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7 Ways to Use Gravity to Your Advantage in a Survival Situation

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Flickr / Joshua Mayer

Knowing how to use gravity to your advantage can be the difference between life and death in a survival situation.

In any type of survival situation you want to make the best use of what you have. If you harness and use gravity to your advantage, it will make your life that much easier. Take a look at these 7 ways to use gravity to your advantage and make sure you know them well enough to put them to use.

Water

These first few survival tips revolve around water. In a survival situation, you are going to want to insure that you have enough clean safe drinking water and luckily gravity is here to help you out with that.

1. Drain water from pipes:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Flickr/Michael Rosenstein

If you find yourself in an urban survival situation you may initially think “No problem, I’ll just take water from a house.” If the power is shut down and the pumps are not working, that makes your life a little harder, but if you use gravity to your advantage you can still manage to get quite a bit of clean drinkable water from a house. All you’ll need is a wrench to open up the water pipes and then you can easily drain out the unused water into your own containers.

2. Collect water on a tarp:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Facebook/Australian Survival School

Any time it is raining, or just wet outside, you can use a tarp, as well as many other objects such as leaves, tent flaps, waterproof jackets, and more to collect water as it rains down or drips from trees and other places. Simply stretch your material out into as big of an area as possible with a small amount of slack so that all the water will run towards the middle. As it starts to fill up collect for later use. Any water collected this way should be purified before use.

3. Create a gravity fed water filter:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Truro.ca

In lieu of something better you can create your own gravity fed water filter. There are a few ways to do this but the two most common are by using variations of fine and course sand, small pebbles, sometimes activated charcoal, and a filter (such as a coffee filter) to get the water as clean as possible. If you plan ahead you can also buy dome water filters which can be used in the same way, but are often much more effective. Either way you simply pour the dirty water in the top and let gravity filter it all the way down to the bottom where you then collect and use.

Food

After water, food is going to be one of the next needs where it’s easy to use gravity to your advantage. Below we will look at four different ways in which you can make use of gravity to trap or snare animals for food, all of these have proven over time to work, but all of them do take some practice to get right.

4. The Squirrel Pole:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Tumblr.com

A squirrel pole is a quick and easy way to get enough meat for a meal or two. Find a fallen branch around 1-inch in diameter and lean it up at a 45-degree angle to a tree. Then you’ll need some wire or line to attach around the pole and create a slip-knot on top of. As the squirrels try to run up or down the pole to the tree they will get caught in the wire, and fall down below, hanging themselves. For survival purposes, the best thing about this trap is that because of the curiosity of squirrels, you can actually continue to get more and more after the first one is trapped.

5. Figure 4 Deadfall:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Photobucket.com

The figure 4 deadfall is a trap that works by using gravity to drop a heavy object onto unsuspecting prey. You will need to find a large log or rock that you can lift and prop up, then you will need three sticks cut to the appropriate length to create a figure 4 as seen above to hold up the object. Then you will put food of some kind on the part of the “4” most underneath the log. Whenever an animal comes and starts moving the wood to get the food, the figure 4 will collapse causing the log or rock to drop and kill the animal.

7. Paiute Deadfall:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Homestead Telegraph

Like the Figure 4 Deadfall, this trap works with the use of a large, heavy object (rock or log) and another stick holding it up. The biggest difference is that the Paiute Deadfall makes use of a string and a trigger pin to make the trap slightly more sensitive. As you can see above you need two thicker sticks to hold the weight of the rock, and two smaller sticks to use as the pin and bait stick. Once you have your trap set up, simply wait for your prey to start nibbling on his last meal, and you’ll soon get your next meal.

6. Bottle Trap:

How to use Gravity to your advantage in a survival situation
Image via Wilderness-Survival.net

The bottle trap uses both animal’s natural instincts and gravity to your advantage in trapping them for a meal. The setup is quite simple; you dig out a hole in the ground in the shape of a bottle, with the smallest point at the surface of the ground. Then you find some bark or small branches to create a small covering one to two inches over the surface of the hole. As animals scamper around the forest they will see the cover as a good hiding place and run under and inside the hole only to be trapped because they can’t climb back out of the bottle trap. (Side note: Always check for snakes before sticking your hand down in the trap. They also find these traps comforting.)

The above mentioned tips are just a few of the ways you can use gravity to your advantage in a survival situation. Just always remember it’s there and work smart, not hard. Before you execute any action think if there is any possible way to make it easier or that gravity can help.

Follow me on Twitter @Chrisbuck243

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7 Ways to Use Gravity to Your Advantage in a Survival Situation