13 Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later

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These top survival skills could mean the difference between survival and demise for you and your family.

In this article:

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Shelter
  4. Protection
  5. Communication

Top Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Food

This includes finding, preparing, growing, and storing food. According to the Survival Rule of Threes, a person can survive about three weeks without food. But just because you can, don’t mean you want to, and going that long without food can be seriously detrimental to your health. To survive, you must be able to procure and store your own food. In the list of survival skills, finding food ranks top.

1. Finding Food

Identify areas with thick vegetation, and the food is likely to be found in these areas. With rich flora and fauna comes an abundance of food from wild game to wild edibles, if you know where to look. Your next step then is to know how to hunt wild game and identify wild edibles.

Wild games option depends on location, but rabbits and other small game can be found (land birds, ducks, squirrels, prairie dogs, etc.) in most locales. Look for areas with thick cover and ample food supply nearby such as thickets immediately next to open crops or food plots overrun with broadleaf weeds.

2. Preparing Food

You know what to do next with your catch or foraged goods, but do you know how to do it? Preparing your food so that they become indeed edible is also an essential survival skill. Do you know how to prepare a rabbit?

How to prepare a rabbit:

  • Cut off the lower half of each leg and the head.
  • Peel back the skin at the neck, grab one of the front legs by the muscle and peel off the skin.
  • Starting at the neck or just below the rib cage, cut through the belly as far as you can.
  • Remove the guts, keeping the edible liver and kidneys.
  • Chop the rabbit into pieces for easier cooking.
  • Pan-fry and enjoy.

3. Growing and Farming Food

Growing and Farming Food | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later

Growing and Farming Food | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later
Wild edibles will eventually run out and growing food is the only sustainable means to keep them coming. Here are the crops you can grow without irrigation:

  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon

4. Storing Food

Do you have enough food stored for a year? If no, you’re not alone. Fifty-three percent of surveyed adults don’t have a minimum three-day supply of non-perishable food and water. Survival tips and tricks include ways to make your stored food last longer. You will find some insightful ideas on these food storage tricks.

Water

Water is one of the most important things when it comes to survival. Without water, you will only live for three days. But finding water isn’t enough, you also have to make sure it’s clean, drinkable, and free of contamination. Of the top survival skills, finding water is probably the topmost.

5. Know How to Find Water

Know How to Find Water | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later

Know How to Find Water | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later
There are several ways you can find water. Building a water still, a beach well, and through transpiration are only some of these.

6. Know How to Purify Water

You know water is essential, but you are more likely to find water easily than food. Yet, there’s the question of its drinkability. Water sources can easily be contaminated even if they look clean. Learn how to purify water so you can have water safe for drinking anywhere. You can create a water filter with the illustration in the infographic below.

7. Storing Water

Do you have water stored for a year? If no, you should know in average temperatures, you’ll last around 100 hours without water. Here’s how you can collect and store water in case you run out of your bottled ones.

Shelter

In a survival situation, finding or building shelter must be your first priority. The Survival Rule of Threes says you can only expect to survive three hours without shelter when you’re exposed to the elements. Click here to learn more about building a survival shelter.

8. Identify a Bug Out Location

Do you have a bug out location? If you don’t, but prefer an underground shelter, I say it won’t do. Unless the bunker is state-of-the-art, they can be impractical for these reasons:

  • Proximity: You’re too far away when the time comes
  • Space: A shipping container, for instance, is too small to fit a survival group
  • Longevity: An underground space will likely cave in over time

You can learn from this article when identifying a bug out location: Bug Out Cabin Tips | How To Build The Ultimate Survival Shelter

9. Building a Shelter

Building a Shelter | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later

Building a Shelter | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later
Are you able to build shelters on the go? Learn how to build one of many effective primitive shelters, such as round lodges. A primitive shelter may be quickly built and provides shelter from sun, wind, and rain.

Protection

Learn to defend yourself using weapons or firearms. Find a firearm that works for you or try to learn to use several kinds in case you are left with no choice but to pick any firearm.

10. Know How to Use Firearms

Can you accurately shoot a firearm? If no, learn to defend yourself. Take a “First Shots” class and safety course. The NRA offers firearms training courses in every state. Practice means survival, so find or join a local shooting range.

11. Know How to Keep Firearms

Can you maintain or assemble firearms? If no, you should know: Proper gun maintenance includes inspecting barrels, removing rust, caring for damaged stocks, bore and action cleaning procedures, solvents, and lubricants. The AR-15 can be customized with different accessories meaning it can be effective for self-defense and hunting big or small game. Storing your guns safely is something you should also consider.

Communication

Communication is vital in a survival situation, especially if you get separated from your group. A communication plan should be established beforehand to make sure you know what to do in such a situation.

12. Communicating by Primitive Means

Are you able to communicate by using primitive methods? If no, you should know alternative communication options, including:

  • GoTenna cell phone radio antenna system
  • CB radio
  • Satellite phones
  • GMRS/FRS/URS radios
  • Amateur radio (ham radio)

13. Coexist with Other Survivors

Can you coexist with others in a survival situation? If no, you should know, social relationships literally made our brains bigger, according to the social brain hypothesis. Don’t take on survival alone unless you have no other choice.

For future reference, download or bookmark this infographic.

Infographic | Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later

Being a survivalist is a lifelong learning process. A true survivalist never stops honing and improving his survival skills. Whether you’re just starting out as a survivalist or you’re a seasoned prepper, the importance of these top survival skills will never waver. These are the top survival skills you MUST know to survive!

How long do you think you would survive an SHTF scenario with these top survival skills know-how. Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: Native American Survival | What You Can Learn From These Experts

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 9, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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