Elise

What do you think are the 5 most basic survival skills?

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I'm wondering - if a person who just recently became interested in wilderness survival and bushcraft asked you what you believed the first 5 skills they should start off learning were - what would you suggest?

It's a tough call I feel because the 5 skills have to be ones that would be quick and easy to learn - simple enough to master relatively quickly so they wouldn't get discouraged and give up off the bat. That being said, the skills also have to be useful enough that they will come in extremely handy if they end up being some of the only survival skills they know.

What would you guys suggest?

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Boy that's hard, but ,

moving quietly ,

shelter building,

basic tracking ,

simple trapping /fishing ,

reading the weather signs ,

that's hard if you asked me in a weeks time ,I would likely come up with 5 other things .

Norm.

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Boy that's hard, but ,

moving quietly ,

shelter building,

basic tracking ,

simple trapping /fishing ,

reading the weather signs ,

that's hard if you asked me in a weeks time ,I would likely come up with 5 other things .

Norm.

Thats a pretty excellent list. I would go with;

  1. Situational awareness.
  2. Trapping/Fishing
  3. Ability to control panic/fear
  4. Building structures/improvising your environment.
  5. Fire making.
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For me, the ability to make fire Know how to purify water Building a shelter The ability to obtain food Know how to set up signals for help This is also the order of importance for me too. If you know these basic skills you can survive a long time.

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This is an interesting question. Not something I usually think about but I'll give it a go.

  1. Situational awareness.

Excellent point, situational awareness belongs on my list, definitely.

Here's another four skills:

  • Remain calm: for some people, the most difficult skill in any survival scenario;
  • Be self-confident: "you can manage this, piece of cake";
  • Know yourself, know your limits: understand how your body and mind react to different situations and act accordingly;
  • Find water: Air is easy, next is water, you can't live long without it. If you find water, probably you'll find food as well.

 

As you can see, most of the skills on my list are psychological, but probably wouldn't be good for introducing someone to bushcraft. Maybe it would even scare a few people instead! For true beginners who want to try and see what they are capable of, probably something like making a fire, building shelter and learning how to use tools (knife, axe, etc.). Those are always fun.

I want to hear more opinions and, who knows, maybe change a few items on my list.

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Love how the survival skills have now essentially split into psychological and physical skills - pretty neat to see how that slowly happened!

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This is an interesting question. Not something I usually think about but I'll give it a go.

Excellent point, situational awareness belongs on my list, definitely.

Here's another four skills:

  • Remain calm: for some people, the most difficult skill in any survival scenario;
  • Be self-confident: "you can manage this, piece of cake";
  • Know yourself, know your limits: understand how your body and mind react to different situations and act accordingly;
  • Find water: Air is easy, next is water, you can't live long without it. If you find water, probably you'll find food as well.

 

As you can see, most of the skills on my list are psychological, but probably wouldn't be good for introducing someone to bushcraft. Maybe it would even scare a few people instead! For true beginners who want to try and see what they are capable of, probably something like making a fire, building shelter and learning how to use tools (knife, axe, etc.). Those are always fun.

I want to hear more opinions and, who knows, maybe change a few items on my list.

I often wonder how i would "deal" in a true survival situation, I have been without power during the Canadian winter but with modern technology I never really felt unsafe. Should the grid ever go down or a systematic collapse of society occur I think panic would set in within the population and how people react/respond will prove toxic (just a guess).

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We can all be superstars with skills but if you can't handle the reality the your crap out of luck. I have to get that like to a book froma professor here. He walked into the woods with the clothes on his back and that's it. Came out 30 days later ok. Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk

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Like that German girl Juliana Kapka , who was on a plane that crushed over the Amazon forest back in the 70's , she had real bad injuries , but a few weeks later walked into a native village , she must had just got her head right about things from the start.

Norm.

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1. Being in shape

2. Medical Training (First Aid/CPR)

3. Basic bush-craft skills (fire/purifying water)

4. Continuous Training

5. Get your head in the game

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Like that German girl Juliana Kapka , who was on a plane that crushed over the Amazon forest back in the 70's , she had real bad injuries , but a few weeks later walked into a native village , she must had just got her head right about things from the start.

Norm.

Mental strength is really interesting, that one guy from "Alone" basically gave up because he lost his firesteel, he still had fire (and could have kept it going) but it seemed like all life and hope got sucked out of him. An interesting situation and really brings home how much optimism and a "can do" attitude can impact your survival rate. 

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Boy that's hard, but ,

moving quietly ,

shelter building,

basic tracking ,

simple trapping /fishing ,

reading the weather signs ,

that's hard if you asked me in a weeks time ,I would likely come up with 5 other things .

Norm.

