There are many myths surrounding survival and how they may get you killed or injured. These myths come from a lack of knowledge and experience with the outdoors. Some examples include:
- Not building a fire in wet weather.
- Assuming all water is safe to drink.
- Leaving your wilderness shelter to find help when lost.
There are dangerous misconceptions that could put your life and safety at risk, and this article will list twenty of them! You've probably heard these myths before, but it doesn't hurt to go over them again.
Here are 20 survival myths that might get you killed or injured.
- You can drink your urine in an emergency to stay hydrated. This is one of the more popular myths, and while some people say they have done this successfully, it's not recommended for everyone. There is a possibility of consuming dangerous bacteria like E-coli which could make you sick or kill you if left untreated. If there is any other option available (such as water), always go for that instead of drinking urine under normal circumstances because there are too many risks involved with doing so.
- If a poisonous snake bites you, you can catch and eat it in an emergency. This is a myth because venomous snakes can kill or injure someone if they don't get the proper medical help right away.
- You should strip naked and cover yourself with mud when lost in the woods during summertime. This is a myth because you might induce heatstroke by getting rid of your clothes and covering yourself with something that retains heat. It also won't provide you with any protection from bugs or ticks.
- You can drink blood if there's no water available in an emergency. This is a myth because diseases could be transmitted by drinking blood, such as hepatitis.
- Shaving your beard increases its rate of growth. This is a myth because shaving diminishes the ends of the hair shafts, which slows down their production.
- You can drink saltwater to stay hydrated in an emergency. This is one of the more popular myths, and while some people say they have done this successfully, it's not recommended for everyone. There is a possibility of consuming dangerous bacteria like E-coli which could make you sick or kill you if left untreated. If there is any other option available (such as water), always go for that instead of drinking saltwater under normal circumstances because there are too many risks involved with doing so.
- You catch more fish at night by using a flashlight to shine into the water. This is a myth because fish can see the light better during darkness, making it less likely that they will swim towards the source of brightness, especially if there's no moonlight to help guide them in.
- You shouldn't let an insect bite you because it will only worsen the itch later. This is a myth because scratching can exacerbate the irritation and even cause infection depending on where you are bitten.
- You should sleep with your legs crossed to avoid getting cramps at night. This is a myth because crossing your legs can induce muscle cramps by putting extra pressure on the muscles in that area.
- You don't need to eat any food if you have water to stay hydrated. This is a myth because you still need calories for energy even if there's plenty of water available. Food intake helps maintain strength, endurance, and normal brain functions.
- You can eat wild mushrooms to help you find your way back home in an emergency. This is a myth because some poisonous mushrooms look very similar to edible ones, and it's even harder to distinguish between them when you are already dehydrated or under stress. There are also cases where people ate wild mushrooms mistaken for edible ones and experienced unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, or hallucination.
- If you get lost in the woods, find a high spot to look for help. This is a myth because most rescuers will be on the ground looking for signs of any activity, so they can triangulate your location by using landmarks found around your position.
- If you get lost, stay put and wait to be rescued. This is a myth because most rescuers will be looking for signs of any activity from your end to allow them to triangulate your location by using landmarks found around your position. It's also crucial that you move around as much as possible to increase your chances of being found.
- You can eat snow to stay hydrated in an emergency. This is a myth because while it will keep you from dehydrating, there's the possibility that you could get frostbite by consuming snow and ice for too long, which results in your body parts like your fingers and toes losing sensation. It also lowers your core body temperature, which could be dangerous in some scenarios.
- You shouldn't eat white-colored foods in an emergency because they are poisonous. This is a myth because it's highly unlikely that you'll find poisonous mushrooms, berries, or other plants during this type of situation. It's best to just eat whatever is available so you can maintain your strength and energy.
- You shouldn't eat anything if you're lost in the woods. This is a myth because you need to maintain your energy and physical activity levels even if you don't know where to go or what to do next. Some people find themselves in this situation without carrying any food with them.
- You cannot access a vehicle's fuel tank from the inside, even if it's unlocked. This is a myth because you can open this type of compartment from the inside, provided that you have been locked out or lost your keys for some reason. You don't need to break any windows for this to work since all you need is something pointed like an ice pick to punch a hole at the base of the fuel tank.
- You should avoid eating berries or mushrooms because they could make you sick. This is a myth because it's very difficult for anyone (even trained biologists) to tell poisonous mushrooms from non-poisonous ones based on their physical features. Worse, there are some cases where people were affected by eating wild berries, which turned out to be poisonous, so it's best to avoid any type of food unless you can tell it's safe.
- You should start a fire immediately if you get lost in the woods because this will signal for help. This is a myth because starting a fire will take up a lot of energy and could deplete your body's supply of other essentials like food and water. The same thing goes if you try to travel during nighttime; it will be very difficult for someone to rescue you instead of during daylight.
- You should make yourself big and scary (by screaming, waving your arms, throwing stones) so you can ward off attacks from wild animals. This is a myth because while some predatory animals are likely to retreat once they see you making these gestures, others will actually get more aggressive and attack even more aggressively if you do this.
It's also important to remember that not all of them are carnivorous, so don't assume that they will attack you just because you came too close.
In this blog post, we've debunked the 20 most common myths that might get you killed or injured. Hopefully, after reading these insights and tips, your fears will be put to rest, and you will feel more prepared for any emergency.
For those of us who know we're not as well-versed in survival skills as we should be (or would like), it's important to take some time to educate ourselves on how to stay safe when disaster strikes.
If topics covered here interest you but aren't adequately explained by our article, don't hesitate to reach out! We'll do what we can to provide further insight into anything related to staying alive during a natural disaster or other unforeseen events.