Skills for Survival Mode

No one is really expecting a zombie apocalypse and we’re all praying that there would never be an EMP attack, but other serious events - an accident or animal attack when hiking, a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere - happen and leave us stranded.

What skills do you need/train for possible stranded situations where you don’t have access to electricity or cell phone?

Are you thinking short term, like a few hours, or days to weeks?

Ahh… to be off the grid for an extended period of time. The serenity.
Probably not the scenario you were thinking.
But: (aside from the basics: water, food, etc)

  • don’t use hallow points on wildlife. FMJ are better at penetrating thick skin/hide of bear and other big game.
  • flares. Always keep a few flares handy (even while hiking). Visible for miles in the mountains as well as emergency protection against wildlife.
  • small cranking radio (no batteries needed) to keep yourself updated if necessary as well as for mental well being. Just hearing someone else’s voice can help you keep your mind focused on the task at hand during bad situations (subject of talk is irrelevant)**.
  • medical kit (triage kit).
  • learn to make fire from sticks and tinder. Having a lighter or matches are great and you should carry them, but building a fire with nothing is a great mind boost as much as it is functional for survival.
    Some of these you can train for others you can’t. Bear can reach 40mph in 1 stride from a standing still position and can reach you in seconds from 200ft. If you are carrying in the wild, open carry.
    And in the case of Zombies (smh)… wear a helmet to protect your brain from being lunch :rofl:!

I’m good with planning for the Zombie Apocalypse and for EMPs… but on a more practical level, the winter before we bought our farm they had a baaaad ice storm and were without power for a bit more than 3 weeks…

Here’s my inventory of supplies specifically targeted to being stranded in a vehicle - most of which I actually do have in my truck. (and yes, there’s an even longer inventory for things like extended power outages or disasters. Also suitable for Zombies and EMPs).

Here’s my truck list:

  • Water - supply for 4 people, 4 days (I don’t always have this much) or 4 people 1 day and water treatment kit (iodine, filter, refillable water bags), collapsible bucket and rope.
  • Food - peanut butter, jerky, hard candy, usually also corn chips. emergency food bars (although I’m having trouble finding ones that I’m not allergic to some ingredient, may have to make my own.)
  • Shelter - space blankets, emergency tent, ground pad, tarp, paracord, rain slickers (count by # of people traveling, 1-4)
  • Cooking/heating - folding camp stove, 3 kinds of fire starter (matches, blow-torch lighter, striker and steel) and tinder (cotton fluff, char cloth, magnesium shreds). Steel camp cup. Knife/spoon/fork kit.
  • Light - 2 flashlights, LED camp lantern, extra batteries, headlamps.
  • Medications - minimum 3 weeks supply with me always (BP meds), epi-pens, benedryl, sudafed, asprin, advil, antacid, anti-diarrheal, anti-nausea.
  • Medical supplies - trauma kit for 4, bandaids, splint, ace bandage, wound treatment, cortisone cream, antibiotic cream, silver burn cream, blister pads, moleskin, How-To booklet.
  • Personal care - deodorant, skin lotion bar, sun screen, bug repellent, nail clippers, cuticle clippers, tooth picks, tweezers.
  • Clothing - Tshirt, long shirt, long-johns, pants, 2 sets of socks, jacket, 2 sets of gloves, well broken in boots or shoes, seasonal hat.
  • Navigation - printed maps of the area from where I am to home, compass.
  • Communication - paper, sharpie, pen, grease pen, emergency whistle, back up battery charger for phones, solar or crank radio and/or equipment charger.
  • General Supplies - paracord, duct tape, paper towels and rags, baggies, trash bags, folding knife, basic automotive tool kit, wire cutters, wire saw.
  • Road supplies - spare and jack, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid, extra belts, radiator fluid, WD-40, flat fix and inflation kit, jumper cables, tow cable, load tie-down straps, load net, flashers, flares, extra gas.
  • Animals - depending on what type we have with us, 3-4 days of food and water, collapsible dog dishes or buckets, extra leashes and collars (dogs) or leads and halters (horses), emergency first aid kit for critters.

Things I don’t have, but intend to add to my kit:

  • CB radio, walkie talkies
  • Leak stop for radiator, oil, steering, transmission
  • Binoculars or monocular
  • Paper list of phone numbers and addresses I need to know
  • Dog packs
  • Zombie repellent

and of course, EDC, extra mags, ammo.

Everything except the tools, animal supplies and vehicle supplies are mostly packed into two backpacks so those could go walkabout if needed.

and YES I do get how paranoid all that looks :grimacing: :crazy_face:
I’m good with looking paranoid… and paranoid I’ll be, right up until it turns I that what I really am is prudent. :thinking: :woman_farmer:



I cheap substitute for radiator leak stop is ground black pepper. It works I have used it, even stopped a pin hole leak in a water pump casting for 3 years (was still holding when the car was traded in). Use it the same as the leak stop.

Saw this one on MacGyver, tried it and it works for larger (bullet sized) holes in radiators. Fill the radiator with water start the engine and add egg whites to the radiator and more water until the leak stops. I used this on a 3/4 ton pickup hauling feed back from the mill. It held up for 12 miles and was not leaking when I shut the engine off. I did start to leak again when I started the truck back up but it did get me home. the number of egg whites will depend on how many leaks and how big the eggs are. I stopped one hole shooting a water stream the size of a little finger with 6 egg whites.


