52 hobbies to improve your survival skills

Discover 52 hobbies that improve your survival skills and prepare you for any challenge. More confident with the right leisure activities.

from Martin Gebhardt | Survival | reading time 7 Min
Updated on 30 January 2024 11.257 views 100% found this guide helpful
52 hobbies to improve your survival skills

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • There are 52 hobbies that can contribute to improving survival skills, including flintknapping, archery, camping, astronomy, fishing, etc.
  • These hobbies are accessible regardless of age or fitness level and can be practiced indoors and outdoors.
  • The costs may vary depending on which hobby is chosen. Some cost nothing or very little, while others require more money, depending on personal preferences and needs.
  • By trying out these hobbies, you acquire skills and knowledge that will help you survive in unforeseen situations, such as making fires, surviving in the outdoors, navigation, etc. You will also become more confident and able to take care of yourself better.
  • These hobbies are not only entertaining, but also educational and can strengthen your survival skills.
  • To further improve your survival skills, practice is key.

Hey my friend, have you ever thought about how important it is to improve our survival skills?

It's not just about the worst-case scenario, but also about getting to know ourselves and our abilities better.

The problem is that many of us are limited in our daily lives and don't know how to improve.

But don't worry, I have a solution for you: 52 hobbies that can strengthen your survival skills!

Let's discover together how we can better prepare for any situation.

A list of hobbies to improve your survival skills

Welcome to my list of hobbies that can strengthen your survival skills. Here are my top recommendations:

