10 Survival Myths That Could Get You Killed

It's pretty easy to start a Facebook page about survival. In no time at all, captioned pictures with survival tips will start getting likes and comments from like minded people who are looking for information.  The problem is, a lot of these "survival tips" are completely wrong and might even get you killed.

Outdoor Life recently put together a big list of these survival tips.  

Here are 10 survival myths that might kill you.

1. Suck Out Snake Bite Venom

Myth

You can open up a snake bite and suck the venom out before it gets in your system.

Reality

Put on a pressure dressing, keep the area elevated, and get to a doctor. Cutting open the area actually gives you a greater chance of infection.

2. Rubbing sticks to start a fire

Myth

You can rub two sticks together to start a fire.

Reality

There are several friction based fire starting methods.  Just rubbing two sticks together is not one of them.

3. Drink Alcohol to warm you up

Myth

You can drink alcohol from a flask when you're cold to warm you up.

Reality

Drinking alcohol actually dilates skin surface blood vessels which will bring your core temperature down even further.  Drink hot water, tea, or cocoa instead.

4. Cure hypothermia with a hot tub

Myth

If you're trying to help someone recover from hypothermia, put them in a hot tub to warm them up fast.

Reality

This method is actually quite painful and can cause a heart attack.  Use warm towels or bottles and place them under the patients arms instead.

5. Build a fire inside a cave instead of using a tent to stay warm

Myth

Warming up a cave will keep the heat in so you can stay safely stay warm all night.

Reality

The fire will cause the rocks to expand and possibly collapse.  Make your fire outside the cave if you're going to be sleeping in it.

6. A Lean-To is all you need for a survival shelter

Myth

In a survival situation, a Lean-To will keep you warm.

Reality

You'll need a real survival shelter that can hold in heat. You'll want at least a roof and 3 closed sides so you can trap some heat.

7. Wet Matches can be dried

 

Myth

You can dry out your wet matches and they will work again once the moisture is gone.

Reality

Once matches get wet the chemical balance between the sulfur and oxidizer are altered which won't allow them to be used again.  Get yourself a fire starter bracelet or some water proof matches.

8. Drink Pee for hydration

Myth

You can drink your pee if you run out of water as a safe hydration alternative.

Reality

Your pee is expelling all of the body's waste.  When someone is dehydrated, their pee is the last thing they should drink.  It CAN be done but can also make you sick.

9. Eat snow for water

Myth

You can pick up snow and let it  melt in your mouth for water.

Reality

The amount of water you get from eating snow is tiny compared to actually melting it.  It also takes a lot of energy, and will cool down your core.  Melt your snow before drinking.

10. You can eat food animals eat

Myth

If you're hungry just watch what animals eat and copy them.

Reality

Animals can often consume plants and berries that would be toxic to humans. Copying what a wild animal eats is not safe.

For the full list of 26 survival myths, check out the article on Outdoor Life.


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