21 Survival Myths That Will Absolutely Get You Killed

We’re what you’d called “indoorsy” people. We can fight our way out of the brush in a video game like nobody’s business and spot the native plant species that give away a movie’s shooting location as Southern California rather than the tropics, but if you dropped us in the middle of a forest, desert or island with nothing but our wits, we would simply sit down and cry.

As we waited for death to take us, though, we could tell ourselves that even we know something about surviving in the wild. Follow running water to civilization. If an alligator starts chasing you, run in a zigzag. If a jellyfish stings you, pee on it. (The wound, that is, not the jellyfish, although go ahead and pee on him, too. Son of a bitch has it coming.)

Aaaaand it turns out we’d be dead several times over if we did all that stuff. When you only know stuff from the movies, you end up believing a lot of lies, and that’s disastrously true for survival skills. Fortunately, people who know things from the internet are at least a little better informed, so when r/AskReddit was posed the question, “What survival myth is completely wrong and can get you killed?,” they set us straight.


GORDON1014 2y ago not a myth but I feel there is too little awareness about using wet rocks near fire as they can potentially explode and cause serious damage example: do not use river rock as a cooking surface between direct fire and your food; nature's version of pressure cooker with a loose old gasket


Daikataro 2y ago Don't. Drink. Pee. It will dehydrate you way more than it will provide water.


Grungemaster 2y ago Concerning frostbite, do not rub someone's frostbitten skin or pour hot water on it to warm them up. Such measures will damage the skin even more severely.


[deleted] 2y ago Edited 2y ago Drinking alcohol when you are freezing will keep you warm, it won't, it will bring on hypothermia much sooner.


Curious_Wrangler_980 2y ago Edited 2y ago The desert is hot and little clothing is best. Cover up during both the day and the night. The sun will burn you and dehydrate you very quickly. During the night it's really common for people to die of hypothermia because the temperature drops so fast. And honestly living here, during the winter it gets to the low 20s f pretty often. And the wind is awful. Edit to add: it's dry heat here. There's no moisture in the air majority of the year. You can drop dead from heat stroke barely sweating.


loveliboi 2y ago Follow flying birds to find water They can simply be flying to spend a night anywhere, so we can't rely on them.


metal_gearmen 2y ago Boiling water from a natural water source (river, stream, lake, puddle, etc.) makes it safe for consumption. Although boiling water kills microorganisms that may be present in it, if this water source is contaminated with heavy metals or some dangerous chemical (pesticide, fertilizer, etc.) it will not remove these impurities that could harm your health or kill you. Ideally, it should be filtered (there are tutorials on how to make a homemade filter with sand, soil, rocks and fabric) to trap these substances and make it safe to boil and drink


[deleted] 2y ago Rationing your water. Countless people have died of dehydration with water remaining in their containers. Your body still goes through water regardless if you're mentally trying to ration it. You will likely begin to suffer from dehydration as you burn calories trying to survive or find help. Drink your water as you would normally and hope for the best.


aixbelle 2y ago You can drink water from a cactus. Any liquid inside a cactus will be highly acidic and likely to cause nausea and diarrhea, further dehydrating you.


5leeplessinvancouver 2y ago Follow a stream to find your way down the mountain / running water leads to civilization. In my region, this is likely to lead you to dead ends such as steep waterfalls and sheer cliffs. People wind up trapped when they climb down a slope, hit a dead end, and then realize it's too steep or slippery to backtrack.


lankymjc 2y ago Eating snow when lost in the wilderness. Yes snow can be a good source of water, however if you eat it it's just going to fuck your internal body temperature and you'll freeze from the inside-out. If you're in a situation where you need to eat snow to survive, it means you're also in a situation where keeping warm is your primary objective at all times. Scoop the snow into a water bottle and keep it inside your coat. It'll melt after a while, and then you can drink.


takeitallback73 2y ago electricity follows the path of least resistance it follows all paths available


CatboylnAMaidOutfit 2y ago Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. If lightning has found a path that it likes to the ground it's extremely likely to strike there multiple times. That why lightning rods work.


Charlotte-Soana 2y ago Jumping at the last minute in a falling elevator. Elevators never fall, but if you have extremely bad luck and one does, you wanna lie like a starfish on the floor, maybe protect the back of your head with your hands. The impact will be shared throughout your body rather than just your legs. Also, jumping might slam your head against the ceiling. Hurting your head is never a good idea, and in this situation it could even break your neck.


dildorthegreat87 .2y ago That moss grows on the north side of a tree. It can grow all over the tree, so it's not a steadfast rule that you should make important decisions solely on


NightOnFuckMountain 2y ago If you're in a tornado, open all your windows to equalize the pressure inside to match the outside. If you're in a tornado opening any window or door will create a wind tunnel that rips your entire roof off.


lunachappell 2y ago If you are stung by a jellyfish do not pee on it cuz that can make it even worse and can even in some situations make it infected instead put warm water on it And then wrap it


Known-Fondant-9373 2y ago Don't climb a tree to get away from a bear. Bears are better at climbing trees than you are.


TchaikenNugget . 2y ago Running in a zigzag to outrun an alligator. Alligators don't run for long distances, so this will probably just waste your energy. They can also climb some fences and trees as well.


AJEstes 2y ago Sucking venom out of a wound. It only increases the size of the injury, contaminates it with all sorts of bacteria, and can lead to the person helping ingesting not only blood, but venom.


revanyo 2y ago The ducks at the park are not for free, you will go to jail