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#87420 - 03/05/07 07:45 PM Survival Myths
Lasd02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 130
Loc: Pasadena, Calif.

On a recent post the practice of using Povidone iodine and/or Betadine on an open wound was discussed and eventually debunked by several knowledgable board members. This got me to thinking about many of the other "tried and true" survival techniques we have all heard of or used that are now know to be useless at best and often border on being downright dangerous.

So at the risk of offending some, but hopefully educating others, I offer a few of my own recently held (false), beliefs:

1. If lost in the desert, the mashed pulp of many cacti will provide life sustaining fluid. Fact: Cacti contain a highly acidic solution that will induce vomiting if drunk.

2. Moss only grows on the North side of trees. Fact: Moss will grow anywhere there are proper conditions.

3. Drinking hot tea or coffee will keep you warmer than drinking cold soda or juice. Fact: It's the calorie content, not the heat of the beverage that produces body heat.

Now to let go of the most dearly held misconception yet...bear with me folks, this is gonna hurt:

4. "If your feet are cold, put on a hat." Fact: We do not lose more heat from our heads than from any other portion of the body with the same surface area.

Okay, I had my Oprah moment and bared my soul, let me hear some of your true confessions.


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#87423 - 03/05/07 07:57 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1705
I'm not sure i can agrea.

Quote:
If lost in the desert, the mashed pulp of many cacti will provide life sustaining fluid. Fact: Cacti contain a highly acidic solution that will induce vomiting if drunk.


It depends on the cactus, some can provide a drink. You just have to find the right one (that is, if they grow there..).

Quote:
Drinking hot tea or coffee will keep you warmer than drinking cold soda or juice. Fact: It's the calorie content, not the heat of the beverage that produces body heat.


Well i'm not sure i agrea. I don't have scientific numbers. but isn't it obvious that pouring warm stuff inside (warmer than you body temperature, but not to much to burn you), will raise the core temperature?

Quote:
"If your feet are cold, put on a hat." Fact: We do not lose more heat from our heads than from any other portion of the body with the same surface area.


The bloodvessels will narrow on you limbs, when your cold. They DON'T norrow down, on you neck and head (brain don't work well if they did)
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#87424 - 03/05/07 07:57 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
teacher Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 691
My favorite myths--

Carrying 5 custom knives is better than carrying a well thought out sak. And six knives? You don't need any training....


Thant a "worst case scenario" is anything close as to what the 'worst case" actually is...

If I edc enough gear, I can prepare for anything

I can outrun/ outclimb that bear

Even though I'm 40 and drive a desk all day, I can immediately go out and hike five hard miles with a 13 kg pack.

A little tiny fishing kit is more useful than a little tiny sewing kit.




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#87427 - 03/05/07 08:18 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: teacher]
BrianTexas Offline
Ordinary Average Guy
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 304
Loc: North Central Texas, USA
In regards to your comment: "I can outrun/ outclimb that bear"

I'm reminded of the punchline to the old joke, "I don't have to outrun that bear, I only have to outrun you." grin


Edited by BrianTexas (03/05/07 08:18 PM)
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Also known as BrianEagle. I just remembered my old password!

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#87428 - 03/05/07 08:20 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
Quote:
4. "If your feet are cold, put on a hat." Fact: We do not lose more heat from our heads than from any other portion of the body with the same surface area.


I think you are referring to:
http://wildernessmedicinenewsletter.wordpress.com/2006/10/27/frozen-mythbusters-myth-2/

Let's say there's nothing special about your head - fine. So if you're feet are cold, don't bother putting on a hat? According to the article, your head is 10% of your body's surface area and therefore responsible for 10% of the heat loss. It is also the only part of the body I've seen people routinely neglect to cover in the coldest of weather.

If your feet are cold and every other part of your body is covered, put on a hat. Trust me.
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#87429 - 03/05/07 08:24 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...Fact: We do not lose more heat from our heads than from any other portion of the body with the same surface area..."

Could you cite your source of this "fact" for us please? Everything I have read says the opposite. Here is just one source, a google search, or most emergency care manuals, will turn up a lot more...
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OBG

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#87430 - 03/05/07 08:30 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
Oh, and hereís my myth: You canít make a fire with wet wood.
Corollary: Split large chunks of wet wood to get to the dry wood inside.

With the right tinder, I can almost always make a fire no matter how wet everything else is. Batoning is a waste of energy, and a chance to get hurt or break your knife.
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#87432 - 03/05/07 08:49 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
joaquin39 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 149
Loc: Philadelphia,Pennsyvania, USA.
I have not done any research about "covering your head when your feet are cold cover your head", but there is thr hard fact that Heat Rises, no exception. So probably the heat in your body will tend to rise to the highest point which is the head, and from there it will keep on going up. The only thing I can confirm is that any time I put on a hat I feel warmer all over.

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#87433 - 03/05/07 08:57 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: Lasd02]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 338
Loc: New York, NY
1. Had one occasion many years ago where I resorted to getting water from a barrel cactus. (We had plenty of water in the Jeep, but that didn't help when we lost the Jeep. Thus the orienteering courses.) It didn't make me throw up, but it did taste really, really bad.

If I had to do it over again, I would have made a solar still and thrown chunks of cactus into it.

2. Never had to rely on this one, but I will bet that in most cases the north side of the tree is the "proper" condition since it gets the least direct sun. But you are right. In dense forests, I have seen places where moss is everywhere.

3. Another one I have no experience with. I generally don't drink cold drinks in the cold. I read somewhere that the body is pretty good at adjusting the temperature of just about any liquid to body temp by the time it reaches the stomach.

4. I have a good experiment for this one. Get naked in a blizzard as see what falls off first. I suppose all surface areas of the body lose heat equally, but the body begins shutting off blood to the "less essential" parts. Also, some parts are just harder to supply blood to (farther from the heart, fewer and smaller blood vessels etc). That's probably why most frostbite injuries occur to toes, fingers first, then noses, ears.

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#87435 - 03/05/07 09:03 PM Re: Survival Myths [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Lasd02 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 130
Loc: Pasadena, Calif.

OBG,
You might not have had a chance to check out thseng's link before posting, so here it is again: http://wildernessmedicinenewsletter.wordpress.com/2006/10/26/introduction-to-frozen-mythbusters/

This covers both the fact questioned by PC2K about hot liquids and the heat loss from our head in addition to lots of other good info. I'm not saying if cold you shouldn't wear a hat, I was always under the mistaken impression (as the article states most people believe), that we lose 70% of our body heat from our head.

The cacti info can be found here: http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/mauseth/ResearchOnCacti/introduction.htm

Look under, "poisons".



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