12 Skills Every Survival Team Needs

The lone wolf. That’s the image often associated with someone actively preparing for an uncertain future.

Maybe it’s because such a small percentage of the population is serious about doing it, or perhaps it’s due to the fact that we place such a large emphasis on independence and self-reliance. Whatever the reason, the lone wolf is what some people envision when they think about preppers.

But we’d better hope that’s not really true. When the electrical grid goes down and we’re thrown into a period of martial law or total lawlessness, we’re going to need each other to survive. We need to find like-minded individuals now, before a major crisis hits.

The question then becomes, who do you want in your survival group? The exact number of people is not crucial. What really matters is that the individuals possess a variety of skills.

If everyone in your group knows how to build the perfect shelter but none can start a fire, you’ll all die in a great looking hut. Among the skills you want at least one of your group members to possess are:

  • Leadership/Management. The more people who are part of your group, the more important this role becomes. It is essential for every group to have a recognized leader who each individual trusts and respects.
  • Security. Being able to watch out for intruders and willing to take them down with a weapon or hand-to-hand combat is extremely important to the safety of a survival group, especially when there is civil unrest.
  • Gardener/Food Production. Someone with a green thumb will know how and which crops to plant, grow and harvest. Fruits and vegetables are key here.
  • Food Preparer. You don’t need a world-class chef, but you do need someone who can take the food that has been grown in the garden and prepare it to the satisfaction of the group.
  • Hunter. Hopefully you will have plenty of emergency food with a long shelf life stored. But if meat is needed, someone will need to know how to take down a deer or other animal.
  • Income/Bartering. People who can earn an income even if the electrical grid is down – whether in the form of money or goods – should also be skilled at trading what you have in abundance for what you need.
  • Medical Skills. The best-case scenario here is having a doctor in your group, or at least a registered nurse. If not, somebody needs to learn as much about diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries as soon as possible.
  • Construction Capabilities. The amount that this skill will be needed depends on whether you hunker down in a home or have to bug out to the wilderness. Either way, having plumbing and/or carpentry skills will help.
  • Mechanic. If one of your vehicles needs repairing, the local garage probably won’t be an option. It’s crucial to keep your vehicles in running condition because you never know when you might need to gather supplies.
  • Child and Older Adult Care. The caregiver has a crucial role, especially if there are multiple children and aging adults in your group. Keeping those who can’t always fend for themselves fed, nurtured and quiet is important.
  • Grunt Work. In a survival situation, there is going to be plenty of work that nobody wants to do, including sanitation, cleaning and household chores. People with limited skills in other areas will be assigned to do this.
  • Attitude Adjuster. Every group needs someone skilled at lifting other people’s spirits, especially when things look bleak. There’s no place for negativity when you’re trying to survive.

No two survival groups will look the same. Some will be larger, some smaller. Some will have a number of strong personalities, others only a couple. Some will feature several individuals with multiple talents, others will include a number of one-trick ponies. Regardless, the key is to make sure that at least one person possesses every skill you will need to survive.


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