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Guest Post: 7 Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed

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The following post was written by Jeremy Knauff @ How To Survive It…here’s a condensed version with bullet points.

1. You can cut open a cactus for water.

  • You can cut open a cactus, and it does contain fluid, but don’t expect to hydrate yourself this way.
  • You won’t get into a cactus without an axe, machete, or at the very least, a very large, very sharp knife.
  • If you do happen to cut it open, you won’t find a reservoir of water like you may have seen on television—it’s more of a slimy, bitter gel. Making matters even worse is that if you do manage to choke the foul goo down, it’s going to cause diarrhea and vomiting, and as a result, further dehydration.

2. Alcohol will prevent hypothermia.

  • It’s true that drinking alcohol does make you feel warmer, but that’s only because it increases blood flow to the surface of your skin. This presents a dual problem of giving you a false sense of security and reducing your core body temperature more quickly.
  • Unless you’re sitting in a cozy ski lodge, avoid the alcohol.

3. I can live off the land.

  • When the settlers landed on Plymouth Rock, they had plenty of experience living off the land (hunting, foraging, farming, etc.).., yet they still nearly starved to death.
  • Today…few people possess even a fraction of the skills that our settlers had. If living off the land is your only plan to sustain yourself and your family, you’re in for some rough, potentially deadly times.

4. I know everything I need to survive.

  • Knowledge is potential power.
  • There is a huge divide between just reading a book and executing a particular technique in the real world.
  • [M]ake a point to continue learning, and more importantly, continue practicing in the field.

5. You can survive a snake bite by cutting an “X” on the puncture wounds and sucking the venom out.

  • [DO NOT TRY THIS]—you will die faster than if you had done nothing.
  • Cutting the wound exposes the poison to more blood vessels, enabling it to spread more quickly, and you can’t suck all, or even most of the venom out anyway—it was injected under pressure by what amounts to a hypodermic needle deep into your tissue.
  • [Quickly get] to a hospital…where [you have better chances of survival, especially if they have the] proper anti-venom.

6. Fresh urine is a safe way to stay hydrated.

  • Nearly clear urine is about 95% water, and 5% uric acid and other wastes.
  • The longer you go without fresh water, the more concentrated the waste materials in your urine will become and the more harm it will do to your body.

7. You can determine direction by moss on a tree.

  • Supposedly, moss grows on the north side of a tree trunk. In reality, it doesn’t—it grows where it damn-well pleases.
  • It would be convenient if it w[as] true, but it’s not, and basing your navigation on this myth can lead you in circles until long after you run out of food and water.

Read the original article HERE.

7 Survival Myths that Will Get You Killed

One Response to Guest Post: 7 Survival Myths That Will Get You Killed

  1. Delicia July 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    …………..and rapidly moving water may be as potentially dangerous to drink as standing water. One never knows if there is a dead carcass up the stream, river, or stuck in a tree before a waterfall. Plus microorganism can live in any kind of water and do not to mention minute larvae that will make you sicker than a dog. Always always boil the water hard if you can AND use a device that kills most pathogens and microscopic “bugs” before drinking.

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