Wilderness Myths Exposed

Wilderness Myths Exposed

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Survival – Just saying that word out loud conjures up a variety of emotions in different people. For most people who may be habitual viewers survival shows on television, or live in a world remote from any form of survival experience, their reaction will probably be one of indifference.

However, for others, it can be met with a fearful reaction such as a cold chill going down their spine, a drying of the mouth, or a sensation of reliving a nightmare be sure to take note of the recommended survival gear for first aid and protection.

Myths – A word that could be associated with Halloween, spooky movies, and all things scary in the dark. Many stories, which some people believe to be true, are centered on myths and legends.

It is worth remembering that if you intend to venture into the wilderness, then Bob Cooper Survival Kit is a great companion.

Reality – In essence, actions related to surviving an emergency situation if you are in the wilderness frequently depends on your ability to determine what is a myth and being forced to deal with some serious challenges,  being aware of what action will help you survive and those that will not, is critical. In other words, if you don’t know what a wilderness myth is and make the wrong decision, you may not survive to tell the tale.

Another crucial point to remember before venturing into a wilderness, is to be prepared with equipment and clothing, such as a Manzella AC-425WS Windstopper Balaclava.

There is valuable information available from experienced survivors who have confronted a crisis and were successful. Unfortunately, there is also much information regarding survival, which is either false or just plain old wives’ tales; so, let’s sort out the myths from the reality when it comes to survival.

Wilderness Myths That Can Kill You

We start with one that has been passed down through generations of wilderness adventurers:

Myth 1. Moss grows predominantly on the north side of trees

Moss grows predominantly on the north side of trees

The first part of this question is, yes, it is true that moss located on the north side of trees, does have a tendency for better growth. However, the description “better” does not mean it only grows in that position. In reality, as long as moss receives water and shade, it’s capable of growing well on any side of a tree.

The main point of this observation is that you cannot rely on tree moss as your navigational tool and dangerously for your survival purposes; you could the going in completely the wrong direction if you do so creating more unnecessary walking time which could result in all manner of issues.

One handy piece of equipment to have with you is an Equip Blister First Aid Kit which could make your journey a lot easier.

Myth 2. All black and blue berries are safe to eat

black and blue berries are safe to eat

The golden rule on this one should be you don’t eat a berry if you can’t identify it, but there are survival guides available that can assist you in identifying which wild berries are poisonous.

It is generally advised to avoid yellow and white berries as about 90 percent of them are poisonous, as are approximately 50 percent of red berries.

Although recognised that the majority of black and blue berries are edible, if you are unlucky, then this theory could be the death of you. Do not assume that all black and blue berries are edible and if in doubt don’t eat them.

Myth 3. Running water is drinkable water

running water is drinkable water

When many people think of water in connection with the great outdoors or wilderness they visualize pure, clean, crystal clear, cold running streams.

The issue with this perception is one of the most basic concepts for remaining healthy in wilderness survival conditions; which is to treat all water sources as being suspect.That cool, clear mountain stream may appear clean to the eye but contained in it are millions of thriving invisible microorganisms.

Be wise and be safe with Katadyn Micropur Forte Water Purification which can greatly increase your survival prospects, especially in the heat.

To run this myth into the ground; potable water is regarded as safe for drinking purposes. It is water that has been purified by one of a variety of means to meet established standards determined for drinking water.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume this water does not contain harmful bacteria and contaminants and is safe for general household consumption. Potable water is recognized as tap water derived from established water systems, with approved filtering techniques.

If you are not packing Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Purification support, this is a case of perhaps being thirsty and safe for a while, or suffering some severe consequences.

Myth 4.Venomous snakes have triangular heads

Venomous snakes have triangular headsThis is another tale handed down by various generations, among other snake stories, such as its skin pattern or the rattle in its tail.

A rattlesnake just happens to possess rattles that amplify sound. However, when the tail of a non-venomous snake makes contact with, for instance, dried leaves, it can be easy to confuse the sound with that of a rattler.

Simply put, it’s impossible to be certain regarding whether a snake is venomous, or as some say, poisonous, judging only by its appearance and certain features. However, something that is better to have as a precautionary measure is a Bob Cooper Snake Bite Kit, because, in the wilderness, you never know what could be waiting behind the next bush.

Related: Wilderness Survival With Snake Bite First Aid and Treatment

Myth 5. You should suck the poison out of a snakebite

You should suck the poison out of a snakebite

This is what could best be described as a movie myth. Taking as an example, the dreaded Rattlesnake; firstly, a victim rarely receives a full dose of its venom when bitten and frequently none is injected at all.

