Ever since TV shows like Survivor Man and Man vs Wild took to the airwaves there has been a surge of interest in wilderness survival. Although most of us will never find ourselves in such situations, it doesn’t stop people from dreaming. Who wouldn’t want to go on an expedition through the jungle and live to talk about it? And then there’s the conspiracy theorists who think that the nuclear holocaust is going to happen at any moment and they need to stock up on toilet paper. Whatever your position, survival is built into our genes and we will try to do it at any cost. Surely your body is capable of far more than you think, just take a look at these 25 unbelievable facts about the human body. In all likelihood you could go for weeks without food or sleep. You could break numerous bones, lose a limb, and still keep on moving. What you’ll realize after reading through this list is that survival isn’t just about what you know, because much of what you know might be wrong. It’s more about your will to live and pure old fashioned common sense. So whether you are a survivalist or just a dreamer, these are 25 survival myths that could actually hurt you.
Featured image by Lwp Kommunikáció via Flickr
You need to find food right away
Your body can actually survive for weeks on your body’s fat reserves. By that point in time you are likely to die of numerous other causes including injury, exposure, poisoning, or illness. In fact, people usually do not die of starvation in survival situations.
All you need to start a fire is 2 sticks
Starting fire this way is incredibly hard, even under the best of conditions. Your best bet is to pack stormproof matches from the get go.
Watching survival shows will prepare you for survival
Those shows are fun to watch, but heavily scripted. While you may be able to take away some general tips, don’t get lulled into a false sense of security just because you’ve watched every episode of Man vs Wild.
You should suck the venom out of a snake bite
Clinical field trials done at the University of Arizona have shown that more damage is done to the surrounding tissues if you apply suction devices. Furthermore ice, tourniquets, and compression wraps all do more harm than good. Your best best? Wash the wound site, cover it with a bandage, and try to get to the hospital as fast as possible.
Remember: a dead rattlesnake can still bite you! The bite reflex sticks around for a few hours after death.
You can outrun a bear
No you can’t. Not even Usain Bolt can run fast enough. There is no conceivable situation in which you should try to outrun a bear.