Prepper Survival Skills

Above, learn how to navigate with a compass, courtesy of Howcast.

Prepper Skill #35: Morse Code
Morse code is an interesting skill for preppers to learn! Morse code
uses a simple series of dots and dashes that could be a valuable
comm. Morse code alphabet is the expression of the minimum of
one character and a maximum of four characters.Preppers love
Morse code because you can express your communication on paper,
through sound, visual clues, body language, flashlights and much

You can use morse code in any number of ways:
  1. Pen and paper or texting
  2. Tapping a table, door, window ~ whatever
  3. Through a HAM radio (only once you've mastered it)
  4. Blinking your eyes
  5. Signaling through flashing lights
  6. Using touch or pressure (tugs of a rope, touching someone)
  7. Whistling ~ you could even do Morse code on a flute!

Learn more and in our
crash course on Morse Code for preppers.

Prepper Skill #36: Navigation.
Navigation is one of the top five survival skills in the military, but
perhaps they didn't learn the following skills.

Prepper Skill #37: Target shooting / marksmanship.
The right to bear arms is an American tradition. And while Happy
Preppers are not gun happy, they do recognize that use of a
weapon may become necessary in uncertain times. We respect the
Second amendment right to bear arms! We will protect our family
and our food reserves. The adage "Desperate actions call for
desperate measures," comes to mind. Learning how to properly care
for guns and ammunition and to practice at the shooting range,
could be an interesting hobby to pursue. Most importantly, with gun
safety, is to lock and secure firearms safely away from children.
Even if a Happy Prepper is not happy with the idea of guns, he or
she should consider the protection of a bullet proof vest. "If guns
were outlawed, then only outlaws would have guns."

Prepper Skill #38: Raising Livestock.
Raising livestock is an ideal prepper skill and yet not everyone can
have a cow! Consider going small scale, such as:

  • Rabbits: Get a hutch, some feed, and have a willingness to
    water and care for rabbits daily. It is a commitment, but
    anything worthwhile is.

  • Goats: Goat keeping in your backyard may be more practical
    than tending the chickens or raising rabbits. Goats provide
    many benefits:
  1. Goats provide you with meat. Goat meat is comparable in
    nutritional value to lamb or beef.
  2. Goats clear the land. Goats will eat just about everything
    to keep a fire line on the perimeter of your homestead to
    mitigate the risk of wildfires.
  3. Goats produce milk from which you can make: cheese,
    yogurt and even soap!
  4. Goats are pack animals. A select few preppers consider
    their goats "bugout goats.
  5. Goats produce dung. You can use their dried dung as fuel
    or their fresh dung for composting the manure.
  6. Goats will provide you with hide and hair! Turn their hair
    into mohair and their hide into tanned leather.

  • Worms. Think of them as mini livestock!

Prepper Skill #39: Scouting.
Scouts are the ultimate preppers.Like the motto says, "Be
prepared."  The original Boy Scout manual, above left, is an
invaluable resource in bushcraft.

Prepper Skill #40: Shoemaking.
A lost art, shoemaking is an important prepping skill. During the
Great Depression, people could make most of the articles they
needed, like clothing, or make do without. Shoes were the harder
exception and as a result they had to get crafty and insert
cardboard or repair the ones they had to make them last longer.
(They often couldn't make new shoes from scratch.)

Prepper Skill #41: Self Defense.
The study of Martial Arts not only develops self confidence, it is an
extremely useful survival tool. Happy Preppers have a basic
knowledge of self defense tactics to employ. Martial Arts have
many peaceable alternatives, such as Aikido, which contains no
attacks, only defense. Without competition everyone is winner!

Prepper Skill #42: Soap Making.
Soapmaking is an essential prepper skill! You can buy supplies from
the local arts and crafts shop or you can make from ash.

Prepper Skill #43: Swimming.
Earth is about 75% water ~ this is what makes swimming an
essential survival skill.  

  • Military Swimming — How Good Should You Be? To be in the
    military you need to swim well. Essentially you need to be
    comfortable in water. You don't need to be the fastest. You
    just need to know how to swim with your clothes on and swim
    under water. West Point Cadets learn how to swim in their
    combat uniforms as part of their physical training.

