People Share The Survival 'Tips' That Are Actually Myths And Could Get You Killed

Ashley Hunte
A person building a fire with sticks.
Unsplash | Ian Keefe

Even though the chances of getting into a life or death situation are pretty low, there's always a chance it could happen anyway. That's why it's important to know survival tips that can help you get out of sticky situations.

But... a lot of those tips you might find online, in shows, or through word of mouth, may not be tips at all. In fact, they could get you killed.

That's why when people saw the question, "What is a survival tip that is completely wrong and could get you killed?" they answered with the real truth.

"Drowning people do not cry for help or make gestures to try and get someone’s attention." - level1goddavid22

Kid drowning and calling for help.

"What they are doing is trying to stay afloat and trying to catch their breath; never count on a cry for help!"

This right here is why lifeguards are important. They're trained to look out for this kind of stuff.

"That bears can’t run down hills. They can. They’ll get you too." - Professional Gagootz

A brown bear sitting on the ground.
Unsplash | Mark Basarab

Bears can pretty much do anything. Best thing to do is avoid being in places where they'd be in the first place.

"If you go into a lake when in a car don't wait until the car fills with water, just open the window and get out ASAP." - discostud1515

The Office gif - car in river
Giphy | The Office

"If you wait, you could be 200 feet down or flipped over on the bottom. The power will still work for a short time. It only takes a few seconds."

Every second counts in a situation like this, so I never understood why we're always told to wait.

"[Don't] "Zigzag to escape an alligator." - SolitaireyEgg

An alligator.
Unsplash | Lisa Yount

"Alligators can turn, but can/will only run in short bursts. Just run as fast as you can."

If you live somewhere where alligators are a concern, you might want to keep this in mind.

"That you can easily disarm someone holding you at gun point." - Danghor

Man disarming assailant with gun.
Giphy | One Chicago

Yeah, this is one of those things that aren't like TV. Best bet is to just do what the assailant says and call for help as soon as you can.

"Myth: if you’re stuck in a car trunk all you do is scream for help and make noise." - Mafzz

The back of a car with its trunk door open.
Unsplash | vai_jcw F56

"True: If you’re ever locked in a car trunk, look for an emergency release lever/button. These are requirements for cars built 2002 or later."

I... never actually knew that, but it makes so much sense. After all, no one's gonna be able to hear you shouting if your kidnapper is driving on the freeway or something.

"Do not wander off to look for help. STAY PUT! Stay by your car, or wherever you realise that you are lost." - GreenAppleLady

Cartoon bird looks at map.

"The more you move, the harder it gets for rescue to find you. Make yourself visible, but do not try to find the way back yourself."

Unless there's some reason why you can't stay in that spot, just stay in that spot.

"Do not try to leave a deserted island if you are stuck, you will almost certainly die before someone spots you." - Slavic_bumpkin

A makeshift raft floating next to a shore.
Unsplash | Jeremy Bezanger

Even though the ocean is literally water, it's easy to get dehydrated while on a raft. Not to mention you're out in the sun, and have no way to protect yourself from the elements.

At least a deserted island will have freshwater and something you can eat.

"In Australia at least, you do not need to identify or try to catch the snake that bit you. The antivenin [sic] is universal." - harrymurkin

The head and part of the body of a spotted snake.
Unsplash | David Clode

OP lists this website as a source. This is good to know, especially since you shouldn't have to worry about catching whatever snake just bit you. Go and get help, first and foremost.

"If you’re unfortunate enough to be in a bank whilst an armed robbery is underway. DON’T be a hero." - Krakshotz

Screenshot of bank robber in The Dark Knight movie
IMDb | The Dark Knight

"The banks are insured and the money can be replaced. Your life can’t be replaced."

It's just like the one about being held at gunpoint. These people usually just want money, and won't shoot unless you try something. So... don't try something.

"Punching the biggest guy in prison on your first day." - clovepalmer

barbed wire atop a fence at a prison.
Unsplash | Hédi Benyounes

Reddit user draven3954, who was once in prison, had more to add: "from an actual former criminal, your best bet in jail/prison is to just be normal and blend in. It isn't as extreme as media makes it out to be."

I always knew prison couldn't be that much like it is on TV.

"Landing in water from high up is going to kill you." - imaloony8

An aerial view of a small, tropical island full of trees.
Unsplash | Nathan Anderson

"10 meters, 15, maaaaaybe 20... you'll probably be fine if you land properly. Get much higher than that is getting into broken bones and death territory."

I feel like a lot of people don't know that falling into water from super high up is like... as bad as falling to the ground from the same distance.

"'Follow flying birds to find water.' They could be flying anywhere." - C_IsForCookie

A flock of flying birds on a white background.
Unsplash | Mehdi Sepehri

Birds could literally be going anywhere. To water, from water, to somewhere else entirely. So don't put too much faith in their ability to guide you to water.

"If you get stabbed by something, DO NOT try to remove the object." - fall_and_green

A switchblade with a wooden handle, sitting atop a piece of wood.
Unsplash | Igor bispo

"You will make it worse and potentially bleed to death, depending on where you were stabbed, if you try and pull it out. Leave it be and get help."

This is one of those things that TV taught me that was actually true. If you get stabbed or impaled, the thing will keep your veins/arteries from gushing blood as long as it's still in there. Sounds painful, though.

"Don't tie a rope around your waist and expect it to save you from a fall." - nowhereman136

One woman securing a harness for another woman.
Unsplash | Joseph Pearson

"Sure, it might prevent you from hitting the ground, but you can still damage your internal organs and break your back doing this. Safety harnesses go around your hips and legs, not your waist."

Yeah... sounds about right.

"If lost in a hot desert, do NOT ration out your water." - RedditHermanita

Man in suit walking across desert

"Drink when you are thirsty and stay hydrated with what you have, even if it only lasts a couple hours - just to keep your mind/body working."

You're definitely better off drinking water when you have it and finding more as you need it, than trying to ration it and being dehydrated.

"Alcohol does not warm you up." - bobbi21

A glass of dark liquor on the rocks. Three ice cubes sit around the glass.
Unsplash | Mae Mu

"You feel warm since its dilating your blood vessels in your face and extremities but that causes you to lose more heat to the environment and therefore will make you die of hypothermia quicker if anything."

"If you're in a life-threatening situation and lost without supplies, illnesses/diseases in unfiltered water will kill you way slower than dehydration" -BigTaperedCandle

A person sailing a canoe in a body of muddy water. Aerial view.
Unsplash | Maarten van den Heuvel

Obviously, you should try to boil and/or purify water if you can, but drinking dirty water is definitely better than no water at all in an extreme situation.

"I don't know if this counts as survival myth but you don't actually have to (and probably shouldn't) wait 48 hours to report someone as missing." - SalFunction12

A missing person's sign on a pillar.
Flickr | William Murphy

"Those first hours are crucial so report someone as missing immediately."

I never understood that rule. If someone's missing and you can't get a hold of them, call the police as soon as possible. Every second counts.

"Don’t drink water from cactus, it’s not potable and likely to trigger vomiting/diarrhea and you will get more dehydrated." - Ehzabeth

A bunch of cacti very close to one another among a blue sky.
Unsplash | Ashim D’Silva

Finding water is important when in survival mode. But some "water" sources... really don't do much.

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