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essential survival knowledge

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posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:01 AM
With all the debate about gear and gadgets in a survival type scenario, I want to go a bit deeper and ask the posters here what they consider the be the most important KNOWLEDGE and SKILLSETS that will keep them alive in a such a scenario. This could prove to be a very interesting post, there is a lot of good and varied experience here. I'll start with the basics.

shelter building

fire starting

Please feel free to add to this and lets discuss the merits of these skills.



posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

Best skill sets are what you listed.
Learn how to find water or catch rain.
Then learn how to find food.
After you set up a home base, then you can go to further survival skills.

Books, my friend. Reading and practicing what you learned.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:36 AM

About water. Anyone got good advice on the cheapest, simplest and quickest way to purify/cleanse water from streams & rainwater?

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:58 AM
Okay I'll play...
Fire making is without a doubt the hardest thing to master... sure it's easy if you have matches but those will run out or worse get wet...
So to help out I'll share two YouTube Vid's on how to make a fire with your knife then a steel striker... Trust me when I say the best fire striker you can buy is "Light My Fire" go buy several

BTW the guy is the vid drags things out a little to much but....
if this is new to you... seeing how to, is second only to doing yourself

[edit on 19-4-2010 by DaddyBare]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:04 AM

Originally posted by maya 27

About water. Anyone got good advice on the cheapest, simplest and quickest way to purify/cleanse water from streams & rainwater?

Old School
Smell your water source first, it it stinks of chemicals go elsewhere for water once you find a source...

Filter it through a clean thick woolen sock then boil for 20 minutes... let it set and if there's a skim on top carefully pour it off... dip into the center, not the bottom, and there you have good clean safe drinking water...

note taste and smell might not be all that great but at least it wont hurt ya

[edit on 19-4-2010 by DaddyBare]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

There are so many things to list...but in short...ever seen the movie..."The Game"
I think thats the name with Anthony Hopkins in it surviving in the wilderness and such....knowledge and the ability to apply said knowledge is better than 99% of the gadgets ppl talk about in most survival threads...but yeah the gadgets are cool..but in the's all about knowledge!

Are you the rabbit, or the bear...the more cunning always wins...regardless of trinkets and pack items...

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:16 AM
reply to post by maya27

Iodine tablets...will kill anything in the water, but it won't taste great. I bought a water purifier for seventy dollars that is small and compact and actually screws onto my plastic water bottles. I took it backpacking and used it for four days, only drinking the water I filtered with it. It worked great, just needed to clean off the filter from time to time to keep up the water flow...I've always been told that the best way is to boil it.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:22 AM
Without a doubt water gathering and purification skills are necessary. Trapping skills are more important than hunting. Why waste time hunting when a trap works 24/7. How many can you make that work? What naturally occurring food sources are available to you where you are at? What are there seasons if any? How many of you have actually gone out and done anything lately?



posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:32 AM
reply to post by reluctantpawn

Oh man did you ever make want to go out right explain I'll share something that is damn good eatting out in the field of bring back home...

This recipe was by John aka Gray Beard
Squirrel Stew
1 squirrel, quartered
1 cup diced onion
2 large tomatoes (from your garden) or 1 can of tomatoes
Assorted fresh ,or canned veggies
Sprinkle seasoned salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional) liberally on the meat. Pour some cooking oil into a large pot (dutch oven). Sauté the meat with the onions until well browned. Drain the excess oil, add about 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cut up the tomatoes and add. If you use canned tomatoes add them now. Turn down the heat, and let slow cook for at least an hour. Important: older squirrels may require cooking longer than an hour. Check periodically for tenderness. If you don't you will have a hard time chewing the meat. After the meat is tender, add the veggies, carrots, potatoes, banana pepper, what ever you like. Cook until the veggies are done. An option you can use is, cook up your favorite pasta and serve over the pasta. (eliminate the potatoes). That's it, nice and simple ~ Good eating: John

This recipe was by Nova
Squirrel Pie
Clean, skin and cut two squirrels into small pieces. Soak in salted water, or water with a little vinegar added, changing water several times. Drain, dry and roll in seasoned flour. Sauté in pork or bacon fat until slightly browned, then place in greased pie dish or bowl, add two cups liquid (made up of wine, cider, beer, crushed fruit , or a little vinegar, and water or stock), salt and pepper, one thinly sliced onion, herbs of your choice. Cover and cook on top stove for 1 ½, or in moderate oven for two hours. Remove and thicken the stock with a little flour. Take out part of the gravy and add tomatoes, sauce or catsup, to serve with the pie. Meanwhile, cover meat dish with pastry or biscuit dough, slit for steam to escape, and bake for 20 minutes in hot oven.

