Engineering is more than just being about survival; it’s about making survival easy and fun. While you might consider the wheel as the very first engineering marvel, it really wasn’t a prerequisite to keep on living and somehow stay atop the food chain.
So how did we survive the lions and the sharks and the unbearable weather from millennia ago? We might have carved knives from rocks to hunt and prevent ourselves from being hunted and at times used them to chop wood to make a fire. This was a basic survival 101 guide on how to keep your heart beating under the most primitive conditions. We now live in a world where tablets and s-4’s and i-phone 5’s appear to be the primary survival tools. While not all of us may have these tools at our disposal, we are all in the field of engineering; and that’s probably good enough to not die a virgin, so here five simple engineering projects you can by that could save your life and also save you from, uh, you know:
1. The Solar Cooker and the Solar Dryer
Science says we can rely on the sun for at least a few million years, and that’s not so bad considering that we’ve only been here for about 20 thousand. The Solar Cooker is terrific because of the fact that you wouldn’t need fuel to generate heat. All you need is a good solar collector design. The drawback is that it becomes virtually useless at night.
The Solar Dryer has a variety of different designs due to its wide application in agriculture, but the most practical type would be the natural convection type which requires no electricity to run. Why do you need the solar dryer? It keeps your food fresh and is basically a fridge that isn’t so cool. But it’s cool enough to save your meals.
2. A Simple Water Treatment System
As long as you have a clean supply of water, you’ll get by a few days without eating. An ingenious design was presented by a prolific inventor during the tsunami disaster of 2004 at Thailand. The device was a pump that turned mud-colored water with floating fecal matter into crystal clear drinkable water.
3. A Solar-Powered Transceiver
Communication can be the key to survival, even without food and water around. On areas outside the range of cellphones, transceivers become crucial as they can broadcast signals to nearby radio stations.
4. A remote-controlled GPS tracker
5. Tesla Turbine
If you had these things altogether, you would probably become self-sustaining in the wilderness. Unless of course you didn’t have access to man’s basic needs of food and water. There are too many good ideas out there which you can help realize as long as you had the willingness and the passion to. When it comes down it, the most practical projects are the ones that deserve to be materialized, and so these suggestions will give you a head start.