Survival tips are of little use to anyone in today’s world because we live in big cities, not in the wild taiga. Still, it is better to keep a few helpful tips in mind just in case, so that in an emergency, you can do something to save yourself.
However, not all survival knowledge is equally useful. Among them, there are quite a few bad tips that either don’t work or can hurt you.
You can drink your urine when dehydrated
There aren’t many works of popular culture where the characters wouldn’t sip from a flask full of urine while in a desert or other place without water. What can you do, it’s either that or die in agony. This option can work, but only if the urine is perfectly clear. This happens in cases where a person has drunk a very large amount of water before urinating, which the body didn’t need.
In other cases, especially when dehydrated, the urine will come out with a lot of decay products, that is, a well-processed liquid with “garbage” eliminated from the body. Drinking such urine is almost like drinking poison. No, you are unlikely to die from it, but such urine will not save you from dehydration.
If there is not enough water left, you need to reduce its intake
One of the worst pieces of advice, which is also often heard in popular culture. Usually, in such cases, the heroes can barely weave from dehydration but still do not drink, or take a sip from the flask and endure, leaving the rest of the water for later. This option takes place if you are already so drunk that there is more than enough water in your system. But when you are dehydrated, your body needs water here and now, not in small sips over time.
If you are very thirsty, drink. When you quench it, you’ll become stronger and more enduring, you’ll have a zest for life, and consequently, your chances of survival will increase. In the case of saving water as much as possible and at the same time feeling very thirsty, you may not reach the body of water for only a few hundred meters, losing consciousness from dehydration.
If a snake bites you, you need to identify it immediately and then suck the venom
If you go on vacation to a tropical country, there will undoubtedly be plenty of snakes, one bite of which is enough to at least cause you severe pain. It is usually advised to find the snake that bit you right away, so that you know what kind of venom to treat you for. This advice is useful if the snake is in close proximity and you can see it. But if it has crawled away somewhere and you start chasing it, it’s not good. You’re likely to waste precious minutes. Instead, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Local doctors will already be able to determine the species of snake by dental impressions and external signs.
As for sucking out the venom, this is also bad advice. The fact is that the venom can be close enough to the skin without causing serious consequences. When you suck it, the venom gets into the mucous membranes of the mouth and is quickly absorbed into the blood, so you can only make it worse. Also, there is a great risk of getting an infection in the wound. And in general, this method is ineffective, because if the poison gets into the bloodstream, it immediately begins to dissipate through the body. The best option is to immobilize the victim as much as possible, so that the poison spreads as slowly as possible, and give him medical attention immediately.
If you are stranded on a desert island, build a raft and try to swim away
How many books and movies have been written about shipwrecks and plane crashes where people were stranded on a deserted island. Almost every hero started to build a raft or try to repair the means of transportation on which he got to the island, if only to get out of the place as quickly as possible. Almost every work advises doing just that. But this is bad advice.
Yes, getting to a desert island is bad. But it’s likely to have food and water, and resources to build a home. However, if you venture out on a raft, there’s a good chance it will end badly for you because there are often severe storms in the seas and oceans.
The best option is to stay on the island and wait for rescue. Yes, it may take a long time, but it can be spent on drawing attention to yourself, such as laying out huge SOS letters with rocks, branches, and leaves. Given that the military and commercial agencies regularly survey the surface of the earth with satellites and airplanes, the likelihood that the lettering will be discovered is quite high.
If you’re lost in the woods, you can’t stay in one place
Heroes in books and movies, when lost in the woods, constantly go somewhere, believing that this is the only way they can get out to civilization. If you are lost in a small forest and know that there is a highway or at least power lines somewhere nearby, the advice to go in any direction without turning around will be helpful. But if you’re lost in a big forest, especially in the taiga or jungle, it’s better to stay in one place. Of course, you should do it only if you are not in danger of running into wild animals.
If you see a bright landmark nearby, for example, a lake, go out to it. We emphasize, if this object is in the line of sight, and not, presumably, somewhere there in a couple of hundred meters. In other cases, it’s worth the effort to equip a shelter and build a fire to keep the animals warm and scare them off if you have to spend the night there.
Remember that people can often not be found in the woods because they have gone too far from the supposed place where they were last seen. Staying in one place increases your chances of being rescued.
You can tell the sides of the world by the moss
Since childhood, we have heard that if you get lost in the woods, you can determine your location by the moss because it always grows on the north side of the trees. In fact, moss grows on any side protected from light, and in dense forests, it can girdle trees. Even in forests with fairly sparse vegetation, it can grow on more than just the north side.
By the way, if you happen to get lost in a forest in the southern hemisphere, this principle doesn’t work there because moss will grow more often on the southern side. Instead of moss orientation before your journey, install a compass app on your smartphone, or better yet, take a simple compass with you.
If you’re in jail, beat the biggest one to become an authority
Unlike the previous tips, this one has to do with society, not nature. Movies often show scenes of a man recently incarcerated, not only fighting back against those who try to test him but humiliating the toughest boogeyman, and he becomes feared and respected. In reality, trying to bend over the toughest man, even if you have a black belt in martial arts, will only get you one thing: a bunk in the hospital. There’s a high probability that the boogeyman’s minions will just beat you half to death or stick a shiv in you, and you’ll go to the afterlife.
If the person’s heart stops, give them an electric shock
Again, this resuscitation instruction is shown in almost every movie. The hero tears off the cable, brings his pins to the heart of the person who is clinically dead, a series of electric shocks take place, and the victim jumps up with a loud breath. In reality, all you get in this way is a medium-rare fry.
The defibrillator, by the way, which is often used in movies for the same purpose, is designed to restore normal sinus rhythm, not to start the heart. If a person’s heart has stopped and he is clinically dead, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which includes indirect heart massage and artificial respiration, must be performed.