10 Most Important Survival Skills

Nature is one of the greatest gifts our planet has to offer the human race. Not only is the natural world full of beauty and possibilities for adventure, studies have proven that exposure to nature improves our physical and mental health. However, when it comes to embracing the great outdoors, there is a huge difference between enjoyment and survival. It is one thing to embark on a weekend long camping trip, and another thing altogether to survive in the wild when all goes amiss. Would you be able to survive if you became stranded on your next casual outdoor exhibition? What would you eat? How would you gather water? Would you have the skills you need in order to ensure your safety and sustenance?

We have drawn up a list of the 10 most important survival skills a human requires in order to champion life in the wild. Read on to learn if you have got what it takes to survive in the great outdoors.

10 Most Important Survival Skills for Wilderness Living

1. Food: Your body requires nutritional sustenance in order to survive. Food provides your body with the water, energy, and focus it needs in order to properly function. How can this be accomplished? Being aware of edible plants and insects is a great start. A general rule when it comes to wilderness plant cultivation is to avoid munching on plants that appear milky, hairy, bulbous, or have three leaves, or pink spurs – these are sure signs that the plant is poisonous. Wild plants like clovers, dandelion, and sorrel are common and edible. However, your body will not survive on greens alone. You require protein and fat in order to thrive. Nearly all common insects are edible – from ants, to grasshoppers, to worms, to even bees, insects are your go-to source for protein in the wilderness. Or, try your hand at survival hunting. A simple snare requires just a noose, which can be crafted from rope or wire. Simply tie the noose to a tree near an animal’s den, and wait for your next meal.
2. Water: It is impossible for a human to survive without water. In order to survive in the wilderness, you must know how to collect and purify water. This can be done in a number of ways. One way is to collect rainwater in tarps or pots. Another way water can be obtained is by digging a foot deep hole in a muddy area, and waiting for water to surface. Once you’ve collected your water, you must purify it. You can do so by boiling your water over a fire in a tin or aluminum can, a glass jar, or a plastic bottle.

3. First Aid: Learning first aid is a simple way to help ensure your survival in the wild. Knowing how to properly dress wounds and fashion splints and slings could be the difference between life and death in the wilderness.


4. How to Start and Maintain a Fire: Fire is essential for warmth and water purification. Therefore, knowing how to get a fire going and keep it going in both wet and dry environments is one of the most important survival skills you require in order to survive in the wild.


5. Self Defense: When forced into wilderness survival, it is likely that you will find yourself in a situation in which you are required to defend yourself or lose your life. Taking the time to learn self defense and remembering to pack a pocket-knife when leaving on an adventure are two ways that can help you protect yourself in the wilderness.


6. Learn How to Repair Your Clothes: Clothing repair may seem an outdated skill to master, but when it comes to surviving in the wild, maintaining your clothes can offer you much needed protection and warmth.


7. Grooming: Keeping yourself clean may be the last thing you think of when you think of wilderness survival, but basic grooming skills can help maintain your health and keep you alive.


8. Expect the Unexpected: Train your mind to expect the unexpected, and accept the unexpected. Your mental outlook greatly affects your morale, and your morale greatly affects your ability to survive.


9. Worldly Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings, and the dangers and advantages they have to offer. Awareness can help you to be a more proficient and successful survivor.


10. Practice Makes Perfect: At the end of the day, no matter how many precautions you take, preparations you make, or intelligence you cultivate, surviving in the wild poses an undeniable challenge. Continue to cultivate a survivalist mentality – see the possibilities objects in nature offer you, learn the art of scrounging, and develop your resourcefulness. Push on, no matter the direness of the circumstances, and you will be well on your way to being a true survivalist.


Survival Gear (Survival Equipment)

No matter where you are going, what type of dangers you may face or how much experience you have, you’ll always want to include a few key items in your survival kit. This includes:

1. Tools
Pocket knife

2. Illumination
Two sets of extra batteries
Emergency candles

3. Water Purification Tablets

4. Cordage and Tape
Duct tape
200 feet of Paracord
100 yards of monofilament fishing line

5. Fire-Starting Kit
Flint or magnesium Firestarter
Emergency tinder
Magnifying glass

6. Metal Pot or Mugs

7. Space Blanket

8. Emergency Poncho

9. Trekking Poles

10. Safety Pins

11. Emergency Non-Perishable Food Rations

12. Large Tarp

13. Basic First Aid / Medical Kit
Band-aids of various sizes
Ace bandage
Antiseptic wipes
Triple antibiotic ointment

14. Rescue Signals
Signaling mirror

15. Rain Jacket


Survival Prepping

1. Start Living Below Your Means Right Now
You don’t want to just buy all your food and supplies with a credit card. Instead, look for ways to lower your bills until you have some money left over for preps.

