With the recent econopocalypse, it’s no wonder that people are becoming more interested in what it would take to survive after our current society has undergone a major shift. After all, if something we thought was intrinsically stable—our financial sector, and the guarantee of ever increasing wealth—is actually pretty flimsy, well, a lot of other things can be brought into question too. Take out a seemingly small piece of the puzzle, like access to gasoline, and you find that your local grocery will run out of goods within 2 days. Learning the basic skills to survive without the modern conveniences of society is a way to prepare yourself for these unpredictable shifts. And, the skills you’ll hone in the process—self-reliance, problem solving, and cleverness—are ones that will definitely benefit you in your everyday life.
1. Get In Shape
It’s not that exciting of a tip, but it’s probably the most important in terms of survival. Having an in-shape cardiovascular system will mean that you’ll be able to run, forage, and do any other intense aerobic activity that comes with living outside of society. Keeping your muscles strong is to key for chopping wood, building shelter, and generally being useful when physical brawn again becomes as important as intellectual ability.
2. Learn Basic Wilderness Skills
Before you hit the military surplus store for thousands of dollars worth of MRE rations, first put a little effort into really getting good at basic skills for navigating outside of your comfort zone. First, learn how to build a fire, without a gallon of fire starter and newspaper. Review how to build a protective shelter outside and how to find water. These three most basic skills aren’t easy—but they are sure to come in handy when you’ve got no lights, heat, or running water.
3. Invest Wisely in Supplies
Now that you’ve shown your commitment to survivalism by knowing a few basic essentials, you can consider investing in the supplies that will make your life easier, after society’s collapse. Don’t head down to your local REI store though—you can burn through your entire nest egg on commercial wilderness and survival gear at those fancy places. Think utility and budget.
• Stock up a pantry of canned goods—think beans, tuna, veggies, fruit, and soups
• Get bulk basics like oil, sugar, salt, peanut butter, rice, lentils, and any other grains you prefer
• Pick up a rechargeable LED flashlight for every member of your family
• Get several 5 gallon jugs of water
• Create a comprehensive first aid kid
• If you don’t have one, purchase a firearm and stock up on ammunition
4. Learn How to Feed Yourself
No matter how many Costco jugs of peanut butter you buy, your food stock isn’t going to last forever. Any survivalist has to know how to feed themselves when the going gets tough. This includes growing food, foraging, fishing, and hunting. Stock up on seeds, and start with a small vegetable garden. Learn to identify and find edible and medicinal plants in your area. If you’ve never hunted, start small. Find, catch, kill, and cook a rabbit or squirrel to start.
5. Learn Antiquated Skills
Back before the days of Super Wal-Mart and excess income, regular people like you and me knew skills for surviving the year. In the winter when there weren’t any fresh fruits and vegetables, people depended on canned, pickled, smoked, and other preserved food that they had prepared in the summertime. Candles offered valuable light, and handmade soap kept them clean. These are the types of skills that will not only keep you alive longer, but will actually make living a little more enjoyable.
Joy Paley is a science and technology writer from Berkeley, California. She is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and writes on accredited online degrees for Guide to Online Schools.