10 essential survival skills for self-reliance
Off-the-grid living is not for everyone. You have to develop skills and you only develop those skills through training and repetition. But for those who are willing to take on the challenge, it can be an immensely rewarding experience. Here are 50 essential survival skills for self-reliance to help you get started:
1. How to grow your own food: One of the most important skills for self-reliance is knowing how to grow your own food. This includes everything from starting seeds to tending to a garden to preserving food for the winter. Growing different foods is a different set of skills for each plant sometimes, depending on if you are harvesting tomato seeds or saving seed potatoes!
2. How to build a shelter: If you're going to be living off the grid, you'll need to know how to build a shelter that can protect you from the elements. This includes everything from constructing a basic lean-to to more complex structures like log cabins and Quinzees.
3. How to find water: Water is essential for survival, so you'll need to know how to find it and purify it for drinking. This may include anything from collecting rainwater to using a filter or purifier to make sure the water you find is safe to drink. Learning how to create activated carbon and build after filters is a no-brainer.
4. How to hunt and fish: If you want to be truly self-reliant, you'll need to know how to catch your own food. This includes learning how to identify edible plants as well as mastering the art of hunting and fishing. Even if you do not have anyone to take you out and learn the traditional way, read up and get after it as I did!
5. How to make fire: Fire is one of the most essential survival skills. You'll need to know how to build a fire for warmth, cooking, and purifying water. This includes everything from using a lighter to start a fire with a friction-based method like the bow drill. Always have a backup method as fire is often the difference between life or death.
6. How to navigate: Knowing how to find your way is essential if you want to be self-reliant. This includes being able to read a map and use a compass as well as more advanced skills like using the stars or the sun for navigation. This is one of the scariest skills to learn, and although possible, I do not recommend learning this one alone.
7. How to improvise: One of the most important survival skills is the ability to improvise. This means being able to make do with what you have on hand and being resourceful in a pinch. This involves critical thinking and mechanics, how do things work? Learn philosophy and learn to build small things like traps and survival shelters.
8. How to be stealthy: If you want to be self-reliant, you'll need to know how to move through the world without being seen or heard. This includes mastering the art of camouflage as well as knowing how to move quietly and without leaving a trace. This can mean moving in and out of a crowd without being noticed, looking inconspicuous, and maintaining a cool, calm, and collected attitude under pressure.
9. How to forage: Another essential skill for self-reliance is knowing how to forage for food and other essentials. This includes being able to identify edible plants as well as knowing where to find other sources of food like small game and fish.
10. How to make tools and weapons: In order to be truly self-reliant, you'll need to know how to make the tools and weapons you need for survival. This includes everything from simple knives and axes to more complex items like bows and arrows.
Train, Prepare, Execute, Assess, Wash, Rinse Repeat - The Infantry Paratrooper Out.