2. Don’t Blow All Your Money In The First Month
Prepping is something that should be done slowly and steadily. Oftentimes there are survival items you think you need, then later you find out there’s a better deal somewhere or that you already own a suitable substitute. So try to be patient.

3. Store Plenty Of Water
Water is technically more important than food, and you’re going to go through it faster than you think. You don’t have to just buy bottled water. You can collect your own water and store it in collapsible containers or barrels for long periods of time in your garage or basement.

4. Don’t Store Water In Old Milk Jugs
It is so tempting and it seems like a good idea at the time, but it will end in disaster. It’s hard to wash out all the milk residue which means you could end up with harmful bacteria growing in you water. Also, the plastic is not hardy and will eventually break down, creating a big mess.

5. Don’t Buy Food Your Family Doesn’t Eat
Finding a great deal on a case of canned spinach may seem like a great way to fill the shelves in your pantry, but if your family refuses to eat it, you will have wasted time, money, and space. It’s nice to find a great deal, but if it doesn’t fit your family, pass on it and wait for the next one.

6. Store More Than Just Canned Food
There is this idea that a food pantry must be loaded with canned foods and nothing else. You need to have a variety of canned, dry, and freeze-dried foods in order to diversify your diet. Otherwise you will get bored with canned food, and all that extra sodium will be bad for your health.

7. Use Sturdy Shelves For Your Storage
Those flimsy, particleboard shelves may be inexpensive, but they will not hold up long when you start piling bags of beans and cases of canned goods on them. Your best option would be wire shelving. It is sturdy and can tolerate more weight.

8. Don’t Put All Your Preps In One Place
You never know when disaster will strike. Your entire food storage could be wiped out in the blink of an eye. Place some caches around the area where you live, keep a bug out bag in every vehicle, and if possible, keep some supplies at your bug out location.

9. There’s More To Prepping Than How Much You Store
It takes knowledge and skill as well. Here are 20 skills you might need. For each of these, you need to get training and hands-on experience. Have a nice library of reference materials stashed away as well.

10. Don’t Forget About Hygiene and Sanitation
Stocking up on toilet paper and soap is just as important as stocking up on food and water. You have to stay clean in order to avoid becoming sick. Getting sick during a survival situation–when hospitals are either closed or overrun–could end up killing you.

11. Don’t Forget About Those With Special Needs
Some people might need insulin, glasses, medication, oxygen, wheelchairs, etc. Make the necessary preparations for them as well.

12. Don’t Forget About Your Pets
If you have pets, you have two choices: plan on feeding and caring for them, or abandon them. If you care about your pets, be sure to store pet food, water, and other supplies for them. Make the decision about what you will do with your pets today and don’t wait until the heat of the moment when your emotions are already running high.

13. Don’t Be The Only Prepper In Your Household
Your entire family needs to be on board. They don’t have to be as excited as you, but they do need to have the knowledge and know-how. Make sure you incorporate them into your prepping as much as possible.

14. Don’t Tell Everyone About Your Preps
You don’t want to advertise what you have. If and when disaster strikes, you will have a line of people at your door, and you won’t be able to help them all. So keep your plans within the family and a select group of trusted individuals.

15. Try To Stay In Shape
Many preppers are going to find themselves completely exhausted after just one day of disaster. Hiking from place to place, carrying supplies back and forth, repairing damaged roofs or windows, etc. All if it will wear you out fast if you’re not in shape. It’s easier to get in shape than you think. A half hour of power walking a day will make a huge difference.

16. Don’t Assume Your Stockpile Of Guns And Ammo Will Keep You Safe
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have guns for self-defense, but you want to do your best to avoid confrontation. Learn how to be stealthy and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Your guns cannot protect you from being shot by others who have guns.

17. Have A Plan For Getting Home
Many people forget that disasters don’t wait for you to get home. They can also happen when you’re at work, school, or elsewhere. Do you have a plan for getting home, or a place to meet with the rest of your family?

18. Don’t Make Assumptions About What Will Happen
Some people just assume they’ll have to bug out, while others assume they’ll be able to bug in. But you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to have a plan A and a plan B. Every prepper needs a backup plan to their backup plan.

19. Test Everything Yourself
Don’t assume your tools will work properly when you need them to. You have to try them out. Also, don’t just store several of the same tool because if that tool ends up not working for you, you might need a different type of tool. As Graywolf Survival says, “Carry redundant capability, not redundant gear.”

20. Take Baby Steps
Some DIY projects are so big and complicated and require so much education beforehand that you really have to be patient. If you try to get it all done in just a few days, you’re going to get frustrated and burned out. Remember, lots of baby steps will quickly add up to a very long way.

21. The End Of The World Isn’t Tomorrow
Yes, technically it could be, but odds are it isn’t. And if you always think it is, then you’re liable to panic and make bad decisions. Be prepared, but enjoy all that life has to offer. Don’t become so focused on prepping for doomsday that you forget to enjoy what you have today. And keep in mind that doomsday might never happen.



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