People Share The Survival Myths That Could Actually Kill Someone

Many people like to think of themselves as survivalists, even if they lack any actual experience out in the rough. In fact, some commonly accepted advice about surviving in dangerous situations–or rescuing people from dangerous situations–could very well be wrong.

Imagine if you were to cause more harm without meaning to... all because of a false belief predicated by misleading or downright wrong information.

Thankfully, there are plenty of people out there who know what they're talking about. They were keen on sharing their tips and tricks (and setting the record straight) after Redditor standardgenre45 asked the online community,

"What is a survival myth that is completely wrong and could get you killed?"

"The lungs are coated..."

"Perhaps not really a myth, but something people may think is true after watching people get rescued from the water on TV: 'Get them breathing and send them on their merry way.'"

"If you rescue someone from a near drowning, they still need to go to the hospital, even though they are safely on land now."

"The lungs are coated with a slippery mucous like substance called a surfactant. It's kind of a lubricant and it keeps them from collapsing and sticking to themselves. If they ingested a lot of water into the lungs, chances are they have washed away the surfactant."

"Their lungs could collapse at any moment and their ability to uptake oxygen is reduced. Get the survivor on oxygen."


It always gives me a chuckle when I'm watching a movie in which someone nearly drowns, is given CPR, and then just walks away.

NO! Get to the hospital!

"That bears can't..."

"That bears can’t run down hills. They can. They’ll get you too."


Who the hell made this up? As if bears won't do whatever the hell they want.

"Drowning people..."

"Drowning people do not cry for help or make gestures to try and get someone’s attention. What they are doing is trying to stay afloat and trying to catch their breath; never count on a cry for help!"


And another note: Do not try to fetch them yourself without a proper flotation device because they'll be panicking and then YOU will become their flotation device.

"People who are seriously hurt..."

"People who are seriously hurt aren't usually the ones screaming and flapping around. They'll more likely be in shock or losing consciousness. If you are on scene at a large accident like a traffic collision or something and it's safe to help, look out for the quiet people."


This is true. Serious injury isn't always so graphic, despite what the movies might have you believe.

"If you go into a lake..."

"If you go into a lake when in a car don't wait until the car fills with water, just open the window and get out ASAP. If you wait, you could be 200 feet down or flipped over on the bottom. The power will still work for a short time. It only takes a few seconds."


Perhaps the shock causes people to react too late, but yes, it's best to just aim to get out of the car as quickly as possible in that situation.

"Alligators can turn..."

"Zigzag to escape an alligator. Alligators can turn, but can and will only run in short bursts. Just run as fast as you can."


Note to self... Never, ever, ever end up anywhere I'll have to outrun an alligator.

Good thing I don't live in Florida.

"That you can..."

"That you can easily disarm someone holding you at gun point."


Yeah... don't try this. That's a great way to get shot immediately.

"Do not try to leave..."

"Do not try to leave a deserted island if you are stuck, you will almost certainly die before someone spots you."


Gilligan's Island taught us that in these situations we could just spend our time and resources making bamboo golf carts and bathtubs.

"I don't know if this is considered..."

"I don't know if this is considered as a survival myth but engaging in street fights is never a good option. If there is an altercation that may lead to a street fight, just stay calm and run away from the situation."

"No one wins real street fights. Someone will either end up in a hospital or at a funeral that's just the truth."


Many people die each year because they just won't walk away.

Walk away. (Or run away.)

Either way, it'll save your life.

"Decision making..."

"Rationing water is generally a terrible choice - drink what you have until it’s gone. Use that time with good hydration levels to take stock of your situation and make good choices."

"Decision making and physical ability drop off very quickly when you are dehydrated. The first decisions you make after realizing you are in a survival situation are critical and pay long dividends."

"Most survival situations are resolved within 72 hours and many hikers are found dead in the desert with full water bottles."


Sadly, this is all too common. Many go out into the wilderness unprepared. And then, in the event they fall into such a dangerous situation, they make this fatal mistake.

Take note, everyone. And tell your friends, especially if they happen to be outdoorsy types.

You never know – someone might read these and you'll end up saving a life.

Have more survival tips to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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