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Wilderness survival myths that can kill you

150 150 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

For just about any survival situation, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there, and a lot of it’s bad. Often things aren’t helped by the burgeoning number of survival reality shows, which are designed to entertain rather than to educate.

If these Boy Scouts were going to spend the night in this snow cave, they'd need a good sleeping bag and pad. (Pantenburg photo)

If these Boy Scouts were going to spend the night in this snow cave, they’d need a good sleeping bag and pad. (Pantenburg photo)

by Leon Pantenburg

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The proliferation of survival shows had brought about a dangerous mind set. Many people think that because they saw a survival method performed on a TV show, that technique will work for them.

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In many cases, if not most, the TV show is scripted to be entertainment. Actual, valid survival skills are secondary to sensationalism. Don’t rely on them for your survival training.

But a worse situation can occur when some of these myths perpetuated by the TV survivalists are accepted as fact. Without trying them, people assume they know a valuable skill or technique.

Dryer lint as firestarter, for example. At just about every firemaking presentation, someone will ask, as if it’s a new idea, why I don’t recommend  carrying lint. (Check out the story)

Or, without really actually seeing it done, someone will insist that a solar still is a valid way to gather water in the desert. Or that moss on the trees can determine direction. (Check out this myth busted.)

A recent post by Mark Lebetkin in The Post Game discusses some of these dangerous myths, and the nonsense you should be aware of.

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