Outdoor Survival Skills

Top 10 Skills to Help You Survive in a Post-Apocalyptic World

Top 10 Skills to Help You Survive in a Post-Apocalyptic World

Everyone has their own ideas of what the world will look like after a catastrophic event.  Some believe that society will regress and become more primitive, while others think that becoming a nomad will be the only way to survive.  Either way, you can be sure that things won’t remain the same. In a post-apocalyptic world, your knowledge and skills will have to make you stand out from everyone else if you want to stay alive.  This article lists some essential skills that could help you navigate this harsh new environment and even thrive in it.  If a more lethal pandemic, nuclear war or societal collapse were to happen tomorrow, would you be prepared?  Let’s find out…


  1. Gathering/Knowing Your Environment

In a world where electronics and machinery may have ceased to function, you will have to rely on your own knowledge and intellect to feed yourself and survive. This means that you will have to learn how to forage and gather your own food and water. You will also have to be able to identify and avoid poisonous and harmful plants and animals. This is a once widely held skill which is now startlingly rare. Knowing your environment also means knowing where you are, which can be just as important as knowing what’s in it. Without knowing the area, you might not be able to locate shelter or other key resources, which in the depths of winter could be disastrous. While this may not be a problem in most post-apocalyptic fiction, it’s still something that you should take into consideration if you want to survive.


  1. Basic Mechanics and Repairs

In a post-apocalyptic world, the world would probably be flooded with second-hand cars and trucks, covering the streets and motorways. If you have basic mechanics skills, you will be able to identify parts, and repair the cars that you encounter. You could even learn to repair small boats, planes and trains, if you wanted to travel long distances. This could be extremely valuable in a world where fuel is in short supply and electronics are fried. Basic mechanical skills aren’t just limited to vehicles, though. They could also help you identify and repair other machines, like farming equipment, water pumps, and power generators. All of these could become essential in a post-apocalyptic world.


  1. Hand-To-Hand Combat Skills

In the UK guns are rare - knowing how to defend yourself with or without a weapon, might just be able to save yourself from potentially deadly encounters. There are many different fighting styles out there, but you could probably just come up with your own.  Building physical strength and being part of a small group of healthy & fit individuals will help ensure you are well placed to deal with potentially violent situations.


  1. Shooting Skills

As previously mentioned, guns although rare, will most likely still be around.  If you are able to access a shotgun or other firearm, this will be a significant advantage, enabling you to deal with aggressors and for hunting animals.  If you have shooting skills, you could survive off the land for longer. This is something that many people didn’t expect when they first thought about surviving off the land – that hunting for your own food would be incredibly time-consuming and difficult. If you know how to shoot, you can kill animals more efficiently, like deer, rabbits, and birds, which will make hunting easier. Alternative weapons that would also be useful are compound bows and crossbows, so proficiency with these items would be of real value too.


  1. Language Skills

In a post-apocalyptic world, you will probably come into contact with other people and different cultures. A basic understanding of other languages could help you communicate with them and establish alliances. If you speak multiple languages, you could become a translator for groups who are struggling to communicate with each other. This could make you extremely valuable and allow you to receive special treatment from others. Knowing multiple languages could also help you when you’re writing your post-apocalyptic fiction. 


  1. Travel and Navigation Skills

If you’re like many people, you may be reluctant to leave home in a post-apocalyptic world. However, you may have to travel to find water and food if your local resources run dry. If you know how to navigate and travel, you can find resources within your area, as well as travel to other areas. Navigation and travel skills would also come in handy if you had to flee from a dangerous area. If there were infectious diseases spreading throughout the world, you may have to travel to more sparse population areas to avoid them.

Without Satellite Navigation if you don’t know how to navigate and travel, you could easily get lost.  Before mobile phones and GPS became popular, people used paper maps to navigate - although in the current day they may seem a bit outdated, in a world in which technology and the internet has failed, old-school maps will probably be absolutely vital. 


  1. Food Preparation, Foraging and Farming Skills

Food and farming skills are essential to surviving off the land. If you have access to a greenhouse, you can start growing your own crops and vegetables. If you know how to preserve food for long-term storage and how to find wild plants to eat, this will last you longer than relying on your own crops. You could also teach other people how to grow and harvest food. This will allow you to form alliances with others and share food with them. If you don’t know how to grow or harvest food, surviving off the land will be difficult. Raising livestock, like pigs or chickens, also requires additional skills in order to successfully rear and maintain.

Food preparation skills will play a key role in ensuring that any obtained ingredients can be preserved and used to produce nourishing meals that will sustain you.


  1. First Aid, Pharmacy and Health Care Skills

In the event that society has essentially failed, you will probably have to take care of yourself and other people. Knowing how to sterilize wounds, apply bandages, and treat infections will help you avoid getting sick. You could even learn how to perform minor surgeries, like dealing with injuries or re-setting broken limbs.  Basic pharmacology knowledge will help you know which drugs are needed to treat different conditions - although you might struggle to find these.  You could also learn how to identify poisonous plants and insects, which could come in handy when someone is stung or bitten. You could use specific herbs and plants to treat certain illnesses, like colds and fevers, or to disinfect wounds.


  1. Electronic and Technology Skills

In a post-apocalyptic world, computers and other high-tech machinery will either be too expensive to maintain or out of commission. However, even if you can’t use computers, you can still learn how to repair and maintain other types of electronics or machinery, like machinery for farming, water pumps, and power generators. You could also learn how to build radios, which could come in handy for communicating with other people. 


  1. Joinery, Metalwork and Tool Making Skills

The ability to manufacture new tools, or repair items will be hugely beneficial in a world in which mass production facilities have come to a halt.  In order to make farming tools, self-defence weapons, or other essential items, expertise in metalwork, welding and joinery will be an advantage, including providing you with the ability to create items to trade for other essentials.



If you want to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, you will have to master several skills, some of which you may never have considered. You may even have to learn skills that aren’t as common in modern society, like growing your own crops, hunting, and building machinery. The skills you choose to cultivate could determine whether you live or die in a post-apocalyptic world.

Suggested Articles

Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.