Survival Forum

Prepping For SHTF

Skills Every Survivalist Should Know

Some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event happens, what are some basic skills every survivalist should know?

Trying to balance work, family life and prepping means there is not a lot of free time.  Kids birthday parties, work a garden, go to the shooting range, tend to the fruit trees, go fishing, take the kids to the movies,,, you get the idea.  It would be nice to have unlimited free time to learn survival skills, but free time is in high demand.

If you had to pick certain skills that every survivalist should know, what would those skills be?  After putting a lot of thought into this topic, I come up with a basic list.  This is in no way a definitive or complete list.  Lets consider this list as food for thought.

  • Infection Control (Epidemiology)
  • First Aid
  • Raising Livestock
  • Gardening
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Preserving food
  • How to use firearms

Infection Control (Epidemiology)

Why is infection control (aka Epidemiology) important? When a waterborne pathogen can wipe out a community in a matter of days, we should have knowledge on the most common forms of waterborne infections.

How do you make contaminated water safe to drink? What factors contribute to contamination of a water source?

If someone becomes sick, what is likely to have caused the infection? How do you prevent others from becoming sick?

What is the difference between E. Coli, Shigella and Cryptosporidium? How do we prevent the spread of each type of pathogen?  What factors facilitate the spread of certain infectious agents?

First Aid

When someone becomes injured, what now?

Someone hits their foot with a hoe, what needs to be done to reduce the risk of infection?

Are you stockpiling first aid preps?  Do you know hot to treat basic wounds and injuries?

Raising Livestock

Livestock helped mankind move away from the hunter gather lifestyle.  Instead of having to hunt for food, livestock provide food without having to expend large amounts of energy having to hunt for it.

What types of livestock do well in your area?  Do you have a place to keep livestock?  What types of livestock are the most beneficial during a long term survival situation?

What types of livestock are the easiest to raise?

While reading through the forums I see people posting about the best type of goat or chicken.  Ok?  So what if you know “what” kind of goat or chicken is the best for a long term SHTF situation.  Does that person have a source for those animals?  What kind of farm animals are being raised in your area?

My favorite types of chickens are Rhode Island Reds and Bared Rocks.  Both of which are raised in my area.  I have 4 Rhode Islands and 2 Barred Rocks in my chicken coop right now.

What are you doing to ensure that you are able to obtain and raise livestock after TEOTWAWKI event?

Does anyone around your Bug Out Location already have livestock? Have you talked to those people? Have you made attempts to be on their good side?


The only long term food solution is gardening. Sooner or later the #10 cans and mylar bags are going to run out. Good luck on planting a can of beans and growing a bean plant.

What plants require the least amount of fertilizer?  What plants provide the highest nutritional punch with the least amount of fertilizer?

What plants grow the fastest?  What plants grow the slowest?

What are the best seeds to stockpile for SHTF / TETOWAWKI?

What do you need to raise to provide a balanced diet?

What types of plants are best for long term storage? What is the difference between summer and winter squash?

Are you stockpiling seeds for a long term survival garden? Are you stockpiling open pollinated, hybrid, or both?

Have you planted fruit trees at the Bug Out Location?

Do you know how to save seeds for next years garden?  Have you tested saving your seeds to make sure everything is going to work out?


When the garden and livestock do not produce enough food, it will be up to you to put something to eat on the table. When was the last time you went rabbit hunting? When was the last time you went squirrel hunting?

white tail deer and atv

Whitetail deer taken with Marlin 336 30-30

Are you stockpiling ammunition for the game in your area?

If you are able to get a hog or a deer, would you know how to process to carcass?

How often do you get into the woods? How often do you go hunting? Are you on a hunting lease, have a place to hunt or have access to public hunting land?


Fishing has helped sustain mankind for tens of thousands of years, why change now?

My personal opinion, fishing does not get the attention it deserves.  Maybe its not as glorious as getting a deer or a hog?  Someone says they plan on fishing during a long term survival situation, and people say something like “so what?”.

Bringing home a stinger full of fish does not have the same “wow” factor as bringing in a deer or a wild hog.  Because of this, I think people overlook fishing as an essential survival skill.

In order to utilize fishing, are you stockpiling fishing gear?

Are you stockpiling gear for trotlines, hooks, juglines, rods and reels and other fishing equipment?

Every year a buddy of mine and I try to go on a camping / fishing trip on a local river. While on this trip I try to make observations and take notes. What works, what does not work, and what needs to be changed for next years trip?

Preserving Food

Once the beans, peas, squash,,, has been harvested, now what?

Do you have a plan for drying beans and peas for storage?  What about corn?  Is raising and storing corn included in your long term survival plans?

Do you have a pressure cooker, do you have jars and lids stockpiled?

Do you plan on using a solar dehydrator? If you plan on using a solar dehydrator, have you tested your theory to see if things are going to work out?


During a real SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, the cities will collapse first.  Those that win the battles in the cities will move into the countryside looking for food.  What makes you think your handful of people can ward off dozens of looters?

While working on our gardens and livestock, a lot of survivalist do not invest enough time into weapons training.

If you want to keep what is yours, preppers need to get some trigger time.  Get with some combat vets, have them do some hands on training with you.


And that is my partial list of skills every survivalist should know.

If you agree, disagree, feel free to share your opinions.


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