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People Are Sharing BS Survival Myths That Could Actually Get You Killed, And I'm Thankful I Read These

“Bears CAN run down hills. They can. They’ll get you too.”

Earlier this week, Reddit user u/standardgenre45 asked, "What is a survival myth that is completely wrong and could get you killed?" People gave some pretty good examples of survival stuff we've definitely all heard before but isn't really true.

A man and a woman wearing backpacks and hiking

Here's what they shared:

1. "That you can just be on your way after almost drowning. If you rescue someone from a near drowning, they still need to go to the hospital. The lungs are coated with a slippery, mucuslike substance called 'surfactant.' 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 intake oxygen is reduced. Get the survivor on oxygen."

2. "That you should ration water if you're in a survival situation. No. 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."


Person holding up a water bottle in front of a waterfall

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


4. "That you can jump off high surfaces into water safely. You will break your bones."


Two people in bathing suits standing on a cliff looking at the water below

5. "That you should wait for the car to fill up with water if you drive into a lake. No. 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."


6. "That you should zigzag to escape an alligator. Alligators can turn, but they can/will only run in short bursts. Just run as fast as you can."


Alligator swimming in water

7. "That you don't need survival tools if you're going somewhere for a short amount of time. You should carry basic survival tools whenever you go out hiking, hunting, camping, etc. Things like a magnesium fire starter with flint and steel, a LifeStraw water filter, or water purification tablets don't weigh much or take up much space. They can be a lifesaver. People get lost on short trips or get injured, leaving them stuck in the wilderness. It doesn't take a massive forest or jungle to get lost."


8. "If you’re driving during a tornado warning, don’t get out of your car and climb up the side of an overpass to hide under a bridge. This myth became famous after a video of a man and his daughter hiding under an overpass went viral. But the one they chose had some unusual construction that offered them protection in a way most don’t. Wind speed increases the higher you get from the ground, and the narrow passages can create a wind tunnel effect, taking the flying debris picked up by the tornado and sending it straight through you at 200 mph or more."


Here's the video:

View this video on YouTube

9. "That you should try to leave a remote location when lost. Do not try to leave a deserted island if you are stuck — you will almost certainly die before someone spots you."


10. "That you should catch the snake that bit you. In Australia, at least, you do not need to anymore. The antivenin is universal."


11. "That you can drink water from cactus. It’s not potable, and likely to trigger vomiting/diarrhea, and you will get more dehydrated."


A landscape with cacti

12. “That you should follow birds to find water. They could be flying anywhere."


13. "That you should punch a shark in the nose. Have you seen a shark nose? It's slippery and angles down into three rows of teeth! Go for the eyes if you need to, but mostly, avoid acting like a wounded seal!"


14. "That you can tie a rope around your waist and expect it to save you from a fall. Sure, it might prevent you from hitting the ground, but you can still damage your internal organs and break your back doing this. Safety harnesses go around your hips and legs, not your waist."


15. "That alcohol 'warms' you up. You feel warm because it's dilating your blood vessels in your face and extremities, but that causes you to lose more heat to the environment, and therefore will make you die of hypothermia quicker, if anything."


What other tips are BS? Let me know in the comments below!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.