S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L

The 5 Basic Survival Skills

Written by on July 17, 2007 · 17 Comments

Acquiring survival skills is an ongoing process that will last for your entire life. There is always more to learn and experience, which is part of the fun of being a survivor.

As your survival expertise grows the knowledge and abilities you gain are often useful in other areas. For example survivors prepare ahead of time, and they are experts in the art of ingenuity and inventiveness. Excellent attributes for anyone.

The possible environments and situations you could find yourself in are innumerable. Although each situation has its particular requirements for successfully surviving, in the final analysis it is mastery of five basic survival skills that are essential. Proficiency and preparedness in these 5 basic skills will give you the edge and put you on your way toward becoming a talented survivor.

First Basic Survival Skill – Fire

Knowing how to build a fire is the best survival skill you can have. Fire provides warmth, light, and comfort so you get on with the business of survival. Even if you do not have adequate clothing a good fire can allow you to survive in the coldest of environments.

Fire keeps away the creatures that go bump in the night and so you can have the peace of mind and rest you need. And that is not all. Fire will cook your food and purify your water, both excellent attributes when you want to stay healthy when potential disease causing organisms are lurking about. Fire will dry your clothing and even aid in the making of tools and keeping pesky insects at bay.

But even that is not all. Fire and smoke can be used for signaling very long distances.

Always have at least two, and preferably three, ways of making a fire at you immediate disposal. With waterproof matches, a butane lighter, and amagnesium fire starter or firesteel you should be able to create a fire anytime anywhere no matter how adverse the condtions.

So the lesson here is to learn the art of fire craft. Practice and become an expert. Your ability to create a fire is perhaps the most visible mark of an experienced survivor.

Second Basic Survival Skill – Shelter

Shelter protects your body from the outside elements. This includes heat, cold, rain, snow, the sun, and wind. It also protects you from insects and other creatures that seek to do you harm.

The survival expert has several layers of shelter to think about. The first layer of shelter is the clothing you choose to wear. Your clothing is of vital importance and must be wisely chosen according to the environment you are likely to find yourself in. Be sure to dress in layers in order to maximize your ability to adapt to changing conditions.

The next layer of shelter is the one you may have to build yourself, a lean-to ordebris hut perhaps. This is only limited by your inventiveness and ingenuity. If the situation requires, your shelter can be insulated with whatever is at hand for the purpose. Being prepared, you may have a space blanket or tarp with you, in which case creating a shelter should be relatively easy.

Before you are in need of making a survival shelter, be sure to practice and experiment with a variety of materials and survival scenarios on a regular basis. Should the need arise you will be glad you did.

Third Basic Survival Skill – Signaling

Signaling allows you to make contact with people who can rescue you without having to be in actual physical contact with them. There are a variety of ways to signal for help. These include using fire and smoke, flashlights, bright colored clothing and other markers, reflective mirrorswhistles, and Personal Locator Beacons. Three of anything is considered a signal for help: 3 gunshots, 3 blows on a whistle, three sticks in the shape of a triangle.

In a pinch, your ingenuity in devising a way to signal potential help could very well save your life.

Fourth Basic Survival Skill – Food and Water

Whenever you plan an excursion be sure to always bring extra food and water. Having more on hand than you think you need will give you that extra measure of safety should something happened and you have to stay out longer than anticipated.

It is important that you know how to ration your water and food as well as find more in the environment in which you find yourself. You can go without food for a number of days, but living without water for even a few days will cause your efficiency to drop dramatically.

If at all possible, boil any water you find in order to kill disease organisms that may be in even the cleanest looking water. Filtering or chemically treating wateris second best.

Fifth Basic Survival Skill – First Aid

Always bring along your first aid kit and a space blanket. Most injuries you are likely to encounter in the wilderness are relatively minor scrapes, cuts, bruises, and burns. Larger injuries are going to need better facilities than that which you have at your disposal, which means you will need outside help.

Panic is your number one enemy when you are in any emergency situation, be it injured, lost, or stranded. What you need in these situations is first aid for the mind.

Think STOP:
Sit
Think
Observe
Plan

Your best defense in any emergency is your ability to think and make correct decisions. Building a fire is often the beginning first aid for the mind. Doing so will keep you busy and provide an uplift from the warmth, light and protection fire provides.

Practice Survival Skills

The expert survival skills and know-how you have accumulated through practice and experience will serve you well. When the real thing comes along, you will be prepared and adept at staying alive. Where others have perished, as a survivor you will know you can make it. And that is a good feeling to be sure.