10 Essential Skills Necessary For Survival
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10 Essential Skills Necessary For Survival

10 Essential Skills Necessary For Survival

Tess Pennington

FED - FEMA | Federal Emergency Management Agency

FED – FEMA | Federal Emergency Management Agency (Photo credit: Inventorchris)

Ready Nutrition

Although it is important to be prepared for disasters by having the right supplies, many preppers overlook the importance of having the right skills. They are not adequately trained to handle the disaster situations in which they find themselves. Having the proper skills and training will provide an individual with a well diversified knowledge base to help them survive during and after a disaster.

Not all Skills Are Created Equal

It is important to emphasize that some skills are more important than others. Therefore, prioritize your basic needs. That is, what keeps you alive: air, water, food, clothing, shelter. If you have these basic needs, then you can live. For an emergency, ensure that you have a way to treat water, have shelf stable food stored, seasonal clothing and shoes stored and an emergency shelter. Once you have these basic needs covered, then you can move on to other areas of expertise.

The following are pertinent skill sets that can help you survive a long-term emergency. Although there are many skills one can learn, these can save a life.

Outdoor Survival Courses

Most preppers and survivalists are planning to “re-connect” with nature.  Learning the necessary outdoor skills will provide a person with fundamental knowledge on how to better survive. The Boy Scouts offer adult classes as well as some community colleges.  Get creative and search around the internet. There are some survival courses offered online (some are free courses) that allow a person can learn from the comfort of their home. There are some survival courses offered online (some are free courses) that allow people to learn from the comfort of their home. There are also wilderness courses offered at a variety of facilities such as local colleges, the YMCA, community park and recreation facilities, etc. Additionally, finding books, and e-books on survival skills is another way to gather information on this topic. Better yet – practice going out into nature and living in rugged conditions to get an idea of the supplies required and how to better maintain your basic needs.


In a survival situation, medical training is going to be a big one. Due to the increased use of saws, axes and knives, there will be more medical emergencies involving deep lacerated cuts. Knowing how to properly clean wounds, stitch wounds, as well as knowing how to treat infected wounds will be extremely important. Additionally, there will be an increase in burns from being in closer contact to fires. Burns can get infected very quickly, and knowing how to decipher the degree of the burn and how to treat it will be a concern amongst survivalists and preppers. Online courses are offered for basic CPR/First Aid, however, those courses will not give a person the fundamental hands-on training they need. Finding a local Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class that is offered for paramedics and first responders to accidents will better equip a person to handle emergency medical situations.

Hunting Skills
As many are planning to hunt wild game for a food source, they will need skills on how to gut the carcass, skin the fur and properly cut the meat. The “hunter-in-training” will also have to have a proficient knowledge on the different types of hunting tools used to prepare animal carcasses (and these tools come in different sizes based on the animal). The National Hunting Association is a portal that can take a person to their local area hunting association in order to get more information for their specific area. Also, this website offers the hunting guides for all of the states within the USA.

Disaster Training

Disaster training is typically offered by FEMA, the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations. A person who is equipped with knowledge on how to plan for a disaster, how to properly prepare for a disaster, and how to mentally handle the after effects of a disaster will be able to better adapt to the situation more quickly compared to those that are not. The American Red Cross offers extensive courses in disaster safety and training as well as basic First Aid/CPR courses. There are also online courses offered through FEMA.

Gardening Skills

In a long term survival situation, seeds will mean the difference between life and death. The only problem is, many have lost the necessary skill of gardening because there is a grocery store on every corner of the streets these days. It’s time to get your hands dirty and get back in touch with nature. Learning necessary gardening skills such as companion plants, crop rotations, beneficial insects, natural ways to replenish soil, and knowledge on proper gardening tools will be beneficial. Another relevant knowledge source is understanding the medicinal value of plants and herbs. It is amazing how many uses there are for plants besides spicing up our cooked entrees. Knowledge of natural medicines is another necessity in a survival situation, especially if a family member has a pre-existing condition.

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