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 Post subject: Top 10 Survival Skills
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:58 am 
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I'm looking for people's opinions on what the top 10 most important survival skills in a SHTF type situation. There's no right/wrong answers, I just wanted to hear people's input and comments.

For example:
1) You should be able to do X
2) Know how to do Y
3) Have a plan to do Z
etc etc etc.

I've got some ideas, but will save them till after a few responses.

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"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:27 am 
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Assuming this is a "lost in the woods" scenario?

1. Know how to keep your cool...panic/fear can worsen your situation by leeps and bounds.
2. Know your own physical limitations.
3. Knowing how to gather water and make it safe to drink.
4. Firebuilding...with and without matches, firesteel, etc...
5. Shelter building
6. Signaling...make it easier for others to come to your aid should you require it
7. Orienteering...map/compass aren't much good if you don't know how to use them
8. Gathering food/wild edibles
9. Know your surroundings...what dangers exist and how you can avoid them.
10. Have the common sense to prep for the worst...it's makes all the above much easier with the right supplies.

That's all I got.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:40 am 
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I would think being realistic, acceptance and having a sense of humor would be useful.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:17 am 
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Weighing options, for sure... watching "I Shouldn't Be Alive: Science of Survival - Lost in the Snow" last night brough that to light. Bad choices were made... but some good ones too, and basically one more wrong choice, and nobody would have come home. Weigh the options, be decisive or your choices, but be ready to recognise when your choice was wrong, and adjust accordingly.

...Then all the other stuff, fire, water, shelter, etc. Cause even though those things are great, doing them at the wrong time, wrong order, whatever, may bring you grief.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:43 am 
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Hmm... good question- never really stopped to think about it. I'll take a stab at it:

Top 10 Survival Skill= Top 10 things to keep me from dying.

1. Tell someone where you are going, and when you will be back.
2. Keep your cool- whatever the opposite of panic is.
3. Think (God gave you a brain, don't be afraid to use it!). The ability to analyze your situation and develop a plan. That may be retracing your steps/backtracking, escaping a tough predicament or just sitting it out and waiting for help.
4. Determination! Don't give up hope, that's what kills people survival or not.
5. Stay Dry. Wet + Wind= Hypothermia.
6. Know how to build a fire in any weather.
7. Know how to find and purify water.
8. Know how to build and properly locate a shelter.
9. Know how to signal for help.
10. Learn First Aid.

"This won goes to eleven!"
11. Take care of your feet!!!

I can't remember where I heard/read this so I'm paraphrasing:

Stop. Stand Still.
Take a deep breath and accept the situation you are in.
Observe your surroundings and the weather, assess your physical condition and your gear.
Plan for the next 24 hours. Make a decision based on your unique situation and skills and act on it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:35 pm 
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1) Collect/purify water
2) fire making
3) CPR/basic first aid
4) Orienteering/basic navigation

I think these are a good top four, probably in that order...

5) Shelter building might be expanded to General Construction Skills- knowing how to run both power and hand tools, which fasteners/material are appropriate for which applications. Knowing how to patch the roof at your BOL, barricade doors and windows, build fences/walls with max. efficiency in a resource-depleted environment...

6) Same goes for General Mechanical/Engine skills. Can you maintain a generator? Keep a car on the road, or get one running after it's sat for awhile? Fix a busted bicycle? Improvise a cargo rack for that fuel efficient motorcycle?

7) People skills. People may need your help, or want to harm you. They may want to trade, or simply be left alone. Are you a good judge of character? Body language? Can you check your attitude and negotiate, or is "escalation of force" the only thing in your playbook? Can you knuckle up and scrap when the situation calls for it?

Just some thoughts... YMMV...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:40 pm 
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My top ten list of survival skills:

1) The ability to keep cool and avoid panic.
2) The ability to think fast on your feet and make life or death decisions quickly.
3) A knack for improvisation and making due with what you have on hand.
4) The ability to find/obtain/purify water.
5) The ability to find/obtain food.
6) The ability to find/create shelter.
7) The ability to start fires without matches.
8) The ability to maintain a high level of situational awareness.
9) First aid training.
10) The ability to develop a workable plan and carry it out effectively.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:59 pm 
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1. Find/Construct a shelter
2. Be able to start a fire
3. Have/Purify water
4. Have/Gather food
5. Be able to perform first aid
6. Be able to navigate any terrain
7. Be able to predict the weather
8. Be able to signal for help
9. Be physically fit
10. Have or be able to make a good plan

I wish I could have put the last two things higher on the list. I think too often they are overlooked. Thanks for everyone's input so far!

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:03 pm 
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elkhills wrote:
Stop. Stand Still.
Take a deep breath and accept the situation you are in.
Observe your surroundings and the weather, assess your physical condition and your gear.
Plan for the next 24 hours. Make a decision based on your unique situation and skills and act on it.


The 'T' is 'think', methinks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:23 pm 
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dunno :? It depends on the situation. Does christmas dinner with your family in law count for a SHTF situation?
Somehow I never manage to stay calm in that particular situation. Although point one, as pointed out already by lot's of folks it to stay calm. So:

1 stay calm.

I don't know if it qualifies as a skill, but beïng able to think clearly is my number two. It's definately a lost trait for a some people.

2 think clearly. asess the situation: physical condition, mental condition, surroundings: weather, buildings, trees, people, etc.

The five basic needs for all life are: air, water, food, protection/shelter, reproduction (sex). No shit. that's what I've learned during survival training. anyway. point three would be:

3 plan how to get all of those basic needs in a most sustainable way. organise.

4 a good sense of humor always adds to the odds.

5 discipline to take care of yourself and to do what is nescisary.

Regarding practical skills, it really depends on where you are and what happened. but I think that knowing how to make fire in a couple of diffirent ways is good. making water safe to drink, also good. navigating. good. being double left handed. bad, baaaad.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:49 pm 
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1-10 The ability to locate harness and cure the meat of the swine

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:57 pm 
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In the drama of my life the traits that have served me well are:

1) A sense of humor.
2) An ability to accept and understand the changes/trauma in life situations.
3) An ability to adapt and keep the changes/trauma in perspective.
4) An understanding that things will change. If times are bad they will improve. If times are good they will likely deteriorate. Do not despair in the bad times nor revel too much in the good times.
5) Always have a Plan B and know where the back door is located.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:25 am 
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dick johnson wrote:
dunno :? It depends on the situation. Does christmas dinner with your family in law count for a SHTF situation?



Oh yes..... :shock:
This can be the biggest SHFT situation we face in our life times.

The horror stories I could tell about when my ex's mother would visit....several times a year---without a "going home" date. :cry:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:07 pm 
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I like Murph's list. Mine is similar:
1. accept that you are in a survival situation
2. Build or find a shelter
3. Assess and treat wounds
4. Get a fire going, get dry
5. Find and purify water
6. Get some food
7. Signal for help

These are the basics of survival.
I'm also a big fan of the logical problem solving method:
1. State the problem
2. Examine your resources
3. Come up with several plans to solve the problem
4. examine pros and cons of each plan
5. choose one and DO IT
6. Reassess problem

A lot of people have died or suffered needlessly through ignorance, squeamishness, or failure to examine their surroundings. One that comes to mind is the episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive" where the young family was trapped in the mountains during a blizzard. They had no food, though there were pine trees in every direction. The inner bark and the seeds of pine trees are edible. They froze, though they left behind all of the insulating material in the seats and headliner of their vehicle, and they did not use pine boughs, leaves, needles, dry grass, nor any other insulation to pad their garments. They had a camper shell, which could have been removed, dug into the snow, and insulated to make an awesome snow cave. They could not call for help, though they had the ability to make fire, they had mirrors, they had items with which to make an SOS in the snow, etc.
Creative problem solving with limited resources is HUGE.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:15 am 
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There's a '7 wilderness survival skills' here:

http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/rule-of-sevens

That's what I'm practicing. Not that I'm good at any of it.

Interesting note: I didn't put the 'z' when I typed the word skills - the site did it. We've been hacked.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:16 am 
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CryHavoc wrote:
Interesting note: I didn't put the 'z' when I typed the word skillz - the site did it. We've been hacked.


Nah, they setup word filters from time to time. Like during the last presidental election one canidate was changed to "pancake" and the other to "waffle"

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:13 am 
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I'll respond to the OP and then go back and read the other posters:

Top 10 Survival Skills:
1. Ability to recognize, respond, and adapt to danger, i.e. things that would trigger survival scenarios.
2. Ability to move while carrying a load or under duress.
3. Ability to forage, scavenge, or find/acquire things needful to surviving.
4. Ability to make fire.
5. Ability to find, purify, and keep water in/with you.
6. Ability to recognize and eat food, even if it's something you'd never consider doing to eat or eating today.
7. Ability to sleep, even if cold, uncomfortable, or in pain.
8. Ability to self-defend.
9. Ability to tie and use a variety of knots.
10. Ability to repair, mend, get more out of your equipment.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:04 pm 
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The only thing I could add to the many good replies is this observation.

Know that there is never just ONE correct action in a emergency situation. Spending too much time trying to come up with the best response is usually worse that just picking a Good Plan and going with it now. Stay flexible and be willing to change your plan as the situation unfolds.

And know that you're going to make mistakes, don't dwell on them when they happen, move on.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:53 pm 
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CryHavoc wrote:
There's a '7 wilderness survival skillz' here:
http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/rule-of-sevens


I had a chance to look this over and I like it. Good find and share!

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:28 am 
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don't forget about the Bears.
if you snared a rabbit, and cooked it, but your saving half of it for tomorow. hang it away from camp and out of reach from bears (lazy up to no good, bears!).

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