I always like to be prepared yet surprisingly never made boy scout. I guess it comes from the times I’ve been caught out cold, wet and miles from a pub. So, here’s my top 5 life hacks that could really save a life!
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Life Hack 1 • Your phones no help if your seeing stars.
Accidents happen! Thankfully they are rare, but nevertheless it is possible to lose consciousness or be concussed, even if only briefly. I experienced this recently as a result of a head on collision and only last week I gave assistance to someone who completely lost consciousness due to a serious fall (thankfully, OK now).
How do the emergency services contact your loved ones? How easy would it be for them to establish your current medication, allergies or medical status? What could we do for peace of mind and to help them, help us!
Cut out a plain credit card sized piece of cardboard. Write your name, address, medical number, blood type and any relevant data. Place this in your wallet, backpack, briefcase, purse or mobile phone case. This really could save your life & in case of serious accident or emergency the services will truly appreciate your help!
Life Hack 2 • Fire from belly button fluff & chewing gum. What The Fluff…
Do you like adventure? I do. The more lost I can get in the more remote an area, well, the more alive I feel. The problem is however, the farther we go the greater our chance of landing in difficulty.
Starting a fire is a primal function, long since lost to the likes of Bryant & May and Zippo. So other than rubbing sticks or carrying a flint fire lighter everywhere we go, could we create fire with just normal stuff?
Yes we can! If we have a battery and stick of chewing gum.
Simply tear the foil gum wrapper into a bow tie shape (narrow in the middle, wide at each end). Scratch a small ball of fluff together from socks, gloves, coat lining, jumper etc. (belly button optional). Hold the foil wrapper to each end of the battery whilst offering the fluff to the bow ties middle. Whooomph! We have fire!
Life Hack 3 • Are you a sploosh maker?
I can’t live without my mobile phone. It’s not something I’m proud to write. I feel like I should be sat in a circle saying my name and acknowledging my desperate need to change, however it does have it’s practical uses.
When I head off into the great outdoors my phone is always fully charged and I generally have a backup battery, just in case. It’s how I picture calling for help, raising the alarm via text message or even social media.
Imagine the trauma if you need rescue and as you reach for your phone it goes “sploosh”! Like jam sandwiches always land jam side down, mobiles always find water.
So, when going on missions, place your mobile in a waterproof shell. You can check for likes on the go & even an unplanned swim won’t kill it! Amazon (ironic huh?) has a wide selection (See above for my favourite).
Life Hack 4 • Wear a bandana if you want to stay cool!
Not cool like Roger Federer or Keith Richards, but cool as in one of the smart kids on the block.
As well as adding a +1 to your individual style points, the bandana could be your most useful accessory ever!
Not only can it filter emergency drinking water before boiling, but it can cover your face if you find dust, gales, debris or fire (hopefully not caused by careless use of the AA battery and belly button fluff!).
Seriously, should the worst happen, a bandana can serve as a bandage, dressing or sling for you or your dog!
Whilst we think about our best friend, always prepare an emergency kit for them too. Just a little box with extra bottled water, allergy tablets, treats, solid food and a clean towel. That should do nicely
Life Hack 5 • Who ya gonna call?.. No! not Ghostbusters
If your adventures take you further afield, at home or even abroad. Who do you call in case of serious emergency?
Surprisingly, most people aren’t aware of the options. For the whole of the EU including all member states, plus Israel, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and Switzerland the number to call is 112
The important things to note are that 112 calls are free from mobiles and directed to a central call centre with dedicated staff trained to help. Furthermore, you can make calls to 112 even when you have no mobile service!
In the UK the service is approved under the Digital Single Market Policy with more info available HERE
There’s a wealth more reference and country specific information in the Wiki and for that you can click HERE
Finally, if by any chance you were in need of assistance but unable to talk there is a little known service linked to the 999 emergency service in the UK. Initially call 999 and when asked what is your emergency try pressing 55.
Operators are trained to answer silent calls and can transfer silent calls directly to the police. The operator may transfer the call to an automated service which again requires 55 to be pressed to be immediately answered.
Please, consider adding these to your phone contact list. It really could help save a life one day.
Life Saving Summary
So in summary we need to consider carrying a card with our personal information and emergency contact numbers on it. Perhaps, popping it inside our new waterproof clear shell that’s also protecting our mobile phone?
Then, when packing for expedition we need to add a stick or two of gum and a spare battery (I won’t mention belly buttons again), together with a K9 care box for our best friend if they decide to accompany us on our mission.
Finally, add the primary emergency number linked to the GSM network so that home or abroad you just give yourself or others, the best chance of prompt attention, should the unfortunate need arise. Remember 112 in EU.
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I hope these tips have been a fun and worthwhile read.