19 Essential Survival Skills You Will Need in Your Life
Have you ever thought of being caught in the middle of the wilderness? Will you be able to survive? Do you have the survival skills it will take to work your way out of such a situation?
What if you lose access to clean drinking water and food? If you are not prepared – it can be life-threatening for you and your loved ones! The fact is, you don’t know when you will need survival skills. And how you prepare now, may well determine whether you’ll survive or not.
I cover the essential skills along with extensive resources that will prepare you for such situations. You will learn how to find water, food, shelter, navigate without the help of navigation devices and much more. Put these skills to practice when you can so you can be a master when you need them.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Water: Finding Clean Water Will Keep You From Dehydration
- 2 Food: Access to Food Will Ensure Long-Term Survival
- 3 Fire: Fire Making Skills Will Keep You Warm, Fed, and Protected
- 4 Shelter: Building a Shelter Will Keep You Protected
- 5 Navigation Techniques: Know Where You Are Headed
- 6 Gear: The Right Gear Makes Surviving Easier
- 7 Weather: Predicting Weather Will Help You Plan Your Next Move
- 8 Medicine: Finding Natural Herbs Will Help You Heal
- 9 First Aid: Learning First Aid Skills Will Help You Keep Fighting
- 10 Self Defense: Defending Yourself When Attacked Will Help You Survive In Danger
- 11 Hygiene: Maintaining Cleanliness Will Keep You Healthy
- 12 Survival Signals: Using Survival Signals Will Help You Rescued.
- 13 River Crossing: Crossing At Shallow Banks Will Prevent You From Drowning.
- 14 Natural Alternatives: Embrace Nature And it Will Provide For and Protect You
- 15 Snares and Traps: Become An Expert At This Primal Skill
- 16 Have a Plan of Action: Quick Response To Emergency Will Help You Survive
- 17 Avoid Predators: Staying Away From Predators Will Keep You Safe.
- 18 Stay Calm: Make Proper Decisions
- 19 Adapt Adjust and Overcome: To Stay On Top of Any Challenge
Water: Finding Clean Water Will Keep You From Dehydration
An adult can survive many days without food but only three days without water. Water enables your body to perform at its best when doing any activity. Do not wait until you run out of water before you look for more or you risk dehydration.
Not all water sources are safe to drink from. Dissolved impurities, particles, chemicals and microbes may be present in water. You should learn to identify what sources are reliable and how to purify water to make it drinkable. Clear flowing water such as spring water and water from snow can be good sources of water.
Learn how to collect dew or use water stored inside plants. Filtering, boiling and use of water purification tablets can help purify water but there is no guarantee you will have access to them. You should also learn to make a water filter in case of an emergency.
Food: Access to Food Will Ensure Long-Term Survival
Although you can live for several days without food, you still need some that will keep you going. Your physical and mental capabilities will deteriorate rapidly if you stay without food, and eventually, you will become weak.
There are two main sources of food in the wilderness – animals (including insects and fish) and plants.
To stay fed in the wilderness, you’ll need to learn the behavior and know the habits of various wild animals. Insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and some other reptiles could be your quick source of animal food. After that, you can set snares and traps for larger animals.
Plant foods such as nuts and seeds will provide your body with the fats and proteins it needs. Carbohydrates are needed for instant energy. Fruits and green vegetables contain natural sugar that will provide calories to your body from carbohydrates. Remember not all plants are edible and some may even be poisonous.
Fire: Fire Making Skills Will Keep You Warm, Fed, and Protected
Fire; ever since the dawn of humans, it played a great role, from providing light, warmth, and fending off the dangerous animals to the roasting of meat. Making fire is a vital skill for survival.
But how can you make a fire without the modern tool or matchbox?
Your answer is here; you can make fire by using the friction method. The following methods are types of friction method – hand drill, fire plow and bow drill. The Spindle is used to generate friction in between the fire board. There are unique trees that can make good spindle and fireboard, such as, cedar, cottonwood, juniper, willow, walnut, and aspen. The wood should be dry enough to make ember so you can use it to make fire.
Shelter: Building a Shelter Will Keep You Protected
During your survival situation, you will need a haven with a purpose of protection against exposure. Building a Shelter will not only prevent you from cold, rain, or snow, the wind, and the wind but also it will give you a mental boost.
A shelter will provide you with hope and a sense of surviving and accomplishment. Locating a safe shelter can be the difference at the end of the day.
Location, material and design are very important for your survival shelter. You should make a shelter away from animal routes or the entrance or exit of underground habitat animals. Be creative and make use the materials at your disposal to make a shelter. A basic knowledge of plans and designs will help you make one when you really have to.
In a survival you may find yourself without a compass and a map. What would you do? Can you find your way?
Such situations need a sound knowledge of your environment and navigation skill using nature and your compass. Using the sun and shadow method can help you to find the direction. Stars are your night time indicators for general orientation.
What about bad weather? Using sun and stars as navigation tools require clear skies, something you cannot count on. Develop a complete plan for navigation during bad weathers. Plants and trees can help you navigate and so can animals.
Gear: The Right Gear Makes Surviving Easier
Surviving in the wilderness could be tougher if you don’t have the right equipment. So what do you need?
Right from clothing to a whistle for a signal to weapons to hunt and defend. The list of gear is large and must be tailored to your needs. To begin with, always wear a paracord bracelet and have bug out bag ready with essentials.
Many of the tools you will collect in your kit will be basic but can be put to multiple uses. So learn how to use the tools effectively, in case you have to use them some day.
Weather: Predicting Weather Will Help You Plan Your Next Move
During the era of our great grandparents, maybe 20 BC, but not so much time before the invention of satellites, human beings had an ingenious way of predicting the weather.
