For some people, the need for survival skills is just part of the world of fiction. It’s something that looks cool in a movie or television show, but it’s nothing to actually concern themselves with.

Others know better. They are the type who have bug out bags, a shelter picked out and a complement of needed, dependable tools. The odds against the world suddenly melting down might be long, but they certainly aren’t impossible.

It’s better to be prepared.

Important Survival Skills

The end of the world as we know it has long been a preoccupation of writers and film makers. People from Stephen King to the makers of “World War Z” have contemplated what the world will look like if civilization should go off the tracks. It’s often not a pretty picture.

While fiction focuses on drama, the real issue are the practical skills in areas where knowledge will make the difference between surviving and, well, not surviving.

Whether missiles start flying, zombies start attacking or a virus escapes from a lab (thanks to King for putting that fear in our heads), those who want to be true survivalists need to hone their skills in the following areas.

Food Preparation

The last thing anyone wants to do is survive the zombie-apocalypse and then die from food poisoning.

Take away fast food chains, pizza delivery and microwave dinners and some people have absolutely no idea what they are eating tonight. Learn to how to handle and cook meat. Learn what you can and cannot eat that grows in in the wild. In the long term, learn how to grow food and raise livestock. This is how your ancestors did it, and they survived long enough to become your ancestors. Learn from their example.


The right tools will be needed, of course. Expert marksmanship with a gun is going to go from a nice survival skill to a requirement. Hunting remains a popular sport in many area, but for others it’s a good time to practice with a gun. Seek training from a professional if you can. Also, you’ll need the right kind of dependable knives for all kinds of tasks, from skinning a buck and scaling a fish to cutting branches for a fire and opening cans.

First Aid

Do you know the first thing about properly dressing a wound? In a world without a doctor’s clinic or hospital to go to with a medical emergency, you’ll need knowledge in how to take care of yourself and your family. At the very least, you should know the skills needed for CPR and basic first aid. This might rank as the most important aspect of survival skills.

Living In the Wilderness

If you want a taste of what happens when the world turns topsy turvy, simply watch the news coverage in areas ravaged by hurricanes. The power goes out. Homes are flooded. Roadways are unpassable. Basic services from the government like garbage pickup and mail delivery don’t happen. And the news is filled with images of people losing their minds.

Now imagine that on a permanent scale.

Building shelter, finding water, building a fire, and setting up a safe camp – all of these are going to be skills the survivalist wants to excel in. That’s as good an excuse as any for taking more camping trips and getting out in the woods for a long weekend.

Is the zombie apocalypse coming? Who knows? One thing for sure, though, is that smart people will be prepared if it does.