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6 Basic Survival Skills to Learn for Life

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Published on: 02 Sep 2021

What if all those essential goodies disappear? Oh, wait! This is perhaps a reminder of the good old days when people hoarded toilet paper. Times like these call for emergency measures and knowledge of basic survival skills. 
You can battle modern-day problems without swinging into full Bear Grylls mode. From knowing how to use a compass to learning how to build a fire, certain skills can get you through a pandemic, a power outage or even a zombie apocalypse (2022 can be full of surprises).

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Upskill yourself by learning these essential survival skills:

  1. Hunting and foraging
  2. Making a fire
  3. Purifying water
  4. Reading a compass
  5. Cooking
  6. Tying Knots  

Let’s take a deeper look into each. 

Hunting and Foraging

Hunting and foraging

We aren't cavemen but learning how to hunt will definitely come in handy for:

  • Self-defence 
  • Gathering food outdoors
  • Exploring new terrains

Everyone ought to have basic knowledge of gathering food, just like our ancestors. Had they not been aware of such an important survival skill, the human race would have ceased to exist. 
If you wish to upskill by your hunting skills, start by developing:

  • Mental awareness
  • Good sense of navigation to track and trace animals, their movements and behaviours 
  • Bushcraft skills or feeling comfortable in the wilderness
  • Physical fitness and agility 
  • Setting traps
  • Fishing skills

After these fundamental hunting skills, you ought to develop foraging skills too. Foraging is to search for provisions (or simply food) in nature.

Making a Fire 

Making a fire

Fire is your friend. It is a major part of our daily activities, and knowing how to light a fire will be a beneficial skill during an emergency. Whatever the situation may be, knowing how to make a fire and tending to it will help you:

  • Cook food
  • Stay warm
  • Ward off animals 
  • Signal for help

In fact, one must definitely learn how to make a fire from scratch. There is no need to get skilful or science-y (common sense generally does the trick). If you get caught in a tricky situation with no ignition source, build a fire by collecting dry leaves, twigs, and branches and avoid green vegetation for the same. 

Purifying Water 


Greta Thunberg isn’t wrong when she sounds overly concerned about the deteriorating climate conditions. All selfish human endeavours which focus on improving the “quality of life” are rather snatching away their natural semblance. Since man won’t stop anytime soon, we need to do a quality check individually. 
Following Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, food and water ought to be prioritized. Since water is quintessential for existence, the primary survival skill is to purify water. You can do this in one or more of the following ways:

  • Boiling the water
  • Using chlorine drops 
  • Filtering with sedimentation and decantation 

Reading a Compass

Reading a Compass

Having a sense of direction is extremely important if you get lost in the wild without a GPS. In such a scenario, the survival skill of how to read a compass is essential. Remember the universal truths- the sun rises in the east & sets in the west, and so does the moon (almost). But sometimes, it gets dark, and the moon… well, the moon can be moody. So it would be best if you had a fire for light & a compass for directions (PS: you want to be aware where the snakes might sneak into your tent from).



Massive food chains worldwide promote mass consumerism. But what if this consumerism disappears overnight? It will hit the food industry and its “loyal” customers the hardest. We need to be prepared in advance for such an unforeseen situation, and the only way out is to learn how to cook. Knowing the basic cooking techniques and preparing dishes with the bare minimum ingredients is a skill in itself. 
Aside from knowing the basics of cooking in a kitchen, camp cooking is also a fun and primitive method. It is wild, it is fun and thoroughly refreshing.  

How about you watch a micro course after having your meal? Learn new skills, keep yourself engaged and grow in less than 15 minutes. 


Tying Knots 

Tying Knots

Tying knots, as basic as it sounds, is an important survival skill. It is useful when building up a shelter, securing a trap, or setting up make-shift arrangements and tools. General knotting is somewhat similar to macrame knots and is a transferable skill. Sit with a rope or a thread to practice basic knotting. 

Do you think Robinson Crusoe would have survived alone on an island in the middle of nowhere without knowing basic survival skills? Yes! (If Defoe decided so). But you certainly cannot do without them in times of crisis. 
But we have your back. Buckle up, learn and upskill for life.


Are survival skills necessary?

Survival skills aren’t just crucial for surviving in the wilderness, but their knowledge extends to everyday life. It equips you with the vital life skills useful in a regular or unforeseen situation.

How do you teach survival skills?

Teaching your children the basic survival skills or acquiring them for yourself can be done by practical demonstration and regular practice.

Who are the best survivalists ever?

The best and the most widely known survivalists include:
- David Michael Canterbury
- Les Stroud
- Ray Mears
- Mykel Hawke
- Bear Grylls

How do you become a survival expert?

To be a survival expert, one has to undergo a step-by-step survival process. This includes:
- Undergoing a thorough study and training of Wilderness Survival
- Training in Bushcraft survival training
- Developing instructional training skills
- Business development skills

What does a Survival Specialist do?

A survival expert, also known as a SERE Specialist, teaches survival techniques and knowledge to soldiers across military verticals.

What is the key to survival?

The only key to survival is adaptation.
Anything that doesn't respond positively to environmental changes moves towards extinction.

What is the 333 rule for survival?

As per the 333 rule, you can live three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours without shelter and three minutes without oxygen.
 It helps people to operate within a time window to survive in harsh conditions.