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Wrong Ideas About Emergency Preparedness

1) Must Find Food First.

The answer is WRONG!  While food obviously is important for living long term.  You may not like it, but you can live weeks without food.  Our ancestors while hunting and gathering through the forests, didn’t have grocery stores and starbucks.  You can survive for 21 days on average without eating.  You may get unbearable to be around and be weak, but you’ll be alive.

Shelter and Water are the most important things to find first.  In some climates, shelter may not be harsh as others, but if you get cold and wet, your life immediately in danger. the average personal consumption should be at least 1/2 gallon per day.  In hot climates more and in cooler climates you can survive with less. Remember the rule of 3: You can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.

2) Just pitch a tent anywhere, that’s just fine.

Nope…Wrong answer  You need not only protect yourself from the elements, but stay warm at night.  The ground is really hard for all of us modern day, mushy, weak and feeble humans.  Now if you’re a hard core back packer, or backwoods, live off nature kind, you may have an advantage.  But most of us are used to sleeping in a bed with the TV on.  You need to stay Warm and Dry.

3) Don’t drink all your water

Save some for later, is absolutely a bad idea.  If your thirsty drink.  Dehydration and sun stroke is very difficult to recover from quickly.  You will be out of commission fast.

Don’t gulp it down, but if you’re thirsty then you need to drink water and use that time to search for other water sources.  Remember water can and should always filtered, boiled, or treated with chemicals to purify it.

4) Go it Alone 

Wrong…  We are an communal  species.  Form a small group with family, neighbors, and people you trust.  The reason society has worked and continues to work is that different people bring different skills to the ready.  We need eachother

5) The animals will get you.

There are only 200 or so cases of people being killed by animal attacks each year in the United States, and this is out of the millions who spend a lot of time outdoors. If you’re stranded you’ll be hard pressed to even find a wild animal, let alone one that is out looking for humans to eat. 

6) Oh look a Cactus

You can’t drink from cacti.  Arid areas and desert vegetation contain very little water even after a heavy rain. Whatever liquid they do have is not drinkable and may actually contain compounds that are extremely unhealthy.

Keeping hydrated is the most important factor when stranded.  To conserve your supplies and energy.  Stay cool.

7) Drink Cool Fresh Water from a Stream

Yes and No… Even the best most refreshing mountain spring could be carrying pathogens that could make you double over and wish you were dead. However if that’s your only water then drink it. There’s a much greater risk of death by dehydration than by a stomach bug. If you do risk it and end up getting sick you’ll likely still live long enough for you to get to help.  Personal water filters, boiling water, or simply bleach can reduce this risk.

8) I think it’s this way

Many people believe that they’ll be able to find they way back if they just start walking. If there’s a chance of rescue, as there will be in most national parks and hiking trails, then the best option by far is to sit tight and wait for help. Walking off in a random direction will drain your water and energy reserves really quickly and could result in injuries. If you do have to move around in order to find/make shelter, keep to the shade and breath through your nose rather than your mouth to conserve fluids.

If you find yourself stranded and begin walking, leave some way of letting others know which direction to went.  Rocks piled up in an arrow for example will work.

9) Fire

Without experience and learned techniques, it is very difficult to start a fire without some kind of accelerant.  If you’re out hiking, then carry water proof matches, lighter, or a modern fire starter.  In an emergency it is possible to start a fire with friction (sticks rubbing together), but you should practice before it’s an emergency.