Do you know the four pillars of survival? The four essentials that we all need at all times in order to survive and live another day?

The 4 Survival Essentials

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Food

This post is one of the most important beginner preppers to read. We cover the four pillars of survival.

The Only 4 Survival Essentials You Need At All Times To Survive

the 4 Survival essentials

There are dozens of different areas and topics we study and practice in the survival and preparedness community. From DIY skills to fishing with our bare hands for survival.

But this post is about just the primary things we all need to live. The most important survival items, skills, and gear we need.

So without further delay, let’s get started.


Fire making is arguably the most important survival skill to learn and develop. Fire is one of our most important resources for survival.

Fire provides us with many things to help us.

  • Warmth
  • Heat for cooking our meals
  • Signaling for help when in survival situations

There are many different ways for us to make fire. Go here for the guide on how to make a fire anywhere, anytime.


Our bodies are made up of mostly water.

According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are made up of about 83% water. Our skin contains 64% water. Our muscles and kidneys are about 79% and even our bones are made up of a large portion of water at 31%.

Water is the most important of the four survival pillars since we can only live for about 3 days without consuming water.

That’s how much our bodies depend on H2O. And we also can’t consume just any water.

Drink the water from the ocean and the opposite of survival will occur.


Shelter protects us from outdoor environments. We need it to keep predators away. To provide a barrier to entry to potential harm for us.


We can survive without food for about 30 days, give or take a few days depending on your body.


These four pillars of survival are absolutely critical for anyone to have at all times. Think of them as pillars.

Take one of them away and the rest will fall and break.

One more time. Survival essentials include:

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Food

Do you think there is a knife skill or technique that is more important to learn? Let us know below.

Up Next: How To Prepare and Survive Any Disaster

Survival Guide: The 4 Survival Essentials You’ll Always Need
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