View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:47 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:59 pm 
Offline
Junior Forum Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 101
From http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Survival_Myths.htm:

There are many myths surrounding the subject of wilderness survival. It's one of the biggest reasons that I started this site 5 or 6 years ago. I wanted to dispel these myths, expose them for what they are, and bring some sense of reality and practicality back into the subject. Many of these myths are highlighted elsewhere on this site, but I decided to put the best ones here on a single page. Enjoy!

FIRE MYTHS

Survival Matches - I see "waterproof survival matches" listed in more kits than I care to count, and I gotta say... terrible idea. While it may add a sense of drama to a movie when "Rambo" is down to his last couple matches, you don't need that kind of drama if you're in a life or death situation!

The space and weight taken up in a kit or in your pocket by a dozen "survival" matches would be better filled with a small Bic lighter. A lighter will start a LOT more fires than those few matches. If you're worried about the lighter failing, then bring a magnesium fire starter. These are 100% waterproof, will light thousands of fires, and the magnesium burns a lot hotter than matches.

Flashlight Method - This is a method I've seen by which you can break the bulb of your flashlight, and then use the coil inside to light a fire. Simply put... give it a shot in your backyard and you'll find that it's great at destroying flashlights but terrible at actually starting fires! Recommendation... bring a lighter, and use your flashlight for... LIGHT!

Ice Lens Method - Can you start a fire with a lens that you fashion from ice? Probably not. Scientifically, it's possible, but in all practical sense, the odds are really slim to none. Seriously, give it a try in the comfort of your own backyard on a nice warm day. Feel free to let me know how well this works. Also, while you're wasting hours on this, imagine that you're also freezing to death in a snowy, icy environment. You'll quickly realize that this is a colossal waste of your time and energy, and you won't get a fire going. I guarantee you that. Recommendation... bring a lighter!

Soda & Candy Bar Method - This fire starting method is yet another fun science experiment, but in actual use, it's another colossal waste of time, at the end of which... you'll have no fire. If you're lounging in your backyard someday and suddenly decide that you'd like to piss away the entire afternoon on some fruitless endeavor, go ahead and give this a shot. However... in a real survival situation... eat the friggin' candy bar and be glad for it. Drink the friggin' soda and rejoice. Be glad for those precious calories, and then keep the can as a canteen and cooking vessel. Recommendation... bring a damn lighter!

SHELTER MYTHS

High Ground is Warmer - This is one survival tale that keeps popping up all over the place. We're told that when considering locations for a shelter, we should avoid valleys and low lying areas because cold settles there and it may be several degrees colder than higher ground. This is scientifically sound, but in actual practice... it's pure, unadulterated bull****. This is because while a thermometer may show a few degrees difference between two elevations, thermometers are incapable of measuring wind chill factors.

In most cases, higher elevations are exposed to a lot more wind while small valleys and lower areas are sheltered from it. A thermometer may show that actual air temperature has increased 2 or 3 degrees by moving to higher ground, but the temperature as far as your body is concerned is likely to have dropped by 20 or 30 degrees. Wind will suck away your body heat faster than you can generate it. Today as I write this, it's almost 50 degrees and sunny outside... a seemingly nice March afternoon. However, today's wind chill factor drops that to somewhere between 20 and 30... and suddenly it's not so great!

Now consider what happens once you get a fire going. Most fires will quickly heat the surrounding area, but when you have some wind factored in, most of that heat is carried off. Also remember that a fire in the wind is going to consume about twice as much wood. You'll spend most of your time and energy finding firewood, and then get very little heat as a reward! Not a very good tradeoff. As such, one of your primary concerns is to find a place that's very sheltered from the wind and elements, and then build yourself a nice, warm fire to keep you warm!

Shelters Should Be Built From Dead Materials - This one came from our friends in the "green" survival movement. They are far more concerned that a few trees might get killed than they are about your life. All advice from them should be considered highly suspect. Imagine building your shelter as a big pile of dead leaves and wood. Now imagine having a campfire anywhere near that. Do you really want to climb in there and go to sleep? Nuff' said.

