In today's world with the collapsing economy, pollution running unchecked across our planet, the threat of the take over of our "safe" food supply by GMO's, and many other threats to our safety, I feel I should share some very basic skills for survival. You never know when these skills may come in handy.
The most important thing you need to know is the Sacred Order of survival. The sacred order of survival is: Shelter, water, fire, food. Know this well because when faced with a survival situation, you will need to focus on conserving your energy and resources. The biggest threat to your survival is YOU. Most people die in a survival situation because they don't do the one thing that will save their life; Think. If you know the Sacred Order your thoughts can be productive and you can focus on what you need to do first. Remember, panic most times is fatal in a survival situation.
Shelter is first in the Sacred Order because the most common cause of death in a survival situation is hypothermia. What type of shelter you need depends on the terrain, climate, season and what materials or resources are available. In a wooded terrain during the summer months a lean-to or debris hut may be all that you need to stay warm and dry. However, if it is winter and it is snowing you will need a much warmer shelter. A small cave can suffice or you can build a shelter out of the snow. Snow is an excellent insulator.
Once your shelter is built, you will need to focus on a drinking water supply. Water is second in the Sacred Order because you can only survive a few days without water. Again, this is where you will need to think! How you obtain water will depend on what resources you have with you and what is available in the terrain. If there is no running water nearby you can obtain water by collecting the dew off the plants and trees with an absorbent cloth (bandana, T-shirt, etc.) and squeezing the cloth into your mouth. Remember never eat snow unless you can melt it first! Eating snow causes your body temperature to drop and can lead to hypothermia.
Next in the Sacred Order is fire. Having a lighter or matches with you is very handy, but if you don't you will need to know how to fashion and use a bow drill or hand drill to make fire. To make a bow drill or hand drill and using them requires skill and a great deal of practice. I suggest you spend time on this at home so that if you find yourself in a survival situation you will already possess the skill necessary. You will need to know what to collect for your bow drill, what kinds of wood will work, how to assemble it, and how to use it. You will need to know what to use for a tinder bundle for getting your fire started and how to keep it going. Materials for your tinder bundle should be dry and light. Lint from your clothing, dried grasses or leaves, and shredded dry cedar bark are good for tinder. Make sure you have all your kindling and firewood gathered before lighting your tinder bundle.
Now that you have your shelter, water and fire, it is time to focus on food. What is available depends on your terrain and season. Humans can survive several weeks without food, still, it is good to know some wild edibles. Cattails are edible. The young shoots can be cooked like asparagus, the corms can be cooked and eaten like small potatoes. Pine needles can be boiled and drank and are rich in vitamin C. The inner bark of the pine tree can be scraped, dried and used for flour to make a kind of bread. All grasses and grass seeds in North American are edible. Grass seeds can be boiled to make a hot cereal. No, it won't taste like the foods you are accustomed to, but it will keep you alive! There are also many poisonous plants around. Never eat anything you aren't sure of.
These are the basics that can keep you alive in a survival situation. I recommend learning more advanced skills such as making traps, running a trap line, making a fish trap, making basic tools and cordage, making utility containers for cooking and eating, tanning hides, making clothing, and advanced shelters.
In my experience and opinion, having a spiritual connection with our Earth Mother is the most important skill of all. I have always found that when I sit quietly and ask her a question, she will show me what I need to know. Learn her voice and how to communicate with her and instead of surviving, you will flourish.
It is important to learn and practice the skills prior to needing them. If you remember to think instead of panic, follow the Sacred Order, shelter, water, fire, food, you will significantly increase your ability to survive. For more how-to specifics please refer to: