Frontiersmen and frontierswomen learned a multitude of survival skills to enable their existence in some of the harshest conditions. Think about years ago whenLewis and Clark traveled across the open country in cold, unyielding conditions. I don’t know how they did it!
Their modern day counterparts, you and I, didn’t learn these necessary historic skills from childhood. It isn’t really our fault since times have changed, but we can do something about it now.
No need to worry, I compiled a list of the necessary skills to survive just about anything.
Raising livestock can be a great way to self sufficiency on your homestead. The added bonus is that you will be prepared in a survival situation. One of the easiest and fulfilling ways to get started is raising chickens.
Chickens can provide eggs which are nearly the perfect food. They are a great source of protein, fat, and critical for baking. Obviously, you can also consume the meat. Turkeys are another option that live in a similar environment, and they normally get along with chickens.
Some other animals that you can consider are:
It all depends on the space, time, and food you have available. If you don’t have much room or maybe you can’t keep enough feed on hand, then you can look beyond your land…
Hunting Wild Game
You can carry or store a certain amount of food, but at some point you need to go to the source. Hunting is the way and you have a few main options.
Perfecting the use of a homemade snare is beneficial to utilizing your time wisely. I can set a snare then continue on with the rest of my days tasks, such as gathering firewood and building a shelter. You can make snares out of many different materials (paracord is one that you may have around), or you can get pre-made snares, too.
Typically, you will need to set up a network of snares that cover the paths of your prey. You should be able to see the worn travel paths that the animal travels. Out of respect for the animal, you shouldn’t set snare traps unless you will be able to tend to anything that you trap.
Here is an option from the Dakota Line.
This primitive method of hunting has stood the test of time and is very effective. A bow and arrow or crossbows can be used to hunt for deer, elk, turkey and other medium to large game. Crossbows come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit an individuals needs. As crossbows have been used for centuries they are a good bet for the survivalist. Here are venison recipes to get you thinking…
Here is a great starter crossbow.
Now that you have plenty of food, you will need in store it and you need to ensure stability.
Smoking is a preservation tool and can add flavor to foods you want to save. I use this method concurrently with drying or salting to safely preserve the food items. Think about smoked and cured salmon that you may see at the supermarket – That is the sort of thing you can create with smoking.
Water Bath Canning
Canning is a method of food preservation using thick mason-jar style glasses and boiling water. I would help my grandma can all her garden produce in the fall. Saving money and having enough tomato sauce to last the winter was fantastic.
Canning meat is a little bit of a different process since it has a low acid content. Read the guide if you are thinking about canning meat.
If you are looking for a canning starter set, this is a good one to look at.
Dehydrating food can be done similar to our ancestors who did this without any modern amenities. Utilizing the sun, hang our spread your fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables out to dry. I also have dehydrated fruit in my oven, which is a little faster technique.
Here is one of the modern dehydrating units that can get you started.
General First Aid
There is always some potential for injury, infection, and illness. Sometimes you will need to get some professional medical care – hopefully, that will be rare. Most of the time you can handle the simple, non serious injuries on your own with the right tools and common sense.
First Aid Kit
Creating or buying a first aid kit is a must. I bought one online and have slowly added items that would be advantageous to long-term survival. I also toss in a book about first aid, as this helps expand upon most peoples basic knowledge of first aid.
At a minimum, you should be able to clean minor cuts, scrapes, and even some deeper cuts. Plus, learning how to apply a tourniquet can be a life saver.
If you need a baseline first aid kit, then check this one out.
Tinctures & Essential Oils
I keep a few essentials stored, such as beeswax and infused oils. If you know the basics you can always expand upon them with homegrown or found herbs and flowers. Learn more about essential oils here.
Surviving without modern amenities will mean much of your time is spent hunting, gathering, and preserving food. If you can obtain food, than you are half-way there! Once you get food, make sure you can keep it as long as possible by utilizing your preservation skills.
One key thing is to practice these skills when they aren’t really needed. If the time comes, you will be ready for anything.
Shane is normally out in the field – hiking, camping, hunting, or just being outside. If he’s not outside, Shane blogs at Outdoorsman Time.