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5 Forgotten but Valuable Survival Skills to Learn Right Now

Modern technology can be a double-edged sword. So many conveniences are right at our fingertips, but we may also become too reliant on them. When a natural disaster happens and mass power outages occur, many people struggle but this doesn’t have to be the case. One hundred years or so ago, our ancestors were able to find food and water in nature, build temporary fires with minimal items, tell time without a watch, and so on. Here are five forgotten survival skills that can help you and your family survive in an emergency scenario.

Find Water

Our ancestors didn’t have utility companies or electricity to use for water pumps. Finding water in locations like California and large cities is difficult, to say the least. However, if you are in the country or rural area, a homemade well can be a life-saver in a disaster scenario.

Tell Time Without a Watch

Pocket watches and clocks were expensive things to own in past centuries, so people used the sky. While the time was an estimate, it was more accurate than you might think. For home survival, a simple sundial is inexpensive, and can even be made into a fun family project. For outside of the home, the method of measuring hand lengths can tell you how much time is left before it gets dark.


Basically, you use your hand to measure the distance between the horizon and the sun. Each hand length is about an hour. This method was used by sailors and those working the fields for centuries and is an easy-to-learn survival skill that could prove invaluable.

Predict Weather by Reading the Sky

Speaking of reading the sun, predicting the weather by reading wind direction and the sun is also an invaluable survival skill. Just as a sundial is easy to make, so is a weathervane. With your weathervane, you can track the direction of the wind. If the wind follows the sun’s east-to-west movement, clear skies are likely ahead. However, if the wind is moving west-to-east, cloudy skies and storms might be on the way.

Build a Fire

Outside of finding water, building a fire is arguably the most important survival skill to have. Packing a firestarter like a flint and steel in your bug-out bag can be life-saving. A simple fire can easily be made with sticks found in nature, and kindling like leaves aren’t hard to find in most American communities.

Make Candles

This is perhaps the easiest of the survival skills on the list. When the power goes out, candles can come in handy. However, just like our food, we don’t always know what goes into them. Homemade candles will save money, and you control what goes into them. Although there are many ways to make a candle - you’ll need a wick, wax, and a container. If you don’t like fragrance, keep it out. Soy wax can help keep the air in your home clean.


While these survival skills may have been forgotten and are uncommon today, they aren’t that difficult to learn. Best of all, learning survival skills like the ones listed here might help save the lives of you and your family.