Being prepared for the unexpected is something that most of us tend to keep at the back of our minds. However, even if we have a go bag or are already stockpiling supplies, there are certain survival skills that have to be learned. They’re not just things that you can pick up off of a store shelf the next time you’re in town.
To truly be a survivalist, here are 7 skills that you need to know by heart:
1. How to Build a Fire
Whether it’s to stay warm, cook food, or to serve as light to your camp, building a fire is one of the most essential skills that every survivalist man or woman needs to be capable of. Everything from the angulation that you stack the wood in to the type of kindling that you use can have a significant impact on how quickly you’re able to get things burning.
2. Make a Lantern
Flashlights are great, but when batteries run out, you still need a way to have long-lasting light for that late meal or trek out into the woods. An oil lantern made from old glass bottles is a great way to repurpose materials, prevent waste, and light up your home site when there’s no electricity available.
3. Tie a Knot
Knot tying: It’s something that most every boy scout learns at a ripe young age. Yet, how many of us have remembered the various types of knots that we learned, or could reproduce them at the drop of a hat for the appropriate situation? From a one-handed bowline to a taut-line hitch or double fisherman’s knot, good knot-tying skills can keep things from getting too tangled up later on down the road.
4. Find Clean Water to Drink
Nobody can live for long without clean water. Water collection is a vital part of prepping for the unexpected. Once you’re able to find a reliable water source, you need to know how to purify it so that it’s safe for drinking. Read here for 10 different ways to purify water: http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/2015/01/survival-skills-10-ways-purify-water and read here for Everything You Need to Know About Finding and Purifying Water in the Wilderness http://deerhuntingfield.com/finding-and-purifying-water-in-the-wilderness/
5. Build a Shelter
Staying out of the elements under a reliable shelter can help you fight off exposure to wet or cold weather. Work with what’s around you to create a shelter that can withstand the winds or other environmental factors coming your way. Sometimes, all you need is a tarp and a few ropes! Get a few ideas here: http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2013/05/survival-shelters-15-best-designs-wilderness-shelters
6. Trap and Prepare (Butcher) Animals for Food
Everyone has to eat, but eating may come down to whether you’re able to efficiently hunt for your next meal. Once you trap, shoot, or catch a live animal, you also need to know how to properly dress it. With the right butchering techniques, you’ll get more meat out of the process. Read here http://www.thenewsurvivalist.com/food_preservation_techniques.html#mbp_toc_20
for more information on field dressing a wild animal.
7. Preserve Food for Later
Canning is one of the most reliable ways to preserve foods that you’ve grown in your garden. Or, you can try alternative methods like pickling, smoking, or fermentation to save your food for another day. Read more on these unconventional techniques here: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/alternative-ways-to-preserve-food/