Every experienced prepper will have there list of essential survival tips. Through the years we’ve learnt what’s worked for us here at Prepping Survival Skills. Here are our top 10 survival tips. Adapt them as you wish.
1. Over Communicate
This one is so basic it should be second nature, but so many people leave out this one thing that could save their lives. If you are traveling alone make sure you have a check-in buddy. This person should know how to contact you (if possible), where you are going (as specific as you can be down to trail), when you are going and when you are expected to be back. Every detail that you can give them is important and could be the piece that leads to your rescue should you become lost, injured or incapacitated in the wild.
2. Carry a Handkerchief
This simple and classic item should be in every preparedness-minded person’s pocket or within easy reach. It is the very spirit of the multi-tasker, and it is one survival item that is appropriate and accepted anywhere. Your handkerchief can serve countless purposes:
• Carry Container
• First Stage Water Filtration
• Fuel for Fires
• Dust/Debris Mask
• Oven Mitt
• Cold Compress
• Sling Shot
When you start thinking about it, you will come up with 100 more uses for the simple handkerchief that will make you appreciate it in a whole new light.
3. Use Everything
When you are in survival mode, everything is useful and nothing is sacred. Understanding that things can be replaced will help keep you in the mindset that you are staying alive and ensure your priorities are in order. Whether it is stripping out the interior of your car for materials that can be used for clothing or shelter or busting up a dead phone to get a fire-starting spark from the battery; nothing you own is more important than staying alive. Many people have failed to survive catastrophe while they carried the very keys to their salvation literally on their back.
4. Don’t Ration Water
Many a stranded man and woman have been found dead of dehydration, their bodies found parched- next to a half-full canteen. Sound crazy? It’s more common than you might think. It’s a commonly held belief that you need to make the water last as long as possible, so you start to ration out whatever supply you have. This mistake is 100% fatal. Your body requires 2 liters per day- minimum. Taking a few sips to preserve the supply will do nothing but quench the superficial thirst. The saying is true, once you are thirsty- you are already dehydrated.
Water is one of your critical needs, and you should always be on the lookout for a clean or cleanable supply. Drink what you have to stay hydrated, or your brain and body will cease to function at a high level. Eventually, they will cease to function at all.
5. Relax, Seriously
The last thing that most people in a survival situation think about is relaxing. It is a critical life and death struggle; there is absolutely no time to stop focusing on survival, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. Your mental well-being and morale are critically important. Most experts will tell you that your bug out bag should include a book, or a notebook and paper or some playing cards. It is these small things that will allow you to keep your mind from going into panic mode. Just like you take breaks from any work or project, so much you from survival. It has been said that survival is 90% mental, and that has been proven in survival stories time and time again. Take some time to breath, take a nap or hum a song- anything to clear your mind. Your focus will be stronger, and your morale higher- giving you the greatest chance of survival.
6. Your Every Day Carry, Could Save Your Life
So much emphasis is put on preparing yourself for disaster with a bug out bag, stockpiles and gear that we forget one very important thing. What if we aren’t within arm’s reach in an emergency? Many survival situations only allow for what you are carrying with you- so make it count. A simple web search of “every day carry” or “EDC” will give you an idea of what those in the know, refuse to leave home without. Items can include:
I know one gentleman who never leaves the house without a miniature sewing kit. He has simply taken a small piece of cardboard in stuck two needles in the side, and wrapped some lengths of thread around the piece. It fits in his pocket, and he claims it has come in handy on more than one occasion. When you consider that you can fit a micro-survival kit in an Altoids tin, the possibilities become endless.
7. A Survival Kit in your Pocket
You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging on the Altoids survival kit did you? The “curiously strong” mints might be too much for your tastes, but the small metal tin they are packaged in is useful in many ways. Something that can easily fit in a hip pocket or your jacket can house everything you need to survive. A few items we recommend for your kit include:
• Lighter/Matches (Strike Anywhere or Waterproof)
• Cotton Ball (for tinder)
• Chalk (to leave signals and messages)
• Fishing Hooks and Line
• Small Supply of any Required Medication
• Small Pocketknife or Credit Card Multi-Tool
You now have immediate access to critical items you may need to survive. Additionally, the tin can also be used as a signal mirror by using the shiny interior. You can also turn your tin into a small fishing tackle box, first aid kit or knife care kit. A smart tip is to put all of your supplies in a plastic bag to keep them waterproof, and secure the tin with a strong and wide rubber band. Bonus, you now have to additional items that serve a multitude of purposes for survival.
8. They Look Great on Legs Too
Okay, hear us out. Pantyhose can be an exceptional survival item. No, seriously. This sheer hosiery, made from synthetic materials, has incredibly strength and durability that can serve many purposes. Much like the delicate strand of silk that can hold up to great tension; the nylon material is strong enough to rival rope. In fact, it has been used as an emergency fan belt on vehicles. It won’t last forever, but it should get you back to civilization. Not only can you use them for the obvious purpose of tying and lashing, but they can be used for filtering water or a fishnet/skimmer- when stretched over a y-shaped branch. Worn under shorts or pants, they will also help prevent bug bits, chigger and leaches or you can cut them off at the ankle and wear them as booties to prevent blisters.
Bonus tip: Put your fishing bait in a small pocket of the hosiery, before securing it to the hook. This will protect your precious bait, and keep your potential dinner from making off with a free snack.
9. Chapstick Saves the Day
This is a quick and simple tip that can take some of the frustration out of starting a fire. Many of us carry some kind of lip balm- especially during the winter. If you apply some to an ordinary piece of paper or fabric, or even some stubbornly damp tinder, it will become a wick that burns far longer than the item will alone.
10. Bear Grylls is Wrong
By now, hopefully, you know that drinking urine is just the worst idea ever. No matter how dehydrated you are, urine will not help you out. Urination is a waste-removal process, much like defecation and sweating. The intent is to remove waste from your body, not filter it for easier digestions. All you will do is placate superficial thirst, keeping you from focusing on finding fresh water sources.