Tag Archives: Survival Myths

Survival Myth: You Should Suck Poison from a Snake Bite

October 29, 2012


Treating a snakebite

You’ve probably seen an old western movie at some point where some unsuspecting person is walking through rocky terrain. He steps over some obstacle and then it happens: a fierce strike from a poisonous snake. The man grimaces and falls to the ground. Satisfied, the snake slithers off. What happens next? The man’s friend quickly […]

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Survival Myth: Water Should be Boiled for 30 Minutes

September 11, 2012


purifying water by boiling

“How long should you boil water to make it safe to drink?”  When I ask this question to small groups, I usually get a lot of different answers. They range from 1 minute to 30 minutes. Thirty minutes is a long time! In fact, a lot of the water would be lost to steam if […]

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Survival Myth: You Can Get Poison Ivy from Scratching

June 27, 2012


Poison Ivy

Have you had poison ivy? Most of us have at some point. If so this picture probably makes you itch somewhere. Exposure to Poison Ivy Poison ivy and other Rhus plants, like poison oak and poison sumac, contain an oily allergen called urushiol, which causes a reaction in up to 80% of the people who come into […]

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Survival Myth: Fast-moving Water is Safe to Drink

June 14, 2012


Is fast moving water really safe to drink?

We were walking through the deep woods, navigating our way as best we could using a map and compass yet still not 100% sure of exactly where we were. Around 2:00pm we came upon a small, fast-moving stream. It looked clear and fresh, and we were thirsty from two days of backpacking. We were thankful […]

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Survival Myth: A Compass Always Points North

May 4, 2012


Map & Compass Skills are essential

Getting Lost. It’s been described as an almost claustrophobic episode where the woods are closing in on you. You feel the world encroaching into your space from all directions and you just want to get out of there. For others, not knowing where you are or how to get back to your vehicles feels like […]

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Survival Myth: Moss Only Grows on the North Side of a Tree

April 27, 2012


moss covered trees don't always point to north

Relying on Technology and Getting Lost A few weeks ago, I was teaching primitive navigational techniques to a group of young men and their fathers. I presented them with a scenario at the beginning of the class. One Saturday morning you decide to go for a hike in the woods. You’ve never been to this […]

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Survival Myth: The North Star Is the Brightest

April 20, 2012


A view of the night sky

A friend and I were walking in a field in the early evening. We were camping in a remote area, away from even the smallest of towns. There was almost no light pollution where we were and the stars were brilliant. It’s  amazing just how many celestial bodies can be seen with the naked eye […]

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