There is something remarkable about the American Pioneer. These are the folks who settled and developed new territories, without previous knowledge of an area. They not only re-learned essential survival skills but also basic survival skills everyone must know.
American Pioneer | 10 Must-Have Skills
Growing your own fruits and veggies isn’t always a piece of cake. You must know the harvest season of each plant, how to read soil conditions, understand how to properly care for your plants and how to keep away unwanted pests. Check out The Ins and Outs of Up and Down Gardening for essential gardening tips.
2. Seed Saving
Seed saving is a bit of a lost art but such a beautiful concept. By practicing seed savers, you’re able to see the evolution of a plant over the years and find out what factors affect the longevity of the seeds.
More importantly, after a harvest, seed saving will help you plant again the following year. Should there be a drought or devastating disaster, this skill may hold the key to continuing your food supply.
See our full article about The Art of Seed Saving.
3. Fire Building
Do you know how to kindle? Which materials to collect? How to maintain a fire in the rain? Basic fire skills are essential to your overall survival strategy. Knowing how to create fire especially when you’re stuck at extremely cold places is a must. You’ll realize why survival is important once you execute this properly. Check out A Foolproof Fire Starting Technique for the basics on how to build a fire.
4. Fire Techniques
A fire isn’t only good for generating heat but is a great way to cook food, boil water, and purify water. Starting a fire is one of the most important survival skills. Learn to improvise using whatever is in your surroundings.
5. Home Remedies
Understanding what plants are safe and knowing their medicinal benefits can be the difference between life and death. Plants have amazing healing powers and can treat common ailments such as a cough, fever, headache, lack of sleep, bites, and sores…the list goes on! Check out our article on Mother Nature’s Best Home Remedies.
6. Metal Working
Believe it or not, there are blacksmiths still practicing this ancient skill in many parts of the world. This skill is useful in making tools, weapons, horseshoes or just simple eating utensils. If SHTF, everyone will be knocking on your door bartering for these handcrafted items.
It requires a good deal of practice and some special equipment, but it’s a skill worth learning. The learning curve is not that steep if you already know how to weld or do other metal works.
7. How to Build a Shelter
Building a permanent homestead will take quite a bit of time and work, but is crucial to making everything on this list a plausible lifestyle, especially for families. Although building a cabin is ideal, we understand that, sometimes, one is stuck in the wilderness in an emergency survival situation. Check out Emergency Shelter DIY for temporary shelter needs.
That’s right, sewing. Can you imagine making everything you own – clothes, hats, bedding, blankets – from scratch? The pioneers did! Knowing how to patch, mend tears, alter hems, or create something from scratch can help you stay warm in the winter and beat the summer sun.
This essential wilderness survival skill is a must-have especially if you’re limited on food supply and is surrounded by wild animals. It sounds silly, but hunting requires becoming one with the wilderness. Learning how to hit something accurately is just as important as knowing how to stay quiet and listen to what’s around you, as well as tracking wildlife. How else are you going to eat?
Foraging is a great skill to have in addition to hunting. We need those essential vitamins and minerals! However, like most things, it requires attention to detail. Have you heard the saying, “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead?” Do not mistake all plants to be edible.
Watch this video from Watchmojo to learn other essential survival skills:
All of these skill sets are essential for any survival situation, especially if there’s a disruption in society. These skills can also be used to trade with others to retrieve resources you may not otherwise have access to. These activities won’t only make good survival skills training but will also equip you with the proper knowledge on disaster management.
What are your favorite skills listed above? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.