6 Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Survival Skills

The most important wilderness survival skills everyone should know. It doesn’t get more essential than this. These 6 survival skills tackle your need for fire, shelter, water, signalling, navigation, and having a good attitude.

One Match Fire

Start a one match fire in difficult weather conditions and using only natural tinder, kindling, and fuel. Many people, especially adults will think that they own this skill. But the majority of people would fail at this task. No, you can’t cheat and use stormproof matches. The secret is preparation, having all the materials ready next to you, and progressing gradually from small tinder to kindling and fuel.

The reason why this survival skill is so important is that in a survival situation, one might experience difficult weather conditions, on top of added challenges like fatigue, injury, and darkness. If you are able to start and build a fire with just one match, then you are better prepared to start a fire in a survival situation.

If you want to learn a primitive technique for starting a fire by friction I suggest you learn how to make a bow drill fire, but this is definitely not a basic survival skill.

Lean-To Shelter with No Tools

survival skills lean-to

Building a lean-to using only natural materials (no cordage, wire, or cutting tools). Building a lean-to is a fun and easy to learn survival skill. The lean-to is a great shelter because it is relatively easy to build, it provides some shelter from rain and snow, and works in conjunction with a fire. It is relatively safe and requires no tools to make. For very cold nights having a fire as part of your shelter is a must, unless you are wearing super warm clothes, or have a great sleeping bag.

Sometimes wilderness survival students don’t grasp right away that a shelter won’t warm you up. You are warming up the shelter. Unless you build an extremely well done debris shelter that fits you snuggly like a sleeping bag, it won’t warm you up. It will provide some protection from precipitation and wind, but you are the sole source of heat. That’s why fire is your best friend. If you learn only one type of survival shelter, the lean-to should be it.

Obtaining Water

One of the most important survival skills is the ability to obtain water in your own region. 

Hot climates: You should know how to make a transpiration bag.

As well as how to find water in a dry river bed

Coastal areas: A solar still works better when used to distill salt water.

Cold climates: Melting snow using a container and clothes or a snow marshmallow.

Signal Fire

When you don’t have signalling tools like a signal mirror or plb, the signal fire is your best bet.


Direction Finding with a Shadow Stick

The shadow stick is a very simple way of finding the cardinal points when you have no compass. Although it’s not completely accurate.

Box Breathing

I believe every human being should know and use this technique. Your attitude or mindset is your greatest survival asset and survival skill. Box breathing is a great way of maintaining a positive attitude. It is very important to calm yourself in a survival situation to be able to think clearly.

Survival Skills Wrap Up

 These are the basic survival skills that every wilderness survival course should teach, and that anyone venturing outdoors should know.

6 Survival Skills Everyone Should Know
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