Monday, April 17, 2006

MacGyver Survival Hints #3

Being on call over the Easter holidays, I couldn't really go out too far so I decided to attempt to get through as many MacGyver episodes as I could. The plan was to get through series 3 and 4, and leave series 5 for another day, however I failed miserably and only managed to get through series 3.

I thought it might be a good idea to document some of the hints for survival that appear in the show. In hindsight I should have started this at series 1, at least now I have an excuse to revisit the early episodes.

  • If you're ever planning to steal a priceless artifact from a museum, sprinkling scouring powder from a nearby cleaner's cart will show where the infra red laser beams are.
  • If your boss has set the 6 digit combination for the glass case around the same artifact then choose his favourite golfer's birthday as the combination.
  • If the glass case closes around you trapping you inside, breathe on the glass and write the combination so that your accomplice, who you failed to tell the combination to, can enter it and release you.
  • To bypass security at posh parties or event openings hide yourself in the boot or hang from the underside of a vehicle if the boot is full.
  • If you want to break into a vent that is protected by a spring based security system, hold the spring back with a knife blade then place a piece of gaffer tape over it, sliding the blade out as you do so.
  • If you're ever chased by bad guys and you're on foot, find the nearest Chinatown, where there is bound to be a parade, and hide under the dancing dragon costumes in the procession. Pray that the bad guys don't notice one dragon with two extra legs.
  • If the bad guys do catch you up and have you and your female friend handcuffed in the basement, kiss the woman and steal her hairclip, which you can use to pick your restraints and escape. You can then use the open handcuffs to pick the lock of the basement door.
  • If you're chased through a football stadium, block doors with a mop handle taken from a nearby cleaning cart. A closed toilet cubicle door may also buy you some time.
  • If your accomplice is being held at gunpoint with their backs to a steam generator, throwing a nearby harpoon into the generator will pierce it covering the bad guys, and your friend in hot steam. Be sure to shout "duck" as you throw it so that your friend is OK.
  • If you need to get to an abandoned ship and all you can find is half a rowing boat, close up the open end with some tarp. A tent bag slipped over a Y-shaped branch makes a useful paddle to get you there.
  • If Bigfoot subsequently chases you around the ship (I'm not making this up) be sure to block the doors shut with pieces of piping lying conveniently about.
  • If you run out of water in the woods, a tent pole pushed into some wet rock will make a temporary tap from which you can drink.
  • If your fishing trip is interrupted by some oil thieves, have them chase you deep into the woods and wedge your fishing rod into a tree bending it back out of sight. Stretching some of the fishing line at head height will cause the man giving chase to say "ouch" at which point you can release the rod whipping him in the face, giving you plenty of time to attack him.
  • If you wish to break into someone's house and need to get above the ground floor, some garden hose and the end of a rake fastened together make an excellent grappling hook, which you can use to climb up to the first floor.
  • A bar of soap makes a perfect tool to make a mould of a key.
  • Squeezing yourself into a dumb waiter is a good way of getting from one floor to the next.
  • If you are stumped by a 6 button combination lock you can eliminate the number of combinations by gently blowing pencil lead shavings over the buttons. Those buttons that the shavings stick too are the ones that have been used, which should make guessing the combination easier.
  • If you find yourself locked in a bank vault filling with gas from a canister which has had its valve removed, take the valve off the canister beside it and use that to turn the gas off.
  • If you're stuck in the woods at night, pine needles pushed between your clothes makes an excellent insulator. If you're stuck in the woods at night with no shoes you can make some by cutting up your sleeping mat and fastening them to your feet with duct tape.
  • If you're pinned down in the woods by Russian soldiers make a hot air balloon by glueing together some parachutes (you can make the glue by boiling rags). A metal shed can act the base, a welding torch as the heat source and a dismantled flue as the chimney to direct the heat. It also helps if you can be chased by soldiers who can't hit the balloon at close range.
  • If you're being forced to work in a mine by some corrupt law officials looking for buried treasure you can fake a gas explosion by taking the torches from your miner's lamp and adding them to some water held inside your miner's helmet, this will create a chemical explosion. A hammer swinging into the flint rock face will produce the spark to trigger the explosion. In the ensuing confusion you should be able to make your escape. If a recent acquaintance gets himself shot, ignore it or else you'll be recaptured.
  • If you're trapped in a chalet by a maniac with a flamethrower that you thought you'd killed in an earlier episode, a flame retardent mattress acts as a great shield.
  • If you elude the maniac and get into your car only to find out he's rigged a bomb to it and locked the doors, kick out the rear windscreen to escape. Hope that he's sane enough to give you a chance by including a timer on the bomb.
  • Wiring a car battery to a broken car aerial makes an electrical probe which you can use to ignite the flame thrower on the maniac's back, one less thing to worry about.
  • If you wish to climb a telegraph pole, lumberjack style, a belt tied around your ankles and a piece of rope will allow you to get to the top. Tapping SOS on the telephone wire should get a signal to the local shopkeeper so that he can get some backup. It helps if you're friendly with the shopkeeper and know that he can understand morse code.
  • Chalk dust taken from a mountain ledge, when blown into an assailant's eyes can cause him to go blind, giving you plenty of opportunity to fight him back.
  • To seal up leaking superconducter piping, a piece of fresh chewing gum taken from a student's mouth will act as an excellent sealant.
