Oct 07 2014

Drinking Water Myths and Wives Tales

Drinking Water Myths and Wives Tales

dirty water in a sinkThere are many drinking water myths and wives tales about finding and drinking water in a survival or disaster situation.

By following these old tales you could easily land up in a worse condition than when you started…

They could even lead to severe illness and even death.

Below is the most commonly found myths about how, when and where you can drink water.



      Eat some snow to rehydrate you

hand full of snowWhen you consider that snow is very ice cold, it then makes sense that it will require lots of energy calories to warm it for proper digestion when in your stomach.

By eating ice cold snow, you are cooling your core body temperature – this can lead to hypothermia.

As snow lays on the ground it will collect a lot of different types of bacteria and other organisms – this bacteria and organisms can easily make you ill.

Always melt snow or ice before ingesting and definitely stay away from snow that is discoloured, e.g. yellow snow.

If you melt snow first it can then be boiled and purified.


        Can you drink salt water?

glass of sea waterIn a word… NO, never drink seawater.

Sea water will increase your bodies dehydration level and will kill you very quickly indeed.

In fact, drinking sea water will cause death even faster than having nothing to drink in the first place. 

In excessive heat, you can use salt water to help cool your body down, but never drink it.



If it’s stream of running river water it’s safe to drink

running streamThis is rarely true…. on the odd occasion a fresh glacier stream may be clean but not always.

Remember, you don’t know where that stream has been before you met it!

You have no idea what it passed over or what it came in contact with along it’s merry path to you either.

There could be animal waste, even dead birds or large animals laying in the upstream.

Essentially, if you have to make a choice between still or running water, the running water has less chance of being contaminated – but always try to filter the water, even if it’s just through a cloth or bandanna, anything will help to try and purify it a bit more.


      You can drink your own urine

peeing into a toiletWell, technically it’s a yes, BUT very, very small amounts.

Remember, urine contains all your bodies toxins – of which, most are extremely toxic and considered dangerous to your body in the first place.

Even small amounts should only be considered in the most extreme circumstances.

Urine will not rehydrate you – you are only using the bodies waste to try and rehydrate, by doing this will slow your bodies natural functions and this process actually uses more body fluid to process..!


Remember – if you are thirsty, it’s your bodies way of telling you, you are already dehydrated. 

Drinking from a puddle or pond or dip in the road is fine.

puddleHa ha… yeah right. Of course you shouldn’t drink from a pond or puddle.

The same rules apply here as with all of the above.

You have no idea what’s been in that water before you – it could even be a sewerage run off!

Always try to treat and purify the water before ever drinking it.


 Always stop and think first before drinking from an unknown water source – and definitely treat and purify the water first.

  • In it’s most basic form you can make a crude filter using natural sources.
  • Rapid boiling the water for a minute will also kill most harmful bacteria and parasites.
  • Without doubt a potable water filter bottle is your best option.
  • For larger storage of filtered safe drinking water, a jerry can filter system is the right choice.


 If you know of any other strange drinking water myths and wives tales – let me know, contact is right down the bottom of the page…