How to Survive the Apocalypse

Do you have what it takes to survive? No, you don’t. Here are the 25 skills you must master to stay alive when society crumbles.

1. Master EBay

Alright, this isn’t an apocalypse survival skill. It’s prep work. That’s right, friend-o, you’re a prepper now. Get used to it. There’s lots of cheap survival gear to be had on eBay. So get on there and buy yourself a Chinese machete.

2. Eat Wild Plants Without Dying

When you’re out there dodging black helicopters and government super zombies, you’re going to have trouble finding time to poach an egg. You need to know which leaves and berries will nourish you, and which will turn you into fertilizer.

3. Hunting & Fishing

It takes a lot of energy to endure the elements whilst battling the gasoline gangs. You’re not going to make it on a vegetarian diet. So, before the roof comes down, learn to hunt, fish, flay, cook and eat wild animals. If you’re squeamish, get over it! Using nets can also be a more practical alternative to sitting around with a rod and reel.

4. Paleolithic Handyman Skills

You may have a few tools, and you may find some here and there. But to ensure your survival, you will need to learn to make tools out of sticks and rocks. That old ax will only last so long- even if you learn to sharpen it on rocks. It’s time to start thinking about skins, logs, and caves my friend.

5. Animal Husbandry

No, we’re not talking about marrying animals. We’re talking about caring for animals that can help you survive. Dogs can help you protect you and hunt. Cats can rid your lair of vermin. If you’re lucky enough to wrangle a cow and a horse, you’re going to need some skills to make them your friends.

6. Gardening & Seed Saving

Gardening is a lot harder than you think, and without any of the chemical cheats modern farmers use- it’s going to be a serious challenge. But if you intend to survive in the wild, you’re going to have to master it. You’ll be able to scavenge for a while until things go bad. Use this time to learn organic gardening.

7. Food Preservation

Making a root cellar is not difficult, and a lot of foods can be preserved naturally if you learn how. So start learning how.

8. Construction

While your tools are still good, and you’re not in the stone age yet- learn to build a solid structure using nothing but an ax. If you don’t get a shelter up before your tools break- you’ll have a much harder time.

9. Water Purification

There are certain plants that can be made into water purifiers. Figure out what they are and try to accept the fact that you’re probably never going to have a mojito again.

10. First Aid & Medicine

You will get hurt, and when you do, knowing some basic first aid will make the difference between a grievous injury and a slow, painful death by infection.

11. Fisticuffs

Chances are, you will have to compete for resources. If you’re protecting your family as well as yourself, you may well need to kick someone’s face in to survive. Get back in the gym, and hang a punching bag in your garage.

12. Mechanics

The right kind of car or motorcycle might last you a long time if you have a fuel source, tools, and know-how. Even when all the gas is gone, a dead car can make a pretty good shelter. We recommend hiding it in the woods before it dies so that you’re not sleeping out in the open.

13. Soap & Candle Making

Soap can keep you alive, especially if you’re in a hot and wet environment where infections are always threatening to take hold. Making candles is also a good way to ensure you’ll have light in the dark.

14. Blacksmithing

You’re going to have to be pretty good at making fires before you can do this, but you’ll be glad you did.

15. Irrigation

You’re going to need to move water around to take care of your garden and your animals. This can also help you to purify the water you use.

16. Alternative Fuel Use

Those solar panels are only going to last so long. You should learn to process animal fats, tree sap, and other composted materials to fuel whatever machines you manage to salvage, but mostly for lamps and cooking.

17. Beekeeping

Honey is very rich in energy, and it’s fairly good for you. At least learn to smoke out bees, and gather that sweet golden goodness.

18. Masonry

No, you’re not going to join a lodge and go to parties like in Eyes Wide Shut. You’re going to learn to bake bricks to help support the structures you build.

19. Cobbling

Your shoes will bottom out eventually, and you can’t count on being able to scavenge new pairs. Learn to make shoes from found materials. Having quality shoes that you can run in can mean the difference between life and Deliverance.

20. Piloting

Okay, you probably won’t find too many usable planes just standing around. But if you do, there’s a big difference between being where you are and being where you want to be.

21. Spear-Fighting & Staff Wielding

Like everything else in the world, all the cool weapons are probably going to break down without an industrial infrastructure to maintain them. That’s why learning to fight with a spear and a staff is something you should get a head start on.

22. Boating

Should you find a usable boat, or manage to make one, crossing a great river or sea can get you into much more comfortable surroundings.

23. Master The Seasons

In Winter, you will need to hunker down, in Autumn you probably want to migrate to better land if your surroundings are not ideal. Know your local weather and what’s best for surviving each season while preparing for the next.

24. Patience

If you don’t have the ability to quiet your mind and be still, it can be hard to hide, hunt, and most importantly, to stay sane.

25. Looking Good While Doing It

Staying alive is great, but you don’t want to look like Bigfoot with acne should you eventually find a mate out there in the great wide post-apocalyptic world. Master all the above skills to such a degree that you don’t make the last woman on Earth puke into her compost pile.

Photos: Getty Images

Chuck and Kelly

Chuck and Kelly

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