survival 5 myths
Interesting Facts Survival Tips Weather Survival

5 Survival Tips or Survival Myths?

This is a list of survival myths. If you have heard these before, that’s because some of them are just old wives tales. As we get older, it can become difficult to separate the two (old stories and facts). This can make it quite challenging when we find ourselves in tough situations but the lessons we learn today will only help to guide us in the future – should a catastrophe occur. You can never be too ready. Life is going to throw its curveballs at you. You will have to dodge and rely on your instincts at times.

Well, today we are going to do our best to present you with 5 survival myths. We will then give you safer and factual things you could do instead of the myth. That way if you are ever caught in the woods alone and lost – you may have learned what you needed to learn today. Let’s begin.

5. If you are on the road during a tornado, duck under an underpass to stay safe.

This is a very dangerous myth to follow, especially when you find yourself frozen in fear with a rapid cyclone headed your way. Sure an underpass will protect you from falling items and debris from the storm, but the structure of the bridge will make the wind act as a wind tunnel as it speeds up and tears through the walls of the underpass.

Also, note that if you are in a vehicle – get as far away from the underpass as possible. If you can find a sturdy shelter, run to it and hunker down while the storm passes. You CAN outrun a tornado – assuming you know which direction it’s moving.

4. In a survival situation, water can be drunk after boiling it up for 5 minutes over a flame.

Wrong. In less than one minute at 156 degrees Fahrenheit, waterborne pathogens are killed. This is as clean as the water is going to get, although other microorganisms can still be living in the water no matter if you boil it or not. Water begins to boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit so the germs are killed long before then – providing you are at sea level.

In retrospect, at the highest point on earth (Mt. Everest Peak) water actually boils at 158 degrees. So for that instance, you would need to boil the water as hot as you can get it so it kills the pathogens. You could melt snow and boil it as well if you are stuck in the mountains. If you are stranded somewhere for a long time period, you may try catching rain water instead. It’s clean and you don’t even have to boil it. You can drink it as is.

snake sits coiled ready for his next attack
Snake sits coiled waiting for his next victim.

3. If someone you are hiking with gets bit by a snake, you should try to suck the venom out right away.

The absolute best tool to have around when your buddy gets bit by a snake is a set of keys and a fast car to get them to the hospital. Venom is actually impossible to be sucked out of the wound, so you are wasting valuable time trying. It’s important that you not throw anything away. Keep any clothing that might have gotten torn up in the confusion. Don’t suck or wash the wound either. The doctors will need this stuff to try to get the right anti-venom to your friend when he arrives at the doctor’s office.

If possible try to kill the snake or take a good picture of what it looks like. The more evidence you can provide the hospital, the more likely they are to get your friend well and possibly save his life. It is no fun or a survival game when your friend doesn’t have any idea which anti-venom he is in need of. Here is one of the best “first aid” style survival kits for venom bites and bee stings.

If it is a venomous snake then the doctors can use a “venom detection kit.” Then they will know what to use to help your friend recover from his or her wound. If you need to then don’t be afraid to use CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). You will need to keep a close eye on your friend while you rush to the hospital. You may be his or her only hope.

2. When you are trying to survive in the wild, drink your urine if the water is unavailable to you.

Some people believe that you can drink your own urine in order to stay hydrated. This is incorrect. Think of this. Your body, when you pee gets rid of all the toxins and waste it can and any liquids that cannot be used to nourish the body.

If you were to drink that back, you would only be harming yourself. Too much salt draws water out of your cells and dehydrates you even more. It can also make you sick. You will get dehydrated instead of hydrated and will be taking all those toxins and waste right back into your body for round two.

If you’re diligent about being prepared, you would be able to use a purification method prior to drinking your water. This item should always be in your bug-out bag. You can use a filter or the tablets that clean the water for you. Either one is good for your survival. Just pop in a tablet or run the water through the stand-alone filter. I would still collect rainwater either way though.

Guy standing under a tree in the distance survival

1. If you are lost – you can find your way by looking for moss on a tree because moss can only grow on the northern side of the tree.

Nope. Moss can grow on any side of a tree. If you follow moss you are probably just going to get turned around and waste valuable time. A far better solution is to always pack a compass with you when going out into the woods hiking or camping. Any compass can do, but the link there is to a great outdoors compass that can take a little bit of wear and tear outside until its damaged.

If you do not have a survival compass, you can make one out of things you can find on the ground where you are most likely. Here is a quick video showing you how to make a compass. You do need something metal to use as a magnet. This guy uses a pin but any metal object can do the same thing. Pay attention and you will always know which way is north and you will never be lost again.

If for some reason you could not make a compass, there are a few other ways to tell where north is. The most famous of which is the North Star found just off the dip of the Big Dipper. Follow the link above to learn how to use the sky. Watch the video below if you want to learn how to do it with a pin and a leaf. Either one will help get you back on track.

Demonstrates how to make a compass out of things you can find outdoors

Okay, that was five old wives tales that we debunked for you this afternoon. I hope you learned something. When the time comes when we are living off the land. We are trying to provide for our families and friends. You will be that much more knowledgeable about the wilderness and how to handle the situation.

Remember above all else, just do your best to remain calm and think back to the things you have learned in your life. Be strong and be ready for anything. The outdoors can be quite dangerous at times. You can make it though. Hopefully, you got well read on the subject prior to anything happening to threaten humankind.

Kenneth E. Sweet Jr.
Kenneth E. Sweet Jr. is a published author of many blogs, website content and more. He is an active YouTuber, father of 2 and Wizard in training. You can follow his personal survival blog over at