Prepper Skill #44: Welding.
Welders can offer a creative source of toolmaking from weaponry,
to repairing a vehicle, to creating an energy source. What can you
weld together for your survival. Your welding skills may help you in
a survival situation. Welding is a prepper skill recommended by
Practical Preppers.

Prepper Skill #45: Whittling.
Whittle while you work! Whittling is a skill. You can whittle useful
items as you pass away the evening time, including a knitting
needle or a crochet hook, games for the kids, a slingshot, a bow
and arrows, and so much more. Your shavings are helpful for
lighting a fire!

What prepping skills are you planning to acquire?
Get happy sharing your hobby ideas with HappyPreppers on Twitter.
We're Happy Preppers and happy to hear what you have to say.
Please visit us on Twitter and join the secret society of Happy
Preppers to get prepping tips, share ideas, and to learn of new
products to keep you happy and prepared. Get ready, get prep, go!

Self reliance depends on the forgotten skills of the past and the
survival skills you build and practice upon as a prepper.

Three great books on self sufficiency (all from the same terrific
author), to get you started on the topic, include:

  • Forgotten Skills of Self Suffciency of the Mormon Pioneers.
    Caleb Warnock's Forgotten Skills of Self Sufficiency was so
    popular the book ran out of print and used copies were being
    sold for $98. His bestselling book is back at around $11.35 on
    Prime and includes a new collection of skills to help your
    family gain independence and self-reliance. Learn about self-
    seeding vegetables, keep chickens without ever buying feed,
    collect water from rain and snow, find wild vegetables

  • More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency by Caleb Warnock.
    Caleb Warnock's More Forgotten Skills of Self Sufficiency was
    so popular the book ran out of print and used copies were
    being sold for $98. His bestselling book is back at around
    $14.81 on Prime and inclueds a new collection of skills to help
    your family gain independence and self-reliance. Learn about
    self-seeding vegetables, keep chickens without ever buying
    feed, collect water from rain and snow, find wild vegetables
    Learn about self-seeding vegetables, keep chickens without
    ever buying feed, collect water from rain and snow, find wild
    vegetables for everyday eating, and even make your own
    laundry soap?

  • Herbal Healing and Family Health. Modern medicine can work
    wonders, but most of it has roots in the healing powers you
    can find in your own backyard. In Caleb Warnock's book
    Forgotten Skills of Backyard Herbal Healing which teaches you
    to harvest, dry, and store herbs that will keep you healthy,
    you'll also discover how to use natural remedies safely, so you
    can nurture your family's wellness without leaving home.

Take an assessment now. Skills might include fire-building, edible
plant identification, navigation with a compass, or medical
knowledge such as having taken a CPR class or occupational
knowledge as being an Emergency Medical Technician, Nurse or

Other skills for survival might include cardiovascular or physical
fitness, signaling or sign language skills; having a knowledge of off-
the-beaten path terrain so you can identify escape routes by foot.
Skills useful down the road might be car repair, carpentry, welding
or cooking and gardening. There are so many kinds of prepping
skills to help gain self sufficiency.

Happy endings...
Whatever skills you choose to add to your list of hobbies will be
worthwhile! Fix-it skills, build-it skils, make-do-without it skills,
home-making skills, you have more skills and resources available to
you than you may be willing to admit. You're a prepper and one
thing's for sure, you are resourceful!

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Prepper skills
Skills and knowledge weigh nothing

Skills won't weigh down your bugout bag.
Survival is more than just having survival gear and food.
Knowledge is your passport to survival, but your skills are your
wealth. You can turn everyday items into survival necessities if
you have the right knowledge.

Knowledge weighs nothing. With the right skills you can survive
anything! Bookmark our Web site, read and watch videos, and
hone skills or learn new ones! Following are some suggestions of
skills to build that won't weigh down your bugout bag...

Prepper Survival Skills List
There are all types of preppers from the outdoor adventurer, city-
dweller, homesteader, nomad, survivor to the three-percenter,
everyone has skills and could learn a few.

Here are some fun survival skills to master:

Prepper Skill #1: Advanced bushcraft.
Bushcraft is a series of wilderness survival skills that can help
you  survive in the backcountry with little or no equipment. In
Advanced Bushcraft 101, by Dave Canterbury shows you how to
completely immerse yourself in the wilderness with advanced
bushcraft and woodcraft techniques.

