50 Survival Skills You Should Have...Just For Starters

  1. GPS1504
    In order to survive whatever life throws at you, there is one universal thing that can help: knowledge. What you know how to do and what you have practiced are skills that will contribute to your success or, in the event that you lack knowledge, failure. Knowledge is easy to carry with you because it is weightless, taking up only space in your brain. It is also unbreakable and does not expire, so the more you have, the better off you will be.



    In life, and in survival, there are basic things everyone should know and skills everyone should have. It is so easy to take for granted even the most basic skills, ignoring what you might not think applies to you. One of the most important yet minor things you could learn to do is drive a stick shift. Even if your daily driver or BOV are automatics, that does not mean you will never need to know how to drive a stick. What if you ventured off somewhere with a friend in that person's vehicle and they fell ill, leaving you with the option of staying stranded or driving a standard transmission? Do yourself a favor and learn to drive a stick. Every standard transmission is a little different and just because you learned in a Chevy Cobalt does not make you good across the board; driving an old truck with granny gears and a column shift is a whole different story, one in which you need to be well read.

    (This is going to take work to drive, so you better work at learning to drive something like it! It isn't a column shift but probably has a nice set of granny gears!)

    Here are 50 other survival skills you should learn about and master:
    1. Ride a motorcycle
    2. Find & purify water
    3. Identify animals by tracks and/or feces
    4. Find tinder for fire making
    5. Sharpen a knife in the absence of a common sharpening tool
    6. Shoot a firearm accurately, including handguns and rifles or shotguns
    7. Swim
    8. Drive a boat
    9. Complete basic repairs to equipment, vehicles, and shelters
    10. Build a raft and right it should it overturn
    11. Make/repair clothing
    12. Know how to use less-lethal weapons (pepper spray, baton, etc.)
    13. Rappel down a mountain or sheer rock face
    14. Shake someone who is following you
    15. Open a can in the absence of a can opener
    16. Plant and sustain a garden
    17. Start a fire without a lighter or matches
    18. Store and rotate food properly
    19. Use a ham radio
    20. Use the stars as navigation
    21. Tell time by the sun's placement in the sky
    22. Camouflage yourself
    23. Build items out of wood
    24. Dig a latrine
    25. Safely use power tools
    26. Patch a flat tire
    27. Administer first aid to yourself and others
    28. Create makeshift candles or light sources
    29. Recognize herbs and use herbs to treat illness
    30. Treat and survive hypothermia
    31. Defend yourself without having to rely on a weapon
    32. Forage for food that is safe and edible
    33. Construct and apply a splint
    34. Prepare food over an open flame
    35. Reload ammunition
    36. Know how to tie an array of knots
    37. Can food
    38. Recognize venomous snakes
    39. Build and use animal traps
    40. Create a system for rainwater collection
    41. Use an axe to cut down a tree or chop wood
    42. Follow a trail/track an animal or person
    43. Build a bow and arrow and use it effectively
    44. Prevent, treat, and survive heat injuries
    45. Cure and smoke meat
    46. Identify surveillance systems that may be observing you
    47. Dehydrate food
    48. Know as many uses for paracord as possible
    49. Be able to hunt and fish with improvised tools and techniques
    50. Know how what hand tools are for and how to use them.
    By no means is this an all-inclusive list, but it is definitely a place to start. What would you add to this list, or what would you take away? What do you practice in your own time to enhance your survive skill set? Share your thoughts and experiences and we can learn from one another to better our abilities as a whole.


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