Survival skills are skills that may help everyone to survive dangerous situations (such as storms or earthquakes), or in dangerous places (such as the desert, the mountains, and the jungle). Useful skills include lighting a fire, finding shelter, making water safe to drink, finding and identifying food, treating injuries, and climbing, swimming, and using specific or makeshift tools.
Each type of wilderness challenges a person with a different range of dangers (see hazards of outdoor activities). An environment may be dry, wet, hot, cold, high altitude, low altitude, desert, rural, urban, wilderness, subterranean, or an island. There are four basic necessities of life which apply in all of these cases: shelter, water, fire, and food. A fifth is oxygen for high altitudes and subterranean environments, and also specific survival situations such as drowning and landslide/avalanche.
Survival skills used on a more permanent basis, or as a component of daily life are referred to as bushcraft.
Developments in outdoor equipment and survival techniques have skewed the scale towards man- if one is prepared, but there is nothing to replace experience in a survival situation. Those who are most prepared physically and mentally stand the greatest chance of survival.
- Simple woodworking
- Primitive knives
- Bows and arrows
- Staff making
- Pinch pots
- Coil pots