Survival Myths and Misconceptions

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by 3M-TA3, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    This thread is about the many myths we get from survival forums, fiction, and movies.

    The DIY thermite myth is my starting example. The real part is that it's easy to make from common materials and burns as hot as hell. The myth is that you can use it to eat through the surface of armored vehicles in into the motor where it will then put it out of action.

    I can't tell you how many books I've read or threads on forums that treat this as a given. Here is the reality:

    Note that a sentry type of home safe isn't exactly armor plate - it's in reality a medium thickness hardened grade rolled steel bent to look much thicker than it really is. In the video they used a LOT of thermite. There are several YT videos that demonstrate similar results. In one video they couldn't even burn through the thin unhardened steel of a car.

    Can thermite be useful? Yes. Will it put an armored vehicle out of action like the stories say? No.

    What survival myths would you like to share? Depending on a myth can cost a like in a real survival situation. This is open to all types of survival scenarios from natural disaster to economic collapse to military invasion to civil war.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    DuxDawg, Dunerunner, Ura-Ki and 3 others like this.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Also note that civilian cobbled "thermite" is a far cry from military grade thermate...this is likely where the fallacy originated.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Actually, Military Grade Thermite was used very effectively during the Korean War, to disable Rolling Stock that was abandoned when the Chinese enter the war, and almost pushed the americans back into the Sea of Japan.... It was a lot cheaper to send new engines half way across the world, then to send new Trucks and other Vehicles, when the ground was retaken... It was also used very effectively on Railroad Wheels on the Train Rolling Stock, sticking the wheels to the Rails... Much Cheaper, and faster, to import new Wheel/Axles for the Rolling Stock Railroad Trucks than whole new Railroad Cars...
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Mom had a cousin who fought with the English when they were retreating back to the sea in France during WW2 and worked for my dad in the late 1940's. Got out at some port in the North of France back to England and had worked in the engineers building and repairing bridges, railroads, etc. As they had to abandon the heavy equipment, moved to slow and had to stay on roads, they disabled the truck engines with water glass, same as the cash for clunkers program, knocked holes in the transfer cases and transmissions, put road flares between the tires on the trucks, on the windings in the generators,, etc, said that maybe the Germans rebuilt them, but it took quite a while and a lot of effort and they sure didn't use them to chase them. Couldn't stop the Germans, either the airplanes destroyed their blockades or they went around them, he said most effective defense was mines, real and fake. Slowed the Germans up, let them use snipers, and run to fight another day. Very quickly the goal changed from killing Germans to damaging them, slow them down, and live to fight another day. A dead hero doesn't do much to stop the advance the next day and it quickly changed from holding the line, to getting back to England. The French forts proved that, they didn't fight, they were bypassed and just set there until they surrendered. The Germans controlled the air, he stayed off the roads, hid during the day, moved at night, tried to find out from the locals where the rivers could be crossed, where there was a few gallons of fuel, etc. If you survived, and he did, it was due to your own actions and not of the officers and the army. Might have been different with the main part of the army and the combat troops, but for the most part he said the engineers were alone with no communications or supplies from the army.
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I purchased this place in 72, lived on it in good times and bad.
    Was able to pick what I wanted as it was a 1200 acre ranch that was parceled out. Bought what I could of really rough terrain as it had water, rocks for building, trees and plenty of wildlife.
    I built as I could and understood I could loose it all in one small mistake.

    Put in a well, fenced with conventional wire as well as spikes. Spikes stopped the townies from running pell mell and convinced one kid it was best if left that way and it was nobody's fault if he ended up with holes in his tires but his own ways.

    Slowly figured the best way to live with the townies as a Gray Man, had a phone, Circa 70s but never let the number out and never had real problems except for a Crazed Functioning Drunk neighbor. Till he made a few mistakes like burning down several hundred acres and ending up n jail. I let the problem solve its self, not my first choice but made life better in the long run.

    In short all the hard ass ways in the world are best left to those that have nothing to loose.

    48 years later the bad folks are gone and new folks with more money than common sense are waiting for me to die so they can make the Kids rich when they pay for the land no on wanted because it was too rough.

