Top 10 Survival Myths That Will Kill You
Okay. You need to pay close attention when I say this. If there’s anything that comes from my mouth that you listen to and absorb, let it be what I’m about to say. Ready? Do NOT try any of these survival tricks at home or out in the wild. Seriously. Don’t. That is unless you want to be in our 2nd installment of "10 Dumbest Ways To Die". Before we get to the ten survival myths that will kill you, I want to see a comment from each of you promising that you won’t try any of these survival tips. And I guess while you’re down there, hit the subscribe button and click the bell for notifications of videos on things you can do at home.
Eat Snow for Water
When snow melts, it leaves behind a sloshy liquid, puddles of muddy water. So if you’re ever incredibly thirsty and dehydrated, eating snow will give you the water you need, right? <buzzer sound> Wrong! It can actually cause you to be even more dehydrated. Snow is a solid and your body is going to be looking for a liquid, so when you consume snow, it will be forced to melt the snow to liquify it. The problem is, that process takes energy, which will wind up dehydrating you even further. Rather than eat the snow, collect it and melt it down to water and then consume it.
Build a Fire in a Cave
It sounds like a plausible idea – keep warm and keep your fire away from the elements by building it under a natural, rocky overhang or within a cave. Outside of no proper ventilation to keep smoke from building up, a fire within a cave will undoubtedly warm the rock that makes up the ceiling. As it warms, the water inside will evaporate, causing the rock to crack in spots. It doesn’t sound dangerous, but what happens when that rock starts to splinter and collapse? You’ll be trapped under it, having learned your lesson a little too late.
Liquor Will Warm You
Sure, a quick shot of whisky will send a warming sensation through your body, but it’s not the type of sensation that will save you from freezing to death. Actually, drinking alcohol will have the opposite effect and can accelerate your demise. Though you’ll feel warm, alcohol causes blood to rush to the surface of your skin, which pulls warmth and vital blood flow from your internal organs. There’s also, of course, the issue of dulling your senses and immune system, which are pretty much the only things keeping you alive.
Boiling Water Guarantees That It’s Drinkable
In some instances, yes, this is true, but you have to be 100% sure that the water source you’re pulling from is clean and free of any harmful chemicals. Imagine being lost in the wildernesses of, say, Flint, MI when you come across a stream of water. I would bet that boiling that water, while effective in killing the bacteria within it, would not make it any safer to drink. Do you see what I mean? You really need to know what water sources are known for being tainted and which may be near chemical plants.
Drink Raw Blood
Oh… gross. Nothing about this sounds appetizing. Nor does it sound very plausible, but at some point it was apparently acceptable to drink blood as a water replacement. Though consuming raw animal blood may help keep you hydrated, it comes with quite a few risks, some of which may be deadly. Ultimately, you don’t know what’s flowing throughout the blood stream and drinking blood raw could result in you contracting pathogens that may be harmless to animals but deadly to humans.
Swim Parallel to the Shore
I mean, if you’re caught in a rip current you can swim parallel to the shore, but that’s not necessarily going to save your life. In most cases, it may, so long as the rip current is pulling you straight out into the ocean. That’s not always the case with these currents, though, specifically with a longshore or diagonal rip current. To avoid being tired out and making absolutely not progress, swim perpendicular to the flow of the current, typically with the prevailing wind. If you’re finding it incredibly easy to swim, change direction immediately because you’re then swimming with the current.
Moss Gross on the North Side
You’re lost but know that, if you just trek north, you’ll find the main road. But without a compass, how do you know which direction is north? Some may tell you to look at moss growth on trees, as moss always grows on the north side. Those same people would be just as doomed as you, however, as moss doesn’t just grow on the north side. In the southern hemisphere, moss actually mostly grows on the south side of trees, but neither rule is a guarantee. Moss will grow where it’s shady to avoid being dried out, so it is possible that, in a heavily wooded area, moss may grow on any side of a tree.
Play Dead During a Bear Attack
If this is your only deterrent when it comes to bear attacks, you won’t really have to play dead, if you know what I mean. It may work against mother grizzlies simply defending their cubs, but if you’re facing a predatory bear or one that’s less defensive and more offensive, the best thing you can do is fight back. Use whatever is at your disposal to strike it and, hopefully, you’ll hit the beast just right. Bears that are on the defense will make a lot of noise, giving you a chance to back off, while hungry predators are more stealthy in their movements.
GPS Devices are Infallible
GPS imperfections aren’t uncommon, but they’re far more of a danger than a nuisance if they start to pop up while you’re out in the wilderness. While it’s beneficial to have a GPS as a supporting device, it shouldn’t be your only reference for direction. Why, you ask? Well, beyond potential signal interruption, what if the battery dies or the screen cracks? You’re going to wish you had a compass or map to help steer you home.
Cut and Suck the Poison from a Snake Bite
You’ve probably watched an on-screen actor cut into a snake bite and immediately start sucking the blood from the wound; but try to remember that Hollywood isn’t the best place to get survival tips. This method of *ahem* treatment is actually more dangerous than helpful. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually suck any venom out but you do greatly increase the risk of infection. And if you do happen to extract some venom, expect some unpleasant side effects. The best thing you can do is remain calm, let the wound bleed, and sanitize and cover it.