Stepping out into the wild may sound like the greatest adventure ever. Indeed, the idea of being out there on your own seems so intriguing and overwhelming! But if you look beyond that thrill of exploring new lands, it’s nothing more than a dangerous and creepy journey. On top of that, such a mysterious experiment into the wild can totally get you in trouble. As for that, new adventurers often make the common mistake of overestimating their survival knowledge and skills – they’re so hooked on the idea of throwing themselves into the unknown that they often neglect some basic survival rules. Nobody can promise you bright and sunny days while you’re pretending to be Indiana Jones. Therefore, all thrill-seekers must show some reasonability before trekking down a path they don’t know.
Ultimately, we’re hardly as invincible as we think, so everything may take a pretty bad turn before we know it. What happens if you step off the curb and twist your ankle? What happens if it gets foggy and cloudy? What’s really important here is your answer to these questions. More often than not, that is exactly where many thrill-seekers fail and eventually get into deep water. Below are 15 of the craziest survival myths that are simply wrong, ineffective and extra-dangerous! So whatever you do, just forget about these common survival tips because they can really put your life on the line.
15. “You can eat anything that animals eat”
Feeding on a goat’s meal only makes you a goat. Seriously, you just can’t take the risk of eating what these animals eat. Apart from certain segments in our shared biology, there sure are a lot of differences between humans and animals. Isn’t that pretty obvious? And if we must illustrate it more clearly, let’s just say that some birds can even munch on plants and berries that are simply toxic to humans. The same principle applies to some mammals, like squirrels, which are basically the worst animals to emulate. These cute animals can even feed on poisonous mushrooms would make it pretty difficult for you to survive.
14. “Liquor will warm you up”
That’s an interesting one for sure. Although it may seem like a reasonable idea, it’s nothing but a total lie. At first, you may feel as though you’re getting all warmed up, but in reality, alcoholic beverages are the last thing you need to warm up. When you drink, your blood vessels and capillaries get dilated by the alcohol which will actually make you freeze to death because your body will lose heat quicker. Instead, you should probably opt for water. Bottom line: getting hammered is the worst idea that can come to mind in a cold-weather survival situation.
13. “Drinking raw blood is okay”
Who told you that you can drink raw blood in a survival situation? Well, it’s true that there are many African tribes who believe it is helpful to drink raw blood as a way to stay healthy. But unlike them, you’ve got knowledge and rationality, right? As a matter of fact, Africans still mix cattle blood with milk due to the concentration of minerals and proteins. But it has got nothing to do with survival and hydration! So next time you hear somebody ramble on about the benefits of drinking raw blood, you can go ahead and enlighten your poorly educated audience with some science-backed facts.
12. “You can always trust your GPS”
Wrong. How many times have you been misled by your GPS navigation? Now you understand why you shouldn’t put your trust in a modern gadget. After all, it’s still a gadget that can trip you up, right? Sometimes even the most advantageous and modern navigation tools make mistakes and guess what – it may happen on your wild journey into the unknown. Besides, these high-tech tools often fail when pointing to a direction. What happens if its batteries die too? What would you do without your GPS tool then? Now you see why it’s so important to have your compass and map as a backup plan. Now you’re good to go.
11. “Rub two sticks together and warm up by the fire”
Making a fire should be easy: just rub two sticks together and you’re done. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Maybe… But maybe not. This is just another great misconception about surviving in the wild that we all follow like blind sheep. Once again we’ve been tripped up by the big-budget movie productions which only make it worse. This knowledge is pretty much useless. Don’t think that you’ll get lucky just because you’ve seen how it’s done on television. Also, you just can’t pick any two sticks and start rubbing them against one another. It doesn’t work that way. It takes a great deal of practice, effort and luck.
10. “You can eat snow to stay hydrated”
While kids are often told not to eat yellow snow, parents forget to advise them against eating snowflakes in general. So what difference does it make into the wild? Eating snow is hardly as advisable as you think. You probably know that there are four classes of snowflakes which, contain more cold air than frozen water. If we do the math, we’ll arrive at the conclusion that the air-to-water ratio is exactly 9:1. In a nutshell, you’ll probably have to eat about ten quarts of snow to get only 1 quart of water. To top it all off, you’ll surely get brain+core freeze which could be a precondition to hypothermia as well. Bottom line: always melt frozen water before drinking it.
9. “Eating raw meat and seafood is pretty safe”
It almost sounds like the case with sushi and its health benefits, but no, it’s hardly like this at all. While many of you think that eating raw seafood can’t be that dangerous, it’s even more perilous than you can ever imagine. Let’s take sushi as an example: it’s consumed raw but the living bacteria in it don’t take up residence in a human host. Unlike it, there are pathogens which would enjoy feeding on your body in wild fish. So our advice is to play it safe: never eat raw meat and any kind of raw seafood. Be smart: cook it well before your dinnertime.
