Best Outdoor Survival Skills

In an increasingly urbanized world, it’s easy to forget that our ancestors were adept at surviving in the wilderness with nothing more than their wits and a few essential skills. However, understanding and practicing survival skills can be a lifesaver in unforeseen circumstances. Whether you’re an avid outdoors enthusiast or just someone who wants to be prepared for the unexpected, this comprehensive guide to the best outdoor survival skills will equip you with the knowledge and techniques necessary to thrive in the great outdoors.

SOL Scout Survival Kit

Features of the Adventure Medical Kits SOL Scout Survival Kit Contains: Compass, Fire Lite; Sparker, Survival Fishing and Sewing Kit, Survive Outdoors Longer Survival Blanket 96in. x 60in., Mini Rescue Flash; Signal Mirror, Slim Rescue Howler; Whistle, Tinder Quike;

Mastering the Mindset

Survival starts with the right mindset. Remaining calm and focused in a crisis is half the battle. Panic can cloud judgment and lead to poor decision-making. To maintain a strong mindset, remember:

  • Stay Positive: Maintain a hopeful outlook and believe in your ability to overcome challenges.
  • Set Goals: Prioritize your needs and set achievable goals to meet them.
  • Adaptability: Be flexible in your approach and willing to adapt to changing circumstances.

Finding Shelter

Exposure to the elements is one of the greatest threats in a survival situation. Knowing how to create shelter is paramount:

  • Natural Shelters: Learn to identify caves, rock formations, and fallen trees that can serve as natural shelters.
  • Tarp Shelters: Carry a lightweight tarp for constructing quick and effective shelter.
  • Debris Huts: Master the art of building a debris hut using available natural materials.

Locating and Purifying Water

Without clean water, survival becomes exponentially more challenging. Here’s how to ensure a safe water source:

  • Water Sources: Know where to find water, such as rivers, streams, and natural springs.
  • Purification Methods: Learn to purify water through boiling, chemical treatment, or portable filters.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Use available materials to collect rainwater for consumption.

Starting a Fire

Fire is essential for warmth, cooking, signaling, and psychological comfort. To start a fire in the wild:

  • Fire-Starting Tools: Carry waterproof matches, a lighter, or a firestarter.
  • Tinder Gathering: Identify and gather dry tinder, such as leaves, twigs, and bark.
  • Fire Lay: Use the proper fire lay techniques, such as teepee or log cabin, to maximize efficiency.

Navigating the Wilderness

Getting lost is a real possibility in the wilderness. To navigate effectively:

  • Map and Compass: Always carry a map and compass and know how to use them.
  • Landmarks: Learn to identify natural landmarks and use them for orientation.
  • GPS and Modern Navigation: Utilize GPS devices and smartphone apps as backup tools.

Hunting and Gathering Food

Sustenance is crucial for survival. While hunting and foraging require knowledge and skills:

  • Edible Plants: Study local flora to identify edible plants and fruits.
  • Primitive Traps: Learn to construct traps for small game, such as snares and deadfalls.
  • Fishing and Hunting: Develop fishing and hunting skills, including tracking and stalking techniques.

First Aid and Medical Skills

Injuries and illnesses can occur in the wild. Be prepared with basic first aid knowledge:

  • First Aid Kit: Assemble a compact, comprehensive first aid kit.
  • Wound Care: Learn how to clean, dress, and bandage wounds.
  • CPR and Rescue Breathing: Know how to perform CPR and rescue breathing.

Signaling for Rescue

Sometimes, you’ll need outside help. Effective signaling can make the difference:

  • Whistle and Signal Mirror: Carry a whistle and signal mirror for long-range communication.
  • Fire and Smoke: Create smoke signals by adding green leaves or damp materials to your fire.
  • SOS Signals: Learn how to create visible SOS signals using rocks or branches.


Survival skills are not just for extreme situations; they empower you to confidently explore the great outdoors while being prepared for any unexpected challenges that may arise. By mastering these essential survival skills, you not only enhance your outdoor experience but also ensure your safety and well-being in the wilderness. Remember, preparation and practice are key, so start honing your skills today to become a true wilderness survivor.

Reading More

Be sure to check out the 5 Best Watches for Outdoor Recreation from For urban survival, check out our blog post about urban survival tips.


Best Items For Your Survival Kit
Best Items For Your Survival Kit

In an unpredictable world where emergencies and unexpected situations can arise...

How To Navigate Personal Disaster Response
How To Navigate Personal Disaster Response

Preparedness is critical in moments of crisis. Whether facing natural disasters...

How To Get A GMRS Radio License
How To Get A GMRS Radio License

A GMRS Radio license, or the General Mobile Radio Service, is...

5 Survival Skills Everyone Should Know
5 Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

In an unpredictable world, knowing how to fend for oneself in...