In a world where every question is answered over the internet, not all are real. Most people claim themselves to be experts especially when it comes to survivals. But how true are the crash courses in survival we all see in movies, televisions, or read on the magazines? These survival myths are not malicious rather misinformed but it’s still wrong information and it can cost you your life when faced with a critical situation. Here are some of the most common survival myths and the truth behind each of them.
1. To survive, find food first
Water, warmth, and protection are the things you should find first in order to survive. Without food, a human can live up to six weeks while the lack of water can only last you a few days.
2. You can drink the water from a cactus
Trapped in a desert and desperate for water? Then you found a cactus and think you’re saved but not so fast. The liquid inside the cactus is nothing like water. Cactus’ fluid is highly alkaline and toxic. Drinking from a cactus will get you sick and make you vomit which can dehydrate you faster. There is an exception to the cacti family, the barrel cactus. But unless you’re expert in identifying one, do not risk it and just conserve energy and seek out a pure water source.
3. Snake bite? Suck out the venom
We often see this in movies but it doesn’t apply in real life. Poison from snake bites spreads faster as it comes with contact to your mouth. So don’t attempt in sucking the venom from the wound. Call 911, and do first aid. Clean the wound, keep it below heart level, sit still and wait for an anti-venom shot.
4. Drinking your pee can help you rehydrate
Your pee can save you but it depends on the situation. In cooler climates, drinking urine is a short term solution to dehydration. However, in an extremely hot environment doing so can do more harm than good. It can cause overheating due to the stress that affects the kidney upon drinking urine. Instead of drinking it, use urine to wet a small cloth for evaporative cooling.
5. If attacked by a shark, punch it in the nose
To increase your chances of survival in a shark attack, fighting back is the best thing to do. While punching the shark’s snout is effective, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. A person’s upper body strength under the water is not strong enough to deliver a powerful blow that can stun the shark. So instead of aiming for the nose, divert your punch to the eyes and gills. Sharks, like most creatures, will naturally protect their vision and respiration. Attacking their weak spot will make them swim away.
6. If a bear approaches, play dead
It could work with a mother grizzly defending her cubs but to other species, it won’t. The best thing to do when a bear approaches you (given that it is no mother bear) is to make yourself intimidating and don’t ever look it in the eyes for they interpret it as a challenge. Shout while spreading your arms, make huge gestures and big noise. Hopefully, it will get scared and run away if not back away slowly.
7. Eating snow or ice can help you hydrate
Snow or ice is cold water so it might make sense. But eating snow or ice will lower your body temperature. Melt it, boil it, and let it cool down to a moderate temperature before drinking it