10 essential outdoor survival skills

How do you prepare for outdoor survival and what are the key skills you need to equip yourself with?

10 essential outdoor survival skills

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In terms of knowledge, learning what you can/cannot eat in the wild and which items you should always take with you will both help greatly; in terms of skills required, the key ones are outlined below:

Building and starting a fire

Fire can be used to signal for help, to cook food, and to boil water to make it drinkable; therefore, having the skills to build and start a fire is essential for outdoor survival. You will be able to find a step-by-step guide online.

Building a shelter

Exposure to the elements can be a killer; therefore, it is vital to be able to build a shelter from the resources around you. Outdoor Life shows how to make 15 different types of survival shelter. Remember not to lie directly on the ground; instead, make a natural mattress of leaves and debris, which will help to maintain body heat.

10 essential outdoor survival skills2

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If you are planning a trip during which there is even the slightest opportunity that you may find yourself isolated or in a precarious situation, you need to be as prepared as possible. You can buy specialist outdoor equipment, such as the Vanquest messenger bag or the Vanquest TOLCAT 2.0 VPacker gear bag, from stockists such as http://www.angloforro.co.uk/product/vanquest-envoy-3-0-messenger-bag/.

Finding water and making it drinkable

Water from the ground, puddles and streams is often the only water you will be able to find. To ensure this is drinkable, you should boil it on your fire and then let it cool down. Water from snow, dew and rain is unlikely to be dangerous, and soaking up dew with handkerchiefs and then ringing them out can provide a surprising amount of drinkable water.

Catching food

Using an improvised spear is the best way to catch fish and/or small creatures. A four-pronged spear is much more effective than a single point. Again, you will be able to find instructions on how to make one online.


You can use the stars and the sky to work out which direction you are facing. Once you know this, pick a landmark to follow and always keep it on view. Alternatively, if you are near a river, try to stay adjacent to it.