While each and every survivalist and prepper prioritizes different tasks and gear, even more so, they prioritize learning different skills that they think will be helpful in the case of an emergency or survival situation.
Being a survivalist and/or prepper isn’t easy. It’s very hard work, and while it’s very worthy and worthwhile a lifestyle choice, it’s also the kind of thing you’ll never really feel you’ve completely mastered, as there’s always so much more to learn that could help you to become a better prepper and survivalist.
There’s a reason preppers are into so many different types of things, and are anything but one trick ponies. Each and every neighbouring skill that a survivalist learns can help him or her to be able to not only survive, but also to thrive, in difficult situations.
Preppers and survivalists are often interested in topics like:
- First aid
- Outdoor skills
- Renewable energy
…and so much more. These types of topics help them to be better prepared for whatever SHTF or emergency situations may come. Who knows when disaster might strike, and what type of a disaster might take place, so a survivalist does his or her best to prepare for them all.
It’s important to preppers and survivalists to stay as well prepared as they possibly can; though, more often than not, this means keeping skills sharp rather than just having enough food and gear stockpiled to last a lifetime. Why? The answer is obvious to most – you can lose your gear, your food may be stolen, and your house may burn down, but you’ll always have the skills you took the time to learn with you. It’s why adaptability and creativity are high up on the list of what most people consider to be necessary traits of any survivalist: if you can’t roll with the punches, you’re probably not going to make it far.
But it’s a lot easier to be creative and adaptable if you have knowledge within the scope of the many different fields, and not just within a small, narrow field. If you’re well versed in food storage and preparation, that’s great – but it’d be better to also be versed in food acquisition skills like tracking, hunting, fishing, trapping, and foraging in order to make sure you’ve got your meals covered even if you were forced to evacuate your home or lost your stockpile in some other way. This isn’t new information – every survivalist knows this, it’s just much easier said than done to learn as many different related skills as possible to boost up your chances of survival as a prepper.
Beneficial Skills for Survivalists & Preppers to Learn
And so that brings us to the long list of skills that would be beneficial for any prepper or survivalist to know. I’ve chosen to add some structure by grouping the skills into sections instead of just having one mega-list. Hopefully this way it’ll be easier to browse. I’ve also only made note of general classes of skills, and haven’t instead drilled down to specifics. For example, I’ve got “firecraft” on the list rather than, “lighting fires with lighters, with fire steel, with a drill and bow, with a car battery,” etc., and “hunting” although it can of course be broken down to include skills such as “shooting, archery, falconry,” etc.; the reason being, if I broke each section down to subsections and drilled down completely, this list would never – ever – end.
Now remember, not every point on this list is created equal, and of course, some of the items on this list will likely strike you as being much more important than others. Use your intuition as a guide and make note of the skills on this list that you feel are important but that you haven’t yet touched on in your own prepper education. I’m sure no matter how old or young you are, and no matter how long you’ve been a survivalist or prepper, you’ve probably also learned a good number of these as well – so it would be quite easy to cross those off of the list if you’re going to sit down and try to figure out what’s left that you need to work on. Either way, I find it useful to have these kinds of lists around to use as a reference point, and to map out the direction you might want to take with your future endeavors when it comes to learning more that will help you as a prepper or survivalist.
If you see something on the list that you haven’t learned much about yet, but you feel is easy enough for you to pick up, it might be a good idea to start with teaching yourself that skill first. If you see something that’s somewhat difficult to learn, but that you think would be incredibly important and useful to you in an emergency or survival situation, you should likely put that high up on your to-learn list as well. Use my guide on organizing your prepper to-do list if you run into trouble knowing what to do first. It should help clear up your list considerably.
Without further ado…
Bushcraft & Outdoor Skills
- Shelter making
- Wood processing
- Outdoor sanitation & hygiene
- Primitive tool making
- Primitive clothes & shoe making
- Plant, insect, & animal identification
- Signaling (for help if/when needed)
- Locating water
- Collecting water
- Purifying water
Food Acquisition Skills
- Raising livestock
Outdoor Cooking Skills
- Field dressing
- Outdoor food preservation
- Campfire cooking
Health & Fitness Skills
- First aid
- Natural remedies
Personal Security & Self-Defense Skills
- Weapon making
- Tactical defense
- Stealth/grayman skills
Food Preparation & Storage Skills
- Canning & preserving
- Organization & labeling
- Personal finance
- Soap making
- Clothes making
- Sewing & mending
- Washing, cleaning, & sanitation
Handyman & DIY Skills
- Carpentry & woodworking
- Blacksmith skills & tool making
- Mechanic skills
- Radio & communication technology
- Foreign languages
- Strong willpower
- Desire to survive and thrive
- Creativity & adaptability
- Ability to remain calm in an emergency
- Research skills
- Situational awareness
- Strategic thinking
Many of the skills I’ve listed above of course do overlap. Natural remedies and being able to identify plants and animals, for instance, go hand in hand, just as basic campfire cooking skills are likely known by anyone who has experience with household cooking. Other skills – particularly the psychological ones, overlap with nearly every other skill in the sense that it’d be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish tasks in the other skills without first having at least some of the psychological skills listed. They’re very important, though are a little harder to train yourself in mastering.
What other skills are good for survivalists & preppers to learn?
So I’m sure I forgot so many skills, but you know the drill: if you think of something that’s missing, let me know in the comments section and I’ll get to work on updating this article with your suggestions!