    Deer and Turkeys come by on occasion, they trust me as I have not hunted for years. Skunks and other varmints are at risk because of damage and disease they cause. On occasion a Cat moves in and they are welcome as I keep the feral ones at bay. Had a new Fertile tom come and go on a 3 to 5 day routine, but he seems to understand not to challenge the cats that live here and he is welcome.

    All is not what it seems and the noise of gunfire lets the new folks that have moved in over the years know the land will be protected.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
    Dunerunner, oldawg, Yard Dart and 3 others like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Another persisting myth is being able to shoot locks open, that simply dosnt happen all that much or well! As a highly trained door kicker, i know, it takes more then a bullet or three to blow most locks, often doing additional damage that you now have to defeat to get open! While it is possable to blow a pad lock with a rifle shot, its rare to actually defeat the lock with a single round! Hell, I can "Open" most armored cars easier then I can breach a well secured door!
    I really wish Holliweird would stop portraying this as a simple deal, that a pistol round can defeat a lock, it simply dosnt work like that!
  7. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I think that "bug out to the woods and live off the land" is mostly a myth unless you are in the right area and have the knowledge. There are a few on this board that I think could pull it off for while, but the majority won't make it very long.

    That's a great one! I've seen a few YT's that demonstrated this pretty well!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Fact is that all it takes is two open ended wrenches to open most pad locks,neither of which can be used a a Burglar Tool Charge.
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Another one I run across, even here on S.M, is that ammo will be laying around on the streets and be super easy to find and secure, especially when SHTF/TEOTWAWKI happens!

    Yea, RIGHT, you aint going to find shit, let alone usable ammo, and it ain't going to be laying there in the streets just waiting for some dumb schmuck to show up and grab it!
    I see ammo, i'm going to automatically be lookin for a sniper trying to pick me off to take what I have, or some other kind of set up designed to eliminate me! Likewise, your not going to be finding it on shelves of untouched abandoned stores, if that happens, expect some one else to have gotten to it first, and is now laying in wait to defend that stash, and only too willing to take you out and then take what ever you have!
  10. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Watching National Propaganda TV go on and on about the "horrors" of the white man's destruction of the native culture of the poor natives. Brings to mind a few of the "benefits" the hated "white" man brought into this country after 1492. Off the top of my head I will list a few of our curses. The horse, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, for animals, the iron knife, axe, saw, needles, forks, spoons, iron kettles, fry pans, spits, tripods for roasting meat, bread ovens, metal stoves, written language, paper, spinning wheel, flax, hemp, shearing shears and carding tools , modern loom, peas, wheat, oats, barley, flax, cabbage, most root crops like carrots, etc, for food, most medicines, dental and eye care, most house designs, glass for windows and food storage, all clothing except buck skin, all blankets except skins, the wheel and roads to use it, the wagon that the wheel is on, and the list goes on for pages. The biggest myth is that we could go back to the "old" ways, while the real fact is that prior to 1492, that was stone tools, wild animals, fish and a few important farmed crops. Corn, turkeys, a few root crops, cat tails, squash, pumpkins, but very little woven cloth in North America, no metal except a little native copper and no bronze, all the major civilizations were in South America and while they flourished, they also collapsed with major effects on the population of the time.
    We could "mine" the resources left by the collapse of civilization in the US, but the knowledge and basic tools are rapidly disappearing. My grand parents in the 1940's still had sheep shears, butchering tools, carding and spinning tools, shoe making tools, blacksmithing tools, hand tools for cutting wood, ice, crops, processing food, and the knowledge to use them. Outside of the Amish, it is all gone now. You can make a knife from a discarded file, had dozens on the farm in the 1940's, had the coal, the forge, anvil, grind stone and knowledge to do it. I doubt if 1 house in 10 has a file anymore and if it does it is probably a round chain saw file and wouldn't make a knife anyway. I played with a bow and arrows when I was a kid, used a tip stick and snares for rabbits, fished with line and spear, and found out very quickly that a steel trap, 22 rifle, cane pole with line, bobber, and steel hook, was the only way to go. If the fuel and electricity stops, 95 % of the population will have no concept of how to survive and may well kill the rest of us as they die off. The biggest myth of all in survival in my mind is that there will be major pockets of survival. I don't see that, I see random survivors who hide well enough and are in locations where you can get or have stored enough food to live thru the die off. All my preps are based on the concept that it will be like the 1930's or the collapse of Germany after WW1 and WW2 or that of the South American countries today or of the old Russia and the USSR. While many died, with luck and some preps, many more lived thru it. Don't have a mortgage, house is nothing special, but at least 1/4 of my neighbors have lost their homes over the last 50 years as due to loss of job, old age, medical conditions, divorce, etc, they could not make the house payments, and thus my #1 and so far most successful prep has been buying a trailer, building a house on a lot I paid cash for and doing as I could. But at least in southern New Hampshire, that is no longer allowed. Have to maintain the neighborhood, keep up our tax values, protect people's health and the real estate brokers and banker's profits you know.
    DuxDawg, Gator 45/70, 3cyl and 7 others like this.
  11. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    My personal favorite has always been the "I have guns, and after TSHTF, I'll just take what I want". My second favorite is my neighbor who bragged that he bought two buckets of food from Patriots Pantry and was "good to go" should anything ever happen.
    STANGF150, Gator 45/70, DKR and 8 others like this.
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Or, I'll live off the land and i'll kill what I need.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    Gator 45/70, Tempstar, Ura-Ki and 2 others like this.
  13. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I repeat often that local ranches will be stripped clean of anything that even remotely looks like food and, not knowing how to properly butcher or having any means to preserve what they kill; much will be left to rot in the fields.

