How to escape quicksand

Don't panic if you stumble into some quicksand. Follow these tips to get out safely.

Credit: Clayton Hamner

Lean back and swim out

Instead, just lean back, maximize your surface area by spreading out your limbs and slowly back crawl your way to solid ground.

Credit: Clayton Hamner

Do not struggle

The latest Indiana Jones movie notwithstanding, it should never be necessary to have someone pull you out of quicksand with a boa constrictor. The reason is that quicksand is denser than water, so even if it is deeper than you are tall—very rare—you will float in it easily. The only real danger is that you might struggle, thereby stirring up the sand and causing you to sink deeper and perhaps stumble and submerge your face.

Credit: Clayton Hamner


Yes, we have quicksand in Canada. It occurs anytime there is so much water in sand or granular soil that it reduces the friction at work on the soil and makes it act like a liquid. Quicksand is usually found beside rivers and lakes, in marshes and above underground springs.