From the primitive to the high-tech, these tricks will help to keep (and get) you out of all kinds of jams during your travels.

Stop blisters in their tracks: Use surgical paper tape

weird adventure hacks tips blisters

“It’s kind of a ridiculously cheap, easy method of blister prevention,” says Grant Lipman, lead author of a recent Stanford University study on blister prevention. Photo: Courtesy of Grant Lipman

According to a recent Stanford University Medical Center study of endurance runners, applying the tape to blister-prone areas pre-workout is remarkably effective at preventing them (and less harsh than duct tape).

Grab a roll for about 70 cents, apply a single, smooth layer and hike or run to your heart’s content.

Escape a sun scorching: Use mud or aspen bark


Mud and the white powder found on aspen trees are both physical barriers against harmful UV light.

If you find yourself out of sunscreen and happen to be within arm’s length of aspen trees, rub your hands along the bark to collect the powder, which has an SPF value of 5, and then apply it to exposed skin.

Mud’s opacity makes it a great natural sunblock -- and even when it dries and falls off, the residue will help prevent sunburn.

Wash out wounds with pressurized water: Use a squeeze bottle


After bleeding is controlled, the most important step in treating a cut in the backcountry is cleaning it thoroughly to prevent infection. A squeeze bottle with a spout lets you hit targeted areas with enough power to wash away dirt and debris.

Make sure to use water that you’d deem drinkable, or else you risk exposure to any waterborne bacteria that may be present. It should also be noted that infections can develop within hours and become serious very quickly if not treated, so leave no scratch un-cleaned.

Purge infected tissue (and perhaps lose your lunch): Use maggots

A photo posted by @acadianwife on


Yes, seriously. I feel like you’d have to be in a really bad way to make use of this one in the wilderness, but maggots have been used to heal wounds for hundreds of years.

What you do, apparently, is expose an infected wound to flies and then keep it covered until those little darlings hatch and start removing your dead and/or troublesome tissue.

Fair warning: They’re going to eat it. Once the tissue looks pink and the blood once more runneth bright red, you can scrape ’em out, flush your now-clean cut with water (see above) and treat it as if the whole ordeal never happened.

Start a fire with spare calories: Use Cheetos or corn chips

A photo posted by Skip tan (@skiptan_) on


Because they’re greasy, puffed with air and more delicious than birch bark (which, incidentally, is also a good fire starter).

Access Google Maps offline: Use “OK Maps”

weird adventure hacks tips google maps

“OK Maps” lets you save Google Maps data for later use - even offline. Photo: Casey Butler

Type this command into the search bar, hit “Search” and follow the prompts to download the section of map you’re currently viewing for offline use.

You can even zoom in for details. It’s quite handy when you’re out of range or in foreign territory.

De-tick your clothes: Use your clothes dryer

A photo posted by Carol D (@caroliscreative) on


According to the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center, throwing your clothes into the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes on high is a much more effective way to kill ticks than washing them.

So when you get home after a jaunt into the woods, remember to dry first, then wash.

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