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Prepper Myths That Can Get You Killed

Learn the truth about these commonly held but incorrect beliefs—before it’s too late!


Hello all! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to discuss the truth behind some of the myths many preppers believe that could cost them their lives. When it comes to survival, believing something simply because it’s what you’ve read or what the experts said or the way your grandfather did it isn’t enough.


There are a lot of commonly-held beliefs that simply aren’t true. Separating fact from fiction is something you’ll need to do now, before TEOTWAWKI, because afterward it’ll be too late.


Ready to bust ten of the biggest survival myths? Keep reading!


10 Survival Myths Busted

These ten survival myths are far from being the only prevalent myths out there. While these are important, it’s just as important to double-check any information you get that is related to your survival.


If You See a Bear, Play Dead

The myth: If you see a bear, you should play dead to get it to leave you alone.


The reality: Playing dead when you see a bear is a great way to end up in that bear’s stomach. This technique will only work if you’re trying to get a mother grizzly who is trying to defend her cubs to leave you alone. Try it with any other bear and you won’t end up on the winning end of that situation. Research the bears that are in your area and find out how to handle each individual type and situation. For example, in most cases you should back away from a bear as quickly as you can, and if it’s a black bear you’d better hope you have a weapon handy.


Use Moss as a Compass

The myth: Even without a compass you can navigate your way through the forest by relying upon moss, which always grows on the north side of trees.


The reality: Moss can grow on any side of the tree where it can safely avoid sunlight. The location of moss on trees is entirely dependent upon their location and how much sun or shade they get, and it has nothing to do with a compass. To reliably find your direction in the forest, learn how to use the sun, moon, and stars as your guides. They’ve been there for millennia, and they’re much more reliable.


Rubbing Sticks Together Creates Fire

The myth: If you need to start a fire but you don’t have matches it’s no problem, because you can rub two sticks together to create a flame.


The reality: Unless you’ve had a lot of practice starting a fire this way, you may be rubbing those sticks together for a long time without any effect. It’s better to keep matches in a waterproof container or to invest in waterproof matches or other fire-starting implement. And remember, you can’t use matches once they’ve gotten wet, even if they’ve since dried. The chemicals will be ruined once they’re wet.

Yes, friction is a way to create a flame, but no, you can’t just rub any two sticks together. Friction-fire techniques require practice, patience, and luck. Just because it looks easy on television, don’t assume you’ll be able to do it under pressure without a lot of practice.


Drink Whiskey to Stay Warm

The myth: If it’s cold, you can warm up by drinking alcohol.


The reality: Alcohol will make you get cold even faster because it dilates your blood vessels. While you may temporarily feel warmer, this will only serve to mask the signs of hypothermia. Instead, try warming up with a shelter, some mylar blankets, and a warm non-alcoholic beverage. If you find a cave to take shelter in, be sure you don’t light a fire instead or you could cause a collapse. Also, remember a well-constructed shelter will keep you warmer than a fire will.


Animals Eat Raw Meat, and So Can You

The myth: To survive, you can eat what the animals eat—including raw meat.


The reality: Raw meat, raw fish, and many other things that are safe for animals to eat are most definitely not safe for human consumption. While they can be in certain circumstances, you won’t know whether or not the raw meat you’re consuming has been contaminated by pathogens until it’s too late. If you want to stay safe, make sure any meat or fish you consume has been thoroughly cooked beforehand, and educate yourself about the edible plants in your area.


Suck the Poison Out of a Snake Bite

The myth: If you are bitten by a venomous snake, cut the puncture holes with a knife and suck the poison out of the wound.


The reality: The last thing you want to do with an open wound is put your mouth on it, because your mouth is filled with bacteria. Snake venom travels to the bloodstream far faster than you can possibly suck it out. Not to mention the fact that you don’t want venom in your mouth! If there are still doctors after TEOTWAWKI, your best bet is to compress the wound and get the victim to a doctor. Educate yourself about the snakes in your area and learn how to avoid them.



