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A survival kit alone cannot guarantee or ensure your survival. Once you understand that, you’ll be better equipped to plan, which will lower your risk of making avoidable mistakes. This will help you reduce the risk of encountering negative surprises and motivate you to sharpen your knowledge and skills. And the best part of it is that you can always use your head to improvise if you don’t have your kit with you. Below are 8 survival myths you need to understand.
8 Survival Myths You Need to Stop Believing
Some of these survival myths can land you in “hot water”. Take some time now, when not in emergency mode to plan for a future disaster.
First Myth – I’ll always have my kit with me
Thinking like this is quite unrealistic. Imagine this scenario, you’re at work and you left your kit at home. Suddenly the town is hit by an earthquake and the highways are so clogged that navigating through it is almost impossible, and you’re stuck at work without your survival kit.
The plan: keychain, EDC, car bag. This involves packing a smaller bag to work. This bag doesn’t necessarily have to contain everything in your normal survival kit, but it should be sufficient. EDC is short for Every Day Carry bag. The bag should be small enough for you to put in the trunk of your car and carry it with you everywhere.
Second Myth – I can survive any disaster with my survival kit
One major flaw of this plan is that the disaster might last longer than you anticipated. Having a kit is good, but how long can your kit last you, realistically? Will it last a day or two or is it for just a few hours? How do you even determine how long it can last? And how long will the disaster’s aftermath last?
Learn more about natural disasters.
The plan: Plan ahead for the first 72 hours, and make a cache kit that can carry you beyond those first three days. The idea is to pack something light that can help you survive the first hours.
After exhausting the first kit, you can proceed to a second kit that’ll serve as a backup. You can even decide to pack a bunch of them together. Naturally, we’re operating under the assumption that you’re unable to make it back home.
Third Myth – My kit has the appropriate gear for the expected disaster
The biggest problem with this is that something unexpected might come up. Most premade kits come with only generic items.
For example, I was looking for survival kits for Ebola and discovered one online. It contained some gloves, a survival whistle, and a Mylar tent. There’s no way these items can save you if there’s an outbreak of Ebola. The people who depend on this gear will be risking their lives.
The plan: Try not to rely on another person’s kit. If you’re planning for a particular disaster in your area, you should make your plans personally. Carry out research and know all the things you’ll need to survive the disaster. Then you can gradually start putting together the things you feel are necessary.
It is better to go with gears with higher quality so that when the disaster eventually comes, your gear will be able to withstand it.
Fourth Myth: I have a rugged survival kit that can withstand the toughest use
Don’t make this assumption especially if you’re using a premade kit because you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover. A lot of people have reported about pieces of gear breaking after just a little use. The manufacturers of survival kits include the cheapest gear out there just because they want to fill up the bag.
The plan: Just like the myth before, research about your gear and go through product reviews. If the gear is too expensive, save up gradually until you’re able to afford it. A reliable and quality gear is a lot more reassuring when there’s a disaster than something that’ll fall apart at the slightest use.
Fifth Myth – My kit doesn’t have to contain any clothing. I’ll manage with what I have on.
What if somewhere along the line, you get wet and the weather is very cold? Wet clothing in cold weather is definitely an invitation for hypothermia.
The Plan: Carry light clothes in your Bug-Out Bag. Frogg Toggs, is one brand that has impressed me. Although their focus is on rain gear, you can wear some of the shells as jackets/shell or light pants. They pack them tight because they’re quite similar to Kevlar or Tyvek.
Sixth Myth – My phone is enough, so there’s no need for me to get alternate means of communication.
This is very risky because the cell towers could go down. If you depend on your phone alone and there’s a problem with the network, you won’t have any backup. Even if SMS is not affected at first, it is still a risk because it can also go down.
The Plan: Get a ham radio or signal mirror. A mirror can be used to signal for up to 100 miles away. If you stay in an urban area, then you should probably get radios like CB or ham radios which will be more effective.
Seventh Myth – All survival kits are the same. There’s no need for me to try it out.
The problem with this school of thought is that you’re operating under the assumption that your survival is determined by the type of gear you have. You think the right gear will put you in a good shape when you use it. However, this logic has a flaw. What if the gear breaks down? What will you do?
The plan: You’ll need backup plans to navigate around this. All your essential gears must have a backup plan. For example, did you pack chargers for your battery-operated items? Did you pack a solar charger, and if you did, what if the sun does not come out? Do you have any alternative means of generating power?
Eight Myth – I am packing a bug out bag because I intend to bug out
The problem here is that a lot of people assume that they’ll be doing a lot of bugging out when in reality, they’ll probably be bugging in a lot.
The Plan: Having a bug out bag is great, but try not to ignore the other supports at your disposal.
Gears and survival shows can be very deceptive. They deceive you into thinking you can make it through anything. But that is not always the case. Go through these 8 myths carefully, and learn about the best ways to survive a disaster.
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it.
These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call "survival skills" now.