That’s just impossible since the knowledge about survival and all its aspects is simply huge. So we had to settle for a less ambitious (yet still honorable) goal. To give you a huge collection of some of the most overlooked survival tips that would appeal to the novice as much as to the seasoned prepper.
Since this article will turn out to be pretty long, I’m gonna stop here and leave you with the tips…
General Survival Tips & Tricks
Don’t forget to prepare your pets and farm animals for all the SHTF scenarios. Post-disaster, you’ll need them even more than you do now.
Remember that the skills you have are worth a lot more than your entire stockpile.
Don’t overload your bug-out bag as it’s going to be a pain to carry it on your back for miles on end. Every ounce counts. Tricks like breaking off the handle of your toothbrush, making holes in some of the containers inside your BOB, using AAA batteries instead of AAs, carrying freeze-dried foods instead of canned food, and removing non-essential items, are going to reduce the weight of your backpack.
Adopt an assertive attitude when getting your family to prepare. Talk to them about small-scale disasters first, preferably about the ones that have already happened in your region or town.
Don’t forget to stockpile games, books and other ways to entertain yourself post-SHTF. you can find over 40 ideas right here.
Think twice before throwing anything away. Pencils, paper, used car parts, rags – anything can be useful post-disaster.
Keep activity to a minimum in hot weather to reduce the need for water.
Put blankets on all your windows to avoid people seeing you have electricity.
Many disasters, whether natural or man-made, bring with them even more destruction. Earthquakes have aftershocks, hurricanes bring floods, Martial Law will bring gangs and rioters who will rebel against it.
Keep in mind you and your family may not be home when SHTF. You need plans for all scenarios.
If possible, pack all your family’s bug-out bags in the same way. That way you’ll know where to find something when you need it. (The U.S. Army uses this trick.)
If you’re taken prisoner and they’re trying to tie you in one way or another, contract your muscles as much as possible so the ties are, in fact, loose… allowing you to escape.
When in a hotel, always sleep with the air conditioner off. This way you’ll reduce the spread of smoke in the event of a fire.
Make sure you have a safe room and if possible, a means of escape from it in case you’ve got attackers on the other side of the door, trying to get in. Only use the safe room as a last resort.
Think in terms of threes. Prepare for 3 days, then 3 weeks, 3 months and then a year.
Don’t buy MREs (meals ready to eat). They’re too expensive. Your first options should be canned food, beans, and rice.
Find out what allergies each of your family members has before stockpiling.
Freeze-dried foods have great shelf life and are lightweight but will require water to cook.
White rice has a greater shelf-life than brown, even though brown rice is considered healthier due to the fact that is less processed and has more nutrients.
Store wheat berries instead of flour. Wheat berries have a shelf life of 20 years, while flour only lasts for a few months.
Veggies such as carrots, horseradish, turnips, and cabbage can be left in the ground during winter, as long as you cover them with dry leaves or straw.
The best way to store large quantities of water is in large 55-gallon barrels. Make sure they are food-grade and BPA free.
Keep your stockpile in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight with low humidity and hidden from everyone.
Unconventional places to hide your food and water include in fake air vents, inside trash cans, inside Pringle’s cans, in fake pipes, in PVC pipes buried underground, inside trees, inside barns, inside wells, in abandoned cars, inside pots and pans you don’t use, and in your garage. Ensure all the conditions previously mentioned to avoid food spoilage.
Use oxygen absorbers to improve the shelf life of your foods.
Don’t forget comfort foods.
Never approach your cache food locations until you’re sure you’re not being watched.
You should store at least 1.5 gallons of water/person/day. 1 gallon is not enough as you need water for cooking and personal hygiene.
Only store water in glass, plastic and stainless steel containers. Never use containers that used to hold milk or some other beverage!
Store more than one type of food in each plastic bucket. This way, when you’re bugging out in a hurry and you can only grab one bucket of food to take with you in your car, you’ll end up having a variety of foods instead of just one.
Bottled water is safe to stockpile and has unlimited shelf-life (until you open it).
Store water in dry places, away from ground, sunlight, and solvents.
Frozen food is great as long as you have enough space in your refrigerator or freezer but it becomes a problem in a grid-down situation.
