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Survival Myths - Fact & Fiction

​1. IF A BEAR APPROACHES YOU IN THE WOODS, PLAY DEAD – This might work if it’s a mother grizzly defending her cubs. But if it’s any other kind of bear (especially black bears), it might attack you anyway. Your best bet is to make yourself seem large and intimidating. Open your jacket, spread out your arms, and start shouting. Hopefully the bear will be spooked and run away. Note: Avoid eye contact or the bear might consider it a challenge.

​2. IF YOU'RE LOST IN THE WOODS, LOOK FOR MOSS ON TREES. IT ONLY GROWS ON THE NORTH SIDE – I remember seeing this on a TV show when I was a kid. It’s not true. Although moss does grow better on the north side of trees, it can grow on any side if the tree is shaded or near water. Following this myth could send you in the wrong direction and get you even more lost.

​3. IF YOU'RE BITTEN BY A SNAKE, SUCK OUT THE VENOM – The last thing you need after a snake bite is to spread the venom faster by getting some of it in your mouth. Besides, you wouldn’t be able to suck fast enough to stop the venom from spreading. The best thing you can do is call 911, clean the wound, keep it below heart level, and sit still until someone arrives with anti-venom.

​4. YOU KNOW HOW TO SUR­VIVE BECAUSE YOU READ THIS, WATCHED THAT, OR HAVE A SMART PHONE - If you extract any­thing at all from this arti­cle, I hope you learn that you can’t rely on the inter­net, tele­vi­sion, or field guides to save you. Prepa­ra­tion and con­fi­dence are impor­tant in sur­vival sit­u­a­tions, but its cru­cial to keep in mind that all of your prepa­ra­tion should be geared toward avoid­ing life-and-death sit­u­a­tions. Aside from extreme cir­cum­stances and extreme occu­pa­tions, most peo­ple will not find them­selves in life or death sur­vival sit­u­a­tions, with­out a chance of imme­di­ate res­cue, absent user error. Strik­ing off into the wilder­ness with the mind­set that a book or 3G will save you is more than ask­ing for trou­ble, it’s a pretty good way to find trouble.

​5. ALWAYS SWIM PAR­AL­LEL TO THE SHORE IN A RIP CUR­RENT - Swim­ming par­al­lel to the shore is a good way to escape a rip cur­rent that pulls straight out. Unfor­tu­nately, not all rip cur­rents flow directly out to sea. In a long­shore rip cur­rent, or a diag­o­nal rip cur­rent, swim­ming par­al­lel to the shore could tire a dis­tressed swim­mer to the point of drown­ing. Instead, if caught in a rip, swim per­pen­dic­u­lar to the flow of the rip in the same direc­tion as the pre­vail­ing wind or pre­vail­ing ocean cur­rent. If at any point you feel like you are swim­ming up stream, you’re doing it wrong. Like all sur­vival sit­u­a­tions, avoid­ing fatigue and mak­ing calm, ratio­nal deci­sions increases your chance of survival.

6. IN A DESERT, YOU CAN DRINK WATER FROM A CACTUS - This is not always true. The pulp from the prickly pear and various barrel cacti contains some nontoxic fluid, but its chemical content can induce diarrhea and vomiting, which hasten dehydration. You're better off seeking water in rock crevasses.

​7. IF YOU'RE DYING OF THIRST, DRINK YOUR OWN URINE- It's one thing to drink dilute (pale) urine, which is 95 percent water. But the more times you pass it through your system, the more toxic the effect on your kidneys. Still, at what point it does more harm than good is a gray area.

​8. TO TREAT FROSTBITE, RUB THE FROZEN TISSUE WITH SNOW OR IMMERSE IT IN COLD WATER - Use body heat (but do not rub) or immerse in warm water. But only when you're certain there's no chance that the tissue will refreeze, increasing the risk of permanent damage.

9.  YOU NEED TO FIND FOOD RIGHT AWAY! - Your body can actually survive for weeks on your bodies fat reserves. And by that point in time, you're more likely to die by injury, exposure, poison or illness. People usually don't die of starvation in survival situations. The best thing you could do is build a shelter to get out of the elements, especially in a cold environment.

10. ALL YOU NEED TO START A FIRE IS TWO STICKS - Whoever started this needs to stop it. Starting a fire is much more complicated then simply rubbing two sticks together. You need a platform for the sticks, a top stone, probably a small rope to quickly rotate the stick, and lots of tinder (as much as you can find). You need lots of friction (heat), air flow, and your tinder (fuel). Without these three things, you won't complete the fire triangle, which is required to create a successful fire. Sometimes you can get creative if you have the items, such as a 9-volt battery and some steel wool, or a magnifying glass and the sun and even a chemical reaction with a small mount of potassium permanganate mixed with glycerin. The reaction might be too slow to do anything so but you can a few drops of water to get things going. 



Now that you know a little more about what is fact and fiction when it comes to survival, maybe you can last a little bit longer out there in the wilderness, before you either find your way home, or have a peaceful departure into the long dark...


As always, Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Prepared.

Discounts On Ammo And Shooting Supplies

Preppers have heard all kinds of crazy things when it comes to being out in the wilderness, and how to survive. Whether it be to play dead when a bear approaches, moss grows on the north side of a tree, or if you are impaled by an object, pull it out! These false myths not only are stupid, by they can be deadly! Read on for our list of the Top 10 Survival Myths!

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