The BBC reported on a sinking ferry leaving Estonia with 989 people on board and only 852 surviving. Despite strong gales and the ship sinking within an hour, survival experts were shocked by the number of people who died and why they perished. It turns out the victims did little to nothing to save themselves and were instead paralyzed by fear.
Staying calm and collected during a crisis is only the first step in survival. Having the confidence and skills to survive is key to making it out alive. Go beyond learning basic first aid and what to put in your bug-out bag and take control of your survival with these advanced skills.
1. Driving Skills
Even novice preppers know a fully equipped bug-out vehicle is essential for disaster. However, you need more than just some defensive driving skills and a durable getaway car. Secure driver’s training on how to drive semi-trucks, bulldozers, military all-terrain vehicles and anything else that could help an escape or a standoff with other survivors. Get your family or prepper group involved by training on different equipment to form an unstoppable force.
2. Auto Repair
When your bug-out vehicle breaks down or is vandalized, you may not have the opportunity to secure another one without risking your survival. Learn how to quickly and efficiently fix cars and all-terrain vehicles. Know how to change out hoses, belts and fluids and plan your repair kit accordingly. Pack a tow strap, tools, oil, water and jumper cables along with extra tires for the road.
3. Poisonous Plant Recognition
We all know how crucial it is for survival to know what plants to eat. But it’s just as important to know which ones you can’t. Study up on poisonous plants in your region and neighboring states in case you need to flee. You may not have to worry about death by plant in your area. However, consuming poisonous plants can lead to hallucinations and diarrhea among other issues and could leave you dangerously immobile.
To get started with your poisonous plant education, learn about wildflowers, water hemlock near streams and marshes, and white snakeroot. And you may be able to use some plants to your advantage as an emergency weapon. Ingesting Jimson Weed could lead to hallucinations and illness and render a malicious survivor ready to take your belongings incapacitated.
4. First Aid Survival
Knowing how to administer first aid to yourself and your team is essential in a crisis. Go beyond brushing up on how to clean and treat a deep wound and learn how to set bones and fractures. Broken bones that aren’t touching each other are known as “non-union” and may not heal without resetting them. You probably won’t have access or adequate knowledge on how to plaster and cast a broken limb, so learn how to create makeshift splints to steady the broken area and protect it as it heals. Setting a broken bone can be very painful, however is necessary or you risk life threatening damage to blood vessels and infections.
5. Bartering Knowledge
Which supplies and vices will be the most valuable in a crisis? Even if you’re not interested in drinking and smoking, stock up on alcohol and cigarettes to exchange for things you can’t live without like water purification tablets. Other valuable bartering items include hand tools, medications and fuel. Don’t fold your items into your normal survival stockpile. Instead, set them aside and save them for an exchange or leverage when you’re running dangerously low.
6. Interpersonal Skills
Knowing how to talk and negotiate with other survivors is an overlooked skill. A prepper groups needs a leader and order. Before disaster strikes, ensure your group can work as a unit and make sure you know what to do during a disagreement. You also need to know how to defuse violent and hostile situations, as well as deal with other survivors you encounter.