The Most Valuable Survival Skill You Can Have

June 30th, 2013 . by Felix

You probably have your bugout bag all set to go. You are stocked up on food and supplies. And you are well armed and prepared to defend yourself. Many preppers and survivalists are all gung-ho on having the right gear and can’t wait to buy the latest and greatest. They download lists of equipment and supplies and then happily check them off as they accumulate each item, confident they have everything they need to handle any emergency or disaster. So what is missing? Simply put, one word – Experience. It is all too easy to accumulate lots of stuff but not knowing how to use everything in your bugout bag is a different story.

In a wide scale disaster or emergency event experience is going to be the difference between success and failure. Those who lack experience are the ones who will panic not knowing what to do or worse waiting for someone to do it for them. Those who are confident in their knowledge and skills will remain calm and thrive in the face of disaster.

Learning new skills will always be an ongoing process because no one can know everything but if you don’t start you may be caught off guard. It is one thing to watch a Youtube video or read a manual, it is a totally different thing to learn those skills hands on. You can download hundreds of survival manuals to your Kindle but they are not going to help you if you don’t read them or practice what they contain.

Lets take fishing as an example. Fishing is an excellent survival skill. You may have an emergency fishing kit in your bugout bag. Maybe you are already skilled at fishing. But can you still find the fish without your expensive bass boat and your electronic fish finder? How many fishing knots do you know how to tie? Are you not catching anything because the hook you are using is too big? Is your line set to the right depth? Maybe you are too shallow or too deep? What about when you actually catch a fish? It is one thing if you are out for a weekend of catch and release, it is another when you are trying to catch dinner. There are many skilled fishermen who don’t know how to clean and fillet a fish. As you can see there are a number of skills that go into fishing. Most of those skills are only going to come from experience. Maybe you were lucky enough to have a father or grandfather who passed on those skills. If you are looking to improve your fishing skills then you need to find someone who can teach you. Preferably an “old timer” who has a sixth sense and doesn’t rely on gadgets to catch fish.

Now these principles will apply to anything you want to learn from starting a fire, to gardening and canning. There is nothing wrong with watching online videos and reading books but nothing beats hands on experience and lots of practice. Find people who are experienced in the skills you want to learn. Take a class, join a club or group that can give you some hands on practice. Read and ask lots of questions. Take everything out of your bugout bag and ask yourself “how do I use this”. How many knots can you tie with your paracord? Learn to improvise and make use of what you have on hand. Think outside the box. You don’t need to have a garden in order to learn how to can. You can buy vegetables at the farmers market and practice canning those on a smaller scale. You don’t need to know how to hunt in order to make your own beef jerky. Like many preppers, practice your survival skills when you go camping. How many ways do you know how to fixed all the beans and rice your have stocked up. Can you grind your own grain and turn it into a loaf of bread? How many tools do you know how to use? Are you all thumbs or can you fix anything?

No amount of gear will ever make up for hands on experience. With knowledge and practical hands on skills you can survive and thrive in any situation. The more hands on skills you have the more self-reliant and self sufficient you become and when the day comes that you are put to the test, you will be very thankful for the experience and skill you have.

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