WATER MYTHS

Boil for 10 Minutes - This is one so old, I don't even know where it came from. I've also heard 5 minutes, 15 minutes and even 20 minutes of boiling time. All of these are bull****. I'll keep this short... if the water reaches boiling point, it's safe to drink, period, end of story.

Divining Rods - This is another old wives tale. Use your common sense and you'll probably find water. Use a forked stick and "mystical psychic powers", and you may find yourself very dead. I've heard people claim that a divining rod is simply tapping into one's subconscious thoughts. I suppose if you're some sort of walking emotional wreck who keeps every shred of logic and common sense buried away in your subconscious... then sure... go ahead and wave your stick. Hold a seance while you're at it. Maybe the spirits will tell you where to find water.

The rest of us (sane folks) will simply think our way through the situation. Common sense says water runs downhill. If you walk downhill, you're pretty likely to find water. Birds and animal trails can also lead you to water... they need it as much as you do.

FOOD MYTHS

Plants Are a Good Source of Food in the Wilderness - Unless you're a certified expert not just in plants, but in the plants of the given region you happen to be in, stay the hell away from the plants!

Here's the facts...
- ALL fur bearing mammals are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
- ALL 6 legged insects are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
- Almost all freshwater fish and almost all birds are safe to eat, and will provide you with nutrients and calories.
...and finally
- MOST plants will harm you, make you sick, or worse... poison you. There are actually very few that will provide you with any nutrients or calories.

It's a simple equation... if it walks, crawls, swims, or flies, the odds are in your favor that it's not only safe to eat, but that it will provide you with the nutrition and energy your body needs. If it sits there like... umm... like a plant, the odds are against you both for your own physical safety, and for nutritional content. It's just not worth the gamble unless you're absolutely sure!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:04 pm 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:17 pm
Posts: 29
Good information! I also hate the "avoid low lying areas" myth. When I camp, I look for bowls in the earth, they're protected from wind, and the rocks reflect heat from your fire back out at your tent. Nice and toasty!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:25 am 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:14 pm
Posts: 43
I've never heard of the soda and candy bar method- what's that all about?

_________________
I'm a freelance Linux Consultant: http://linuxconsultant.info


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:04 pm 
Offline
Junior Forum Member

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:30 am
Posts: 103
Thanks for posting all the really interesting information. I have also never heard about the soda and candy bar method. What is that exactly.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:54 am 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:28 am
Posts: 70
Hiker Dave, as always you are a fountain of information. The matches thing really gets me.. I have a bic in my kits.. I also have regular matches wrapped in plastic ziploc bags. I could never light water proof matches anyway.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:05 pm 
Offline
Junior Forum Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 101
For information on the soda can and candy bar firestarter, see this thread:

http://www.emergencypreparationforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=365


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:23 pm 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:19 pm
Posts: 35
Seems like the coke and candy bar trick wouldn't work, since it's basically just half of a magnifying glass, doesn't seem like there's a way to focus the light properly.

My personal pet peeve- lighting fire with two sticks rubbing together. Anyone tried this? I have, and all that I got was blisters!

_________________
http://gaian.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:46 am 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:01 am
Posts: 31
HikerDave wrote:
Boil for 10 Minutes - This is one so old, I don't even know where it came from. I've also heard 5 minutes, 15 minutes and even 20 minutes of boiling time. All of these are bull****. I'll keep this short... if the water reaches boiling point, it's safe to drink, period, end of story.



Is this true? I've always boiled water for 15 minutes myself. It would be good to know that I don't have to waste so much time anymore!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:08 pm 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:18 pm
Posts: 32
http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm

This resource says only one minute, so I think that it's safe to say that the boiling water myth is exactly that, a myth. One minute is roughly the time it takes to get a rolling boil, from a beginning boil of water.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Survival myths debunked
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm 
Offline
Forum Rookie

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Posts: 14
Some of those I've heard of, but not all. Very interesting reading. I learned a few things, which is what this site is for, as you said. Thanks!

_________________
[url=http:happyfic.blogspot.com]Orry's Orations[/url]


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron



Geo Visitors Map



sitemap / url list

Powered by phpBB
© EmergencyPreparationForum.com 2008-2011