Prepper Skill #2: Archery.
Archery is a hobby that will help you hunt and defend your group.
Consider the renewable resource because arrows can be recycled
or repaired. You can learn to craft your own arrows, much like the
native Americans did in centuries past.

Prepper Skill #3: Battlefield basic skills.
Do you have the five basic military survival skills? You might think
These core military survival skills include
  1. finding water
  2. shelter building
  3. foraging for food
  4. fire building and
  5. navigating.

If you're hungry for more, get
100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition,
by Clint Emerson. This book is your essential prep manual, from
securing shelter, building fire, finding food, and navigating back
to civilization no matter the environment to thinking like a
special forces solider so that you can survive a hostage situation,
an active shooter, a suicide bomber, or a terrorist threat on the
subway, and even apply trauma medicine as a first responder.

Prepper Skill #4: Backpacking.
Backpacking is fun and can help you learn the basics of
wilderness survival with man-made comforts including, water
filtration methods, cooking methods and navigation. As well it
can help with endurance training. Experience backpacking further
can help you carry a bugout bag properly. (Hint: You want the
weight to rest on the hips and not have all the weight on your
shoulders.) Walking long distances through rugged terrain
prepares you for other bonuses, like learning how to keep
mosquitoes and ticks at bay, avoiding trenchfoot, and minimize
blistering feet. The sense of confidence it provides is
undoubtedly why the scouting community loves it so much.

Prepper Skill #5. Baking and Bread making.
Bread is one of the staples of the American diet. There's nothing
more satisfying to the soul than crunching into a bite of freshly
baked bread. Preppers are happy to make dough rise without the
use of a bread machine in kneading by hand. The learn to make  
bannock bread, biscuits, cornbread, tortillas, flatbreads and other
peasant breads from scratch.

  • Get a Grain Mill. Milling is another skill Preppers might add
    to their repertoire .If you're interested in bread making,
    purchase "Flour Power: A Guide To Modern Home Grain
    Milling" and you'll be off-the-grid ready with bread making
    skills! Pair it with a grain mill and a cast iron Dutch Oven.
    Right is an inexpensive hand-crank grain mill.

  • Make Bannock Bread. Learn to make Bannock Bread, a
    hearty survival bread.

Prepper skill #6: Bartering.
Watch the video "One Red PaperClip" which provides all the
inspiration you need. When you watch the video you will
understand how one young man took one red paperclip and
traded up until he was able to get himself a house. It's an
amazing story and worth sharing with everyone you meet.

Prepper Skill #7: Beekeeping.
You'll enjoy the very thorough beekeeping section of the book
Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for
self-sufficient livin
g, by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskins,
including acquiring bees and bee products, such as honey candy
drops and more. Read
more about beekeeping. Honey, you can
do it!

Prepper Skill #8: Beer making.
Becoming a brew master is not only a satisfying hobby, it could
prove useful in bartering. Check your local laws, but brew making
for personal use is legal in many states. People will always want
to drink and beer is a classic. A great way to
learn the art of
brewing beer is to buy a kit and the most highly rated kit on the
market is Coopers Do it Yourself kit. DIY Beer kit by Coopers has
a near perfect rating (83 customer reviews and a 5-STAR rating).
Includes instructional DVD and step-by-step directions, bottles
and ingredients for your first batch.

Prepper skill #9: Butter churning.
Butter churning isn't really a skill ~ it's more of an endurance
test. Butter churning provides instant gratification and while it's
not the most exciting skill, loads of people don't know that you
can make butter by hand if you have milk. The kids will enjoy the
challenge and the rewards as well. Include them in the process
and learn how to make flavored butters.

Prepper Skill #10: Camping.
Camping is easier than backpacking because you don't need to
hike anywhere. You can practice camping in your own back yard.
Preppers already have a stash of camping equipment such as
backpacks, tents, camping stoves, fuel, water filters and freeze
dried foods and essentials, and it's a good idea to get out and

Stacking up on freeze dried foods for camping means that
prepping will not go to waste: you can sample your favorite
brands before buying in bulk. In the event the unthinkable
happens, the camping foods you stockpile can serve as comfort
food and a reminder of happier times.

