Whether you are heading out for a spot of remote fishing, wild camping in the wilderness, or your are prepping for TEOTWAWKI, there are a number of important survival skills everyone should know.
On todays market, there are thousands, if not millions of survival products for sale, but the harsh truth is, most of them only aid in convenience, and non of them will really save your life, if you don’t know how to use what you have, so instead of buying hundreds of survival items, take the time, and learn some survival skills instead.
Surviving in really harsh conditions isn’t as hard as it sounds with the right knowledge, so lets take a look and see what survival skills you really need to get a grasp on.
Building a Shelter
When out in the wilderness, and faced with a survival situation, one of the most important survival skills you can have is shelter building. Having an understanding of the things around you, and how they can be used in a survival situation to construct a survival shelter will be a great advantage.
One of the first things you should do when faced with any survival situation is find shelter, or build one. This will aid in keeping you warm, dry, and help protect you from the elements of nature.
You can use branches, leaves, twigs, moss, basically anything you can find that will be able to shed wind and rain. You don’t want to create a massive shelter, as this will not heat up as much from you body heat, instead, keep it small. Just enough space to fit yourself and any others in is ideal
Stack as much as possible on the sides/roof of the shelter, this will aid in insulating your survival shelter, and help keep you warm. For the last layer, leaves and grass tend to work best, as they will let water run off, and not soak in.
Starting a Fire
Without fire, everything becomes harder, or next to impossible. Creating fire is an essential survival skill everyone should know! Fire can be used to purify water, cook food, dry wet clothes, keep flies and predators at bay, and keep warm.
You should learn to start a fire without a lighter, and learn what tinders are best to use when in the wild. Dry grass, fatwood, pine resin, dry moss, dry leaves, there is an abundance of tinder in the wild, finding it can be the problem sometimes.
You can use a fire steel as an alternative to a lighter, which will work in all conditions, but as a rule of thumb, always know how to create a friction fire, or start a fire with dry grass and a lens.
Water is the most important thing you can have when in a survival situation. Without it, you can live 3 days! Your body needs water to regulate body temperature, and carry out other essential bodily functions. Finding water can be hard, especially if you are in a desert survival situation. To increase your chances of finding a water source, look for valleys, low lying areas and places where water may collect when it rains.
Check out this article on finding water. It could be one of the most important survival skills you learn!
Once you find a source, it’s not time to relax yet. You have to make sure that water is safe to drink. If the water you have found is very high in altitude, then you should be able to drink it from the source, but the majority of times, any water your will find will need to be filtered and purified.
There are a number of products on the market today that will aid in water filtration and purification, such as the LifeStraw, but, this can all be done without fancy gear. A simple stainless steel bottle, and t-shirt can be used to make water totally safe for drinking.
After you have a shelter built, water sourced, and a fire going, you can start to look for food to replace those used calories. Finding edible food may be the hardest survival skill to pick up on, as there are thousands of plants, and only some of them are edible. You can pick up a book which goes into great detail on wild edibles in your area, which is a very wise investment.
You can also make primitive traps for animals and try and get some meat for the fire!
There are any number of plants in the wild that are edible, nettles, some types of berries, chestnuts, some root plants, the list goes on. Educate yourself on these!
Signalling for Help
You don’t want to be stuck in a survival situation forever, do you? You need to find a way to signal for help. Light fires (pine burns very dirty, it’s great for signalling), write the word SOS in rocks in an area visible from the sky, draw arrows in the dirt pointing to your location, do everything you can to leave traces of yourself so if others come searching, they have a better chance of finding you.
Remember, always tell someone where you are going, how long for, and when you will be returning home.
That just about sums up the most important wilderness survival skills everyone should have if they intend on going out into the wild. No matter where you are venturing, or how long you are going for, it is always wise to know these survival skills.
Another important point: carry some survival gear to make life just that little bit easier if you are faced with a survival situation.
Here is the bare minimum anyone should bring with them when heading out into the wilderness.
- Knife (Used for shelter building, fire starting…)
- Stainless steel bottle (Can be used to boil water for purifying)
- Cottonballs (Great for tinder)
- First Aid kit