  • To bypass a door locked by a number of bolts, some of which are open and some which are closed, you can identify which bolts to turn by holding up a large magnet against the door and sprinkling iron filings where the bolts should be. If the filings stick then you know the bolt is closed.
  • To bypass a door that is being locked by a glass of wine on some weighing scales you can play a tone to the right frequency that will shatter the glass.
  • To bypass a door that is being locked by a clock mechanism set to open hours from now, you can increase the frequency of power entering the clock causing it go to faster so that it opens earlier.
  • You can blind a motion detector by creating a smoke screen made from acetic acid and ammonia.
  • If you don't want lift doors to close on you, wedge them open with a dustpan taken from a nearby cleaning cart.
  • To deactivate a mercury triggered bomb you can attempt to freeze the mercury using liquid nitrogen, if that doesn't work you can heat the mercury with electricity turning it to vapour.
  • If you're shopping in your local supermarket and robbers come into to turn the place over fill a hot water bottle with spices, baking soda and vinegar before sealing it up. The chemical reaction will cause the water bottle to inflate and piercing it with your swiss army knife in the vicinity of the robbers will spray tear gas towards them.
  • If the other robber tries to get away, throw a can of food into the back of their head.
  • If you wish to follow a man from a DIY place, hang a pierced can of paint to the underside of his car and pierce it, which will leave a trail.
  • If you come accidentally step on a pressure plate when investigating a corpse, chances are you've triggered a bomb. Use the weight of the corpse to keep the plate depressed whilst you make your escape. If the corpse decides to slip off the plate (I don't know how) throw yourself into the nearest locker to be protected from the blast.
  • If you're driving a van housing a huge bomb and you don't have enough time to drive it off the pier before it explodes, find the nearest construction site and have the cement mixer truck pour its contents into the body of the van sealing the explosion.
  • If you're ever asked to investigate a crashed satellite and you lose the aerial from your shoulder mounted camera, take the aerial from the satellite and use that as a replacement.
  • If a rogue mutant chemical starts eating through the seal of the laboratory glass use frezon from a nearby tank to reseal it.
  • If you wish to distract guards hiding in a train carriage, spray water from one of those jet spray things through the roof.
  • If a compressor spring breaks, swap it with a spring taken from the end of a battery powered torch.
  • If you're ever tied up with rope and left in a wine cellar to die, turn a wine barrel key with your chin and use the wine to soak your binds allowing you to slip your hands through. You can then escape from the cellar by tying a number of gas canisters to one of the big barrels, ensuring the wheels it moves on are loose. Smash the ends off the canisters and they'll act as rockets propelling the barrel through the wall.
  • If you're ever pursued by a truck, head towards a T-junction and just before you turn off, spray the truck's windscreen with your fire extinguisher, making him crash.
  • Leaking brake fluid can be used to get rid of an assassin by waiting til they're standing in it before dropping jump leads wired to the battery, causing an electrical reaction.
  • To create a diversion when you're trying to break into a build, hook a truck's innertube to a gas canister and leave it expanding in the driver's cabin.
  • Gas bombs can be made by half filling a jam jar with chlorine and adding an unnamed catalyst.
  • If you ever find yourself trapped in a red indian burial chamber, assuming the door you entered through was closed by a hidden piston system, you can lift the piston temporarily by using flashpowder and then wedging it open with a log. It helps if the flashpowder is made from a mixture of zinc and copper.
  • You can trick bad guys by filling a jacket with snow and putting it on the husky cart, making it look like a real person, but made of snow.
  • If you're coming in to land and the hydraulics fail to lower one set of wheels, connect the hydraulics to a gas canister and open them with the gas.
  • If you have difficulty getting a baby to sleep, hide a ticking clock in a teddy bear. A nappy for the baby can be made from a towel fastened with duct tape.
  • A water spray fired towards an air intake on a jet engine creates an excellent storm blinding bad guys on the other side of the engine. You can also distract them by flying a remote controlled aircraft at them, should you happen to have one nearby.
  • If you suspect bad guys are hiding behind a 2 way mirror, turn the lights off on your side of the mirror. If there are lights on on the other side you'll see them.
  • A sofa makes a good shield from a point blank shotgun blast.
  • If you're being chased through the woods attempt to lead the bad guys the wrong way by fastening a bandana to a straight stick and throwing it javelin style to the other side of the river for them to see.
  • Fishing line, a bent stick and a tranquilizer dart makes a great booby trap that should incapacitate one of the people pursuing you.
  • Lead helicopters the right way by making arrow signs from logs. Covering the logs in limealite (dead rock) adds a yellow highlight to the sign, making it more noticeable.
  • Bend a tree branch back and place your jacket over it. A fuse made from a burning match will give you time to go elsewhere. This'll make a good distraction to help you pick out where the bad guys are.
  • A torch barrel with elastic from a jacket stretched down it makes a great tranquiliser dart launcher.
  • If you're ever held captive in the basement of a china town building chances are there will be a hidden tunnel for you to escape through. You can use speakers from a radio as sonar equipment to help identify where the tunnel is.
  • Spraying a light bulb with an aerosol will cause them to blow up, giving you the cover of darkness to aid your escape.
  • You can create a fake rock wall to hide behind by painting taped-up sheets of brown paper in a rock design.
Post a Comment

Trip Report

My trip report for this year's big holiday to the US, Kazakhstan and Japan is now available by clicking here or if you're on a des...