If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in SHTF disaster survival chatter.
If you’re not reading this, you’re probably a zen koan, and I have no idea how you got here.
So assuming it’s the former, this is probably not the first time you’ve looked for advice and tips on Survivalism, and this probably also isn’t the first place. So let’s look at some common survivalist, life-hack-y tricks that go around the Internet that you should ABSOLUTELY RECONSIDER.
- The Egg Thing.
I see this all over Pinterest (where our sister magazine Calsportsmanmag pins a whole load of stuff related to survival and history!) and it goes thusly:
“Who knew? If emergency occurs… While the blood is gushing – hold pressure and crack open an egg. Peel that membrane off and put it on the wound (continue holding pressure) The membrane will harden and keep the wound closed until you can get to the ER for stitches. My grandma taught my mom this and it works!”
Please for godsakes don’t do that. You know how you’re not supposed to eat raw cookie dough with egg in it because it could give you food poisoning? Now imagine putting the stuff that causes that directly into your bloodstream.
While technically the membrane will stop the bleeding, a band-aid is actually sterile, and comes in most first-aid kits. If you’re beyond the realm of a band-aid, you’d better get to the ER and get some stitches, not an omelette.
Also, whose idea was to stick the inside of a thing that came out of a chicken butt on their open wound? Who does that?
What you can do instead: Wash, dry, and crush your eggshells into a fine powder and mix them into plant soil, it can help fresh-potted plants and aerate the soil, as well as reduce acidity. If you have chickens of your own, you can also provide crushed eggshell to them, which will boost their calcium and help them lay more.
- You can use a Tampon as a water purifier!
No, no, no, nO, no. Stop that. First of all, you look ridiculous with a tampon in your mouth. Second, while claims of there being asbesdos in tampons are at best silly and at worst harmful, you don’t really want to drink water through a cotton ball, either. While they are absorbent, tampons aren’t meant to ‘filter’ anything. They’re made to absorb. In case your highschool education failed you miserably: They’re meant to absorb approximately 5-10ml of blood. About one to two teaspoons (per up to eight hours of use and absolutely no more, lest the user risk Toxic Shock Syndrome). They’re also completely sanitary in their packages, you babies, stop freaking out when you see them.Anyway, the point is, it might filter out mud or algae, but it won’t filter out bacteria that will still make you sick. Just bring a Lifestraw and some purifier tablets.What you can do instead: Surprisingly, if you’re in a real bind, you actually can use a tampon to plug a bullet wound! No word yet on whether or not this will also increase your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, but to be honest, if you have a tampon in your bullet wound for that long, I think you have bigger concerns.
Or, you know, you can just use them for what they were meant for.
- Use Night Soil for the Survival Garden!
Do you want disease? Because that’s how you get disease.Ok, well, not entirely. While this author isn’t by any means a botanist, unless you yourself are Mark Watney headed to Mars, you probably aren’t going to want to do this. If you’re getting your poo from more than just you, you’ll be exposed to other pathogens and germs and other nastiness that you don’t want on your hands, much less in your potatoes. However, Herbivore poop can be used relatively safely, because they only eat grass, though composting is recommended.
What you can do instead: In the case of omnivores, composting is allowed. In the case of carnivores? Trash it. Compost omnivore and herbivore waste with your banana peels, garden waste, grass clippings, whatever you compost with. Alternatively, don’t use any animal byproducts and get yourself a worm bin for composting.
- Anything containing “Detox”, “Essential Oils”, “Non-GMO”, “Organic”, “Superfood”, “Antioxidants”, etc.Listen, I know it’s not really a huge deal about survival, but if you heard about it “From the Internet” or if it came from NaturalNews, DavidWolfe or GOOP or (if you’re so inclined) Cosmo, just block it out. Those things are like the National Enquirer of health. Listen, if it’s on The Rational Wiki, do a little homework on it. Don’t be bogged down by buzz words or fearmongering.
Anyway, my point is, don’t trust ‘natural’ cures for stuff if you don’t have documented evidence. And I don’t mean ‘A blogger took pictures and put them on the Internet’, I mean get documentation from an accredited medical or educational source before you go sticking leaves on your cuts. That also goes for ‘Black Salve’, which is bad for you for several reasons.
What you can do instead: If you’re afraid of something unfamiliar, odds are good you need to learn more about it.
“Fear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate.” – Edward Albert
- What you need to do for Hypothermia is…Alright, chances are good you have some pervasive myths about Hypothermia lodged in your brain that you need to shake out. You don’t need me to tell you what every survival blog and their contributors is telling you.Short version: Don’t drink alcohol to warm up, warming up takes time, shiver lots, get into warm and dry clothes ASAP, eat something, no hot baths, no limb massaging, no heating lamps, get professional medical treatment.
If you’ve somehow made it here without knowing at least a few of those things, welcome to the present day, and good luck with that.
Things you can do as well: Hey, you know what gets less press than Hypothermia? Hyperthermia. Consider reading up on it and its treatments, now that you’re basking in the glow of your already knowing what Hypothermia is.