These are the top five most dangerous animal attack myths.


EMP myths debunked by a NASA engineer.


How To Hide Your Water

How To Hide Your Water

If there’s not enough water to go around, use these tricks to stay hydrated and safe.

Hello everyone, this is Rob Raskin, and this week I want to discuss a topic that is of great importance to people like me who live in Las Vegas—water. More than anything else, water is the most critical element of your survival. Without it, you’d be lucky to live more than three days.


You don’t have to be in the middle of the desert to experience drought conditions. If you depend on a pond, creek, or lake for your water, don’t take it for granted, because it could dry up or become contaminated for a number of reasons. After TEOTWAWKI you could potentially lose your water supply through natural events, by accidental means, or even though a deliberate act of sabotage.


Aside from survival, without water you are making yourself and your loved ones vulnerable to disease. Germs spread readily in unsanitary conditions, and you need water to keep things clean. You’ll also need water for your cooking needs.


Having your own stash of water where others can see it will make you vulnerable to predators who are willing to take what’s yours—or even kill for it—in order to ensure their own survival. Understanding your water storage options and how to keep your water safely hidden is your key to getting through a drought alive.


How To Hide Your Water

If you want to avoid the catastrophic consequences of losing your water to theft, you’ll have to know how to hide it while still being able to access it easily if you need to. Believe it or not, after the SHTF you will have to guard your water as closely as you do your firearms. One thing to keep in mind is you should use many different types of containers so if looters find one, they won’t find another.


This guide will teach you how to keep your water for your own needs instead of losing it to those who didn’t prepare.


A Word About Plastic Containers

For your health and safety, only food grade quality plastic containers to store your water. Beggars can’t be choosers, and if you wait until after an apocalyptic event to gather containers, you’ll have to take whatever you can find. That’s why it pays to invest in #2 HDPE BPA-free containers now, when you can make sure you have the best quality.


No matter what kind of container you use, it is recommended that you rotate your supply every six months to make sure you’re using the oldest water first. Keep your containers out of the direct sun, in the coolest possible location where they can be safely concealed.


55-Gallon Drum

When you think of stored water, most likely it is these large, blue barrels that comes to mind. It is certainly what thieves will be looking for when they’re dying of thirst. It’s easy to see why 55-gallon drums are so popular. Each one holds enough water for one person for three to four months. This is precisely why you’ll need to bury your water drums underground, using a siphon attachment to access the water when you need it.

If you live in an area where it freezes, be sure to leave plenty of room in the barrels and avoid overfilling them.


20-Gallon Water Box

These cardboard boxes contain four mylar bags, each of which can hold five gallons of water. These can be directly filled from your sink, assuming you still have running water. If you’re going to buy these 20-gallon containers, fill them while you still can.


5-Gallon Stackable Containers

If you need water containers you can stack and easily carry, these 5-gallon stackable containers are an ideal choice. This is a lighter, durable alternative that can help reduce the growth of bacteria in your water supply due to the fact they are typically built from 90 mils UN rated plastic.


Plastic Jugs

And speaking of plastic, when you’re in a bind, any plastic jug will do. In an ideal situation, you’ll only reuse jugs that originally contained water. But let’s face it, once the grid is down you may be very far from an ideal situation. In a pinch, you can also reuse milk and juice jugs. Just be aware, doing so means running the risk of increased bacterial growth that can destroy your supply.


Canned Water

For a durable option, choose canned water, which is sold in one-year and three-month supplies. This kind of water contains added minerals. This is not only healthy for you, it also creates water with increased alkalinity that contributes to a longer shelf life.


Water Bottles and Pouches

This is the ideal choice if you need something small, portable, and durable. You’ll appreciate the convenience of being able to buy them by the case.


Join me, Rob Raskin, again for the next installment of our three-part series. In Part 2, we’ll discuss what you’ll need to pack in your drought survival kit.


Bugging in? Here’s how to prepare for a drought.


Top 10 tips for drought survival, brought to you by the Modern Survivalist.