If you’re on a sinking ship or you fall overboard, and you don’t have a legitimate flotation device, it’s time for the pants to come off. This clever survival trick will help you float on the water so you use less energy while waiting for someone to rescue you.
This video from the BlackScoutSurvival YouTube channel demonstrates the survival technique that’s taught to all US Marines. As soon as you hit the water, pull those pants off. Once they’re off, tie the pant legs together with a simple square knot, then grab the pants by the waistline. Now pull them out of the water and give them a good whip, letting the pant legs fill with as much air as possible before hitting the water again. Each pant leg should balloon up with air, but this may take a few attempts to get it right. After you capture enough air, put your head through like it’s a life vest and hold the waist of your pants closed with one hand. As you float, use your other hand to keep the pant legs wet so they can retain the air inside longer. Even if you’re near the shore, this trick can make swimming a lot easier and keep you from tiring out.