This recipe was by Keeley Perry
BBQ Squirrel
1st. Take as many squirrels as you would like add salt and pepper. 2nd. Put squirrels on grill, bbq whatever let cook for a while, then add some liquid smoke or soy sauce on top and around squirrels. 3rd. When the squirrels are almost done cooking smear BBQ sauce all over the squirrels and let cook until done...( you can use any BBQ sauce you would like or you can try my very own recipe) located at below

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup mustard
3/4 cup liquid smoke or worcestershire sauce
( you can add as much or as little sugar as you want)

This recipe was sent in by Kathy Bowen
Honey and Cider Squirrel

2 young squirrel, dressed & halved
1/2 cup honey
2 cups apple cider
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 TBL cornstarch
2 TBL water

Pat squirrel halves dry. Place on rack in broiler pan. Coat with half the honey. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 8 minutes. Turn. Coat with remianing honey. Broil for 8 minutes longer. Place in roasting pan. Pour cider over squirrel. Add bay leaves. Roast @ 350 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Remove to serving platter; keep warm. Strain pan drippings into saucepan. Dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into pan drippings. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with squirrel. May serve with crisp shoestring potatoes and green salad. Yeild: 4 Servings.

to bad it's cold and raining right now... Oh well

Edit to Add:
the best lightweight field cooking tool is "Aluminum Foil"

[edit on 19-4-2010 by DaddyBare]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:38 AM

Originally posted by reluctantpawn
Without a doubt water gathering and purification skills are necessary. Trapping skills are more important than hunting. Why waste time hunting when a trap works 24/7. How many can you make that work? What naturally occurring food sources are available to you where you are at? What are there seasons if any? How many of you have actually gone out and done anything lately?

Well, trapping is a skill that is highly overlooked.
But, it is hand in hand with hunting.

Making a Snare.
There are plenty of resources on the web right now about all this.

Best thing todo is get the information while you can.
In BOOK format. Digital is expendable.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:38 AM
I am a native New Yorker, but for several years Ive moved to the mid-west, I have found that there are resources everywhere if you know where to look.

I now live in the country, Ive been here for about 8 months, and since then I have built two fire pits, which I use more often then my stove, and just a week ago made my own garden, if you are ever in a situation where u have to hunt or trap, I think that its just as important to grow some herbs, it may make foods that your not familiar with, and make them a bit more appetizing, also things like onions and greens seem to be the easiest to grow.

Now for those that arent lucky enough to live in the country where they have such easy access, simple things like a smaller herb garden, can be grown right from your window, also I have seen a video where someone made a tomato garden like the $20.00 one out of a 3 liter bottle.

There are also solar stoves that you can make out of a cardboard box and some foil, just look up rocket stove, and solar stoves.

And as far as water is concerned if you have access to bottles you can catch water and as long as you have a solar stove or fire pit u can boil water anytime you need it.

Also if you live in the city, you can get a food dehydrator, and everytime you go to the supermarket you can pick up a bag of apples or oranges, and just dehydrate them, I have a suitcase for the SHTF possibilities, and it has everything from solar blankets to vitamins, and especially I think this is super important anything to relieve any stomach upset that may happen, I think that in a time of need you dont need anyone ill for something new that they ate, especially if you have children, if I can get some other resources I will post them.

Hope this helps a little, peace to you all...

sorry for oranges I meant bananas, or any fruit or veggie you like.

[edit on 19-4-2010 by NoRegretsEver]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 09:50 AM
identifying edibility of plants for food and medicine.

identifying animals/insects/reptiles for food procurement and hazard prevention.

identifying current and future weather/cloud patterns.

Navigating/determining direction useing stars/moon/sun/shadows

treating injuries

Signaling techniques


just glancing over FM 21-76 table of contents.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 01:01 PM

Originally posted by reluctantpawn
Without a doubt water gathering and purification skills are necessary. Trapping skills are more important than hunting. Why waste time hunting when a trap works 24/7. How many can you make that work? What naturally occurring food sources are available to you where you are at? What are there seasons if any? How many of you have actually gone out and done anything lately?



Trapping is one of those things that sadly is looked down upon by a good deal of society, so even some "survivalists" are reluctant to get a handle on how to do it properly thinking that when the time comes, they will be able to simply snare rabbits, deer, etc...

I agree that trapping is much better than hunting in a pure survial scenerio, with exceptions.

1. You need the brains, practice, and either have, or figure out how to have the needed gear to trap an animal. I dont care if its a deadfall, figure 4 trap, snare, 330 connibear, whatever. If you dont know how to use it, and build it or carry it, all you are going to do is starve. Same goes for fishing, a trot line or set net work much better than tying on a fly and casting all day, but you better know what you are doing.

2. Trapping is great that it works all the time. However, there is always trap maintainance that needs to be done in the field, i.e. snow removal, sprung traps, snares knocked over, and all of this still takes time. Hunting, while it may be time intensive, one shot one kill puts meat on the table right now.