Thankfully, nature has a way to tell, for instance – spotting the behaviorial patterns of animals, migration of birds, and the shedding of leaves by specific trees. Although, it may be too difficult if you’re not so concerned on the nature behavior.
For instance, the pattern and direction in which the birds fly can tell you the temperature, the wind, and air pressure. At times, when birds perch on the rooftops and lampposts indicates bad weather is coming.
Medicine: Finding Natural Herbs Will Help You Heal
When in a survival situation, you may not have the option to see a doctor – which you should always do if you can. You may just have to be resourceful and find cure for your ailment in the nature. Getting you medical kit in order will be of great help.
Getting familiar with various medicinal herbs, and ability to identify them can be of great value. Remember not all plants are herbs and no herb is prescribed for dosage. You should also consider planting some of these in your garden.
First Aid: Learning First Aid Skills Will Help You Keep Fighting
Knowing how to administer basic first aid is vital in a survival environment. Why does this matter? I may take time to get professional help on an immediate call during such situations, so it’s better to acquire these knowledge as a skill.
Knowing the right procedure for administering proper first aid and quick response is essential. You need to learn how to perform basic first aid – cleaning and dressing of wounds – injuries are unavoidable and you should know how to treat them.
You should also learn how to perform CPR, making a sling, the Heimlich Maneuver among other things.
Self Defense: Defending Yourself When Attacked Will Help You Survive In Danger
An attack can come your way anytime. It can be from an animal or from a human. In the wild, the chance of a typically non-dangerous animal attacking you is high.
Self-defense in such situations is know when to engage and know in when to escape. Avoid places where wild animals may typically be spotted (hint: water sources). If you spot one, stay calm and move backward slowly away from the wild animal.
Hygiene: Maintaining Cleanliness Will Keep You Healthy
If you ignore personal hygiene for long, you will catch a disease or infection. Poor hygiene in this scenario may reduce your chances of surviving. Hygiene can be simple to maintain as long as you are resourceful. After all, humans predate all the cleaning and hygiene products.
Maintain cleanliness by bathing and washing, brushing teeth and combing of hair, washing your hands and feet. You will find many tools in the nature to help you stay clean- for example you can use twigs to brush your teeth.
Survival Signals: Using Survival Signals Will Help You Rescued.
Unlike some survival skills which can be instinctive, signaling for assistance is an acquired skill that one should learn and practice. As a survivor, you’ll are required to make proper signal to your rescuer for him or her to respond appropriately.
If you are trying to grab attention from an isolated place – your best portion is to setup fire large enough that it is visible from some distance. You should also setup flags with whatever materials that are available.
Familiarize yourself with some common signals such as smoke, pen flames, whistle codes, a shiny mirror, and others.
River Crossing: Crossing At Shallow Banks Will Prevent You From Drowning.
Crossing a river or some other water body may be your only option to reach a safe zone. And the water may not necessarily be shallow or calm either.
Learn to build a raft using materials accessible in nature, this is often a good option for individuals and groups to cross large water bodies without rapid currents.
Swimming can come to your rescue if the water body is deep enough to swim and the currents are not too strong. Choose this option if you are confident of making it to the other end. Get access to some flotation device – such as planks of woods, if they can give you better control.
If swimming is not an option, get to a high point where you can view the river. From this place, you can find the best place to cross such as the level stream that has two or more breaks as it is easier to pass than in a wide river.
Natural Alternatives: Embrace Nature And it Will Provide For and Protect You
In your day to day life you are used to so many products and solutions which are not from nature but have alternatives available in nature. If you can identify and make use of these alternatives it will give you an edge at almost everything.
Right from tools to foods, to medicines – there are alternatives for almost everything. Start leaning about home remedies, DIY survival weapons, alternatives to cleaning and hygiene products and more. This will make you more resourceful for when you will have to innovate in the wilderness.
Snares and Traps: Become An Expert At This Primal Skill
If you are going to be out of your home trying to survive you will have to know where to source your food from. Solution – hunting and fishing. Building traps will reduce your work of hunting and chasing for food.
Footprints, droppings on ground, flattened grass, existing holes, and many other are a good indicator of the presence of an animal. Not to mention, water drinking point as it’s another good trapping place. Set your trap to these points and have something to eat
Have a Plan of Action: Quick Response To Emergency Will Help You Survive
The guiding principle of any emergency situation is to determine your priorities and act on each of them methodically and calmly.
Avoid Predators: Staying Away From Predators Will Keep You Safe.
Animal of all shapes and sizes can be dangerous. Right from insects and bees to large animal like bears. Animal can attack you for many reasons, especially if they feel threaded by your presence.
Do not attract the large crowd of predators by leaving food or throwing bones around your tent as it may turn to you at last. For example, hyena and wolves have a great sense of smell, and it said hyena can feel from as far as one kilometer.
Stay Calm: Make Proper Decisions
Being in the wilderness alone can be really scary and staying calm is a skill which can come in handy. Panic can be your worst enemy as it impairs rational thinking.
Take time to step back and think and evaluate the situation. Think about the resources available to you. Look around for tools you can use or make tools using materials that are accessible. While it may sound easy only a handful of people can really stay calm when SHTF.
Recall the steps you have to take to address the situation at hand. Proper training and experience can help you hold your nerves under such situations. Think of what lies ahead and focus on the next steps.
Adapt Adjust and Overcome: To Stay On Top of Any Challenge
You cannot prepare for everything so your ability to adjust and make quick decisions is what you have to count on. We are the most adaptable species of the planet – so let’s not forget our ability to adapt to various situations and challenges when it counts the most.
This is not an excuse to stop working on honing your survival skills as the more you work to develop the other survival skills the more resourceful you will be.
What survival skills are you counting on? What steps will you take to improve your skills?