Prepping skills are the essential skills you should be learning so that you are prepared for emergencies and/or survival situations. We all fall on hard times and usually, basic skills get us through those times. But would you be prepared in a worst-case scenario?

Do you grow your own food so that you don’t have to depend on a grocery store to feed your family? Is there enough food stored to feed your family members for 3 months, 6 months, or a year if needed? Can you provide clean water for your family?

Do you have a bug-out bag ready if a disaster strikes your area? Do you have knowledge of basic first aid? For the average person, many of these questions are answered with a definite “no”.

In this post, I will share the preparedness skills and survival skills you should learn so that when an emergency situation or a survival situation occurs, you have a better chance of survival.

Prepping Skills

preserved food pantry shelf

What is Prepping?

Prepping means being prepared or ready for a situation that is basically out of the norm. This may be a weather event or a natural disaster such as a hurricane, an earthquake, or a snowstorm. 

It could be for other events such as war, social upheaval, or a pandemic. Some people choose to prepare for the “end of the world” situation.

Anytime any of these types of events threaten or actually take place, a lot of people suffer because of contaminated water, a lack of or spoilage of food, delayed emergency services, or dangerous conditions. Therefore, it is a good idea to think ahead and start preparing for these tough times.

The easiest way to begin prepping is to learn the prepping basics for survival. These are the prepping skills that can mean the difference between living and dying.

Please know that while some people practice prepping as a hobby or lifestyle choice, others do so out of genuine concern for potential emergencies, such as natural disasters, economic crises, or political instability.

There are many different levels of preparing and many different ways to set your focus when it comes to prepping. These may include basic emergency readiness to more extreme, self-sufficient and off-the-grid lifestyles. Most people that practice the art of prepping do so to be better prepared for a large variety of situations.

Be prepared sign

What are the Basic Prepping Skills?

The three basic needs of humans are food, water, and shelter. We need those to stay alive and healthy in every day life. Therefore, a great place to start would be learning the basic prepping skills that will provide food, water, and a safe shelter for your entire family.  

After these simple skills are mastered, you should start learning more advanced skills. 

First signs of vegetables in the garden
Spring starter garden

Providing Food For Your Family

Grow a Garden

You can eliminate the worry of not having a grocery store available if you grow your own vegetables, herbs, fruit, and berries on your own property. Don’t worry about not having a large plot of land to start a garden on either. You can grow some vegetables and herbs indoors.

Many foods can be grown indoors in a sunny window, in pots on a porch or balcony, or in small areas in the yard. Learn square-foot gardening, container gardening, or raised bed gardening so you can grow more in a smaller area. Just make sure to plant what your family eats and be sure to learn how to save your heirloom seeds year after year.

Read Self-Reliant Gardening: An Essential Guide to learn more about gardening skills. 

Preserving Your Food

Once you have your edibles growing, learn how to harvest them, save some seeds, and learn to preserve all that food. I don’t mean in the fridge or freezer either.

In the event of a grid failure, that fridge and freezer will not last long and that means wasted food. This means you must find and learn different methods in order for your food to have a longer shelf life.

Obviously, in an emergency or a food shortage there won’t be any running to the grocery stores either. It’s up to you to provide your food.

Learn to build and use a root cellar. Another option is freeze-dried food. You can purchase a freeze dryer, which can be a big investment. However, companies like Nutrient Survival provide just about everything you would need creating a more long term food storage for your family.

Preserving your harvest may include the following methods:

  • Water-bath canning: used for preserving, fruit juices, jams, jellies and other fruit spreads, salsas, most tomatoes, pickles, relishes, chutneys, sauces, vinegars, and condiments 
  • Pressure Canning: used to preserve “low acid” vegetables and foods
  • Dehydrating: used to remove the moisture from foods, allowing them to be stored longer, then reconstituted when needed. (Can also use a solar oven)
  • Smoking: process of confining meat, pork, chicken or fish in a smokehouse and allowed to cure over a longer period of time
  • Fermenting: the process of creating food or changing the properties of food using microbes
  • Dry Canning: Process of placing already dried foods such as beans into a mason jar and vacuum sealing the jar to preserve them longer.
  • Dehydrating: Used to remove the moisture from foods for longer term storage.

All of the various methods above will allow your food supply to have a long shelf life, which is exactly what you want since some emergencies could last a rather long time. 

Fresh food may not be an option as time goes on, so make sure to keep in mind the nutrition of young children as well as the elderly. Preserving your harvest provides a level of food security for both you and your family.

preserved oranges
Preserved oranges

Learn How to Forage for Food and Medicine

When your food supply runs low you may have to look for edible wild plants to feast on. Mushrooms, edible weeds, and even the bark of some trees can be a lifesaver when your food runs low. 

