In this day and age we have access to more information than ever before. We have Smartphones which can access info on just about anything, including survival tips.
However just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean that is the gospel truth. In this post we will discuss 9 survival myths that could get you killed rather than saving you.
1-Myth: You Must Find Food First
There are a lot of things that can kill you in the wilderness, and starvation is certainly one of those things, but it is unlikely to be the first or fastest thing to bring you down.
Humans can live for up to six weeks without food. That’s plenty of time for someone to figure out that you’re missing and come find you.
In all likelihood you will be rescued before you starve unless something else gets you first. Water, warmth, and protection should always be your top priorities.
2-Myth: Shelter Means Coverage
When most people think of shelter, they think of four walls and a roof. In the wilderness, this myopic view can kill you. Adequate shelter has little to do with coverage and everything to do with protection.
You need shelter to protect you from the elements. In a hot sunny climate, this likely means shade. In a temperate or cold climate, it means warmth. Poorly built shacks with roofs and walls are a poor way to protect yourself from the cold.
The best way to make a quick shelter is to find a dry place and insulate the ground using dry vegetation. Making a small nest that insulates the ground and provides a bit of wind protection and camouflage is vastly superior to a roofed shelter without insulation.
3-Myth: You Can Drink Water From a Cactus
So your car broke down in the desert. It’s miles to the nearest gas station. Your cell phone doesn’t have reception. You don’t have any water in your car. There’s no one around, and you are very, very thirsty.
Now you chance upon a cactus. I’m saved, you think. I’ll just lop the top off this here prickly pear and go to town. Not so fast, partner. The liquid inside a cactus isn’t pure water and is actually a highly alkaline, noxious fluid.
Chances are, if you drink from a cactus you will get very sick, and vomiting is one way to ensure you dehydrate faster. You can drink from a barrel cactus, but only one specific type, and unless you’re extremely into cacti botany, you’re better off conserving your energy or seeking out a purer water source.
4-Myth: You Know How to Survive Because You Read This, Watched That, or Have a Smart Phone
If you extract anything at all from this article, I hope you learn that you can’t rely on the internet, television, or field guides to save you. Preparation and confidence are important in survival situations, but its crucial to keep in mind that all of your preparation should be geared toward avoiding life-and-death situations.
Aside from extreme circumstances and extreme occupations, most people will not find themselves in life or death survival situations, without a chance of immediate rescue, absent user error.
Striking off into the wilderness with the mindset that a book or 3G will save you is more than asking for trouble, it’s a pretty good way to find trouble.
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