Survival Skills and Hobbies That Can Save Your Life

survival skills, survival tips, survival hobbies, shtf survival

I am a survivor! Thanks to my survival skills, I have survived having a car engine fall on my leg while I was alone outside in the middle of a Northern Illinois Winter. I have survived being attacked with a knife. I have survived having a rifle being leveled at my head. Furthermore, I have survived being on Mount Rainer when it was 20 degrees below zero. I have survived hiking 40 miles over five days along the Appalachian Trail, even when the water source we counted on did not exist.

I survived my old Willy’s Jeep getting stuck in an old rock quarry in the middle of the night while “off-roading.” I have survived breaking bones where there were no nearby hospitals. Furthermore, I have survived being stuck in a blizzard while driving to Colorado in the winter. I have survived three hurricanes in a row in South Florida. I have survived a tornado in the Midwest that took our home’s roof off. So, those are a few of my misadventures in life. Let me share with you what I have done to make these and other events survivable.

10 Survival Skills You Should Learn Now

Below are my top ten prepper hobbies or survival skills that I recommend:

  • Backpacking and “real” camping
  • Shooting Firearms
  • Martial Arts/Self-Defense/Combative
  • Cooking
  • Off Road Driving/Riding
  • Archery
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Reading

I will be providing details of each of these survival skills and hobbies in detail with future articles, but for now I would like to just start you thinking about these and what they can do for you.

  • Back Packing and “real” camping – Why would you do this activity? Well, because you learn how to improvise, how to move carrying a pack, how to look for water, how to “rough it.” These survival skills and more await you when you backpack.
  • Shooting Firearms – This survival skill allows you to participate in another hobby, hunting. It also allows you to lawfully defend yourself against deadly force threats.
  • Martial Arts/Self-Defense/Combatives – This has been a pastime of mine for forty years now, but you don’t need to spend much time at all if you choose the correct system and learn what you really need to know. If you wish to practice a traditional and cultural martial art, you can gain fitness and some fighting skills, but if you want to cut to the chase then you can learn some real combatives and be set for a threat when you are unarmed.
  • Cooking – This is how you learn to make a decent meal out of whatever is on hand. When the power is out and all you have is a charcoal barbeque grill, knowing how to cook and grill will be one of the best survival skills you can have.
  • Off-Road Driving/Riding – This refers to knowing how to navigate obstacles in the road and off the road when the infrastructure is compromised. I personally have driven a pickup truck or SUV for the last 25 years or more. I like the extra ground clearance and if you have a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle then that is all the better.
  • Archery is an inexpensive and handy survival skill to have. You can hunt with a bow and also defend yourself if necessary (watch the last Rambo movie…). Bows are quiet and arrows are re-usable.
  • Auto Mechanics or just learning to be handy and repair things around the house – This skill can help you improvise a repair when needed. You don’t have to learn a lot or even take any type of course, but you can read up on these things and try your hand at fixing something. When the world is not a convenient place after a natural or manmade disaster, you will not be able to call a repair person or take your car to a garage to be fixed.
  • Hunting –  If you want to eat and there are animals around, then hunting is a good skill to have. I have most of my experience hunting small game such as rabbits and squirrels. Have a friend who hunts take you out and teach you what you need to do. It is also quite enjoyable as well.
  • Fishing – Same reason as hunting, if you want to eat and there are fish in a body of water, then knowing how to get those fish out of that water and into a frying pan is a good skill to have.
  • Reading – I know what you are thinking…reading…how does that save my bacon when the SHTF? Well, reading requires no technology, and you can learn a lot when you need to know something by picking up a book or manual on the topic that is of interest. You need to start reading now to develop your skill set and perhaps have an actual small library of self-help prepper type books available when the power goes out.

I will elaborate more in the future with additional articles, but there you have it. Think about these suggestions and try one or two. You cannot go wrong learning any of these survival skills.

So for now, be careful out there and remember, “If not me, then who?”

Have any survival skills to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

Check out this related comment from Survival Life:

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nov 14, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

9 Responses to :
Survival Skills and Hobbies That Can Save Your Life

  1. David Favor says:

    Great article + it’s essential to have a bug out bag with you at all times.

    What’s in your bag will depend on you, who’s with you + your climate.

    To many complexities to cover in a comment + best to really consider a good option for your specific situation.

  2. David Favor says:

    This is a test comment to see how well the Javascript comment enhancer works on heavy traffic sites like this one + ones like it.

  3. One hobby which includes most of the above is scouting. This more for boys rather than man. If you have children, scouting definitely makes them more hardy!

    Another Hobby/Survival Skill is Acting! Acting will get you out of many troubled situations. It is all about the manipulation of the mind and acting surely is one skill able to do that.

    For more stuff please visit

  4. Lex says:

    Camping and hiking i think would be the classic survival skill hobbies.
    Hiking to be fit and able bodied, use of compass, binoculars, knowledge of local plant and animal life, food and water conservation and foraging. Camping for fire making, rough cooking, shelter basics, possible hunting and fishing.

  5. Jay says:

    I need to be good at cooking and off road driving. Archery , hunting and shooting firearms are way overboard where I live now.

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