Many people think they’ll be adept at surviving just about anything because they’ve seen how it’s done in the movies.
I mean, watching an episode of the Walking Dead will definitely give you all the info you need to survive any apocalyptic situation – right?
I hate to burst your bubble but, very little of what is depicted in most movies and TV shows is actually plausible in a survival situation, and doing some of the things you see on the silver screen might not only set you back – it could get you killed. Here are some of our favorite movie and television myths:
- Pulling out the knife or arrow: Our hero takes a knife or an arrow to the arm, leg, or shoulder. Bravely, he wraps his hand around the knife hilt or arrow, grits his teeth, and pulls hard, yanking the foreign object out! The day is saved!
Actually, pulling out an object such as a knife or arrow could cause you to bleed out in seconds. The foreign object does damage going in of course, but when it’s firmly lodged in your body, it acts as a plug and holds broken blood vessels shut. Therefore, a foreign object embedded in your body needs to stay there, and be wrapped in place with gauze. The right place to remove such an object is in an Emergency Room, where they can control bleeding.
- Starting a fire with flint: Movie heroes regularly start fires by tapping two stones together and creating brilliant fires that instantly ignite and turn into roaring sources of heat.
The reality of fire starting is that the more you move away from flammables like lighters and matches, the more skill is required to start a fire. As your fire starting skill increases, you will be able to start fires without matches, but it will require careful preparation of tinder and kindling beforehand.
- Drinking from a creek: Our hero, exhausted from the fight, kneels down and hungrily laps water from a creek, wetting his head and face in the process to cool down.
Never drink water from a creek, stream or lake without treating it first. It could be teeming with pathogens that could make you extremely sick or even kill you. In fact, you don’t even have to drink it to make you sick – getting a small amount in your eye or nose could be enough to introduce contaminants into your body.
- Blowing someone away: Our hero carefully aims his pistol and fires, catching the nefarious bad guy square in the chest. As the bullet hits the bad guy, he’s picked up off the ground and flies ten feet backwards, landing dead as a doornail.
The only instantly lethal shot is one that severs the brain from the spinal cord, thereby dropping the aggressor. All other hits, including hits to the heart give the attacker as much as 30 seconds of life before they bleed out. In these cases, attackers can still shoot or stab you before they die. In self-defense, cover the bad guy with your barrel until you are sure he’s down, realizing even a shot to the heart could mean he lives long enough to still do you harm. It’s called the dead man’s ten seconds – ten seconds of life after a mortal wound.
Can you think of any other Hollywood survival tips that will get you killed? leave them below.