Survival Myths that Could Actually Kill You

05/28/2015 02:13 pm ET | Updated May 28, 2016

You might like to think that you have what it takes to survive even the most overwhelming odds. Even if you don't know all that much in the area of survival skills, you'd make it through, right?

Snake bites, life-threatening dehydration and being forced to make your own fire for survival--these things don't only happen in the movies.

Survival Myths that Could Actually Kill You

Unfortunately, these are real risks that come with outdoor adventure and your best shot at making it through lies in preparation and education. By education, we mean accurate information from experts and survival schools--not reality TV.

I've worked as a consultant on several reality shows and these shows are heavily-scripted," said Tony Nester, an expert on desert survival and head of Ancient Pathways Survival School. "On one program, there was a crew of 12 people accompanying us, including two staff whose sole job was to drag around coolers filled with double-shot espressos and sandwiches while filming scenes of the host living off the land. There's nothing romantic or fun about real survival--it's only adventure in retrospect."

Nester and other experts also like to point out that survival, by definition, is short-term. "Survival" means living long enough to be rescued.
To help dispel some of the more common myths, we spoke to Nester and other experts on the subject. Those intimately familiar with the outdoors helped shed some light on what you should do, what you shouldn't do and what survival really means.
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- Diana Gerstacker, The Active Times