Survival myths, a.k.a. urban (wilderness) legends are popular beliefs shared with friends that are usually very wrong. Let’s continue with myths 25-27
Myth 25. Boiled water means purified water.
When your water supply runs low, you will probably decide to boil natural untreated water in order to kill all the bacteria and viruses and get drinkable water.
While this is believed to be an efficient way to turn untreated water into purified water, it is far from being true. Boiling water might kill most of the bacteria that lives in water, but it definitely cannot kill the dirt particles and sediments that get accumulated and are invisible to the human eye.
This can be dangerous for humans. What to do then? Well, if you really need to drink water found in the wild, you should filter it first before boiling it. By doing this, all the concentrated particles of dirt will no longer be in the water. If you don’t have a commercial water filter, just take off your shirt and use it to pour through the dirty water right before boiling it. This is a good alternative to dehydration.
Myth 26. Snow is a good source of water.
If you get lost in the wild and it snows, you should not try to eat the snow as a source of water. While snow is by definition water, at such low temperatures it can be deadly to the human body. Eating snow can actually lead to further dehydration and hypothermia.
Solution? Melt the snow first before drinking it. You can melt snow over fire or put it in a container and let it melt under the sun’s heat. To make it safer for drinking, you should actually boil it. It must be clarified though that snow causes no harm whatsoever in the human body as long as it is consumed properly.
Myth 27. If no other source of water is available, drink blood.
There are a lot of dangerous myths regarding water and dehydration but one of the worst ones is the following: giving the case that you had no water nearby, kill an animal and drink its blood to get the water you need.
While this indeed helps us with hydration, blood can contain huge amounts of viruses and bacteria that could kill us easily. Hence it is a better idea to avoid this to stay alive. Blood also contains protein and your body needs to draw from its own water reserves to digest it. So even if you are drinking fluid, your body is slowly depleting itself.
In some cultures though, people drink blood as a source of protein, but it’s always mixed with milk and does not replace drinking water. Apart from this, we have to take into account that if we are facing a survival situation and we need water, the process of looking for an animal and kill it will leave us exhausted. Which is pretty dangerous in itself.
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