Bites and Stings

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Bites and Stings

If you see a wasp nest like this one, stay away from it.

Troy Klebey/Getty Images

If you're in a worst case survival scenario, you'll have to contend with insects. Not only are they annoying, but insects can carry diseases. In fact, mosquito-borne illnesses kill more people worldwide than anything else [source: Outside Magazine]. Ticks carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Even biting flies can transmit typhoid, cholera and dysentery.

If you're traveling to some place where these diseases run rampant, look into immunizations and use insect repellent and netting. To avoid ticks, give your body and head a good once-over three times a day. If you find a tick, coat it with something like Vaseline or tree sap to cut off its air supply. This will choke the tick, and it will release itself. You can also touch it with a hot match or ember, but be careful not to burn yourself. Use tweezers if you have them to remove the entire tick and wash the area immediately with soap and water.

If you're stung by a bee or wasp, remove the stinger and venom sac by scraping it out with a clean knife blade. Wash the sting site, and if you're allergic to any kind of insect, don't forget to bring your remedy along. If you get bitten or stung, avoid the temptation to scratch the area. This could lead to infection. Apply a cold compress or make a nice cool mud paste for the bite or sting.

Venomous spider bites may not be painful at first, but local pain will soon develop and then spread over your entire body. You'll also likely experience stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, weakness, tremors and sweating. Clean the infected area immediately and be prepared to perform CPR in severe cases. Get to an emergency room as soon as possible.

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