10 Emergency Survival Skills You Must Definitely Learn

Human civilization defines itself by evolution, and that evolution has, in a way, taken us away from our primitive survival skills. One of the wonders of technology is that it has made us more dependent on machines than on our own instincts. The novelty of basic instincts is absolutely lost in the 21st century. 

Emergency survival skills are, however, quite pertinent in times of crisis. Therefore, it is a must-learn skill that we should acquire at the earliest. In the dark phase of your life, these simple hacks and guidelines are that which saves our lives. Let’s look at some necessary steps that will keep us prepared for emergency situations.

1. In Search of Water

Clean water is a luxury that we take for granted, and in times of crisis, we actually understand the value of it. You can survive without food for days, and you can sustain yourself without a proper shelter easily, but try going without water for a few days. It is practically impossible to exist without quenching our thirst. 

Here are a few tips on how to find drinkable water:

  • Natural Source of Water: If you happen to live around a mountain region or a river bed, then it wouldn’t be too hard. Follow the path downhill to collect the water.
  • Accumulated water: Never drink from a stagnant vessel of water. May it be pool water or holes. It is infested with all sorts of harmful bacteria.
  • Boiled: No matter how clean it looks, the safest way to consume it is by boiling it. Remember, the aim is to survive.

2. Fire It Up

Knowing how to build a fire can not only keep you warm but also will fend off predatory animals in the wilderness. There are a few simple ways in which we can build up a fire with a few ingredients. It is important that you find the driest ingredients possible. Pick up the twigs, collect the dry grasses and the ferns. Even plastic can be a great substitute. 

Start a small fire as opposed to a big fire as it is less dangerous. Also, keep all alternatives for lighting a fire, lighters, matchsticks, flare stacks, etc. Fire is the prime defender against hypothermia. 

3. Possible Shelter 

During a disaster, our familiar places of comfort might not be the safest option out there. To look for alternative shelter options, the first thing that we should keep in mind is to look for strong, sturdy, and elevated structures. 

Get your hands on some raw materials to build a makeshift place. For instance, if you want to build a lean-to structure, all you need are a few frames and some plastic wraps or trash bags. Build a fire ahead of it to keep your temporary safe.

4. Food Scrouging

As a disaster strikes, one of the first things that go scarce is food, and with our rusty hunting abilities, it becomes even more difficult in crisis scenarios. We can survive without food for a maximum of 21 days, and after that, the body will start degenerating.

Some of the plants and grass can be eaten raw, and though mushrooms may look edible, most are toxic to the human body. One of the suggested ways to go about testing the edible rate of the plant is the skin test. Take a piece of the grass or leaf and rub it on the inside of your wrist or elbows; if it burns or itches, it is poisonous.

5. First-Aid Skills

When problems arrive, they come in a group, and injury is a common occurrence. With all the clinics out of reach, you should enable yourself to mend minor injuries. Learn how to close a wound and disinfect it. Wildfires or flash flood demands breathing skills to survive most of all.

Bandaging isn’t comfortable; practice how to tie a bandage—stock up on basic medical necessities, from ointments and antiseptics to medicines and pads. Familiarize yourself with the Heimlich Maneuver. Furthermore, it is important to learn skills that may apply to many health problems.

6. The Art of Location and Navigation

There are many ways you can navigate your way out of danger, but the essential thing is to keep a clear stance…

  • Technology: The quickest way to reach safety is taking the help of GPS or through the latest news. You can substitute the GPS with many offline compass apps too.
  • Nature: Trees and moss are nature’s guide to the best possible environment of sustenance. The thicker and greener the foliage is, the more chance there is that a water body is nearby.
  • Stars: Take the mariners’ route to find your way home. Get acquainted with the prominent constellations like the Big Dipper to find the North Star.

7. Clothes

Prepare a bag with clothes of wool and cotton and keep it in a place that’s easily accessible. Wool is a potent insulator, and it also cushions against shock. Pack a jacket of the parachute fabric. This not only keeps the body warm but will also act as a barrier against water.

While packing a garment, there are two things you should keep in mind—1) That it is able to protect you, and 2) It can sustain wear and tear. 

8. Knife and Other Tools

Sharpen your knife and pack it in a plastic bag, for it is going to be your second-best defense barrier in place. From marking the trees to fend off wild animals, a knife is a miracle tool. Swiss Knives often go on sales, get a hold of one of these, and remain a step ahead. 

Keep some foldable spoons and sticks in your sack. They will come in handy when you’re foraging for food. Scissors also help to ward off small animals. These tools are mostly a part of the multi-utility toolbox

9. Knots to the Basic Survival Kits

An integral part of Scouts training, knots are the supporting actor to your survival, and rightly so. A perfectly tied knot ensures the sturdiness of your shelter and traps the wild animals and fishes that may satiate your hunger. Some of the emergency knots that may help you are square, bowline, and clove-hitch. Don’t get yourself in a knot in a disaster!

10. Right Attitude to the Rescue

You can know all the tricks and tips but the pillar of executing them is your attitude. Do not let the circumstances get over your mind. A calm and steady mind will show you all the safe routes. Saying that it is quite natural to panic but train your mind not to freeze in shock. 

A steady mind can not only save your life but many around you too. The survival mindset is free of ego and that is what will keep you alive, the zeal to go beyond for one more day and one more hope. 

Summing It Up

After all the preparation, the peace of mind that we are a step closer to safety if tragedy strikes is a bonus that warms our good days too. 

In a space of reassurance, even the worst passes without much damage. These emergency survival skills are only effective if we are mentally prepared. Pack ahead and know that your good decision making will save you.

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

Email Author

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.