Updated: May 23
When we talk about survival or being stranded in the wilderness, one survival myth often heard is that you can drink urine. The idea of drinking urine may sound tempting, but have you ever wondered if it's really a good idea? In this article, we'll uncover the truth behind this myth and see if drinking your urine can help you survive.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that drinking urine is not a good idea. Contrary to popular belief, drinking urine will not hydrate you, rather it will promote dehydration. To better understand why drinking urine is not a good idea, let's look closely at what's in it:
· Water (about 95% when you are fully hydrated and your urine is completely clear)
· Dissolved solids (~60% of urine waste product)
o Urea (70% to 95% of the dissolved solids)
o Uric acid
· Inorganic Substances
* Bacteria (most likely from surrounding skin, but some studies suggest urine is not sterile and may contain bacteria)
Note 1: The more dehydrated you are, the higher the concentration of urine waste products.
Note 2: You cannot filter out urine waste nor can you nullify it with UV light or chemical treatments.
The problem lies in the urea and the dissolved salts. Urea is a natural diuretic, which means it may increase urine production, making you lose more fluids and dehydrating you even faster. Salts, of course, will draw water out of your cells through osmosis and increase dehydration risks.
So, what should you do instead of drinking urine? You could use urine as a moist point in a condensation system or, better yet, look for other sources such as a nearby stream, river, or natural spring; regardless of your source, always filter and purify the water before drinking it. Boiling water is the best method for killing any bacteria and viruses.
To sum it up, drinking urine should never be an option in a disaster or survival situation. It will not hydrate you; it will most likely accelerate your dehydration. Instead, focus on finding a source of clean water and always purify it before drinking. Remember that survival skills require knowledge and preparation, so make sure to learn more about how to stay safe and healthy in the wilderness.
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