5 Basic Survival Skills

Published: 22nd November 2008
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There are 5 basic survival skills that every person should know. Without these basic skills chances of survival are diminished greatly, leaving survival to a matter of luck rather than knowledge. What are those five basic survival skills?



Well, first of all you must understand the top three threats to your survival. Once you understand those then you will better understand just how important a few basic survival skills will be to your survival. The three threats to survival are: exposure, dehydration and starvation. Extreme cold can kill you in three minutes, lack of water will kill you in three days and lack of food will kill you in three weeks.



The 5 basic survival skills are:



1. Know how to build a shelter

2. Know how to start a fire

3. Know how to find water or to distill water from the sun

4. Know how to set snares and traps

5. Know how to butcher



With those basic skills you can protect yourself from the weather, avoid dying from thirst and starvation. The great thing about these skills is that you don't have to take expensive survival courses. In fact, much of the information that you need can be learned online and practiced in your own backyard.



Shelter - A shelter can be as simple as leaning three or four thick tree branches against each other at a point, like a teepee. Use a bit of vine to tie the top points together. Then on three sides, starting at the bottom, begin laying other branches, leaves, grasses building up toward the top; each top layer overlapping the layer just below it. This is a basic grass/branch teepee and can actually be large enough for several people.



Fire - Next learn to build a fire using not only matches, but an eyeglass lens, a magnifying glass or just two sticks. Learn how to use a flint and steel fire starter. There are a variety of ways to build a fire that are easy to learn. If you don't have matches you must know how to use a bit of dry tender and two sticks to start a fire for warmth and cooking.



Water - With a bit of plastic sheeting or a large trash bag you can use nature to collect water from the sun. Dig a 3' x 3' x 2' deep pit. Place a cup or cooking pot in the bottom of the hole. Then loosely cover the top of the pit with the plastic sheet. Use rocks to secure the edges of the plastic to the ground around the edges of the top of the pit. Place a small pebble in the center of the plastic, causing a dip in the plastic towards the cup or pot in the bottom of the pit. Heat will cause moisture to condense on the underside of the plastic. It will roll down towards the center depression caused by the pebble on the top side of the plastic and drip into the gathering pot.



Traps - A bit of string or wire can be fashioned into a loop and laid across a rabbit trail. By anchoring it to a trip wire that will loosen with a bit of a pull, the loop will close around the animal's neck, ensuring you have a bit of meat for supper. For larger game and with the help of another person, you can balance a large rock on a sturdy tree limb and create a deadfall trap.



Butchering - Once the trap has produced dinner, you still need to know how to undress the animal. The basic thing is to cut the throat and hang the animal head down to drain the blood out. Next pierce the fur at the neck, and being careful not to pierce the abdomen, split the fur from neck to anus. Cut around the feet, cut off the head and pull off the hide or fur. Next carefully pierce the skin over the abdomen, without cutting into the stomach, and remove all the guts.



These are the 5 basic survival skills needed by every person for survival. Even if you don't find yourself in the woods trying to survive, these skills can be used anywhere. The materials for building a shelter might change, but the basic skills will ensure that you are warm with water and food. No one can make you learn these skills, but an investment of your time in practice will ensure that you have the 5 basic survival skills that you and your family need.

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