8. “Follow flying birds and you’ll find water”
Here we are with more false advice you’ve surely heard on television. Although it may sound pretty rational, you just can’t follow any flock of birds and get yourself lost in the middle of nowhere. Well, it’s true that geese are said to fly towards sources of water at twilight, but it’s not like they always follow this rule. Sometimes, they just love roaming far and wide with the only purpose of hunting for food. So you just can’t throw all of your survival chances out the window by running after geese, can you?
7. “Your pee may save you”
Fighting off dehydration is a must in a critical survival situation. But even though you’ve got no other choice but to save your skin, you’ve got to think more rationally. Urine is hands down the most inappropriate idea that may come to mind. After all, it’s the body’s waste products which should not re-enter your body under any circumstances. Not only is it extremely dangerous for your well-being, but this is also hardly its best usage at all. Urine may come in handy in other clever ways: you can use it for evaporative cooling in extremely high temperatures. By doing so, you can use it as an effective way to cool down in hot climates.
6. “You can find moss on the north side of trees”
Who taught you that? While many travelers use the moss as a navigation tool, there are others who actually deny the efficiency of this technique. In truth, they’ve got a point there. Moss doesn’t always grow on the north side of the tree. As a matter of fact, there are many places where moss is seen on the south side of the trees. So you can see that you shouldn’t put your trust in such unreliable sources. Besides, you can really put yourself at risk of getting totally lost. But ultimately, you’ll still know that you’re heading north or south. So it’s either this or that.
5. “Build a fire and you won’t need a shelter”
Another dilemma, another dispute. But no, it’s a lie. Nothing in this world can beat a fine shelter. No matter the scale of that fire, it can hardly challenge the safety that a good shelter can provide in a dangerous situation. What if it suddenly becomes windy or rainy? What happens then, huh? You see, there’s nothing better and safer than having a shelter over your head. So instead of building a gigantic fire, you should probably build a reliable shelter to keep the cold at bay. Indeed, survival needs rationality and science-based facts, not cavemen’s methods and tips.
4. “You can cut and suck a snakebite”
This is hands down the most ridiculous tip we’ve seen on the big screen. In fact, the big movie industry has already shown us thousands of scenes where thrill-seekers get attacked by a venomous snake. Naturally, the victim cuts and sucks the snakebite because, obviously, this is what movies have taught us to do in such situations. Believe it or not, what we’ve been taught is a total lie. In reality, this cut-and-suck method doesn’t work at all. Rather, it creates a pleasant environment for bacteria to develop by opening the victim up to a greater risk of infection. So instead of saving your own skin, you’ll basically help the snake finish what it has started. Next time you see a movie with such a scene, you can enlighten your buddies with your broad knowledge.
3. “Stay hydrated by sucking on a stone”
First, you wanted to cut and suck the snakebite, now you want to suck on a stone? How far are you willing to go? Seriously, this is the weirdest way of trying to stay alive. Sadly, this curious method doesn’t bear any fruit. Here’s what happens when you do that insane saliva exercise: first, you trigger the saliva to flow, which is good, however, there’s no water, so there’s barely any gain. Moreover, when sucking way too hard on that stone and inhale it, you literally put yourself at a serious risk of suffocation. So do you still want to give it a go?
2. “You shouldn’t feed a victim of hypothermia”
So what’s the issue here? First and foremost, let’s discuss what exactly this condition means. The condition, called “hypothermia”, occurs when the victim/patient’s having an abnormally low body temperature, which may keep dropping to extreme and life-threatening levels. You see that it’s quite dangerous to try to feed a victim of hypothermia especially if they’re very likely to go into shock. As a result, they may choke on the food and go unconscious. But outside of this scenario, victims of mild and moderate hypothermia should be given high-calorie foods to help them get back on their feet again. You see, details matter especially with victims of hypothermia.
1. “It’s okay to rub frostbitten skin”
Thanks to big-budget movies, we still hear about this pretty old and heavily misunderstood survival tip. As a matter of fact, it gets retold so much that you may actually fall for its stupidity. Never rub frostbitten skin unless you want to get yourself in big trouble! In fact, frostbite occurs when ice crystals settle in the skin tissue – the more you rub it, the greater the skin damage. It’s as simple as that. So once formed in the skin, those ice crystals practically lacerate cells. But instead of making it worse, you can help yourself out by getting the frostbitten skin warmed up. You see, there’s no point in rubbing it as it can only make it worse.
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