Thanks to the ever-present smartphone, most people probably think they are more knowledgeable than they actually are. Information is constantly at your fingertips, available during almost any conversation you have throughout the day. Dinners are full of Googling, not discussion.
Although having information readily available can be a truly marvelous thing, it has fooled us into thinking we can handle anything. If your car broke down and you were lost in the wilderness without a phone signal, would you know what to do?
(Hint: If you say yes, you’re probably wrong.)
These survival myths are widely known and accepted as what you should do in case of an emergency. As it turns out, they’ll probably kill you… not save you.
1.) Myth: Swim parallel to the shore if you’re caught in a rip current.
Unfortunately, rip currents flow in different directions, not just out to sea. So, instead, swim in the direction of the wind or current. Basically, if you feel like you’re swimming upstream, you’re going the wrong way.
2.) Myth: Ration your water if you’re stuck in a hot climate/desert.
If you die from dehydration, all of that water you saved won’t help you. Humans can survive for a couple of days without water, even in extreme heat. Instead, avoid unnecessary exertion by staying in the shade during the day, drink the water you do have and move at night if you need to find help.
3.) Myth: You should suck the poison out of a snakebite.
Actually, that will hurt you and the victim. The venom can damage your mouth and trachea. Not only that, but it won’t actually help the victim like anti-venom will. Instead, seek medical attention and fast.
4.) Myth: Shelter means finding a cave or building a lean-to.
If a shark initiates an attack, fighting back WILL probably save you. However, most people aren’t capable of punching a shark hard enough (in water) in order to stun it. Instead, claw at its eyes and gills. (No animal on earth will like that.)
So not true, unfortunately. Confidence and preparation are important for survival… but arrogance and ignorance will get you killed. Be safe and don’t take chances. You’re probably not the outdoorsman you think you are.
No, no, no and no. There is one VERY specific kind of barrel cactus in which you can drink the fluid inside. Almost every other cactus is filled with a noxious liquid that will most likely make you sick, dehydrating you more.