When it comes to living a self-reliant lifestyle, learning basic survival skills and survival techniques rank high in importance. Our society today is so used to doing things the easy way, that I often wonder how many people are actually prepared enough to thrive in a survival situation.

Most people rely on electricity for cooking, the local city or town for clean water, GPS for directions, and grocery stores for food. But what if the grid went down, water wasn’t available, or one found themself lost in the wilderness? What then?

Life is not guaranteed, you never know what could happen. It is better to be prepared and know how to survive an emergency situation or a natural disaster just in case.

If you are taking the Road to Reliance yourself or alongside your family, there are certain survival skills you should know. In this post, you will learn 9 skills so you can be better prepared for what could be a desperate situation.

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Important Survival Skills to Learn First

The chances of survival are much higher when you have the knowledge to adapt to a situation and take charge. This may mean administering basic first aid, splinting a broken bone, making a temporary shelter to protect yourself from cold weather, or building a signal fire.

Regardless of the situation, there are many survival skills to be learned. Let’s look at some of the most important survival skills that you should learn first.

Identify Edible Plants

You are going to get hungry. Edible wild plants are everywhere. You may not know how to hunt or trap. Maybe you are hurt and can’t trudge any further.

The best way to find nourishment for your body may be right where you are. By learning to identify the edible plants where you live, you have added an important food source to your diet.

From the bark of some trees to the mushrooms growing on the ground, there are many sources of food usually with 50 yards of where you may be. Learn foraging by checking this Beginners Foraging post from Homegrown Self-Reliance or at a local agriculture center in your town.

Take an internet class, buy a wild edibles book with very explicit pictures and information and learn all you can.

Foraged plants in baskets

Learn to Identify Animal Tracks

Small game and wild animals can also provide food in an outdoor survival situation. If you can identify the tracks of the most common wild game in your area, it may mean the difference between life or death. Following the tracks may lead you right to your next dinner.

Animal tracks

Learn to Hunt, Trap, and Fish

Following the tracks of animals may not be useful to you if you don’t know how to kill, clean, and prepare the meal. Learn how to hunt and trap and how to prepare your catch for consumption. Of course, this means learning to fire a gun, use a bow and arrow, or a crossbow.

If you are near a clean body of water, fishing is an easy sport to learn and an excellent way to provide food too. Make sure to learn how to clean and filet the fish you catch. You can also learn how to throw a cast net if you have access to one.

Assembling wild animal traps are important survival skills.

Build a Survival Shelter

A shelter is mandatory for survival. And building a survival shelter is one of the most important survival skills you can learn. It can protect you from the elements and wild animals.

Learn how to build a simple shelter both on the ground and up in the trees. Many shelters can be built from the surrounding trees and plants.

Others can be constructed from tarps and cloth. While you are at it learn how to weatherproof your shelter roof with pine sap!

Shelter built from pine limbs

Learn Water Purification

The human body can’t survive without water, but being outdoors means rivers, streams, and ponds that may be crawling with bacteria. Learn how to make the water you find into drinkable water.

There are a few methods on the internet that claim easy ways to make water drinkable. However, some of those methods work in a quick emergency but should not be used continuously or exclusively so do your research!

Be sure to stock up on these ION Water Treatment Drops to extend the shelf life of your water. Also be sure you have the appropriate containers for water storage that are safe. These water storage containers are trusted by many survivalists and preppers. We use them here on our homestead.

Man drinking water from a leaf after rain, one of the survival skills that could save his life.

Start a Fire

A good fire may be needed for cooking or even a heat source. Can you start one without a newspaper and a lighter?

Rubbing two sticks together does work but it takes skill and patience. Instead, find alternatives to starting a fire.

Starting a fire outside

Learn to Treat Emergencies Without a First Aid Kit

You never know when you or someone with you may get hurt. Can you splint a broken bone with a stick and some torn fabric? Of course you should always have a first aid kit on hand, but sometimes you may not have one within reach.

Learn what plants act like a pain reliever or an antibiotic and which plants can clot bleeding or reduce swelling. Learn how to make a make-shift gurney to transport someone that can’t walk.

These are some of the most important survival basics you should learn first. With the knowledge of these skills under your belt, your chances of surviving a bad situation will increase.

But you can’t stop there. Let’s take a look at other survival skills you may want to learn to help you even further.

Performing CPR

Next Survival Skills To Learn

These survival skills are not less important than the above-mentioned skills. Instead, they are the survival skills that can make your chances of survival increasingly higher.

Learn to Tie Knots

Learning to tie essential knots is an important skill to learn. Here are some common knots and their uses.

Square Knot – ties a bundle of wood so it can be carried easier

Bowline knot – used to tie two lines together

Figure 8 Knot – one of the strongest knots, used for rock climbing

Two Half Hitches Knot – used to tie almost anything (tent poles)

Taut Line Hitch Knot – used when you need an adjustable loop

Rolling Hitch Knot – used when adding a piece of rope to an existing rope

Timber Hitch – used to tie a rope to a log for pulling

Blood Knot – used by fishermen to tie lines together or add a weight

Barrel Hitch – used to tie around a bucket for hauling.


Reading a Compass and a Map

It is amazing that a compass used to be the predominant form of finding direction. Now we rely so much on GPS that a compass seems like a thing of the past.

However, with a compass and a map, you could find your way practically anywhere.

Using a map and a compass are important survival skills.

Where to Learn These Survival Skills

With a little research on your part, finding the resources to learn many of the survival skills in this post should be easy. You can acquire some basic knowledge by simply searching YouTube for “survival skills”.

You could also check if your local town offers a survival class. Some agricultural centers offer classes on foraging and first aid skills. Look up “survival instructors near me” on Google.

There are many survival skills to be learned, however, these 9 survival skills could make the difference between life and death.

It might be a good idea to inquire at your local library to see what survival skill resources they may have. Order a book on Amazon or check out your local bookstores.

It doesn’t matter how you go about it, learn the necessary survival skills today so you can be well on your way down the Road to Reliance.

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