4 Survival Hacks That May Actually Kill You

Throughout the world, there is a deep fascination with surviving in the wild. It’s fun to imagine what we might do if left alone in the woods or the desert—as long as that never becomes a reality. Ideally, we will never have to figure out where to find food or water in the middle of the jungle, but if we ever did…could we survive? Could you?

If you have ever looked up how to survive in wild places, you may think you know how to get by until help arrives. At least as long as you didn’t learn any of these four facts. If you’re ever in a position where you need to survive on your own, these 4 survival hacks might actually kill you instead of helping you.

Sucking snake bites to get the venom out

If you get bitten by a venomous snake, you may have learned the best way to save yourself is to suck the wound to remove as much venom as possible. Not only will this not help, but it may also kill you faster than the original bite, especially if you have cavities or other wounds in your mouth, spreading the venom into your bloodstream even faster.

Even if you have no mouth wounds, it is unlikely you will be able to extract enough venom to be useful. The bad news is, there isn’t much you can do for snakebites in the wild. The good news is? About 30% of all snakebites are “Dry bites” which contain no venom. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Look for food first

Humans can survive for many days, even weeks, without food. Our bodies are designed to handle intense exercise with few calories ingested while we attempt to take down animals or find edible plants. (Why do you think it’s so hard to lose weight? Your body is specifically designed to pile on fat and keep it on.)

Your first priority should be a warm shelter and after that water. Most people who die in the wilderness die from exposure. 

Conserve your water

Lost in the middle of the desert with just a canteen of water? Don’t ration it to survive. Many would-be survivors were found dead from dehydration with water still in their canteens. Do your best to find help or find water, but in the meantime drink what you have and stay hydrated. That water will do you better stored in your body than stored outside of it.

You should drink your urine if nothing else is available

While urine is sterile, there is a reason why your body excreted it. Urine is full of toxins from your body that your body is trying to get rid of. You may make yourself sick by drinking it.

Learning to survive in the wild is certainly fun and may be useful if you ever end up lost in the jungle. If this ever happens to you, remember to avoid these 4 common survival myths, and give yourself a better shot at survival.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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