Learn about edible plants and most definitely which ones to watch out for. The best way to learn is to take a local class on foraging so you are learning from someone who knows the ins and outs of foraging in your local area.

Another important skill to learn is to identify and use wild plants for herbal medicine and remedies to be added to your medical supplies. Natural remedies can be learned from the internet and YouTube to a good book from your local library. Please double and triple check your information to make sure it is legitimate and tested information. You can check out Healing Harvest Homestead. Why not buy a few books so you have a reference also? 

Any of the products you create can be added to your first aid kit or even a bug out bag for emergencies.

Foraged mushrooms and ferns
Foraged mushrooms and fern tops

Learn to Start a Fire for Cooking and Providing Heat

Lighting fires is the most basic prepper skill. Once you learn how to start a good fire you can provide heat, and cook. Rubbing two sticks together is hard work and most survival experts recommend learning easier methods. 

Did you know that you can start a fire with Doritos? How about vaseline on a cotton ball. Dryer lint stuffed inside a toilet paper tube also makes an excellent fire starter.

Check out DIY Fire Starters for more information.

You may want to do some research for tools to start a fire with. Matches run out eventually so there will have to be other options available at some point. Check Amazon and prepper sites for tools to start a fire.

Once you have a fire started you have created not only a heat source to keep you and your family warm, but you have also created a way to cook food. Be sure to learn how to cook and care for a cast iron pan. 

Small game, fish, and other hunted meats can be cooked outside over an open fire or on a hot rock.

Cooking over rocks ona fire
Using hot rocks to retain the heat of a fire

Learn to Find a Water Source and Purify It for Drinking

We cannot live more than a few days without water. Aside from rainwater collecting, you may find yourself in search of water sources. Although you may have water bottles on hand already, they could run out. And in a shortage bottled water may not be available.

The only water available and nearby might be a lake or a river, maybe a pond, even a swimming pool. Unfortunately, chances are the water is not drinkable. 

You must have a contingency plan. Learning the skill of water purification is a good skill to start with. With some charcoal from the fire, you had the night before, some small rocks, and some sand, you can at least filter the water. At least buy yourself a water filter system before it is needed.

Purifying water maybe the most important prepping skill. This is especially true if you live in an urban environment when pollution in the water is much higher.

In the post 10 Ways to Purify Water by Survival Skills, you can learn how to do so yourself with a mix of tools and natural resources. be sure to know how much water you will need to cover everyone in your family also.

Rain barrel
A rain barrel is good for watering but it is not drinkable

Learn to Protect Yourself and Your Property

The last of the Prepping Skills we will mention today is protection skills. You never know what you may have to do to protect yourself or your family in an emergency. Situational awareness is very important here.

It could be an aggressive animal in the wild, a rabid animal, or a person trying to break into your home. Whatever the cause protection is important. 

Do you own a firearm or another weapon? Do you know to use it correctly and accurately? Can you reload it? How about the arrows of the crossbow or the bullets of that firearm? Can you make your own ammunition and weapons?

Learn how to use the weapons you already have and learn how to make a weapon if the need arises. Take a class in knife making. Maybe consider blacksmithing, it’s almost a lost art. Learn how to use pepper spray and or a panic whistle.

Can you set a trap on your property? Trapping live animals may be an easy way to feed your family when food storage runs low.

And lastly, be sure you and your family have planned escape routes and a central meeting place afterward. This can come in handy, even if just for a fire in the home. 

Learn the basic prepping skills you will need to survive in the event of an emergency and gain a great start towards your self-reliant journey.

After the Basic Prepping Skills are Learned…

The most important thing you can do for your family is to learn the necessary prepping skills to survive most emergency situations. These are crucial survival skills you should lear,

Once the basic knowledge of emergency preparedness is learned, start learning different skills that will increase your expertise in an emergency. You don’t need to learn the hard way by not being prepared.

Other prepping skills not mentioned here that you may want to consider are:

  • Navigational skills: learn to read a topographic map, learn bushcraft skills
  • Scouting Skills: learn to use fishing line and a hook to fish without a fishing pole, how to tie knots, make items with just duct tape
  • Self-Defense: learn self defense such as martial arts
  • Use of a Ham radio
  • Using paracord
  • Morse Code
  • Medical Skills: this includes giving medical care to someone, first aid skills beyond the simple first aid, treating heat stroke and other serious injuries.

What skills have you learned that could help you be prepared for an emergency or a natural disaster? Drop me a message in the comments below and share your talents and skills with me.

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