@DBrogue that’s an AWESOME story! Filing those for future use!

Oh yeah you should have seen the construction works laughing at me while I put the egg whites in. All the laughter stopped when the water stopped spraying.:grin:

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In my truck, right now, are various tools, including a sledge hammer, a couple of jackets, an extra pair of water proof steel toe Wolverine boots, a blaze orange hunting vest, flashlight, zip ties, various automotive fluids, an inflator that runs off the cig lighter, a utility knife with 4 extra blades. When traveling, we take things like jerky, 2 bottles of water per person, a candy bar for each of us etc. For hiking, I switch to a .357 revolver with hard cast ammo, and enough to fully reload 3 times, binoculars (sight seeing). We all wear long pants, and shoes we can walk for miles in. We carry snacks and water with us, and me and my wife both have knives on us. Also, think about your physical condition. It is 25 miles from work to home, and, in an emergency I can walk that distance in a matter of hours.

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WOW! You guys continue to inspire me and remind me that I have to update my survival packs. I think I need to start an additional thread that has MacGyver ideas for Survival and Self-defense.

The only time I’m off the grid is when I’m on the Harley - and I’ve taken my smartwatch off. Which is probably one of the reasons I love riding so much. I’m very new to it, but it’s got its own zen - and disconnecting from the grid is part of the draw.

As I read this I really thought you were going to say: “the winter is coming” :rofl: A little too much Game of Thrones talk across the web these days.


Ha! Winter IS coming. :grin: in more ways than one :thinking:
I think different threads for survival on the road prep vs. Survival at home prep. Maybe homesteading/survival skills thread too :grin: we are now onto my favorite topic.

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I don’t really play games like “game of thrones” so you’re safe with my comments. Lol


@Zee I would 2nd the black pepper, and add these: ground tumeric, grould cloves, ground ginger and raw honey. All are useful for cuts and pain either together or on their own. I have used honey on cuts and healed quicker and with less noticeable scarring on then using triple anti. Ginger works on cuts also. Cloves will relieve tooth aches (think oragel), but I prefer raw ginger which is a non long term storage. BTW I am a skeptic on use this it works, but these do work in my case.


Oooh. Never thought of that! Now I have to find a good one for my bugout bags. And I can line them with my tinfoil hats!


I have done that experiment myself… cut myself across both hands on a sharp box edge once, so i used it for an opportunity to do a side by side comparison of triple antibiotic and raw honey… honey was almost twice as fast and with less redness and swelling and less infection. Don’t know why it’s not in my kit… I’m an herbalist and I just haven’t applied that training to my get home and 3 day bags. Gonna have to go do that now that you’ve called it to my attention.
BTW, look into Manuka Honey… it’s got additional constituents that promote healing speed and are recognize by the fda for treating antibiotic resistant bacteria

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How did I not know this? My two boys always had cuts and scrapes - this would have been helpful!

I suppose I should tell them about it now since they keep getting minor cuts and scrapes at work.

@Dawn, use raw honey - any honey that has been pasteurized, or even heated above about 110 degrees, will have somewhat reduced effectiveness.

here’s how it works:

  • Honey is hydrophylic - it holds moisture which provides an optimum environment for healing, reduces the persistence of scabs past their usefulness, keeps the wounded area flexible, absorbs and sequesters any leakage from the wound, decreases the loss of tissue from drying out along the edge of a cut.

  • Honey is antibacterial - it has high enough sugar content to osmotically dry out bacteria, killing them without chemical action

  • Honey is viralstatic and fungalstatic - it creates an envirment that impairs the propigation of both fungus and viruses

  • Raw honey contains some enzymes that appear to be helpful in promoting healing and preventing infection but I think that this isn’t really well understood yet

  • look for Manuka honey if you want an extra boost - this comes from honey gathered in Australia from manuka trees(?) and has a thing called “Unique Manuka Factor” - so look for the highest UMF# you can find. (they actually measure it in each batch and label according to how much shows up in the batch)

You can buy Manuka Honey impregnated bandages and bandaids at the drugstore, but I usually just swipe the wound liberally with honey, wrap a piece of paper towel around the affected area, and stick it in place with medical tape or electrical tape (or whatever’s handy :wink: )


That will be easy for my boys as they’re working as electrician apprentices. :laughing:

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This is a great place to start.


Got my EMP proof vehicle, enough food and water for months, bio fuel enough to run my EMP proof vehicle for a few thousand miles.

Going this weekend to buy me a run around all purpose car, I hope I can make some shielding to protect a few of its components from an EMP.


Anytime I travel I have a “crash bag” in the truck which is well stocked to handle most emergencies along with a very well stocked medic bag.

I learned survival skills through the Boy Scouts and US military.

If you are mentally prepared and have a few basic survival items it’s easy to survive most disaster/emergency situations you might face.

Of course a healthy dose of common sense and situational awareness along with planning can help you avoid having to employ any of the above barring something completely unforeseen.

At home we have enough water and staples in long term storage to carry us through 6-9 months should something serious happens that causes a meltdown of our national infrastructure.

Anyone who says such events simply aren’t realistically possible in the modern age need look no further than the results we saw in Puerto Rico and along the Gulf Coast due to a single storm.

The loss of the electrical grid for just just 30-90 days would have us reverting to “survival of the fittest”. People in the cities would be eating their pets in a week, and each other in a month.