12 Pioneer Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Last Updated: July 31, 2022

Do You Know Which Survival Skills Are The Most Important?

If you’re new to survival (or a veteran), it’s worth a review of these old school  survival skills.

Master these survival skills and learn how to stay calm when the situation gets tough and crucial!

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The Importance Of Survival Skills

Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Survival skills are timeless and a lot of them come from many generations before us, yet these things seem to fall by the wayside as time goes on. We recently came across a treasure trove of old survival tips from the New York Public Library. These tips are old, but the benefits of survival skills training are endless. So, it might be worthwhile to check these old tips out. One day, they may save your life.

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1. How to Remove Particles from the Eye

How to Remove Particles from the Eye

When you’re out in the wild, you’re most probably faced with strong winds.​

Then, you might catch a foreign particle in your eye:

  1. Remove the foreign particle with castor oil.
  2. Put a few drops in the corner of the affected eye.
  3. If in case the foreign particle is of lime or mortar, rinse your eye with weak vinegar and water.

Make sure to include castor oil and vinegar in your survival kit.

2. How to Treat an Animal Bite

How to Treat an Animal Bite

Here are the steps to treat an animal bite:

  1. Put a ligature between the wound and the rest of the body.
  2. Then, cleanse the animal bite well. If you suspect the attacking animal is mad, ensure the place is well sucked.
  3. Cauterize it with silver nitrate, after cutting the flesh with a knife.
  4. Go to a doctor once you’ve performed the first aid.

Don’t pass from learning this tip. This is one of the most important wilderness survival skills.

3. How to Light a Fire (Without Wood)

How to Light a Fire (Without Wood)

You want to light a coal fire, but there’s no wood available?

No worries!

You can use twisted pieces of paper or with a bird nest (as shown in the image). A newspaper would be a good choice. Take about two or three sheets and start lighting your coal fire. Knowing this survival skill is helpful if you’re stuck somewhere urban and cold.

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4. How to Purify Water

How to Purify Water

Ran out of fresh water to drink?

Don’t worry, because you can purify water in a cistern with a very simple trick.

All you need to do is:

  1.  Add one tablespoon of powdered alum to 16 to 20 gallons of water.
  2. Wait for several hours,
  3. then you’ve got yourself fresh and pure water!

This is among the basic survival skills you need to know. Who knows when this comes handy.

Related post: 17 Ways To Get Clean Drinking Water

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5. How to Detect Escaping Gas (Before It’s Too Late)

How to Detect Escaping Gas

A gas leak is very dangerous. It can blow up your house if not attended to immediately.

To detect a gas leak:

  1. Paint a strong soap solution on the suspected pipe.
  2. There is a gas leak when bubbles appear from the escaping point.
  3. Once you detect where the escaping point is, fix the problem straight away.

An essential survival skill like this might make a difference between life and death.

6. How to Pick Up Broken Glass

How to Pick Up Broken Glass

Accidents happen and sometimes, you can’t avoid breaking a glass.

To clean up the broken pieces:

  1. Use a soft damp cloth to ensure the small splinters get picked up, too.
  2. Use an old rag so you can
  3. Throw it away with the broken glass once you’re done. 

This skill seems too simple, but you might need it one day in a survival situation.

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7. How to Extract a Splinter

How to Extract a Splinter

You might get a splinter when creating a survival shelter. Extracting it with your fingers or a pair of tweezers can be painful, but there is an easy way to do this with less pain.

All you need is a wide-mouthed bottle filled with hot water.

Ensure the hot water is up to nearly the bottle’s brim then press it tightly against the affected part. This creates a suction, pulling down the flesh while the steam of the hot water draws out the splinter. For wilderness survival, you need to know simple skills like this.

8. How to Make a Spirit Level

How to Make a Spirit Level

Make your own spirit level with a wooden box and a glass tube, but you must construct the box well.

To do this:

  1. Cork both ends of the glass tube,
  2. Filled with enough water or spirit (leaving a bubble of air).
  3. Seal the tube by using sealing wax to prevent the spirit inside from evaporating.

9. How to Use Up Coal Dust

How to Use Up Coal Dust

Recycling is always a good idea, so why not turn some coal dust into bricks of fuel?

  1. Mix a shovel of coal dust to a handful of salt then add water.
  2. Stir the mixture until it turns into a stiff paste.
  3. Mold the mixture into bricks using an old tin box then let it dry on a shelf.

These are great outdoorsman skills in a survival situation where you can use these coal blocks for shelter.

10. How to Make a Fire Extinguisher

How to Make a Fire Extinguisher

Don’t have a fire extinguisher at home?

 Make one on your own!

  1. Dissolve the salt and sal-ammoniac in water.
  2. Put about a quart of the solution in glass bottles.
  3. Pour out one of the bottles in the fire to extinguish it.

11. How to Cure Chilblains

How to Cure Chilblains

Suffering from chilblains due to extreme cold?

Then you simply need to...

  1. Use a slice of apple and some salt to solve your problem.
  2. Dip a slice of apple in common salt then rub it gently on the affected parts.

It will be best to use a juicy apple for this trick.

Related post: 27 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar – The Ultimate Survival Food?

12. How to Light a Match (in the Wind)

How to Light a Match

So, you’re out camping and ready to start a bonfire. The winds are too strong for you to light a single match.

To light a matchstick in the wind:

Cut thin shavings towards the match head. This way, the shavings will catch the fire and make the flame stronger.

Survival tip: Never forget to pack boxes of matchsticks in your survival kit.

There are more contemporary versions of these old survival tips. But when the situation is dire and we don’t have a lot of resources, we have to go back to basics. This said we need to know at least a couple of timeless survival skills. And thanks to the New York Public Library for letting us remember some of them. We hope you enjoyed this survival guide as much as we did!

What’s the most unexpected event where you were able to use your survival skills? Let us know in the comments section below!

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