Being prepared for the possibility of an apocalypse puts you ahead of the game in terms of survival. Though a cataclysm of that size is unlikely to happen in any of our lifetimes, there’s never a bad reason to learn new skills. There are plenty of instances where these skills can come in handy, even if the world doesn’t end.
Your post-apocalyptic skillset needs to cover your basic human needs of food, water, warmth, and safety. Skills that support long-term survival are key. Once everything crashes and supplies start to run out, you will have to depend on your own skills to keep you going.
There’s no guarantee what you might face in an apocalypse but it doesn’t hurt to have these 13 skills under your belt just in case.
1. Growing Your Own Food
Creating a stock of canned goods and water is standard for survival prepping. While a generous stockpile will probably keep you and your family well-fed during a crisis, an event that ends civilization as we know it is another ballgame entirely.
If you’re working on a stockpile, make sure you’re stocking up on seeds.
Seeds are going to serve you so much better in the long run. They allow you to grow your own food and create more seeds to keep a stock of fresh grains and produce on hand. However, it’s essential to remember that seeds don’t last forever. Plant and rotate your seeds regularly to keep them fresh. It’s good practice in growing your own food.
2. Foraging for Plants
On top of growing food, you should have a working knowledge of what plants in your area are safe to eat. It only takes one bad mushroom to really ruin your day.
You might not think you need foraging skills at all but wild plants are much easier to come by than wild game or leftover food that no one has snapped up. When nature starts to take over, you can rest easy knowing the berries you picked aren’t going to poison you.
3. Purifying Water
Safe drinking water is essential to survival. Drinking just any water isn’t something you want to risk. Boiling is always a safe bet, but it also consumes a lot of fuel.
Stock up on water purifiers, filters, and iodine tablets to keep you from second-guessing your water sources for as long as possible. Having other ways to purify water in your back pocket is just as important as depending on these items.
For example, you can use bleach to purify water if it’s diluted properly.
It’s also possible to purify water using only the power of the sun with a method known as solar disinfection. It takes longer but doesn’t require any fuel or equipment other than clear bottles.
4. Starting a Fire
Fires are essential for warmth as well as cooking any fish or game you might come across. Knowing how to start and safely maintain a fire is one skill you simply can’t ignore.
It’s a good idea to have a variety of different fire starters such as lighters, Ferro rods, and flint to help you out. It’s also a good idea to hone your fire-starting skills in different environments and weather and with different types of kindling so you’re fully prepared..
5. Fixing Cars
Abandoned cars will likely be all over the place in a post-apocalyptic world. You’ll have plenty of access to cars but if you don’t know how to take care of one, it won’t last you very long. Some basic mechanical knowledge can take you far.
That being said, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn how to hotwire a car while you’re at it, in case you need to pick up a new ride.
6. Horseback Riding
Now, cars are great but they’re not going to keep going forever. Fuel and parts are going to get harder and harder to come by. Eventually, all of that is going to run out.
If you’re so lucky to wrangle yourself a horse in the apocalypse, you’re going to want to know how to ride it. This might not be your first choice of transportation but it’s faster than walking everywhere and it runs on grass and water.
One of the safest places you can be in a post-apocalyptic world is out on the water. Sailing with wind power is an invaluable skill for multiple reasons. You won’t have to rely on gas, it’s easier to stay away from dangerous people, and you can move your entire base with ease.
Not to mention you can use your knowledge of sailing to use the wind to move vehicles on land as well.
GPS won’t stick around long once things start falling apart. Navigation skills will make it simple for you to travel even when you can’t rely on Google Maps to guide you.
Get yourself a map and a compass and learn how to read them. You will also want to know how to triangulate your position on a map so you know exactly where you are. In the event that you lose your maps, you’ll never get lost if you know how to navigate using the stars.
9. Making Clothes
You’re probably pretty set on clothes right now and you may be well into the future, even in an apocalyptic setting. But if you’re thinking about long-term survival, a skill like knitting, weaving, or even sewing by hand will come in handy big time.
With these skills, you can turn any cotton, yarn, or fabric you find into clothes to keep you warm and protected no matter the weather.
Of course, first-aid is an important skill. You’ll need the basics down such as cleaning wounds, bandaging, and CPR. You may also want to think about more intensive training that will help you if you or someone around you gets majorly injured and no one else is around to help.
Knowing how to properly prevent infection. stop bleeding, and set bones can come in real handy in emergency situations. If you plan on building a first aid kit then I would recommend you include these 10 items in your first aid kit.
11. Soap Making
Speaking of preventing infection, soap is your best friend for keeping clean daily as well as cleaning wounds before bandaging or closing. Learn to make your own soap from basic ingredients that are easy to find so you’ll never have to go without.
12. Wood and Metal Crafting
Take up a hobby now that could make the difference when it comes time to rebuild society after the dust settles. Working with wood or metal will make you an extremely valuable player in the apocalypse.
Being able to work with your hands means you can more easily build shelters and craft weapons with the materials available to you.
13. Protecting Yourself
You can load up on all the firearms you want right now but in an apocalypse, they’re only going to last so long. Ammo will run out, parts will rust, and you will find yourself without protection. Unless you do something about it now.
Self-defense skills are vital to your survival. Not only knowing how to fight with your hands but even learning how to fight with a staff will give you a weapon when all the guns start to fail.
Archery is another useful skill you might want to consider taking up. You can fashion yourself a functional bow and arrows for hunting and protection purposes. That way you don’t have to ever go unarmed in a world no longer made for humans.