1. Attempt only if evacuation isn't an option. If you screw up, you could cause permanent tissue damage and a nasty infection.
2. Irrigate the wound with boiled water—you can use a plastic bag with a hole poked in it—and then scrub with soap.
3. Sterilize your needle and thread.
4. Start stitching (see sidebar image). You generally want the stitches spaced a quarter-inch from each other and from the skin edges, which should just barely touch. (The skin shouldn't pucker.)
5. Tie the suture with a surgeon's knot off to the side so it doesn't touch the wound.
6. Treat with antibacterial ointment and cover with a clean bandage.
Stitching a wound can be an effective last-ditch measure. But can you separate other cases of survival fact from fiction? Take our survival quiz to find out.