    Many think they can live off the land, but they really need to watch "Alone" for a season to learn that being isolated in the wilderness with few preps is a tough unforgiving life and many will perish within 6 months.

    I've always liked the "I'll make clothes from the skins of the animals I have hunted." Only a few lucky folk will be isolated enough to remain undetected by the hungry hoards of savage marauders and of those only a handful will be organized enough to be totally self sufficient.
    Gator 45/70, Ura-Ki and 3M-TA3 like this.
  14. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Would they even know how to properly prepare the hides to keep them from rotting let alone how to preserve them by tanning?
    Dunerunner, Gator 45/70 and Ura-Ki like this.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Brain Tanning would be a foreign way for most and making smoke is a dead give away to your location.

    Basically what we are all saying is you best be where you need to be or be road kill as things unravel.
    Dunerunner, Gator 45/70 and 3M-TA3 like this.
  16. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I think my favorite how many overlook the necessary of drinking water... or they think guns and ammo are more important. They'll purchase 10,000 rounds of ammo and 20 ARs but don't have any means to attain, store or purify water. Water = Life. It's that simple...

    I recently told my story of when we had 30 minutes to evacuate due to a wildfire (luckily I didn't have to do so) to a bunch of Preppers and they laughed like I was a fool when I said that I abandoned most of my guns. However, I had 30 minutes to grab what could not be replaced, guns can be replaced, and this scenario was not an end of civilization or Rule of Law scenario. All I needed was a gun(s) to protect what was mine - nothing more or less - and main concern was necessary medications, documents, clothing, etc... I finally did get my point across - guns are tools, no more and no less. You cannot use a hammer to turn a screw and you cannot eat or drink guns. Idiots! These are the idiots that give the Prepper Community a bad name.
    DuxDawg, Dunerunner, Ura-Ki and 4 others like this.
  17. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    In some parts of the country it's "I have a gun and the addresses of Mormon Elders"....

    These folks are in for a real surprise....
    Dunerunner, Ura-Ki, oldawg and 3 others like this.
  18. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    Well we live in an upscale community and we'll all pull together-people aren't really that bad as you preppers want to make them out to be. Yup and I have a really cool bridge to sell (for cheap) in northern Michigan.
  19. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Had a neighbor's tree blow down into my property. Another neighbor, knowing of my recent accident - and loss of the use of an arm for a while, brought over his chain saw and we cut up the tree.

    So there are good folks out there, but you will need to work with them to keep them 'good people' by being a good neighbor....
  20. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    In my series World of the Chernyi - parts of which I have posted here on the board -- I've explored many of the myth's and the likely results for folks that fail to think ahead. And what happens when the stores close with no chance of real resupply.

    Even at that, I'll admit most of the book set text falls under fantasy. What is not fantasy however, is the real likelihood of massive population loss thru starvation, disease and in-fighting/riots/criminal activity. I see the day when organized gangs become the new form of local 'governance' for many areas. So-called warlords exist for a reason.....
    DuxDawg, Dunerunner, Ura-Ki and 2 others like this.
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