If you’re anything like me, you probably love watching Les Stroud’s Survivor Man TV special. While some might mistake his show for a parody, the reality is that true “survival” tends to be hard – and Les shows us all of it. Even though his attempts at hunting are often unsuccessful, Les does offer us some very useful information when it comes to surviving in the wilderness. Listed below you will find some very common myths that might actually end up killing you if you aren’t careful.
1. Drinking Alcohol Will Keep You Warm
Alcohol will make you feel warm. This is because it pulls heat away from your vital organs and pushes it towards your skin and extremities where your nerve endings are. In a survival situation, this could absolutely prove to be fatal.
The human body has natural processes to deal with the cold. Drinking alcohol will inhibit these processes and in fact make you lose body heat. Alcohol is for fun, not warming up.
2. Always Look For Food
As our good friend Les has demonstrated countless times, food is actually not that big of a priority in survival situations. Back in our ancestral days, it was quite common for humans to go several days between eating. The biological process known as ketosis is more than happy to keep you alive until your next meal. This misconception likely stems from our culture’s obsession with fast food which trained our brain to think we are dying of starvation every time we go six hours without eating. Relax, most people can go a full 30 days without eating.
Water on the other hand is absolutely essential. In any survival situation, securing clean drinking water should be your top priority. If you don’t have water within 24 hours, you have a huge problem on your hands. Most humans only last about three days without water but you’ll pretty much be unable to move by day two.
3. Always Be Moving
A common belief is that you should always be on the move if you’re in a survival situation. By navigating the terrain, you increase your chances of finding civilization and saving yourself. However, the reality is that this advice may end up leaving you dead.
The best thing to do when you are lost is to STAY PUT. Unless you’re certain that help is not on the way, then it’s best to not move at all. Search and rescue teams have systematic ways of analyzing the terrain and any attempt to move will likely increase the time it takes for them to find you. As we all know, the longer it takes to find someone, the more likely it is that they are dead.