At one time or another we have all fallen prey to some dumb advice or tips. In high school I actually had a friend that put sugar in her gas because a guy told her it would improve her gas mileage. This poor girl did not have any basic understanding of how cars work, so she thought the advice was being offered with good intentions, and she ended up becoming the butt of many jokes to come.
The world is filled with bad advice. For every good survival skill and technique there are a hundred bad ideas that people are trying to pass off as legitimate. So how can you tell the good from the bad? The best thing to do is to keep your eyes open and pay close attention. Take the time to research things you read before you buy new gear or before you try and build new survival tools. It could save you a lot of time, energy, heartache, and money.
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of bad survival and prepping advice online, but I wanted to call attention to some of the most dangerous. Please DO NOT follow these survival myths or you could wind up dead if SHTF.
- If you know how to hunt, you don’t have to stockpile food.
Too many people are under the impression that when the SHTF all they are going to need is a bow or a rifle. So many times, I’ve read survival advice that claims that if you have enough ammo and hunting gear, food will be just around the corner. Hunting is a great thing. If you have the skill and the ability to hunt then you should definitely do that. But depending solely on hunting for food is a great way to starve to death. Even the best hunters strike out sometimes. You need to be willing to hunt but you also need to make sure that you have a solid stock of canned or dehydrated food to last you in between trips when animals are hard to find. Plus surviving on meat alone wouldn’t be wise for your health anyway!
- If you have a creek nearby, you don’t need to stockpile water.
Having a nearby water source can give you a leg up in the survival race, but it doesn’t completely excuse you from storing water for emergencies. Do you know where the creek originates? Are there any farms in your area that might have runoff in your creek? Is your creek actually moving? Having a creek is a great thing. It could provide water. But it could also be a cesspool of disease and disaster. It is always a good idea to have several options for water. While a nearby creek is a good survival tool, it shouldn’t be the only water you rely on. Plus if you only need emergency water to last you through a winter storm outage, are you really going to want to trek all the way to the creek to collect it?
- You can drink any water you find as long as you boil it first.
Speaking of drinkable water, too many people are under the false impression that all they have to do make water drinkable is boiling it. Boiling is a great way to kill MOST of the harmful bacteria and contaminants. However you need to know that boiling water does not kill everything and ensure 100% safety when drinking.
This is why companies like LifeStraw have made millions of dollars on survival water purification tools. If your only option is boiling than that is always better than nothing, but it doesn’t guarantee safety.
Always look for water that is moving. Do everything in your power to avoid really murky and muddy waters. If you have no other choice, these waters can be filtered and in some cases purified to a drinkable state, but it will take a lot of effort on your part and you will need a heavy-duty filter.
- Building a fire is easy.
How many times have you been watching television and seen a person make fire by rubbing two sticks together? In the movies, it looks like the fire ignites almost instantly, but that’s not the case in the real world. Building a fire is a skill that takes a lot of practice to master.
Your fire is going to keep you and your party warm. It provides a good amount of light in the darkness and it is a good way to make signals. Further, a fire has been shown to keep you a little safer since it helps to keep away potential predators.
However you need to make sure that you have a few options when it comes to making a fire. The weather could be rainy or the ground could be very moist. This would make your fire building even harder. Make sure you have a quality fire starter in your preps to make life a lot easier. You should also study and learn how to build a fire without a firestarter in case it ever gets lost or simply doesn’t work anymore.
- The roof is the most important part of a shelter.
You shelter roof is very important when the weather turns wet. But on most occasions this is not going to be the case. The most important aspect of your shelter is that you have a solid floor to sleep on. This is why so many people opt for a raised bed shelter. This not only gets you off the ground but it forces you to make a solid foundation to lie on.
When the rains come you are going to want a good roof but if your floor is poorly made or cared for then you are still going to be wet and you will not sleep well at all. Take the time to make your shelter floor strong to be strong and reliable!
What are some other survival myths that you’ve heard lately?