Being trapped in quicksand is a rare occurrence. This is not a situation that you’ll face in your day-to-day life. However, quicksand is still found near swamps, marshes, rivers, or beach areas. Sometimes when you’re alone in the wild or hiking heedlessly, you can find yourself trapped in quicksand. It’s a very strange sinking feeling that can easily overpower you. So you may as well know how to get out of it.
What Is Quicksand?
is a mixture of sand, clay, and water, which seems like a solid form of sand. It has water trapped in it and you may not realize it until you set foot on it. This water turns the sand into a thick muddy texture. Any kind of pressure or stress will make the sand cave and make it difficult to escape.
How Quicksand Is Formed?
Quicksands are usually found around the delta of large rivers, or in flat-length beaches where water pools are partially filled with sand and drainage is obstructed by an underlying layer of stiff clay. As mentioned earlier, it is a combination of water, sand, and silt. There are times when water enters a loose sand zone and causes regular sand to erupt. Consequently, the water gets trapped in the sand. Since the water is unable to escape the sand, it liquidizes the soil. And that’s how quicksand is formed.
How To Spot Quicksand?
Quicksand is mainly formed near the river, coastal areas, tidal flats, or marshes. In these areas, the sand is exposed to high tides where they formed into quicksand. Many might think it is only found in deserts but that’s not true. Earthquakes could be another reason for forming It.
How To Avoid Quicksand?
You may not have to look out for quicksand frequently but awareness is always the key. Watching your step while in the river or beach area would be the primary thing to do. You can tap your ground before stepping into it. Water bubbling from the ground may be another way to identify it. Just be a bit careful while roaming on the beach or marshes area.
How Dangerous It Is?
Many people may think that it is the deadliest thing out there. We know exactly where this wild perception comes from. All those years of corny movies showing us how it is so quick to kill you but the reality is so much different than that. It’s highly unlikely to die in quicksand.
You will most likely float on quicksand as it’s much denser than the human body. The quicksand will never suck you down to the bottom and dry quicksand is not strong enough to hold a human body down. Although it’s not deadly in the sense you think it is, it can still harm you.
Drowning: If the quicksand is in tidal areas, the incoming splash of water may be the cause of drowning. It’s a rare thing to happen.
Hypothermia: This happens more in wet quicksand. Maintaining your body temperature while your half body is stuck in the sand is difficult. Moreover, staying under the hot sun can give you heatstroke.
Dehydration: Escaping from quicksand can be exhausting. It dehydrates your body even more.
Numbness: When sand around you gets harder it compresses the body, especially your legs. This compression can cause numbness and muscle damage. This restricts your movement to a great extent.
7 Steps To Escape Quicksand
Now that you have known enough about quicksand, let’s get into the escape strategy.
1. Don’t Panic
If you ever find yourself in, you need to realize that it’s not life-threatening at all. This sinking feeling may cause you to panic but you can’t let this overpower you. Staying calm and making small movements is always better than fighting it aggressively. Forget everything you have seen in movies, just remember the facts. Take a deep breath and try to float.
2. Drop your Gears
Eliminating any extra weight will make you even lighter and help you to float. The less weight the better. Toss out any accessories like a cap, backpack, or even shoes. Shoes can make your getaway more difficult as they may hold you back while making a move in the sand. So lose the shoes if possible.
3. Loosen the Sand
The sinking-like feeling is caused by the stiffness of the sand you’re standing on. Any kind of stress or pressure makes it more viscous. You need to let some water in so it can liquefy the sand. It’s like you have to loosen up the concrete. You can wiggle your feet little by little and try to make small movements. This will help the water to form around your leg and break the grip of the sand. If you’re unable to make any small movements don’t make any sudden or big leaps as well. It will only make your situation worse.
After dialing down the grip of the sand you need to lay back. Yes, you will get dirty but this will get you out. This will distribute your mass more evenly on the surface of the sand, so floating will be much easier. Now, it’s time for backstroke, which is using your arms to push yourself backward. Backstroke will keep you away from sinking and free up your leg as well. It will take time but this will help you to get on solid ground.
5. Using a Stick
Sinking up to your hips or chest is possible when you step into a deep quicksand. When you feel like you’re sinking, keep the stick horizontally over the sand. This way you will achieve balance while you lay back on the sand. Make sure your legs and arms are touching the surface of quicksand and you will stop the sinking. Use the stick as a guide and try to roll it in the direction of solid land.
6. Don’t Let Anyone Pull
Don’t ask your friend to tug you in quicksand, you can end up in two pieces. The sand around you could be stiffer than you thought. So pulling or tugging will only make things worse.
7. Take Breaks
Quicksand will not kill you but it’s difficult to escape from it. It’s almost exhausting and you need to preserve all the energy you can. Moving aggressively can make the sand harder and lengthens the time of your stay. So take your time and don’t let your body get so tired that you can’t even move.
It’s safe to say you’ve been misinformed about quicksand all your life. Because for most people, the only source of information about quicksand is movies. It is not as deadly as it seems but it’s also not a pretty situation to get in. If you ever encounter quicksand we hope this guide will help you to get out of it.
William Arrovo seeks thrills and laughter in everything he comes across. He is a fun loving person with a zest of exploring the breathtaking places around the globe. He feels content in sharing his experiences of travelling to various countries. He is grateful about enriching himself with a myriad of cultures and rejuvenating his soul while staying outdoors.