The Survival Manual app could save your life

This ad-free Android app could be the difference between life and death (even without Wi-Fi)

Survival Manual
Basic one-man tent

While recently perusing Google Play, we stumbled upon the text-heavy Survival Manual app. As its name suggests, the app is a reference guide that features solutions for a plethora of scenarios that none of us would wish to be in. 

Survival Manual
How to build a hammer, Fred Flintstone style


From a graphic that highlights pressure points to useful tips on dealing with sprains (Remember RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevate), there’s advice in varying degrees of detail for handling a number of emergencies. 

There’s also a cool illustration of how to craft a splint for broken limbs.

Survival Manual
Splints protect broken or sprained limbs


Did you know that desert scorpions can be found as high as 3,600 metres above sea level in the Andes? Neither did we. Here’s a comforting factoid about another potential killer: “Although it is not common, warm, sleeping human bodies occasionally attract snakes.” Areas free of the slithery creatures include New Zealand, Cuba, Jamaica and, famously, Ireland.

What about the Middle East? we hear you ask. Well, the only spider we need to worry about here is the Redback.

Survival Manual
If you see one of these with red marks on its back, run


Perhaps the most comprehensive section of the Survival Manual is for capturing prey when you’re out in the wild. With detailed instructions on how to construct anything from traps such as the treadle spring snare to tools like the noosing wand. If you managed to not only survive but actually kill a snake, there’s a vivid illustration on how to skin them.

Survival Manual
A guide to making a Gill fishing net to catch fresh seafood in a stream, complete with knots



Should you be out in the field and on the run from bad dudes with vicious dogs at their command, the app offers a series of tips:

  • On open ground, any high winds will blow scents towards vegetated areas. This comes in handy for misleading hostile search parties. Hard and rocky surfaces apparently dissipate your scent faster, as well as leaving fewer traces of your presence. 
  • A zigzag pattern of movement won’t lost the dog, but it will tire and frustrate its handler.
  • Don’t run: this can increase your scent. 

Here’s a guide to basic camo patterns. Remember: even if you don’t get to rock these in a hostile jungle, the patterns seem to be coming back into vogue.

 Survival Manual


Cavemen discovered this but few people know how to make one from scratch. There’s a wealth of information here. Whether you’re caught in a blizzard and need something to survive the night or building a flame to cook with, there’s a fire for every occasion here. 

Survival Manual
The Dakota fire hole

What about an iPhone Survival Manual?

Worry not, the iOS Survival Guide is a worthy equivalent you can download. 

Both Survival Manual and Survival Guide use information gleaned from the US military. The iOS app is just 10MB and the Android app is a measly 7MB, but the data they hold could be life-saving.