Five military survival skills for preppers

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Having a compass in your pocket or day bag is handy, but in case
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Prepping Survival Skills
Five military survival skills for preppers

Five military survival skills a prepper should master...
There are five basic survival skills (and learning to use paracord
is not one of them). The five basic survival skills a prepper needs
to master just so happen to be the five basic military skills. They
include: finding water, shelter building, foraging for food, fire
building and navigating.

Five Military Survival Skills for Preppers
The best way to ensure you learn survival skills is by practicing
skills in the field. Look to the military for the five basic survival
skills below and start practicing.

The five basic military survival skills include:

#1: Securing Potable Water.
Water is life. Every prepper worth his weight in salt knows you
can’t live more than three days without water, so it’s a top
priority in a survival situation to find some. Even on a day hike
you should carry with you a water bottle filled with life-saving
fluid. There are other things to pack to help ensure your survival:

  • Get a metal container. Your water bottle should be of
    metal or you should have a metal cookset, so that you can
    boil water if need be. Never eat snow as it will chill you. It’s
    better to let snow melt near the fire in your metal cup. A
    cup can also help you capture dew and rain.

  • Pack a firestarter even for a day trip. A firestarter is
    everyday carry will help you boil your water to kill off
    pathogens.

  • Consider bringing a waterstraw. If you have room, pack a
    lifestraw water filter. Honestly, waterstaws suck, but they
    are lifesaving and clever devices. With a water straw you
    can suck fresh water from a lake, creek or stream -- even a
    puddle or a mud hole that you dig. Unfortunately a water
    straw can’t remove salt water so you can’t use it with sea
    water, ocean water or brackish water.

  • Water treatment tablets. Another way to get potable water
    in an emergency situation is water treatment tablets, like
    Potable Aqua. These tiny pills will help turn water that’s
    substandard and disinfect it so that you don’t need to worry
    about the bacteria harming you. It’s peace of mind in an
    emergency.

  • Stash electrolyte powders. Tuck into your day bag some
    electrolyte powders for your journey. These little packet
    powders will come in handy in case of heat stroke or a
    diarrheal episode and it will make the water taste better,
    too.

But what if you’ve exhausted your water options or didn’t bring
any of the things we’ve outlined above? As a survival skill finding
water is your top priority.

Know where to find water:
Below are some tips for helping you find water.
Five Military Survival Skills for preppers
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Survival Lilly, above, offers a variety of bushcrafting skills in her simple
videos. Watch and learn how to craft a simple lean-to shelter

#3: Foraging for Food.
Foraging for food is how you'll find food in the wilderness without
hunting tools. The most important rule of foraging for food is that
if you can't identify the plant then it's not safe for you to eat.
Never eat anything unless you're 100% certain what it is. Take a
class on local food foraging. Also, have a book handy.

You can help sustain your survival by foraging for food and these
are your best options because they are easy to recognize.

Remember that the foods above are easy to recognize. Beware of
non-edible look-alikes, which could kill you. Stay away from
mushrooms as they offer little nutritional value and may be
poisonous.

Always have food in your day bag:
If you’re in the wild and anticipating a rescue, finding food isn’t
your top priority because you can live up to three weeks without
food, but if you’re in dire straights because no one knows you’re
missing or you’re in a remote location where rescue is dismal, you’
ll need to elevate food finding as a priority. In your day bag there
are a few key things you can pack to make getting lost a little
easier:

  • Hard candies. Sugar is energy and will lift your spirits and
    fuel your path to safety. A Jolly Rancher, a butterscotch or a
    Lifesaver could be, well a real lifesaver! Alternatively, bring
    along energy chews. If you’re in bear country, put these
    items far away from your campsite as they will attract an
    unwanted night visitor.

  • Food bars. Food bars are easy to pack and satisfying.
    Pemmican is an acquired taste of animal fat, nuts and
    berries, but well worth considering. (Ration bars are heavy
    bricks and not recommended for a day hike).

  • Beef Jerky. Beef jerky is a classic food to bring along as it’s
    dehydrated and lightweight. The salt content will have you
    thirsty, but on the other hand salt helps you retain water
    making it an excellent choice to bring.

Regarding finding food in the wild, keep the following in mind:

  • Crickets and grasshoppers. Insects are, for the most part,
    a safe food to eat, but for safety stick to crickets and
    grasshoppers, which are protein packed and easier to spot.
    Don’t eat the hairy bugs or the brightly colored ones. Avoid
    the spiders and anything venomous. Obviously skip the other
    critters like flies, ticks and mosquitoes. Avoid the
    cockroaches, too! Like we said, stick to the crickets and
    grasshoppers.

If you’re unsure: don’t eat it!
  • Avoid mushrooms. They provide little nutritional value and
    could kill you.
  • Beware of berries. Half of the red berries will kill you.
  • Avoid anything plant or insect that’s milky sap or has a
    strong smell. It’s nature’s way of warning you not to eat it.

Craving meat?
Unless you brought along a survival fishing kit or know how to
knock a rodent with rock or sling shot, you’d better not waste
your precious energy hunting. Put your survival skills to good use
navigating your way home instead.

4. Fire building.
Building a fire is a skill that every prepper should master. It
begins with collecting firewood, logs, twigs and tinder. With a fire
you can do the following:
  • Stay warm.
  • Light the night.
  • Cook food.
  • Make water potable.
  • Add comfort and renew hope.
  • Signal for help.

Learn how to build a fire:
#2: Shelter building.
There are five basic survival skills, and learning to use paracord
is not one of them. Okay we lied about the paracord thing.
Knowing h
ow to use paracord is still extremely important because
it can help you with shelter building. The thing is that you don't
need paracord. You can use dental floss, fishing wire or other
cordage!

One of the most important skills you can have in addition to
finding water is shelter building. To that end, here are some
important things to remember to bring along.

  • Have some cordage. Hopefully you have some cordage in
    your Every day carry. (small cluster of survival items carried
    in a pocket, belt, holster, wallet or purse Paracord is
    available abundantly in raw form or transformed into
    bracelets and keychains. Paracord is a popular survival item,
    but you’ll need to have a knife. Few consider that even
    dental floss is good cordage material and a great candidate
    for your go bag because it’s so lightweight, it’s strong and it
    cuts easily thanks to the container.

  • Bring a bivvy. Even on a day trip it’s a good idea to bring a
    bivvy should you get lost in the woods. What's a bivvy? A
    bivvy is a lightweight sack, like a sleeping bag, that’s made
    of Mylar. It’s goal is to help you retain body heat and help
    you avoid hypothermia. It can also help you feel secure
    against the elements as the night critters make their way
    out to bite you.

Here are some considerations should you find yourself with no
man-made materials to build your shelter.

  • Select the campsite. The shelter you build should be close
    enough to your water source as a campsite, but your goal is
    to find something high and dry. You should also steer clear
    of widow makers. Widowmakers are trees that could fall on
    you at night, killing you and thus theoretically making you a
    widow. If you have a perfect spot, you may decide to fell a
    tree to ensure it doesn't inadvertently make you a widow.

  • Insulate yourself from the ground. Leaves can provide a
    bedding and insulate you from the cold earth that gets colder
    by night.

  • Know how to build simple lean to. Below, SurvivalLily shows
    you how to make a simple lean-to shelter.
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Once you gain experience in firebuilding, you can move beyond
and maximize your fire. For example, if you brought a bivvy or a
Mylar blanket you can use the reflective material to reflect heat
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