5 Survival Skills You Need to Know Now

There is always a risk your home may be destroyed or become unsafe to remain in for one reason or another. If that happens and you don’t have any neighbors or relatives that you can shelter with, you are going to have to bug out.

Heading out to the wilderness is not a task you should take lightly. You need to have an arsenal of skills before you even attempt such an adventure or you will very likely end up dead. While there are always those miracle stories about people surviving against the odds, they are a big deal because they are so rare. Few people will actually make it.

Some of the skills you need to brush up on now, before the end of the world as we know it, are listed below. They may sound ridiculous or extreme, but these are the basics that mean the difference between life and death.

1. How to start a fire. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need to know how to collect the right wood, how to make a tinder bundle and if you are using anything besides a lighter or matches, you need to have plenty of practice getting the spark.
2. How to find and purify water. This is another life-saving skill. Without water, you will die.
3. How to build a shelter. Study and practice making some quick shelters with what you have in the environment. Learn how to build a pallet that will keep you off the ground.
4. Learn what plants are safe to eat that are found growing in the wild. Foraging may be your best bet while you wait for some animal to come along.
5. Hunting is going to be a skill you will need to have if you plan on keeping up carnivore habits. You need to know how to hunt small and large game as well as how to fish.

These are five very basic skills that can keep you alive while you find a more permanent solution to your situation. Food, water and shelter are what every human needs to survive. It makes sense you would know how to take care of all of these needs, just in case the worst case scenario does happen.

Starting a Fire in the Snow

You are freezing and the thought of a fire isn’t just a good idea, it is an absolute necessity. You need a fire to get warm, dry out wet clothing and purify water. A fire is one of the top priorities in any survival situation. When you think about starting a fire, you probably envision a nice dry spot on the ground, with dry tinder and dry wood. If you are in the wilderness and there is snow all around, those things are going to be very hard to come by. You need to know how to start a fire in the snow.

Clear an area for your fire with a branch. Ideally, you will want to place the fire under some cover if possible. A tree canopy is perfect if you don’t have a tarp or blanket. Pick dry tinder that hasn’t been lying on the ground. Look under trees, close to the trunk where pine needles and grass will have the best chance at being dry.

If you can, put your fire on top of some twigs to help keep it off the wet ground. The twigs will burn eventually, but any extra help you can give your fire is a good thing. If your tinder is nice and dry, you won’t have a problem getting the spark to land and start a flame. If the tinder is wet or damp, it is going to take a lot more effort.

Use small twigs or kindling to coax the new fire along if your wood is damp. Smaller pieces of wood are much easier to ignite. Keep building the fire until it is nice and hot before you add a medium-sized piece of wood. Watch the fire closely. You may need to add more kindling to help dry out the damp wood and allow the fire to take off.

It is possible to get a fire going, even if there is snow on the ground. If you can’t clear a place in the snow, you can build your fire on top of ice or lay down some larger logs to act as a platform. Do yourself a favor and carry dry tinder in your bug out bag to make life a little easier.

Staying Warm without Power

phone-210972_640If you are in a home that doesn’t not have a woodstove or fireplace, you run the risk of not having heat should the power go out. Winter weather is notorious for knocking the power out for hour or even days depending on the damage the weather causes. Ice and snow are heavy and can knock down trees onto powerlines or even the powerlines themselves. You must be prepared to stay warm without your furnace.

1-Invest in propane space heaters. These require no electricity and are safe to use inside the home.

2-Have extra blankets on hand to layer when the heat is off.

3-Keep extra hats and gloves on hand. You will need to wear them indoors to stay warm.

4-Cover the windows with blankets to help block the cold air from coming in through the glass.

5-Cover the windows with plastic. You can use duct tape to seal it over the windows.

6-Close all of the doors to rooms you are not going to use. This will keep the heat focused in one area.winter storm

7-Pick a small room in the house and have the whole family huddle together. This will keep the body heat focused in one area.

8-Create a blanket fort in the living room. A small space will heat quickly.

9-Set up a tent in the living room. It is much the same as the blanket fort, but provides a little more stability and room.

10-Group candles together. The small flames will produce heat and will heat up a small room or your tent.

These ten ways of staying warm will do in a pinch, but if you have the option, invest in a woodstove. It can double as a stove to heat meals and water when you have no power.

Planning Your Bug Out

camping foodIf worse comes to worse and you truly have to bug out, you need a plan. Ideally, you will want to try and stay in your home if possible. This is where you have all of your creature comforts as well as a roof over your head and hopefully food and water storage. But, there is always the possibility you are going to have get out of dodge in a hurry. You don’t want to grab your bug out bag and just run like the wind without having a plan. Preppers know a plan and then a backup plan is always a must.

When you think about your bug out plan, you need to consider a few important elements.

*Do you or will you have little kids with you? Trekking up hill for several miles with little ones isn’t easy. You certainly can’t expect to carry them and your bug out gear and actually get anywhere in a hurry.Children need reassurance after a disaster

*Will the path be passable year round? If you live in an area where there is heavy snowfall, your first option may not be possible if there is several feet of snow on the ground. If you have to cross a bridge, there is a chance it could be destroyed or unsafe to pass by.

*Do you have a destination in mind? Your bug out plan should include a destination. Somewhere that is out of sight, whether that is a second home, a relative’s home or a secluded area in the forest.

*Can you get to the location on foot? You need to have contingency plan should your bug out vehicle be incapacitated. Roads may be completely blocked.

It is important you pay some attention to this planning. It could very well mean your life. Think about your kids, your pets and your own endurance. Consider the weather as well. You must be prepared to bug out any time of the year. Sit down with your family and do your best to come up with a bug out plan that works for everyone.

What Should You be Training Your Dog to Do Today for SHTF?

german-shepherd-525804_640If you have plans to keep your dog after SHTF, that is great. Many preppers are planning on keeping their pets with them for a number of reasons. Your dog is probably like a family member and you wouldn’t leave one of them behind. Dogs can offer safety, security and comfort in a time when things are so chaotic. If you have children, they will appreciate having that extra bit of comfort.

With that said, you need to spend some time training your dog. A barking, disobedient dog that runs off every chance he gets isn’t going to do you a lot of good in a survival situation. You need a dog that will help you and not hinder your survival. The following things are important to teach your dog today so that he is ready to be a contributing member of your family. Some preppers teach their dogs some pretty cool tricks, which you may want to do as well.search-dog-620175_640

How to be quiet, no barking
How to fetch
How to hunt
How to protect/attack on command
How to search or find somebody

Your dog may be capable of doing much more, but these are the basics. Ideally, you would want to get a young dog that you can train. Some breeds make excellent guard dogs, while others make excellent hunters. Mixed breeds shouldn’t be ignored. They are often just as smart and just as trainable. Work with a professional trainer if you are unsure about your training abilities.

There is no time like the present to start training your dog to be a survival dog.