This is honestly something you should never attempt, and hopefully you’re never in a situation that would call for you to perform first aid on a lung puncture—but hey, knowledge is power. A sucking chest wound is a type of wound that penetrates through the chest wall and into the lung. Because of the extra lung hole, air can escape through the chest with a distinctive “sucking” sound (hence the name).
Needless to say, sucking chest wounds are usually fatal unless they’re treated immediately—and when you’re thousands of miles from the nearest hospital, you’d think that would be bad news.
But here’s what you can do: find a piece of plastic (saran wrap is perfect) with which you can seal the hole, so that the chest cavity around the lung doesn’t get more air pressure than the lung itself. If this happens, the lung will collapse. When you seal the hole, leave a flap at the bottom that will allow air to leave through the wound without entering it. This may seem useless now, but you never know—you might have to save someone’s life someday.
Water is always your most valuable resource; most people die from dehydration after three or four days without the stuff. Although there are cases of people lasting at least a week without water—the crew of the downed plane Lady Be Good survived walking one hundred miles (160km) across the scorching Libyan desert for eight days with no water—it’s not a good idea to tempt fate. If you’re pinched for water, you can always get it directly from the ground itself.
Enter the solar still, an easy-to-make contraption that uses a tarp or a piece