Survival myths, a.k.a. urban (wilderness) legends are populate beliefs shared with friends that are usually very wrong.
Let’s continue with myths 4-6.
Myth 4. You do not need to think about survival unless you are going on a planned big adventure.
This myth is blatantly wrong. Everyone should be prepared. Even if you’re not an outdoor enthusiasts, think about all the situations where something could go wrong and you would need basic survival skills to get out alive:
– Your car broke down in the middle of nowhere
-Your boat sunk and you ended up in a lifeboat or on a deserted island.
-Your plane crashed in a remote location.
If you actually like to go hiking, climbing, camping or any other outdoor activity, the chances that you end up in an emergency situation are also much higher. However, an emergency situation doesn’t have to be deadly as long as you know how to deal with it.
In all those situations, as crazy as they sound, you would need two things to survive: – The will to live – The knowledge to survive or a huge amount of luck If you’re not usually a very lucky person (and I’m not), you should be prepared. Everyone should learn the basic things that could keep him alive.
As an example of this, we can bring up the name of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a young adventurer who left his life and job to search for the simple life in the wild. He died because of a lack of knowledge on how to survive extreme conditions and lack of preparation and tools for his trip. The famous movie called “Into the wild” was created based on McCandless’ story.
Myth 5. Always swim parallel to the shore. This is true only under certain conditions. If the current is flowing to the sea, then yes, the most logical thing to do is to swim parallel to the shore and try to escape from it as soon as possible. However, this is not always true as rip currents can move in tons of several different directions, not just to the sea. Instead, try to swim in the direction of the current. At some point, and if you’re lucky, the current should get weaker – use this opportunity to reach the shore. It would be really stupid to swim upstream, or in other words: in the opposite direction of the current.
This will literally exhaust yourself and you will be at risk of drowning. Always be cautious with currents since they cannot be easily predicted. Hence, when the lifeguards at the beach say that it is safe to swim, do not take that for granted as conditions might change quickly.
Myth 6. Magnetic compasses always point north. Getting lost can be a traumatic experience. Out in the woods you cannot see any way out; the only thing you see is nature and its vegetation. All the paths look the same and you are unsure about where you came from. You might stay calm since you have a magnetic compass, and it will for sure lead you to the north and to a way out as a consequence. However, this is only true in 99% of the cases. Magnetic compasses point to the north most of the time, but not always. Under certain circumstances they can point other directions. For example, some magnetic fields could affect the compass and they would point to a different direction due to the interferences. The True North (north pole) can also be different depending on where you are in the world. In these very rare scenarios, the indications of your compass could be wrong. Luckily, your compass will work fine most of the time so don’t worry too much about it. However, if it starts to act funny, something might be wrong.