Falling into a mud bog or quicksand is likely to be one of the most frightening things which could happen to you and even more so if you don’t understand how it works or how to extricate yourself from the situation. The golden rule is not to panic. This may not be a natural response to falling into a mud bog or quicksand as you could perhaps find yourself buried up to your waist or even your chest within minutes. However, panicking and trying to frantically wave your arms and legs about to free yourself is only going to have the opposite effect to that you’re looking to achieve - in other words, those kinds of actions will only end up pulling you deeper downwards.
What To Do And What Not To Do If You Fall Into A Mud Bog Or Quicksand
Well, apart from not panicking, the first thing to do when you’ve drawn a few deep breaths is to assess your situation then make the correct response. This will obviously vary depending on how deep you’ve gone. For example, if you find you’ve only sunk into the mud or sand as far as, say, your knees, start to step back slowly pulling one leg out first. Don’t panic at this stage if your other leg starts to go deeper down as you carefully and slowly pull out the other one. Just make sure you can pull one completely out first before attempting to get your other leg out. If you’re sinking to waist level, then you should lie back to try to evenly distribute your weight over the surface. By doing this, you’re effectively getting yourself into a floating position from which you can then attempt to free each leg slowly and carefully.
Once You Have Freed Yourself
Once you’ve got both of your legs out, roll over until you reach solid ground as opposed to trying to crawl or walk out. You should only ever attempt to get out by leaning forward and trying to swim out if you’re really in deep and submerging deeper by the second. However, the important thing is not to struggle and to keep at the forefront of your thoughts the ‘slowly does it’ approach as rapid, agitated movements are only likely to see you sucked in even deeper and will also have the effect of expanding the size of the land area which is affected which means you’ll have further to go before you reach solid ground. Basically, once you’ve inched your way out, whether that’s by lying back or moving forward, if you cannot roll over to solid ground, then once you’ve freed your legs (even if that’s painstakingly slow by making inch by inch progress), then simply spread yourself as wide and as long as you can to fully distribute your weight and start to wriggle out using your torso area to make progress and just keep your arms and legs as flat as possible on the surface whilst trying to snake across the surface slowly.
Patience and rest are the two most important factors if you’re stuck in a mud bog or quicksand for a long period. It’s rare that quicksand is ever deep enough to suck you under completely (although not unheard of) and getting out of slick mud can really sap your energy. So, in spite of the fact that your instincts are telling you that you need to get out as quickly as possible, resist the temptation to adopt that approach as it’s more likely to get you into deeper trouble.