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How to Get Out of Handcuffs

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Thinkstock

Nothing’s more interesting than an escape from seemingly unbeatable restraints, which may explain why magicians do surprisingly well with the ladies. While you may not be ready to worm your way out of a straitjacket just yet, you can still astonish a crowd by slipping out of a set of handcuffs.

1. Consider the Situation

Before you break free of your handcuffs, make sure your daring escape is a good idea. If law enforcement put the cuffs on you in the first place, keep them on – breaking free will only make your situation worse. Only use this maneuver in recreational settings.

2. Pin it Down

Every spy movie you’ve ever seen was right; bobby pins are incredibly handy for slipping out of cuffs. Have a friend cuff your hands in front of you, then figure out how to retrieve a bobby pin you’ve hidden somewhere on your body. Pull the little rubber tips off the end.

3. Round the Bends

Your bobby pin isn’t going to be ready right away. Prepare it by unbending the pin so its two halves form a right angle. Using pliers or the keyhole of the cuffs themselves, bend the tip of the straight portion of the bobby pin so that it ends with what looks like a small capital “L.”

4. Get in the Hole

Unlike the deadbolt on your front door, the lock on handcuffs isn’t particularly complicated. To pop it open, slip the angled end of your bobby pin into the thin part of the keyhole. While pressing down, rotate the pick in the slot. It may take a few tries, but the lock should pop open.
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Now that you’ve got both hands free again, toast your success with a cold Dos Equis.

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How to Cross a River Without a Bridge
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ThinkStock

Need to cross a roaring river? It’s always best to find a bridge, but if you absolutely must make it to the other side on your own, a few easy steps can keep you high and relatively dry.

1. Scout Around

Invest a little time in finding the best place to make your crossing. Avoid bends in the river, where water whips around the fastest. Once you find a suitable spot, walk downstream a few hundred feet to make sure there aren’t any hazards. It’s always good to know about the pesky 30-foot waterfall around the bend.

2. Don’t Be Narrow-Minded

They look tempting, but narrow crossings can be the most dangerous—they’re often the deepest part of the river. Look for the widest section instead. Keep an eye out for mild ripples—which are safe to cross—and avoid whitecaps, which can be treacherously slippery.

3. Ditch Your Duds

If the water will reach your knees, strip down to your skivvies - your pride isn’t worth getting hypothermia from wet clothes. Even if the river is shallow, remove your socks and put on a second pair of shoes if you have them. If you’re backpacking, unbuckle your front straps so you can quickly slip out of your pack if you fall.

4. Shuffle Up

Face upstream, lean into the current, and move across the river with shuffling sidesteps. You’re less likely to fall while sidestepping since you don’t lift your feet as high. If you’re with a group, link arms. The technique creates more contact points with the streambed and gives everyone a more solid footing.

5. Become a Bump on a Log

If the rapids are too fast, shuffling across may be a bad idea. Look for a log that spans the whole river instead. But don’t walk on it! Wet wood can be dangerously slippery. Instead, straddle the log and scoot along until you reach the other side.

6. Float Away

In situations where the river is deep but the current isn’t very swift, a football or soccer ball can be a handy improvised flotation device. Tether it to your wrist and grab on when you get tired of swimming. Or hug it with one arm as you sidestroke for extra buoyancy.
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Once you make it to the opposite shore, dry off and toast your successful crossing with a round of Dos Equis.

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