17 Survival Myths

Do you feel confident that you can survive any scenario? Perhaps you enjoy reality shows that feature the daring and resourceful actions of Bear Grylls, Ken Rhee, Skullcrusher Snyder, Kellie Nightlinger. These characters often use skills and survival hacks to make it through the impossible. As convincing and confident as famous survivalists are, myths linger and are often perpetuated by Hollywood films, social media posts, and even survival celebrities.


Below are 17 survival myths that need consideration:


GPS is Failsafe

It is amazing how quickly some of the stars save someone just in the nick of time with a satellite connection. However, GPS is not as reliable as it appears in the movies. It can lead you on a frustrating, never-ending path. All technology can fail, but it is good to take it along just in case. You would do well to always bring a map and a compass also and a backup battery if the GPS loses its connection.


You Don’t Always Need Survival Gear


You might think that you don’t need your gear if you are going on a short day hike or driving ten miles down the road. However, bad things can and do happy very fast without warning. It is best to have your gear with you even if you don’t use it every time. You never know when an emergency will happen.



You will be Rescued in a Timely Manner


Movies and television shows only last a few minutes, so they usually have to rescue the victim in a short amount of time. Realistically, just because you have a phone, radio, beacon, etc., does not mean you someone will rescue you expeditiously. If you have reception, you will be transferred to emergency personnel to assess your priority status. If they decide to send out a helicopter, there are specific locations they cannot land. That means rescue personnel will have to hike to you on foot or other transportation, which may take a very long time.


You Can Eat Raw Meat

You can, but you do risk getting sick. Most raw fish and animal meat have pathogens and bacteria that are harmful to humans. The primary reason for cooking meat is to kill any nasty bits hiding in the meat. You might wonder why raw fish is used in sushi. A few fish species are used when preparing sushi because the bacteria in them can’t easily live in the human body. It is better to cook any meat to be sure it is safe.


You Can Drink Water from the Same Source as Animals


Actually, in no way is a water source safe to drink because you saw an animal drinking from it. Remember the steps to safe drinking water are:

  1. collect it

  2. filter it

  3. boil it

  4. purify it


A Hypothermia Victim Needs to be rubbed or given a Hot Shower


Rubbing frostbitten skin can damage it even more. Also, treating hypothermia with hot water can induce a heart attack and will most assuredly cause them to go into shock. Their body needs to be warmed up slowly. Warm blankets can be wrapped around them, or place warm water bottles under their armpits.


Suck on a Button


Some think that if you suck a button or rock, it will induce an individual to salivate, and then they can swallow, providing much-needed water. In reality, it only puts the patient at risk of swallowing and possibly choking on the button. Find another more logical and safe way to obtain water.


Play Dead with a Bear

If the bear is acting out defensively, there will be moments where the bear stops going for you and will even retreat a bit. In this case, make yourself look larger than you are, make sounds, slowly back away, and avoid eye contact. Generally speaking, it all depends on the bear’s reaction to the situation. If a mother bear is defending itself or its cubs, back away slowly. If the bear makes contact, play dead lying on your stomach with your hands over your neck. In the rare case of a predatory attack, fight for your life. You need to determine if the bear is actively attacking you or acting out defensively. If they are continuously attacking, you may be able to fight back by attacking soft spots like the eyes, one, and ears. If they are attacking, always fight back.


Hunt Large Game when you are Starving


It is much easier to go after something smaller like a rabbit to cure hunger pains. Large animals require more energy to hunt, take them down, process them, transport them, and preserve them. Also, confronting a large animal is a dangerous proposition. Pick on something smaller than yourself.


No need to Store Food because you have Guns and Ammo


You don’t want to have to fight for every bite of food might work for some, but not for most. It is best to have a backup supply of non-perishable food for times when you can’t find and kill enough game for a meal. Plan to have extra food, so you don’t have to rely on your guns and ammo.. You never know what circumstances may keep you from getting the food you need.


Suck on a Snake Bite


Sucking on a snake bite will do nothing for the victim, but it can transfer bacteria from your mouth into the wound, making it worse. Also, you run the risk of ingesting venom that may be on or around the wound. The best thing to do in this situation is to slow down the victim’s heart rate by calming them down and lower the wound site below their heart level. Get them to a hospital as fast as possible.


You can eat what other animals consume

You can consume what you see other animals eating, but it may very well poison you. Berries especially should be avoided unless you identify them as being safe. Also, some mushrooms are poisonous to us but are fine for animals. Animals are accustomed to eating what is in their environment. When in doubt, do not eat. Birds and squirrels can eat certain berries and mushrooms that would kill a person.


The Best Shelter is a Lean-to


A lean-to may provide shade from the sun and a slight windbreak from one direction, but not much else. However, if that is all you need, you will be fine.. What makes a shelter good depends on your environment and what you need to be protected from.


A Fire is Better Than Shelter


There are differing feelings on this one. What is needed most is insulation. Insulation between you and the ground and the surrounding area is the goal. A fire without shelter can be put out by wind, rain, or snow. A shelter without fire is prone to leaking water and wind while you lay on an uninsulated ground. Think about insulation first and then take care of the rest.

Boiling Water is the Solution for most problems


Boiling water helps neutralize biological threats, but is not always 100 percent effective. It cannot remove sediment or chemicals. It can be biologically safe but can cause vomiting. Be sure to collect, filter, boil, and purify.


You need to find a food supply immediately if you are lost in the wilderness


You can survive up to six weeks without food. Water and shelter are the most important things to worry about. Then you can search for food.


The fluid In a cactus can save you from dying of thirst


Most of the time, cactus fluid will make you sick, causing you to vomit up precious liquid and leaving you dehydrated. If you are experienced enough to pick out the one kind of barrel cactus that you can filter water it from safely, go ahead.


Survival in harsh conditions is no simple affair so educate yourself on the correct ways to survive before going an adventure.



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