Most of us ever know when a typical outing or hike can end up going completely wrong. Before you know it, you find yourself stuck in a dangerous or hazardous environment where your chances of getting help are minimal or non-existent. Here is where you will need to put some of the basic survival skills you learnt in your camping classes or as a scout to action.
When stuck in such a situation, you want nothing more than to know the facts of what will keep you alive long enough to get through the situation. Simply put, you have no room to accommodate any survival myths which can lead you to make lousy survival choices. Some of the survival myths can end up making the situation worse in terms of your health. In worse case scenarios, they may even lead to your death. And that is why it is crucial to tell what is fact from what is fiction, especially when stuck in a survival situation. Here are some of the common survival myths that you must steer clear of if you want to stand any chance of living through the ordeal.
- You can rub frostbitten skin to generate heat
Do not ever tr doing that. Frostbite occurs when a victim is stuck in a very cold or freezing environment. Ice crystals will form on the skin and other tissues. By choosing to rub the affected areas, you will be causing more damage to the tissues and the skin as the crystals also lacerate the new unaffected cells. The best way to combat frostbite is by using painkillers as you slowly start to rewarm the tissue. You can do this by taking warm tea or coffee to help increase your core body temperature.
- It is not wise to eat if you are a victim of hypothermia
Not true. Most people tend to confuse hypothermia treatment with shock treatment. For example, it may not be wise to feed a survival victim who may go into shock anytime. The chances are that they may vomit or choke on the food. However, for moderate hypothermia cases, taking foods high in calories in small quantities can help a lot. The food will help the victim’s body generate metabolic heat which will eventually restore the victims’ heat-generating ability.
- Eating snow is safe
Some people may say they have eaten and even drank snow water and nothing harmful befell them. But the chances are that they only took small quantities of the snow or the snow water. If, however, you find yourself in a survival situation and snow is available, you may be tempted to use it as your water source. The thing, however, is that eating snow will end up cooling your core body temperature which may eventually lead to hypothermia. Aside from that, not all snow or snow water is safe for drinking. Some contain pathogens and other disease-causing viruses and bacteria which can only add to your list of worries.
- Drinking urine can keep you hydrated
The first most crucial basic survival skill to exercise when stuck in a survival situation is finding a water source. In cases where that is not possible, then you may be tempted to drink your urine. Urine contains water which might keep you hydrated for a while. But you also need to know that it contains waste materials that your body expels. So, drinking your urine only means you are taking in the same waste which the body has to expel once more along with the new waste. You will end up dehydrating quicker as your body now works twice as hard an uses more energy and water.
- You can start a fire with just two sticks
This myth can dupe you into thinking fire answers to your every beck and call. What if you are stuck in a windy, dumpy, or rainy survival situation? Sticks won’t help you then. Instead, always ensure you carry at least three fire starters like stormproof matches, a lighter, and a spark-rod.
- Flying birds will lead you to water
There may be some truth to this. Birds always tend to fly or live close to a water source. But that does not mean that all flying birds are heading to that direction at all times. Sometimes, they may be heading to a clearing where they can spend the night. Simply put, you have no way of knowing the birds’ plans. So, you cannot entirely rely on them.