3. Unless you plan on and can snare a large game animal (and for practicing this, I'm fairly certain this is illegal everywhere in the US), trapping will give you beaver, coon, cat, squirrel, rabbit, etc... All small animals that wont keep you going very long. Take down a moose or a bear, you dont need to worry about taking game for a good long while, supposing you actually know how to care for your meat.

Done something lately? I put in my open water beaver sets this weekend and split 2 cord of firewood, started more seeds, put up my greenhouse, took some berries from last fall and juiced them, then canned the juice. All in all a dull lazy weekend. lol

Back to your OP. Which is a good one, and the ideas in this thread all make a good deal of sense.

The most important survival skill you can have above all others is the ability to stay calm, trust yourself and your instincts and keep moving. A complacant mind and body will be the death of you. Keep tinkering, keep thinking, keep doing something. Laziness and sloth breed more laziness and when you feel hungry or thirsty, it is too late for you.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 05:19 PM
Shelter building and firestarting are definitely 2 of the most important survival skills. The others I would list (and not necessarily in order of importance) are;

Awareness - by knowing what's going on around you, you can avoid possible conflicts and keep your gear from being taken. It is also the most important skill in armed conflict or hunting.

Tracking - related to awareness but not quite the same. Being able to read and interpret sign will allow you to make good use of traps or to find game. It will also keep you apprised of human activity in your area.

Wild edible & medicinal plants - You MUST be able to correctly identify and process wild plant resources to survive. A 100% meat diet will kill you in short order and without the vitamins and minerals in plants you cannot stay healthy. Knowing rules is not enough. There is no substitute for a reliable field guide or the knowlege of the same.
Plants can also cure many of our ailments. Being sick in the wild with no modern medicines you will have no alternative but to use native plants. A good working knowlege of 25 - 30 medicinal plants can get you through most common ailments.

Tool making - Using stone, bone and wood to make useful tools. An artform in itself, if you don't have it you will have to make it. Stone axe, hammer, knife, hide scrapers, fire drills, baskets, containers etc.

These are just the skills I think are most overlooked. It would bear mentioning that finding and purifying water, selecting campsites, working hides and furs, marksmanship, first aid, navigation and wrapping cordage are also critical skills to have.

As someone who has spent the last 30 years studying all these fields I can say without equivocation that you can never know too much. Skills once learned can be forgotten and practice, practice, practice is the key. Read about it then go try it for yourself. No book covers all the questions you will have when actually attempting something they have described doing.
No one will ever be fully ready, including myself. What one cannot learn we must rely on others to know so the last thing I would say is that no-one will last long by themselves. It will take the combined skills of small groups to stay alive in a post EMP world.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 05:27 PM
You will definitively need a bobby pin and an ordinary pin. Here is why:

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

I really like Nutnfancy's gun videos but when it comes to woods survival he should turn off the camera. Unless you need a 2 lb bowie to whack someone with leave it at home. A simple 8 ounce folding saw will do a better job and much quicker in cutting down a tree. He;s wearing gloves because without them you would get massive blisters doing what he doing. Which, by the way, I can't understand WHY you would want to cut down a rotten ironwood tree anyway, waste of time and energy.
The real key to suvival is economy, both of time and energy. Performing unnecessary tasks is what will wear you out and in the end, kill you because you didn;t spend your time gathering more food, improving your shelter or something else vital to your survival.

Sorry Nutn, stick to the gun videos, those you do the best.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 05:58 PM
The hardest thing would be finding/purifying water. Food is easier to get once you have found a favorable watering hole. Animals have to drink water some time or another. If you camp by the water, set a few traps, and always be on alert you should come by a food source.

But then again, it is easier said than done. If you are very impatient, than this is definitely not for you.

You must also be able to read maps, compasses, and know where you are at all times.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 06:02 PM
a two litre coke bottle, with the bottom cut off turned upside down,( cap/pour hole downwards) three quarters filled with small grain charcoal and the rest with sphagnum moss makes a good water filter. You will need to rinse it well first, then boil the water from it for the usual 20 minuets

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 01:20 AM
2.shelter starter of any kind
4. fire material
5.small shovel
6.baasic survival knowledge
7.way to keep warm with out fire(extra clothes or small blanket of any type
8.trap or fishing line and a hook(found in most survival knives)
9.base camp security check
10.knowledge of the area around you draw a map to water sources and food sources
11.basic knowledge of how to treat non-life threating and life threatening injuries.
knowledge of how to clean food source
12.have a tool or some way to signal for help(if you want to be found)

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:06 AM
reply to post by killer4281

What does any of this have to do with knowledge? You can have the world at your disposal, but if you cannot do anything with it it is useless. Please note the topic. Your basic survival knowledge will likely as not get you killed without practice and use.



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