Prepper Skill #11: Candle making.
The art of making a candle can be a simple as inserting a wick in
a can of Crisco. Want more ambiance? Consider the art of candle

Prepper Skill #12: Canning.
Preppers have learned the basic canning methods. Canning fruits
and vegetables from the yard will help them survive the lean
Winter months in the new society. Happy Preppers will be happy
to barter their canned food products should it become necessary.

Prepper Skill #13: Charcoal making.
Making charcoal is a firebuilding skill. Learn also to make a
charcloth, which will aid you in firebuilding as well.

Prepper Skill #14. Charcuterie.
Charcuterie is the craft of salting, smoking, and curing, though
Charcuterie was a craftsman art in creation of pork
products such as salami, sausages, and prosciutto. In modern
definition, it's the art of salting, cooking, smoking, and drying
meats. A Prepper may learn to make sausages, terrines, and
pâtés or even olive and vegetable rillettes, duck confit,
mortadella and soppressata or smoked almonds!  Immediate
"Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing,"
paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.

Prepper Skill #15: Cheese making.
Getting back to basics, Preppers know that waxed cheese can
last 25 years if stored in cool temperature! They buy hard waxed
cheeses because the wax protects against mold, bacteria and
moisture. And while preppers are happy to store cheese in
various forms (waxed, freeze-dried, powdered, etc), they find a
satisfaction in making cheese from scratch. In a new society, this
artisan craft would become an essential survival skill. Read
cheese options for preppers.

  • Learn to wax cheese to extend the life of your family's
    favorites. Red Cheese Wax, pictured immediate right, is re-
    usable,. Remember, however, cheese wax is flammable (as
    is any wax), so you'll need to use a double boiler method,
    and in this way you will avoid melting the wax on the stove
    in a pot.

Prepper Skill #16: Chicken cooping.
Chicken cooping is becoming fashionable and is a happy part of a
Preppers daily life. Chickens eat garden insects and scraps and
produce a beautiful and bountiful supply of eggs of different
colors. They are a natural composting agent! As a bonus,
chickens ares pets and can provide a way to reduce stress and
improve the quality of living.

Prepper Skill #17: Coin collecting.
While the government can take away silver bars and gold bars,
coin collecting provides the benefit of being a collectible, which
may Look for junk silver coins (U.S. coins dated 1964 or earlier).
Low quality is okay, you're looking for the silver value not the
value of the coin itself.

Prepper Skill #18: Cooking.
If you want to make people happy, then feed them good food!
Learning to cook with whatever is available is a skill that Chef's
often innately know, and one that could make Happy Preppers
even more happy. Skills may encompass methods for Bread
making, dehydration, canning, Cheese making and smoking
meats. Happy Preppers also know how to cook without electricity,
including how to make a pit oven.

Prepper Skill #19: Composting.
There's a right way to compost. If you don't have the knowledge
of what to compost and how to compost it, then you're risking

Prepper Skill #20: Couponing.
The art of getting a good deal at the grocery store is not to be
overlooked as a prepper skill. There are ways to get what you
want at a fraction of the cost, if not free.

  • Want to get started couponing? Check out Amazon's
    Coupon page (bookmark it and visit often):

Prepper Skill #21: Dehydrating.
Owning a dehydrator and knowing how to dehydrate foods is
absolutely an essential skill in assembling foods for your storage
system. Drying foods is an effective way to preserve them
because it decreased water without thwarting unhealthy
organism growth. Have fun with the easy-to-use dehydrator,
pictured top right, which is ideal for drying fruit, vegetables,
herbs, and jerky. While an essential skill, dehydrating a three-
month supply of food for your family is very labor intensive and
time consuming. Freeze dried will last longer.

Prepper Skill #22. Entomology.
While it's an extreme prospect for most Happy Preppers, the
study of bugs could be an important survival tool. Being able to
recognize edible and poisonous insects could be a survival tool
even when backpacking or hiking. Crickets, for example, provide a
rich source of protein, fats and vitamins, and may be readily
available in your area. Generally, brightly colored bugs are
poisonous. There are many cultures that enjoy eating insects.
Thai people, for example, enjoy eating bamboo worms. Many
other Asian cultures incorporate. There may be a day when the
consumption of insects will be hight than the consumption of

Prepper Skill #23: Fire building.
The most basic skill in prepping is learning to build a fire.
Advanced preppers can learn how to make bow drill or a hand
drill to light a fire without matches, but first each should go with
the basics...

