What skills do you need to survive in the wilderness?


Learning survival skills in your backyard is a safe and easy way to prepare before you go into the wild. Here are eight basic skills to learn and master, so you are ready to cope with any survival situation.

    A fire can keep you warm, keep predators away and provide heat for cooking. Building a fire can be more difficult than it seems, especially when the weather is wet or cloudy or in a survival situation when you have little or no supplies.

There are several innovative ways to generate fire without equipment, but they require practice and patience. Testing some fire skills in your backyard is a great way to prepare for an emergency.

    The supply of clean drinking water is perhaps the most important skill needed in a survival situation. Unfortunately, natural water sources are not always hygienic and can harbor parasites, viruses and bacteria. You can create drinking water in nature with a few simple techniques that you can easily practice at home.

The easiest way to clean the water in nature is to boil it, but you can end up with sediments or other particles that affect the taste. Filter the water through a t-shirt or build yourself a system filtration with charcoal from your fire, your sand and small rocks, the river inside a PET bottle upside down.

Practice finding or creating dry tinder by carving a feather stick or hunting tinder, a fungus that grows in the bark of conifers. You can also dig in your backyard for quartz to make a flint that can generate a spark.

If you can’t find a water source, you can practice drawing water from the earth by building a solar standstill. A solar always consists of a hole about two feet in diameter one foot deep. Place a container on the floor and cover the hole with a tarpaulin or plastic sheet and seal the edges with dirt or sand. Place a small stone in the middle of the lid, and the moisture condenses on the bottom of the lid and tears into the container.

    It is surprising how many edible wild plants are available in your backyard or in your neighborhood. In a survival situation, plants are a vital source of nutrients that can provide a low-impact energy source.

Identifying edible plants can be difficult, as many poisonous species have properties similar to non-poisonous ones. But there are a few easily identifiable plants that grow creepily throughout the country and are not only rich in nutrients, but also delicious, including nettle, dandelion, lamb quarter and miner salad.

If you are inexperienced in the search for food, it is best to avoid mushrooms and mushrooms, as many species are deadly. You can also improve your identification techniques in your garden, by consulting a local Botanical leader.

    A skill that is often overlooked, knotting can help your chances of survival by helping you build a shelter, place traps and create tools. Learning to tie secure knots takes time and practice, so grab a rope and perfect your knot skills.
    If you find yourself in the desert without a weapon, you have little defense against predators in search of a simple meal. A sling is an underrated tool that is quick and easy to make from the basic materials you will find at home. All you need is a forked stick, a rubber hose, and leather or canvas for the pad.

Once you have built your slingshot, install a few targets around your yard and practice aiming and shooting. Wear eye protection and make sure no one gets into your line of sight when you release your ammo.

    Finding shelter is one of the first tasks you have to do when you get lost in the wilderness, but a safe place to stay away from the elements can be hard to find. Continue to use your children’s building skills and practice building a makeshift shelter in your backyard.

Depending on the terrain, environment and season, there are several possibilities for shelters that you can build. Start with a base camp or a tarp tent and gradually develop your skills until you feel comfortable stowing long branches into a teepee. If you live in an area with heavy winter snow, you can use the cold weather to practice digging a snow cave.

    If you are in the desert, it can be difficult for emergency services to reach you if you are sick or injured. Understanding and being able to provide first aid can save your life or that of someone you love.

Take a friend, partner or family member and practice first aid for a number of threats that are common in survival situations. These include the basic CPR procedure, the control of bleeding, the treatment of burns, the stabilization of limbs and the search for soothing plants for insect bites and abrasions.

    Setting up a trap for catching small game and surviving fish are important skills that allow you to obtain valuable protein sources with little energy expenditure. Traps and fishing techniques vary depending on the prey, so it is important that you place a variety of different traps and employ a number of fishing techniques so that you are ready for any situation.

If you practice placing traps in your backyard, make sure you disassemble them as soon as you’re done to avoid hurting local wildlife or pets in the neighborhood.


Don’t wait until you get stuck in the desert to practice your survival skills. Learning important skills like building a fire and building a shelter is a great weekend project that you can do in the safety of your backyard.

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