Survival occurs when preparation surpasses the weight of the situation in front of you. Preparation, as we all know, is something that you do on a daily basis.
You want to stay prepared so you don’t have to get prepared.
However, when you are taking in poor information you are unknowingly setting yourself up for failure of the potentially deadly variety. Today we are going to look at 11 survival myths that continually get perpetuated on the internet and in other forms of media. If you want to stay alive when disaster strikes, sometimes you need to know what not to do.
11 – Myth: Physically rub frostbitten skin
No, no, no. Faux survival experts everywhere seem to believe that you must rub down frostbitten skin in order to try and rejuvenate the injury. Not only will doing this be painful but it will also cause immense tissue damage. Instead focus on slowly re-warming the afflicted areas while using painkillers to calm the worst of the hurt.
10 – Myth: Focus on finding food first.
A human being can survive without food for about three weeks. It won’t be fun, but you will live. However, it takes only three days for you to die from dehydration. In life or death survival situation focus on: water, shelter and food — in that order.
9 – Myth: Suck out a snake’s venom.
You can thank Hollywood for this survival myth. When a snake bites you the last thing you want to do is get the venom in your mouth. You won’t be able to suck faster than the poison spreads, anyway. Call 911, clean the wound as best you can, and focus on keeping the injury physically below your heart level. Oh, and pray. There are dozens of deadly snakes throughout North America, so hope you didn’t stumble upon one.
8 – Myth: Let someone with hypothermia nap.
Rest may be the great cure for many afflictions, but not hypothermia. If you or someone you know is suffering from hypothermia you need to keep them awake until they are warmed through to the bones. A byproduct of hypothermia is drowsiness, so you must pay close attention to this symptom.
7 – Myth: Drink urine when you are dehydrated.
In cooler climates you can drink urine as a short term answer to potential dehydration. However, in situations where heat stroke is a possibility this is a no go. Drinking urine causes excess stress on your kidneys and will slowly cause your body to shut down. Instead, you should urinate on a bandana and wrap it around your forehead to cool down.
6 – Myth: If you are impaled by an object, remove it.
Don’t. No matter how many times Rambo pulled a knife out of his shoulder, you won’t want to copy him. Removing the object, be it a weapon or some debris, will cause an increase in blood flow. Deadly.
5 – Myth: Plants are great for survival food.
Unless you are experienced with edible plants, you had better just avoid eating anything that grows from the ground. Stick to fish, six legged insects, and mammals. There are simply too many toxic plants out there to be worth the risk.
4 – Myth: Moss grows on the north side of the tree.
We’re not sure how this myth got started, but many people have probably gotten lost and killed because of it. Moss grows just fine on both the north and south sides of a tree. Don’t rely on this as your measure of direction. Instead, turn to the stars.
3 – Myth: Eat snow to stay hydrated.
If you are dying of dehydration in a field full of snow, the temptation may come to just eat the white powder. Don’t. Snow contains less frozen water than cold air, meaning you are going to freeze far sooner than you are going to be satisfied in your thirst. Melt the snow first, always.
2 – Myth: Punch a shark in the nose if you are attacked.
Okay, most people will never be put in this position. Still, if you come face to face with a shark and you have to fight to survive don’t waste time going for the nose. Attack the shark by clawing at the eyes and gills of the creature. Sharks, like any living being, will want to protect their ability to breathe and see.
1 – Myth: Drinking alcohol will keep you warm.
No, drinking alcohol will make you feel warm. You will actually end up leaking that warmth before it ever benefits you. And now you’re drunk, so survival just got that much harder.
When it comes to survival, nothing is more important than access to food and water.
You’ve probably never heard of pemmican, but its one of the most nutritious and accessible foods in the wild. Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican was used by scouts as well as early western explorers. These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
People should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and look at how folks 150 years ago did it. Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments below.