Don’t forget to stockpile things to help you open, cook, and consume your food: can openers, cooking pots, stoves, spoons, forks, etc.
Label all your food with what’s in it, the date it was canned, and the estimated expiration date. Color code it if you want to.
Well water has benign bacteria in it that will metabolize sulfate minerals once you store it. One way to inhibit them is to chlorinate your well water each year.
Always rotate your food and water stockpile. Use FIFO methodology: the first can you put in is the first one you’re going to consume.
If water is scarce, avoid sweating, drinking diuretics, too much effort, and get enough sleep to limit your body’s water consumption.
A good place to stockpile water is your swimming pool. However, it’s best to boil it or add bleach to it before drinking.
Home Defense Advice
Always keep your doors and windows locked, even when you’re inside. Most burglaries happen because the thief sees an opportunity.
Don’t keep all your dogs outside. Keep one on the inside in case the burglars decide to poison or even steals the others.
Prune large trees that could allow a thief to climb in through one of your windows.
Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street to allow the police to quickly find it in times of emergency.
Get light activation systems for your porch and back yard that turn on and off at certain intervals. This will make it seem like someone’s at home and they’re better than the ones that just stay on all night.
Use double-cylinder deadbolts for your front door.
Don’t defend your home when it’s obvious you can’t. Your life is more important.
Strengthen your door. A lot of burglars just kick doors open.
Don’t plant bushes on your doors and windows as they help burglars sneak in unseen.
Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
Replace basement windows with plexiglass or polycarbonate or install security bars.
Don’t put a sticker on your window that tells the burglar exactly which type of alarm system you have installed. This will only make it easier for him. Instead, put up a sticker that warns of the alarm but doesn’t tell say which one.
Replace hollow interior doors with solid ones that are harder to break through.
Install a wide-angle peep hole that’s at eye-level when you kneel. This will make you a smaller target if the person on the other side has a gun.
Urban Survival Tips
Cooking and burning trash could easily attract unwanted attention. Eat canned food and find alternate ways to get rid of your garbage.
Don’t get involved in fights; it will only deplete you of resources and energy.
Get all the water you can. Fast. Water is going to be a huge problem when SHTF.
If you’re still stuck in a city when the store shelves are empty, lakes, ponds and other body of waters are the first places to look for food.
If you’re paying rent, try to move as close to your workplace as possible.
Take a secondary route out of the city as fast as you can before they all get clogged or blocked by police or military.
Wilderness Survival Tips
Use the bottom of a ceramic mug or pot to sharpen a knife.
Partially freeze meat to make it easier to cut.
Have good tinder when starting a fire: straws, vaseline-soaked cotton balls, even a deck of cards, can make good tinder.
Fill plastic bags with leaves to create a mattress for you to sleep on.
Oil, grease, mud, and smoke are great pest repellents.
Reptiles are not good at indicating water sources. Birds and insects are.
Use your reading glasses to start a fire.
If you Bic lighter runs out of fuel, it will still spark so you can use it to light your char cloth.
If your Bic lighter doesn’t spark anymore, make sure you salvage the flint to be used as a firestarter.
Tips for Bugging in or Out
In most cases, it’s better to bug-out, even if that means leaving your home and your valuables behind.
Think about and practice bugging out during the night. It may or may not be the best choice when disaster hits but it’s necessary to be ready and ok with the possibility.
Have a pair of hiking boots near your bug out bag. Never bug out in shoes or sneakers, you will get tired sooner and develop blisters.
Fill a plastic bag with air and secure it with duct tape and use it to cross a river. If you happen to slip, it will keep you afloat.
Keep your guns hidden when on the move and trade them for your life if necessary.
Avoid wearing camouflage clothes, brightly colored clothes, and perfume.
Natural Disaster Tips
Never eat snow to hydrate. Melt it first, then filter it with a cloth.
The second you see a wildfire, you should start gathering water by all possible means.
Cars aren’t good Faraday cages. If your radio waves can get in, an EMP can get it. Wrap your electronics in tinfoil and then place them in a real cage such as this one.
Avoid low-lying areas, river valleys, and keep all your body parts covered when running away from a volcanic eruption.
Don’t attempt to remove water from your flooded basement as soon as the waters withdraw. There’s still plenty of it inside the earth and your cellar is going to get flooded a second time.