On being bitten by a suspected poisonous snake, never apply a tourniquet or cool down the bitten area. A preferred option would be a snake bite kit designed for this type of situation as it contains compression bandages designed to maintain the correct level of pressure.

For the movie romantics, the hero making an “X” shaped incision over the wound and then dramatically sucking out the venom looks great, but it has never been proven that it provides any relief, despite the process admittedly removing a minute volume of venom from the bloodstream.

Adding to this scenario is that this action does not provide a reliable method of removing all the poison and any that is removed by mouth can either enter the throat or settle on the skin.

Finally, it could make the victim vulnerable to dangerous infections, none of which is conducive with surviving in the wilderness.

Myth 6. Punch an attacking shark on the nose

Punch an attacking shark on the nose

From survival on land to surviving a shark attack in the water, which at the beach is a relatively rare occurrence.

However, if you are in the ocean and happen to have an encounter with a Great White, giving it a smack on the nose with your fist is not the best way of escaping. Despite the popular and media promoted strategy of aiming for the snout, the most sensitive areas of a shark are its gills and the eyes.

Aiming for the nose is also ignoring the fact that just below it, is a very large mouth with extremely, large, sharp teeth, all within arm’s length. Therefore, this mode of surviving a shark attack is not considered by various experts, to be the best idea. For other potential issues in the water don’t forget your Equip Reef Rash First Aid Kit.

Myth 7. You must find food first

you must find food first

It is a factor related to surviving in the wilderness that starvation is one of the hazards that could kill you.However, to possibly alleviate some major concerns about this, your system has the power and reserves needed for your survival for over four weeks without food. A lack of food, therefore, is not the threat that will bring you down first.

During this time frame, there is generally a variety of edible foodstuff that you can find or kill. Your primary objectives should be staying warm to conserve energy and staying hydrated, but there are various other and more critical priorities than food when surviving in the wilderness.

Myth 8. A Shelter Means You Are Protected

A Shelter Means You Are Protected

This myth could be regarded as a sense of false security. In the first instance, you are in a survival situation and would not, therefore, construct a shelter with four walls and a roof. In reality, the shelter will be more of the simple lean-to type of structure or similar. It should be designed to serve as camouflage in the wilderness and provide as much relief as possible from the elements, albeit, minimal.

If you have materials that can provide insulation then your warmth factor will also be increased and Equip Travel Mate Antibacterial Spray should be packed for at least providing some form of protection.

Myth 9. If stabbed by an object you should pull it out

If stabbed by an object you should pull it out

Here is another movie myth similar to sucking out snake venom. Again, for those of us who watch certain movies, we have seen a variety of heroes stabbed with an assortment of knives, cutlery and various other implements, which they simply pull out of their flesh and then attend to the wound.

Should you accidentally be stabbed with a knife or another sharp object in a wilderness survival environment, you pulling it out could cause you to lose blood from the wound faster, thereby making it more serious.

The correct method of treating the wound would be to dress the area and retain the object in a stable position until it can be properly removed by a medical professional.


Myth 10. Stop the bleeding by using a tourniquet

Stop the bleeding by using a tourniquet

It is widely accepted that the best and correct method of stopping a wound bleeding is by the application of a tourniquet, which is a device for stopping the flow of blood.

This, in general, is a mistake, as a tourniquet should only be applied as a last resort; for example it is only viable if you have lost a limb or one or have sustained partial separation from the body – the result of a horrific accident. Emergency help here is offered by a 360 Emergency Blanket to help keep the person warm, with a degree of comfort.

The reasoning behind this is that the pressure applied by the tourniquet will cause severe damage to blood vessels. It can also frequently result in the death of tissues, thereby creating a situation in which a limb will require amputation.

In the event of severe bleeding, pressure should be applied directly onto the wound, or to the area directly above or below the wound. On gaining control of the blood flow, the wound should be cleaned, packed, and a pressure bandage applied. In cases such as this, an Equip Emergency Trauma First Aid Kit can provide essential relief.

In the case of less serious wounds, they should be permitted to bleed until the flow stops. It is a procedure that will generally prevent any potentially harmful organisms penetrating the wound and causing infection.


If you are getting ready for your first trip into the wilderness, you can anticipate an experience with nature that could be the best imaginable or the worst possible. But, isn’t that part of the excitement?

Having said that, be aware, be prepared and be wise by gaining some knowledge of the basic concepts of how to survive in the wilderness, should you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.

Survival skills are developed techniques to be used in dangerous situations, designed to provide basic necessities. It’s important to be prepared with the right equipment so that you can enjoy your trip safe in the knowledge that help can be found right in your backpack should you need it.