Have to agree with Norman on this one too.  Except maybe change Moving Quietly to Hunting as it would more or less be a necessity to be an effective hunter.  You'd have to learn it quickly as its either get good at it or go hungry. 

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Hmmm

1] Fire-making, both with modern technology such as lighters, vaseline-soaked cotton balls, ferro rods, and so on, as well as primitive friction methods (bow drill and the like) and flint-and-steel.

2] Shelter building, from basic one-person debris hut to lean-to and other semi-permanent designs

3] finding, procurring, and purifying water

4] basic hunting, trapping, and fishing methods, and edible/medicinal plants

5] signaling for rescue (mirror flashes, smoke & fire signals, etc.)

Another absolute essential is basic first aid. That makes it a list of 6. So sue me!

Although I agree that the psychological aspects are of vital importance, I also believe that being knowledgable and experienced in these 6 things will pull many of the psychological issues into line almost automatically, as they breed confidence. I don't know if "keeping your head in the game" and the like really count as "skills", as it is virtually impossible to learn or practice them. They are either there are they aren't. Real-world exercises such as grid-down weekends and bug-out drills could help, I guess.

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I'm wondering - if a person who just recently became interested in wilderness survival and bushcraft asked you what you believed the first 5 skills they should start off learning were - what would you suggest?

It's a tough call I feel because the 5 skills have to be ones that would be quick and easy to learn - simple enough to master relatively quickly so they wouldn't get discouraged and give up off the bat. That being said, the skills also have to be useful enough that they will come in extremely handy if they end up being some of the only survival skills they know.

What would you guys suggest?

For a person just starting out, I would begin with basic knife skills/safety, fire making (for water purification, cooking, core temperature regulation & signaling), shelter making (for core temperature maintenance), water procurement, basic first aid. But without the right mindset, all of the above is heresay. The will to survive is the most important skill imo. Be prepared to survive. 

The U.S. Coast Guard motto "Semper Paratus" (Always Prepared) comes to mind. Don't limit yourself to five skills, keep on learning by doing and PRACTICE. Cordage (making) & skills such as knot tying, water filtration, food gathering are important too. But if you are in a typical 72 hr survival scenario, the list I gave is basically all you MIGHT need. There is alot to learn to be a true survivor and not a statistic...

DomC

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Mental strength is really interesting, that one guy from "Alone" basically gave up because he lost his firesteel, he still had fire (and could have kept it going) but it seemed like all life and hope got sucked out of him. An interesting situation and really brings home how much optimism and a "can do" attitude can impact your survival rate.

Joe Robinet tells it all on his tapping out here....

DomC

 

 

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Damn - that video really makes me wish they showed so much more footage - no wonder he was so upset when he lost the firesteel.

So glad he posted this explanation, though he was one of my favourites for sure and I so wish he never got into that situation in the first place. :(

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Damn - that video really makes me wish they showed so much more footage - no wonder he was so upset when he lost the firesteel.

So glad he posted this explanation, though he was one of my favourites for sure and I so wish he never got into that situation in the first place. :(

No matter what he could have stayed longer.... Back to the psychology part of survival. I have/had 3 favourites Mitch, him, and the guy with the kurkri I guess I'm down to 2. We should have betting section. :lol: Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
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 We should have betting section. :lol:

Damn, I don't remember who had the kukri anymore. My favourite of the bunch is def Alan Kay.

And yup, that's a great idea - we should have a betting thread! You should start it - don't want to steal your genius idea :).

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Damn, I don't remember who had the kukri anymore. My favourite of the bunch is def Alan Kay.

And yup, that's a great idea - we should have a betting thread! You should start it - don't want to steal your genius idea :).

Oh I can't bet. I have this condition. Once I start I loose money! :o Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
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I have to say that having it together and espousing it to the world..is easier than keeping it together..

He lost his stuff that should Never of left him to the tides of the surf..

The Canadians are Gone..it is An American that will win the 500k

In God We Trust

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Damn, I don't remember who had the kukri anymore. My favourite of the bunch is def Alan Kay.

I really like Alan for the win. He seems to have his head much further into this than the rest. Keeps his sense of humor, seems to have a pretty solid shelter built.

And then there is this

Alan's Pinecone Song

xD

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I really like Alan for the win. He seems to have his head much further into this than the rest. Keeps his sense of humor, seems to have a pretty solid shelter built.

And then there is this

Alan's Pinecone Song

xD

Indeed! :)

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I have to say that having it together and espousing it to the world..is easier than keeping it together..

He lost his stuff that should Never of left him to the tides of the surf..

The Canadians are Gone..it is An American that will win the 500k

In God We Trust

Thats hilarious, In God We Trust indeed. ;) I am with Elise with regards to favourite- Alan all the way! Guy cracks me up.

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