We debunk 5 common survival myths that can contribute to your wilderness survival skills as well as the difference between life and death. As survival experts, we think we have what it takes to make it in the most extreme situations. But how much of what we’re taught is actually true?
Protect Yourself from These Survival Myths
Myth #1: Your Priority Should Be Looking for Food
The truth: Your first priority should NOT be looking for food – you can survive many days without food. Focus instead on finding water and shelter. Even with all your survival gear, the harsh environment and the cold in the wilderness will be too much to bear without shelter. The human body is also in constant need of hydration.
Stock up on survival food here!
Myth #2: A Shelter Means a Roof over Your Head
The truth: A shelter isn’t just covering your head with a roof – it means a bed you can survive the night in. Use dry vegetation to make a safe place to sleep. The key is to make a shelter that’s warm enough to protect you from the cold of the night.
Myth #3: Conserve Your Water for Later
The truth: Drink water when you’re thirsty. You need water sooner rather than later. It’s a great thing to learn how to locate water sources in the wild. This is valuable knowledge to help a person survive longer when lost outdoors.
Myth #4: You Should Drink Your Urine in an Emergency Situation
The truth: If it’s scorching hot and you’re severely overheated, drinking your urine could cause your body’s cooling systems to malfunction. It’s only going to do more bad than good so erase this belief once and for all.
Check out my favorite solution, the Aquastiq the compact “weird” little blue tube that filters water.
Myth #5: You Should Suck the Venom out of a Snake Bite
The truth: A lot of times the movies tend to influence how we’re supposed to view things. Sure enough, you’ve seen these done in the movies many times. Don’t try to suck out the venom! Sucking a wound does not prevent the venom from affecting the body. Don’t panic – seek immediate medical help.
Note: Make sure to always carry a first aid kit with you when you’re out in the wilderness.
Check out the video below to learn more about these wilderness survival myths:
A lot of these myths still dwell in people’s minds. A great part of our overall knowledge is influenced by what we often see and hear. Not all of these sources are giving correct information. So it’s really important to be well-informed for the sake of everyone’s safety. One single mistake can lead to a life and death situation.
Which of these myths did you happen to believe once in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: Finding Water When Lost In The Wilderness
For awesome survival gear to take with you in the wilderness, check out the Survival Life Store!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 24, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Knowing how to find and where to find water sources is one of the most crucial wilderness survival skills. Failure to find water has massive and compounding effects on both your physical and mental health. In fact, your body is in a constant state of losing water, regardless of the outside temperature. If you find yourself in a survival situation, finding water must be one of your top priorities. We’ve compiled a list of the 7 easiest and best places to find water. Looking for these sources is a skill you can add to your wilderness survival guide.
Wilderness Survival Skills | Water Sources Outdoors
Click here to enlarge
Finding water to drink is one of the most basic survival skills one must learn. Rain is the quickest access to a clean water source. Unfortunately, it’s also unpredictable. It’s the simplest and safest water source outdoors because it has the lowest risk of bacterial infection. You can use bottles, cans, tarps and rain jackets to collect water.
Boiling is always the best option for drinking any non-treated water source, but if you’re forced into a situation where it’s not an option, rainwater is the safest, untreated bet.
2. Rivers, Lakes, Streams
Rivers, lakes, streams, or any other body of water will be one of the most obvious sources of water in the wild. Look for clear flowing water to ensure bacteria hasn’t built up. Follow game trails and look for flying birds in the early morning and early evening, as they will typically fly towards bodies of water. Lakes and streams are also a great spot to build a shelter outdoors.
While these may be the most common sources of water, they’re also the most susceptible to contamination. Never drink from these sources without filtering, treating, or boiling it first. With the right survival kit, you’ll be able to do what’s necessary to make the water from these sources safer to drink.
3. Morning Dew
You can collect water from morning dew by tying a clean absorbent cloth or tufts of fine grass around your ankles and walk before sunrise through tall grass or meadows. Remember to avoid poisonous plants along the way. Avoid areas like farms or ranches which may be heavily treated with pesticides.
Collect the water from the cloth by squeezing it into a container. You’ll have to do this quite often if you want to collect enough water to last throughout the day. These primitive skills are a great option for areas where there’s not much rainfall.
4. Fruits and Vegetation
Fruits, vegetables, and plants contain lots of water. For example, coconut is such an excellent source of hydration, which is considered a survival food and Mother Nature’s Gatorade. You can use this method of collecting food for water when you’re trying to survive in a tropical environment.
It helps if you learn more about the edible plants and fruits around your area and know exactly how to prepare them for food consumption. Some plants, while full of water, can also cause massive intestinal issues.
5. Plant Transpiration
Transpiration happens when the moisture is carried from the plants’ roots to the underside of its leaves. Tying a plastic bag around a whole branch of leaves will trap water and let it fall into your collecting bag or canister. The trapped water vapor will then turn into moisture, thus giving you clean and crisp water. Again, be cautious and avoid collecting water from poisonous plants such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot some wild edibles nearby.