Tips to Deal With Man-Made Disasters
Don’t try to escape a riot by going against it. Going with it isn’t a solution either. The trick is to move with it but at an angle until you’ve reached the outside of the mob.
Don’t use walkie-talkies when facing a riot. You will only attract attention and be labeled as a prepper.
Never-ever leave a fire unattended. Never build a fire near trees or bushes. Basic but useful advice.
A continuous roar, whirling dust, and a low cloud or a torrential rain followed by complete calm, bright flashes near the ground, these are all signs of a tornado.
To anticipate where a tornado is heading, pick a point really close to it (preferably right in front of) and notice where it’s heading relative to it.
Be alert to and careful of flying debris caused by a tornado, it can kill you.
In case of a house fire, as you’re evacuating, close the door behind you to slow down the speed with which it spreads.
Never hide near a heavy refrigerator during a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane, it can fall on you and kill you.
Survival Medicine and First Aid Tips
Never store your meds in bathroom cabinets. Keep them away from moisture at all costs.
Never consume antibiotics past their expiration dates.
Stockpile sunscreens and moisturizer cream if you think you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun when bugging out.
Honey can be applied on wounds because it acts as an antibacterial. So is lemon juice.
Never touch or get too close someone who’s experiencing an electrical shock. The current can travel through air and will get to you to. Either stop the electricity source or use a wooden stick to push the person away from the current.
Keep your first-aid supplies in the outside pockets of your BOB for quick access.
Use belts to stop bleeding (as tourniquets).
Mix vinegar with water, then apply on sun-burnt skin to relieve pain.
SHTF Communications Tips
Keep a cell phone + extra batteries in your bug-out bag.
Use pre-paid cards to communicate.
HAM radios are great for communicating with people across the Globe but you may need a license to own one.
Whenever you find yourself having to do a large task, break it down into smaller ones and do them one by one.
Use the visualization technique to see yourself successfully achieving something.
The only way to master fear is to understand that it exists and admit that it’s something you can’t fully eradicate.
To deal with loneliness, find friends among even the smallest insects. Focus on easy, mindless tasks such as polishing your shoes.
Weapons and Ammo Tips
Careful with shotguns. They’re so powerful that the bullets travel through walls and kill your neighbors.
Always carry and know how to make from scratch alternative survival weapons such as boomerangs, bows, slings, spears, air guns, paintball guns, axes, machetes, swords, and bayonets.
Keep an inventory of your guns and ammo.
Tips for Building Shelters
Avoid making shelter in a ditch. While it will protect you from the wind, in case of a flood it will get inundated.
Thoroughly check out a cave before choosing it as shelter. Check for “residents”, falling ceiling and the possibility of it getting flooded.
Bunkers are, in most cases, less than ideal. The people outside can either wait until you run out of food and water or they can smoke you out if they discover where the ventilation system ends.
Always use the least amount of energy necessary to escape an attacker.
Whatever the attacker demands of you, say “no” and make it difficult for him to get it from you.
When you attack someone for self-defense, always aim for the eye, ears, throat, and cheeks. Other sensitive areas are the knees, shins and the groin.
A lot of everyday items can be used as “part-time weapons” such as your car keys, a coffee mug, a pencil, a stapler, a comb, a bandanna, a scarf, a large vase, and even a lollipop!
Keep a weapon near the door so you can use it when you answer the door and you find yourself face-to-face with someone who’s trying to rob you… or worse!
If you have pepper spray in your car, make sure it never gets exposed to temperatures of over 120 degrees to avoid leakage and explosion.
Don’t use pepper spray if your assailant is less than 2-3 feet away from you. It will affect you as well.
Beer is a great fertilizer for your plants.
Ash is great not only to keep bugs away from your garden but also as a fertilizer if the pH of your soil is over 7.
Use extra salt to make cheese last longer.
Mix sugar with baking soda to kill roaches.
Baking soda + a little bit of water is a great replacement for toothpaste.
Use a mirror to check if someone’s breathing. Stick it under their nose and see if any fog forms.
You can burn asphalt to keep warm and even cook on it!
Put chalk in your toolbox to avoid your tools from rusting.
Use condoms to carry water.