10 Native American survival skills

In today’s modern culture offering fresh meat in the grocery store, purified water from the kitchen tap, microwave ovens, flushing toilets and home security systems, most people’s survival skills consist of pulling out their multi-purpose cell phones and calling 911. How do you think those people would fare if civilization were to be suddenly hurled back two or three hundred years by a natural disaster or an EMP emergency?

In order to understand how to survive in North America without modern conveniences for any length of time, all we have to do is study how Native Americans did it prior to and after Europeans arrived on our shores. Their abilities to build shelters with leaves and sticks, start fires by creating friction between two branches, move with great stealth, and use knives to attack, defend, clean game, and cut, shave and carve wood made them master survivalists long before modern Americans started to focus on survival skills.

In an article titled “Wilderness Survival: Blending Modern and Native American Survival Skills” (see link below), Jason Knight reveals how to solve difficult outdoor challenges through knowledge of both modern and Native American survival skills. He stresses the importance of combining mental and physical resources to accomplish the task and convincingly explains why creating works of art was important to Native Americans as they fashioned their weapons, canoe paddles, grinding bowls and much more.

Hope you enjoy it. Meet you on the other side.


Below I’ve listed my top 10 Native American survival skills. Let me know others you would add.

  • Building natural shelters
  • Purifying water
  • Creating friction fire
  • Finding wild food
  • Chopping, carving and cutting wood
  • Stripping bark for lashing
  • Properly identifying, gathering and preparing wild plants for meals, medicines and tools
  • Creating weapons
  • Reading tracks and signs made by mammals, birds, reptiles and humans
  • Moving with stealth through a forest



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