6. Digging a Solar Still
Since there is moisture underground, digging your way to the water source is clever — but takes time. You can gather up to 5 liters of water per day using a still.
Here’s another basic survival skill for collecting water. Dig a hole measuring 3ft by 2ft, then dig a smaller hole where your canister can fit easily. Place the plastic and keep it in place with some rocks. After that, place a small rock or weight in the middle of the plastic to create an inverted cone over the container to collect water.
7. Tree Forks or Rock Crevices
Tree forks or rock crevices in the woods might not be the most plentiful source of water, but they’re better than going without any water at all. The forks of tree limbs or rock crevices can collect a small amount of water due to their concave shape. Use clean clothing like a sock or bandana to soak the moisture or water in and wring it out.
Watch this video from WatchMojo.com for some more wilderness survival skills you need to know:
There are lots of wilderness survival skills to help you find a water source in the wild; you just have to know where to look. The ability to find water outdoors is an essential wilderness survival skills you need to master. After finding a water source, knowing how to purify the water you’ve collected is the second most important skill to have. Remember, you’re not the only one looking for water out there. Always boil or treat water when you get the chance! Never drink from an untrusted source — you never know what’s around the bend.
FOUR MYLAR EMERGENCY BLANKETS (Woodland Army Camouflage) – Advanced aluminized dual-sided Mylar blankets are perfect for conserving body heat in emergency survival situations. Includes four individually packed blankets so you can easily throw them in your hiking backpack, car, first aid kit, go-bag or bug-out bag, camping gear, or emergency kit at home or at work.
EMERGENCY SURVIVAL – Made from military-grade 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar, originally developed for NASA, each blanket measures 52″ x 82″, weighs 2 oz, and reflects up to 90% of body heat. Perfect for erecting quick emergency shelters and helping prevent hypothermia or shock in extreme weather conditions.
LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE – Our Emergency Blankets are reusable, waterproof, windproof, and moisture-proof. Great for hiking, backpacking, climbing, camping, hunting, traveling outdoors or in the wilderness, and biking. Our ultralight blankets are popular with everyone from emergency responders to endurance athletes using them to prevent sweat chills after running marathons, triathlons, or participating in Spartan races.
What’s the most important wilderness survival skill for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: 7 Native American Survival Skills
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on November 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Last update on 2018-05-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When you’re in the wild and encountering a lot of stress or fatigue, you should consider taking adaptogenic herbs. You might find these herbs in nature, and they could very well save your life.
Adaptogenic Herbs: Relieve Stress and Fatigue Naturally
Stress crops up in many situations, not only when you’re out in the wilderness, but also in your everyday life. You can be stressed about your to-do list, or relationships, or issues at work. This is when adaptogens come in. Adaptogens are natural substances known to empower the hormonal response of your body to stress. Adaptogens can be commonly found in the herbs around you.
1. Asian Ginseng
Also known as Panax Ginseng, Asian ginseng is used as traditional medicine for ages because of its health benefits. It has antioxidant properties that could help in strengthening and restoration of the immune responses of the body system. However, this is not recommended for pregnant women and children.
Eleuthero is a shrub common in Northeastern Asia. It is known as the “King of the Adaptogens”. Chinese people have traditionally used this as an herbal medicine for muscle spasm, joint pain, and fatigue. It helps the body to adapt to stress and makes the body’s response to stress more effectual. Additionally, eleuthero enhances your memory and keeps you focused when under pressure.
Ashwagandha is also referred to as Indian Ginseng. It is a shrub that has yellow flowers and circular leaves. This adaptogenic herb strengthens stamina and increases energy. Ashwagandha is also used as an ayurvedic medicine, intensifying the functions of the adrenal and endocrine gland which actively responds to stress.
Rosemary is a fragrant plant having spike-like leaves and purple flowers. This herb is usually used in cooking. In addition, rosemary also increases the activity of the hormonal responses of the body. It supports some organs of the body like the heart, liver, and most of the digestive system, which can improve one’s mood and boost memory.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is traditionally cultivated as a medicinal plant in many countries. Some apply it to their hair for extra shine and smoothness, while others use it to boost their immune system and adrenal health. Another reason why you should consider taking aloe vera is that it increases diffusion of oxygen into the blood stream through the blood cells, relieving stress.
Bacopa is a creeping herb common in wetlands. It is known to reduce anxiety and induce memory functions of the brain to keep you sane in the most stressed moments. Additionally, bacopa helps in keeping you focused, thus, reducing stress tendencies.
To learn more about adaptogenic herbs, watch this video:
Adaptogenic herbs contain adaptogens that bring balance to the regulatory functions of the adrenal system which in turn reduce stress and anxiety tendencies of a person. These adaptogens could be added to your daily intake of food. However, it is best to hear advice from medical practitioners, especially for pregnant women and children. You can always ask professionals or research on your own about what adaptogen fits your body’s needs.
What other adaptogenic herbs do you know? Share them in the comments section below!