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Education By Joe Burgett -

If You Believe these Survival Myths, it Could End Your Life
[Image via Sandyman/Shutterstock.com]

Myth: You Should Ration Food and Water

  • Survival Situation: Lost

To be clear, if there are several people involved here, then you DO need to ration the supplies equally as best you can. At least until it becomes obvious one member is unable to carry on. However, as long as things are equally rationed, you should eat or drink as much as you’d like. There is actually no evidence that proves self-rationing helps people in survival situations, making it one of the biggest survival myths around. In fact, there are more cases of just the opposite actually. But wait, just chugging a bunch of water on your first day of survival? Does that not seem reckless and potentially problematic? Many assume that, but it’s not true.

You should hydrate your body as often as you can, whenever you can do so in a survival situation. By properly hydrating, your body will have most of its proper faculties and you’ll make far more “good” choices as opposed to bad ones. Among the first things to go is your decision-making and physical abilities when you’re reaching dehydration. The first choices you make in survival situations are so crucial, and some do not realize that. This is why many people found dead after being lost for a while tend to have one or more relatively full water bottles and even food on them. They were rationing unnecessarily, leading to the end of their life.

If You Believe these Survival Myths, it Could End Your Life
[Image via Discovery Communications]

Myth: Drinking Urine

  • Survival Situation: Dehydration

This should be obvious and we cannot believe we have to say it but do not drink urine. We cannot believe we’re actually having to write that in 2022, but you’d be surprised by how many people believe this is a good idea. In fact, there have been cases of amateur survivalists or campers going right for drinking their own urine before even searching for water first. How did this become such a popular concept? Originally, there were several military survival experts who taught this as a last resort method. If you were going to be getting out of a location and you knew that, you could technically drink your own urine to get an extra hydration boost.

The idea is that issues from urine would not happen immediately, so you could utilize the water portion of it. Then after you’re out, you can deal with the repercussions later. If your urine is very clear, then at best you’re getting 90% water and 10% waste. However, the darker your urine happens to be, the more waste is in it. If it’s really dark, always avoid it. Membrane distillation can allow you to remove 95% of bad urine waste, as distilling helps get only the water out of the urine. But drinking urine can still be problematic. Typhoid is spread through urine consumption along with urinary schistosomiasis, both of which can be life-threatening illnesses. We do not have to tell you that this goes against the whole “survival” thing.

Where do we Find this Stuff? Here are Our Sources:

United States National Parks Service (NPS)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

National Institutes of Health

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

United Kingdom Redcross

Mayo Clinic

New York Times

Discovery Communications