forget urine therapy. our wee has hundreds of uses.

      • CrowPie

        Urine sad shape if you actually believe this pl$$ p00r advise.

        • AmbrociousXP

          About urine therapy, read this CrowPie, this will explain why it seems to work even if you don’t agree, at least read it:

          Urine Therapy

          In 1945, John W. Armstrong published a book called The Water of Life, A Treatise on Urine Therapy. The book explored the difficult-to-accept idea that drinking one’s own urine will promote healing and restore health to those afflicted with grave illnesses. Martha Christy also published a book on this topic titled Your Own Perfect Medicine in the late 1980′s. I highly recommend reading both of them. Christy’s approach is more technical and includes injections of prepared urine tissue and taking urine drops under the tongue.

          Armstong’s approach is simpler: To resolve life-threatening disease conditions, drink every drop of your own urine and neither eat nor drink anything else until you are completely well!! In his book, Armstong provides the history of many, many patients with a variety of serious conditions (cancers, massive infections, heart conditions, etc.) who were frequently near The End. In some cases, the patient was so gravely disabled, that he couldn’t produce any urine of his own. In those cases, Armstong would ‘jump start’ the patient with his own urine. Afterwards, the patient was able to produce a small amount of his own. With each subsequent ingestion of urine, the patient would gain in both strength and relief from pain. For the most serious cases, patients drank nothing but their own urine for periods of 90, 120, 150 days! Some, even longer. Armstrong points out that rubbing the body with old urine (for a substantial period of time, E.g.1-2 hours) is a necessary adjunct treatment to ingestion in very serious cases. In less severe cases, rubbing with old urine will clear up most skin conditions and produce a smooth, blemish-free skin if applied regularly (ladies, take note). Why this works is explained at length in the books, but briefly the

          1. replenishment of vital tissues lost to the ill patient through the urine and the

          2. reingestion, refinement, and re-filtering of antibodies and other immune enhancing substances allows the body to exclusively concentrate on destroying, unclogging, and removing the offending organisms and diseased tissue, without the burdens of routine work such as digestion and normal detoxification

          Of course, we normally think of both urine and stool elimination as waste, but urine, unlike feces, is totally sterile. Mind you, it’s the filtrate of your own blood. Many people in normal health drink urine daily in order to keep their health and maintain physical beauty. Get the books and read them. In the event of survival difficulties, this simple technique can save your life.

          Beyond the Urine Therapy Story, I knew I had discovered a trusted and kindred spirit when Armstong began the book’s Introduction with the following words: “Owing to the increasing part played by vested interests in many branches of human endeavor, not least in the very lucrative providing of remedies for disease, intelligent members of the public, are growing more and more distrustful of orthodox medical methods.”

          He continued the book’s Introduction by asking why, after more than 50 years (as of 1945), can orthodox cancer researchers only offer the knife, radium, or X-rays to address this malignancy after so much time, money, and effort has been expended to discover its cause and cure? The author further inquires, why, after so many letters from doctors testifying to the highly unsatisfactory results of radium treatment (repeatedly published in the British Medical Journal), did the Cancer Ring ( the Cancer Establishment or Cancer Industry as we would refer to it today) continue to tout radium as the “best” therapy? Finally, why, did the Cancer Research Ring, who “still asks the public to donate large sums of money towards the discovery of a cure”, continuously discount and belittle effective treatments for cancer, when those therapies were proposed by practitioners of non-orthodox medicine?

          58 years later, nothing much has changed when it comes to the politics of Big Medicine. Today, we know the answers to John Armstrong’s questions. Only the most naive and uninformed among us continue to believe the party line spouted by the pharmaceutical/medical establishment and their propaganda flunkies such as the The American Cancer Society: “The Cure for Cancer is just around the Corner”; “Get a Checkup and Write a Check”; “The Race for The Cure”; ” Marathon to Beat Breast Cancer”; etc. It’s pure rot: nothing but lies to bilk the trusting and believing public out of their money and fend the appearace of doing honest research. The promoters and planners of these publicity/ fund raising events deserve the greatest possible condemnation for their deceit.


      • Beaver Hunter

        I tried soaking my feet in a bucket of piss and almost killed myself. I began to turn a bit yellowish – beige in color and almost poisoned myself to death. That was when I discovered I was a GREY Reptilian-ALIEN hybrid and I could absorb nutrients through my skin too.

        • truthlovingsoul

          if you’d kept them in there you could have cured your plantar’s warts , yuck i know, and your athletes foot. it works. cotton socks soaked in aged wee and wear them to bed in bread bags. 3 nights and all better. :0)

    • Adventurous

      Awesome post! As military and trained survivalist I’m loving these. Many even I didn’t know. In all honesty, the way our society has more or less failed to continue to pass on common sense like this to the next generations, most would die from a lack of basic knowledge post-apocalypse. There wouldn’t be a google search to look it up and half the kids these days have never stepped foot in a real library. Thank you for handing this knowledge back down. Who is to know how many lives you may have just saved at some point. +1

    • Michael

      #26 – People used to draw water from their well with a metal bucket or pail before the advent of electrical pumps. What would you do now if you had to get water from your well without power? Check out the Emergency Well Tube, it is a backup tool that allows well owners to draw water from their well without electricity and WITHOUT pulling the pump!

    • putupjob

      these are really great!
      one of the most useful posts I have ever seen on BIN.

      • C. Davis


    • JohnDave

      What can be used as a drinkable anti-freeze (with my 50 gal. barrel) ?

    • Theron

      Engraving a knife is a survival skill?
      ROFL this is a retarded post.
      How to wrap a foot is a “lost survival skill” ? Bwahahahaha-HA
      How to FELL A TREE? Lost skill
      How to tie some knots? Are you frikkin’ kidding?
      You’re not a man if you can’t start a fire, build a shelter, tie knots, shoot both gun and bow and arrow and fight with a sword.
      I think you city boys better stick to rioting. It’s not safe for you in the woods :lol:

      • C. Davis

        Engraving a knife is a survival skill? – you’re right! it’s not… I found it interesting… most survivalists, preppers … have a survival knife. It’s just a cool thing to do…

        How to wrap a foot is a “lost survival skill” ? – How to Bandage a Foot – it’s not lost… it’s just a survival skill we should all know. You’ll be amazed, but probably not more than half of the people know how to do this (in a decent way)

        How to FELL A TREE? Lost skill – Yes it is! Now only a bunch of people actually cut trees. Few of us know how it was done.

        How to tie some knots? Are you frikkin’ kidding? – Again yes. Back then a lot of people actually used them… now just a few

        When I said “lost” I didn’t mean that absolutely nobody knows them now… I meant that only a few actually know/do them.

    • Redeemer

      These are from the Boy Scouts manual, they will no help against this……


    • Pink Slime

      Yeah, an oldie but goodie. Common sense and enterprise prevailed before Democraps and liberals took the schools over.

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