Common Survival Myths That Are Actually Dangerous

Drinking liquor will warm you up

Actually, liquor is the last drink you need in a cold-weather survival scenario.

Rubbing frostbitten skin

Frostbite occurs when ice crystals form in your skin and other tissues. But rubbing the injury will cause even more tissue damage.

A big fire beats a shelter

While large fires have kept people alive in the cold, you can't afford to skip building a shelter.

You can eat anything animals eat

Despite our shared biology, we can't always eat what animals eat. For example, birds and squirrels can eat certain berries and mushrooms that would kill a person.

All base layers work equally well

This is actually not true. For example, cotton can lead to hypothermia if you rely on it as your primary base layer in cold weather.

Jump into water to escape from bees

You might think jumping into a nearby lake is a good way to escape from a swarm of bees, but they'll just sting you when you surface again.

You can suck the venom out of a snakebite

This technique is a big no-no. The venom will immediately enter the bloodstream, and putting your mouth in the wound will only deliver extra bacteria.

Moss grows on the north side of trees

The truth is moss can grow on all sides of a tree. So don't depend on this myth for navigation.

A lean-to is a great shelter

A lean-to might help protect you from the wind, but it won't keep you warm. Instead, you need something with walls, a roof, and a small doorway to stay warm and dry.

Don’t feed a victim of hypothermia

In moderate cases of hypothermia, high-calorie foods can be given in small, repeated doses to restore the victim's heating abilities.

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