Prepper Skill #24: First Aid/CPR.
Take a CPR course, learn a few essential life saving skills. There
may be a day when there is no doctor around to help. Medical aid
is essential and Happy Preppers have a
first aid kit and may have
essential first aid skills. The Red Cross provides first aid classes.
If you've mastered this, and have an interest become an EMT
(emergency medical technician).

Prepper Skill #25: Fishing.
The lure of fishing is appealing to many Happy Preppers.
Depending on location, Happy Preppers hone their fishing skills in
rivers, lakes or oceans. Happy Preppers may also learn the art of
salting or smoking fish they catch, in the unfortunate event that
refrigeration is not possible.

Prepper Skill #26: Food Foraging.
Preppers are happy to learn about local vegetation in search of
harvesting the land for food. As some plants are poisonous, it's
important for preppers to know the plants to avoid and which
ones to eat.

Prepper Skill #27: Gardening, seed saving.
Preppers naturally have a green thumb! Gardening not only
improves your health in giving you physical exercise and
sunshine, it instills a sense of self-sufficiency and pride.

Harvesting foods from your own backyard (or even your porch or
balcony) is always more satisfying than getting it from the local
grocery. Anyone can start simply with a potted plant on the
terrace or
begin a sprouted seed project in the kitchen. Best of
all, starting an inexpensive container gardens is an option
available to almost anyone!

  • Backyard Winter Gardening! You can get fresh vegetables
    in any climate without artificial heat or electricity. Learn the
    way it's been done for 2000 years with Caleb Warnock's
    popular book Backyard Winter Gardening, pictured right.
    Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the
    seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people
    would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding
    your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all
    winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you
    might imagine. And you won't find better-tasting food at any

Prepper Skill #28: HAM Radio.
Communications could be the key to survival in knowing the
status of water and food supplies, the condition of neighboring
cities and of the entire country. Operating a HAM radio requires a
license, and the equipment can be expensive, but this essential
skill could mean survival for an entire community, making the
Happy Prepper an invaluable resource. Here's
how to get a Ham
Radio License.

  • HAM Radio License Manual, pictured immediate right, is
    the #1 best seller in radio reference. There's much to know
    and this book covers it all, including:
  • Radio and Signals Fundamentals
  • Electricity, Components, and Circuits
  • Propagation, Antennas, and Feed Lines
  • Amateur Radio Equipment
  • Communicating With Other Hams
  • Licensing Regulations
  • Operating Regulations
  • Safety and more

Prepper skill #29: Herbal Healing.
Essential Oils may be essential to your survival, so learn all
there is to know, along with other herbal healing.

Prepper Skill #30: Horsemanship.
Learning how to ride horses and breed them could prove valuable
in a post apocalyptic world. If you have a horse, you have a
mode of transportation!

Prepper Skill #31: Hunting and Trapping.
In times of desperation, everyone with a gun will be competing
for the same available game, whether ducks, deer, or wild turkey.
Happy Preppers know what game is available locally, and the
prepare further by honing skills necessary for preserving the meat
by smoking or salting the meat in the unfortunate event that
refrigeration is not possible.

Prepper Skill: #32. Knitting, crocheting or sewing.
Darn! Those socks aren't going to get darned by themselves.
Yes, it's back to basics, but certainly knitting, sewing or
crocheting is a good skill to have to get you through tough times.
Women during the
Great Depression were good at these skills
and could make almost any item of clothing. They had to buy
shoes, because they could not sew, knit or crochet shoes!

Prepper Skill #33: Paracord.
Paracord is a material that has a fond use with preppers. The
high-strength cordage is useful for lashing shelters and survival
"furniture", and has a myriad of camping and emergency uses.
Preppers enjoy crafting leashes, bracelets, belts and survival
keychain bombs, among many projects.

Prepper Skill #34: Navigate with a compass.
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