The majority of results in just about anything comes from fundamentals. The basics.
Usually the boring stuff. But even though they may seem too basic, it’s crucial to master them.
21 Basic Survival Skills Everyone Should Know
In this survival skills list, we cover the basics that will save you in most situations. If you go to one of the top survival schools, they are going to cover the basic survival skills every man should know first. And for good reason.
1. Knowing What Gear To Pack
The highest quality and most expensive gear could be at your fingertips. But if we don’t know how to use them or which ones to use in what ways, we’re doomed.
Learning what to pack your survival kits and bug-out bags with is a skill in and of itself.
2. How To Remain Calm When SHTF
Panic in a survival situation and all hope is lost.
If you panic, you can’t think, react, or act. And in an emergency, every second is crucial.
3. Be Observant
Developing situational awareness is one of the most valuable skills for survival. Being alert at all times. Being aware of who’s behind you and in front of you.
And if you excel in this category of skills, you could become a gray man walking the streets.
4. Forecasting Weather
Can you tell if there is going to be a major thunderstorm in a few hours? Most people can’t.
They discover it’s going to rain a monsoon only a few minutes before it comes pouring down. And at that point, it doesn’t help you.
5. Locating A Campsite
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Location, location, location.
Safety is a concern so you want to be able to identify a safe and secure place to set up camp for the night.
The wolves have an effective way of finding their location for setting up “camp” to go to sleep for the night.
6. Building A Survival Shelter
Shelter is one of the main pillars of survival that we need to survive. Building a shelter is essential.
If you can find shelter pre-made, great. But in most cases, you won’t be able to.
7. Build A Campfire
We have to stay warm and we need to eat, eventually. We can survive nearly three months without food but eating in meantime me would be a good idea. So we’re going to feast by hunting and cooking with the campfire we make.
Watch this video on how to make a campfire for cooking.
8. Locating and Collecting Clean Water
We can only survive about three days without water. It’s our main priority if we’re stranded without any supplies assuming there isn’t a grizzly right behind you.
Know where to find water sources and be able to collect the water is key to survival.
Watch this video showing you how to find water in the woods.
9. Identifying Edible Plants
Some plants can nourish you and some can kill you. Being able to identify which is which is what I call a deadly survival skill. Not learning this skill could be deadly.
10. Craft DIY Makeshift Tools and Equipment
If we’re going to survive, having access to tools makes us more effective and efficient at performing the tasks we need to do to survive. If you don’t have any gear with you, you’re going to have to make some DIY tools and equipment. We’ll need them for hunting and defense as a cautionary plan.
11. How To Hunt
Being able to hunt will be your primary method of food production, right behind foraging. Learning some basic hunting methods and techniques will be essential for you.
Watch the wooden beardsman show you how to hunt chickens.
12. Cooking With Fire
Now that we hunted wild game and built a campfire, it’s time to prepare some grub. However… This ain’t no easy bake oven cooking.
Cooking with fire you just made with your survival knife or with two stones is one of the best feelings there is. At least for me. It doesn’t get much more primitive than that for a man.
13. Finding Your Way Out Of The Woods
Being able to find your way out and get back to civilization is your only goal if god forbid, you get lost in the woods.
The next two basic wilderness skills will help you with navigating back home.
14. Make A Compass
Stranded in the woods with no navigation or communication supplies means it’s going to be a fun hike home. That is if we can figure out which way to go.
You can make a DIY compass which will tell us the general direction to go in.
Watch this video on how to make a compass from Dual Survival.
15. How To Read Sky Signals
Navigating your way through the woods and eventually back home is the main priority. So we have to learn how to navigate. If we have no supplies, it makes it tough to do so.
So we’ll navigate using the sky.
16. Signaling For Help
One of the worst-case scenarios is being stranded in the wild without the ability to call for help.
Luckily you’re going to know how to get help after reading this. You can signal for help with very little supplies. You can even make a signal from tin foil.
Go to this article at Outdoor Life on how to signal for help.
17. How To Hike
Want to be able to survive in the wild? Become a Mountaineer.
Chances are you’re going to have to hike and climb some dangerous hills sooner or later. Climbing or hiking up a mountain is similar to riding a motorcycle…
…one mistake and it that’s all she wrote.
18. How To Tie Survival Knots
There are dozens of survival knots and hundreds of other related knots that would benefit you to learn. But not all at once…
Learning the few essential knots and how to tie them well is a good start. These knots you’ll use in most situations and get the job done. See the essential survival knots here.
19. Basic First Aid
Knowing basic first aid and medical knowledge will be essential if you get injured. It’s not likely to happen frequently. But that one time it does happen, you’ll want to be able to treat it as quickly and effectively as possible.
20. Learn Survival Swimming Strokes
Swimming in your backyard pool might be a breeze. But what if you fall 40 feet down into a river rushing downstream dragging your body along like a doll?
Knowing how to swim is one thing. But knowing how to swim when you’re life depends on it is another playground altogether. And that’s what I’m referring to. There are specific swimming techniques for survival that will save you in that kind of scenario.
21. Basic Sign Language
Have you ever encountered a tribe that spoke a language that sounded like they were going to sacrifice you with a small goat? Knowing just basic sign language can mean the difference between that scenario and living to hunt another day.
People of all languages can somewhat read what you’re trying to say using sign language. It’s more universal between all of us. A few hand gestures could make you a survival master.
Even though these are the basic survival skills everyone should know, most don’t. It would benefit you the most to develop these skills first before moving on to advanced bushcraft skills.
Do you think there are basic survival skills that we missed in this post? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list. We want to have to best resources for all of us.
Up Next: 25 Basic Wilderness Survival Skills