Debunking Common Prepper Myths

There are quite a few myths concerning survival in a tricky situation, and they can cause a prepper to make mistakes that could be damaging, perhaps even fatal, to themselves or others. At some point before the next natural disaster or your next wilderness adventure, or before the poop hits the fan, you need to acquaint yourselves with the myths and the realities behind a few of these myths.

The first myth or misconception we’ll look at is this: Living off the land is a perfectly fine plan. While many of us (myself included) like the idea that we can grab a backpack with a few supplies, and maybe a rifle or shotgun, and head out for the great outdoors to find a spot and start living off the land, the reality is that this is much more difficult than you might imagine. First of all, meat is probably going to be much harder to come by than it was a hundred years ago or so. Eventually, if you brought a gun, you are going to run out of ammunition and will have to begin tracking and trapping game. This requires skill, practice, and quite a bit of luck, to say nothing of the fact that you probably won’t be hauling any traps with you when you bug out. Eating plants instead? Hopefully you will have an extensive knowledge of the area where you are living, because there are quite a few dangerous, even deadly, plants, berries, and fungi out there. Will you be hauling a tent with you? If not, chances are you’re not going to happen upon a nice little deserted cabin. You’ll probably end up trying to survive under a lean-to of some kind on the cold, hard ground. Real survival out in the wild is extremely tough even for the experienced. For the inexperienced, it may be fatal.

Myth number two: Your family, friends, or community will all pull together in a survival situation. You might have a family, or live in a community, that is remarkably harmonious. There may be a plan in place for what you are all going to do together if forced to take off for an off-the grid homestead or even hunker in place and ride out the storm with each other. If this is true, you are one of the lucky ones. The problem is, none of us know how we or our family or friends are going to react in a true crisis. It isn’t something we really get much of a chance to practice. A wonderfully amicable group can quickly fall apart when a stressful and perhaps even frightening situation occurs, especially if it is long term. The uncertainty and anxiety will have a profound effect on the psychologies of most people you know. The best thing to remember here is that anxiety might be contagious in a group setting, but so is calm and collected. So, try to keep your cool even when others are losing theirs.

The last myth we will look at is a particularly nasty, but persistent, misconception: When you are extremely thirsty or dehydrated, you should drink your own urine. People seem to believe that urine is okay to drink because it is mostly water and our kidneys will just filter out the toxins (again) that might be harmful to us otherwise. A doctor (or anyone with extensive knowledge of the human body) will tell you that this is far more dangerous than you probably think. Your kidneys have already filtered out the toxins and expelled them from your body in the form of urine. You are now reintroducing those toxins, but in a much more concentrated form, back into your already stressed body. If you are in a survival situation and you are exhausted and dehydrated (and perhaps malnourished), your organs are already compromised. Adding this toxin-laden urine back into your system can cause a series of events that may lead to incapacitation or perhaps death. The bottom line is, never drink your own urine.

There are quite a few other myths related to survival living, but these three are particularly serious because they are pretty widely accepted. Any of them can lead to complications, upheaval, health problems, and even death. Hopefully, this article will help our readers put these myths out of their minds for a safer and healthier bug-out, if one becomes necessary.