Thinking Critically About Survival Advice

Thinking Critically About Survival Advice

We have instant access to a lot of information nowadays. Some of that information is factual and good. Some of it not so much, and some of it can be downright dangerous.

You will find information that spans this spectrum on almost any topic, including preparedness and survival subject matters. Some of these “sayings” have been around for a long time and on the surface, they may sound okay. But, in this post, we will be going over a few of these popular tidbits of information that should either be avoided or thought about more critically.


#1. “It’s okay to drink from a water source that is moving and clear.”

Generally speaking, a crystal clear water source that is moving can be safer to drink from than a stagnant, “dirty” looking source. Having said that, water CANNOT be deemed safe for consumption based on appearances alone. 

No matter how clean a water source looks, your best bet is to always filter and purify the water before drinking any of it.



#2. I don’t need to spend money on a tourniquet because they are easy to improvise.”

If you get this one wrong, it can be a deadly mistake.
Tourniquet bands need to be a certain size to avoid causing further tissue and nerve damage. They also need to have a tension rod that is capable of applying pressure that can also be properly secured so that the pressure is not released prematurely.

If a wound is severe enough, a person can bleed out in sixty seconds. That’s not a lot of time to improvise a proper tourniquet and apply it. Knowing how to improvise a tourniquet is the knowledge that a person should have, but do yourself a favor and purchase at least one tourniquet for every member in your group. If you ever have to use it, you will be glad that you spent the money.



#3. “Firearms, especially shotguns, are effective by just pointing and shooting.”

People that are not familiar with firearms have this notion that one only needs to point the firearm in the general direction of a target and they will hit it. 

People can certainly get lucky with this technique, but it is a very inaccurate and dangerous thought process to have regarding firearms. Discharging a firearm without hitting the intended target can lead to serious problems. Avoid those problems by becoming knowledgeable about firearms and practicing with them regularly.



#4. You will die in the wilderness if you can’t get a fire started.”

There is a bit of truth to this one but it requires a little more thought to be put into it. When people say this, it is usually about one of the rules of 3 which states, “you can survive three hours without shelter.” Take this a step further and what the rule is talking about is maintaining core body temperature. 

In environments where the temperature is cool or cold, having a fire is certainly going to help keep you warm. However, if you are wearing weather-appropriate clothing and have access to a shelter, a person can maintain core body temperature without a fire. It may just not be as comfortable. 

Additionally, if a person is in an environment where temperatures do not get that cool or cold, then having a fire for warmth isn’t all that necessary. 

If you are in a survival situation, you will need to analyze the situation based on the circumstances you are dealing with and decide if it is worth the energy and resources to attempt starting a fire or to stay warm by other means.




The ideas talked about in the above article are but just a few pieces of like information floating around out there. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, some information should be avoided at all costs while other information may have.




Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. Bryan is a published author with Fox Chapel Publishing. In 2019, Bryan authored the book, Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. In March 2021, he released his second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.