    1. Flintknapping: is an ancient technique for making tools out of stone or bone. You use tools to work the stone or bone to create sharp edges and points. Read here my guide about Flintstone.
    2. Archery: Clubs for children and adults may be available in your city, or you can install targets in your backyard or garden.
    3. Camping: this hobby is not only a great way to create family memories, but also an ideal opportunity to teach, practice, and improve survival skills. Read more here on how camping can help you.
    4. Astronomy: This study was once crucial for knowing when to hunt wild game and grow and harvest crops. Learn how to track the passage of time by the phases of the moon and determine solstices and equinoxes. Tricky question: How did the Harvest and Hunter moons get their names?
    5. Fishing: Learn to fish and clean and cook your catch. This way, you can be sure to provide yourself with protein in emergency situations. Also check out fishing techniques with which you can catch fish without modern equipment.
    6. Foraging: Finding wild food in nature is a great skill, and it will help you to become familiar with plants, fruits, nuts, seeds, and roots. Here are two excellent guides on this: "Foraging in summer" and "Foraging in winter (41+)".
    7. Playing a musical instrument: Besides bringing music into your life, there are many other benefits.
    8. Hunting and trapping: Hunting and trapping can be lifesaving to provide food, materials and shelter in survival situations. It also improves skills for self-sufficiency and independence.
    9. Brewing beer or distilling spirits: When everyone else has traded or drunk their way through their alcohol supply, home brewing might make you the most popular person.
    10. Team sports: promote teamwork and leadership.
    11. Gardening: Whether you have a windowsill or plot of land, space for a few raised beds in the backyard or a few containers on your patio – start with these fast-growing vegetables. Gardening is also worthwhile for children!
    12. Raising chickens or rabbits: Chickens and rabbits can be helpful in crisis situations and emergencies, as they are easy to care for and can provide a regular source of food such as eggs and meat. Plus, they do not require complex tools or equipment to keep. Read here on how to raise chickens and here on how to raise rabbits for meat.
    13. Blacksmithing: This allows you to make your own tools as well as weapons. I don't need to mention how essential that is.
    14. Knitting and crocheting: are hobbies that use different tools and techniques, but can produce the same types of items. Look into budget-friendly ways to acquire yarn or learn to spin your own. Darning could be good practice too.
    15. Fire making: Fire making helps you survive outdoors and improve your survival skills. Check out this guide in particular: 18 ways to make fire without a lighter or matches.
    16. Carpentry, woodworking, and whittling: Making things out of wood is necessary, and wood is a fantastic material for quickly achieving results. In the Wildimpuls-
    17. Quilting: is a hobby that will keep you and your family warm and is also a great way to recycle fabrics.
    18. Sewing: Sewing is important for survival skills because it allows you to repair and replace clothing and equipment when they become damaged. This can help to maintain warmth and protection, as well as avoid the loss of equipment and resources. Sewing can also be useful in making emergency shelters, bags, and other items.
    19. Entomology (Insect Study): This study will help you learn which insects are safe to eat and which are best left alone.
    20. Cooking: Learn to cook from scratch, and you become less dependent on supermarkets. Sauces, dips, and dressings are an easy way to start. Old cookbooks are a great place to find recipes from scratch.
    21. Historical reenactments: are a great way to learn about and practice traditional crafts and combat skills.
    22. Using an awl: Learn how to use an awl to create and repair goods made from durable materials like leather and canvas. Start with making a simple axe sheath here!
    23. Shooting and marksmanship: are important survival skills, even if you're not hunting for food. Some places offer firearm courses without requiring a license. And everyone should know firearm safety.
    24. Beekeeping: In addition to providing honey for food and medicinal purposes, beekeeping provides pollinators for your garden, beeswax for candles, deodorant, and the base for healing salves.
    25. Geocaching: is a great family activity that teaches navigation skills in the great outdoors. While older kids and adults will appreciate the technology of geocaching, younger children will enjoy the creative give-and-take of letterboxing.
    26. Soap making: Hygiene is crucial to health, which means that soap making is a vital skill to have.
    27. Climbing: Climbing requires the right ropes and knots, which are also necessary in survival situations. Find my 6 essential knots here and the ONE knot that everyone should know!
    28. Boating: Being on the water and knowing how to steer a boat can be essential in a survival situation. Plus, you'll also be working with knots here.
    29. Candle making: The great thing about candle making is creating a handmade product that you can use or give as a gift. It helps improve your crafting skills and can be part of a survival strategy during power outages or emergencies when light sources are needed.
    30. Lock picking: Aside from feeling like a super cool, super secret James Bond spy, picking locks destroys the illusion of security that locks give us and reinforces why home security is so important. Here's a 30-piece lock picking set with 3 transparent practice locks, something to keep you occupied and a great gift for any kid or teenager.
    31. Orienteering: Orienteering is a sport where participants must find a predetermined route using a map and compass. It's a combination of running, orientation, and map reading. Read here on how to use a map and compass, and find a comprehensive guide to orienteering WITHOUT a map and compass here.
    32. Hiking and backpacking: are great for testing bug-out bags and 72-hour kits, as well as practicing with equipment. Every hike is an opportunity to refine and improve your skills.
    33. Food preservation: With food preservation, you ensure that all the delicious food you hunt, catch, grow, feed, and purchase at the grocery store is stocked and ready for you and your family when needed.
    34. Paper making: Knowing how to make paper allows you to keep records for the long term. Did you know you can make paper from birch polypore?
    35. Blacksmithing: Getting into metalworking opens up a big world of all kinds of tools and weapons, as well as containers and constructions.
    36. Off-roading: Driving through difficult terrain can be nerve-wracking, which is why it's on this list.
    37. Drones: Learning to operate a drone safely and legally can provide important information in potentially unsafe situations.
    38. Cooking over a campfire: Practice cooking over a campfire and in a Dutch Oven. Here are some recipes to get you started.
    39. Weather spotting: Train as a weather spotter so that if your favorite weather app is unavailable, you still have a pretty good idea of what Mother Nature is planning.
    40. Herb gardening: Planting and growing herbs can expand your survival skills by allowing you to create your own food sources, making you less reliant on external supplies. You can also grow medicinal herbs to treat health problems.
    41. Car repairs: Learn how to perform basic vehicle maintenance and repairs. This will make you less reliant on auto repair services, saving you time and money. Additionally, you can repair your car quickly and effectively in emergencies to ensure mobility and safety.
    42. Home improvement: Improve your DIY skills so that you can tackle basic home repairs.
    43. Baking and bread making: Baking and bread making can strengthen your survival skills by allowing you to create your own food, rather than relying on store-bought items. Here is an article on how to quickly bake bread over a campfire.
    44. Strength and fitness training: If you can't outrun zombies, it's time to add strength and fitness training to your hobbies.
    45. Reading: Read more about preparedness and survival skills and build a library of reference materials that can be accessed without technology. Additionally, improving your communication and writing skills can be helpful for communicating and documenting important survival information. Reading can also stimulate creativity and imagination, which can be helpful for problem-solving and survival challenges. Here are some great books on Bushcrafting.
    46. Bushcraft and wilderness skills: These are great hobbies for those who want to challenge themselves with primitive survival tasks. My website is full of these topics.
    47. Paintball and airsoft: These are separate from team sports, as they offer a unique combination of skills that can be well-suited to survival scenarios. Yes, they offer opportunities for teamwork, but also strategic, tactical thinking, camouflage, cover and concealment, shooting skills, and physical conditioning.
    48. Radio communication: It is advisable to master communication devices for an SHTF situation.
    49. Self-defense: These skills build confidence and peace of mind, but require professional training to function properly.
    50. Hiking: Hiking keeps you fit and strengthens your orientation skills. Here are all my hiking guides.
    51. Building survival skills: Taking a course in survival skills can teach you how to protect yourself and survive in emergencies. Here are some good providers.
    52. Tracking wildlife: Interpreting animal tracks is a wonderful hobby. And in an emergency, you will need it as it helps you to identify food sources, recognize dangers from wild animals, track directions and routes of animals, and assess the presence of animals in a specific area. Here's how to get started with tracking wildlife, and here is my big guide to "Animal tracks in the snow (by certified tracker)" and in my database of animal tracks, you'll find many photos.

Here are some tips for these hobbies:

      • Anyone can try these hobbies, regardless of age or fitness level.
      • Some hobbies may require an introduction or instruction, but most can be done without any prior knowledge.
      • Some hobbies can be done indoors and outdoors, while others are primarily done outdoors.
      • The costs can vary depending on the hobby you choose. Some cost nothing or very little, while others require more money, depending on your personal preferences and needs.

The fact is that by trying these hobbies, you acquire skills and knowledge that can help you survive in unpredictable situations, such as making fire, surviving outdoors, navigation, etc. You will also become more confident and better able to take care of yourself.

In conclusion, these hobbies are not only entertaining but also educational and can strengthen your survival skills. Give them a try and improve your survival skills!

How can you further strengthen your survival skills?

Train!

But you knew I was going to say that, right?

Because even if our lives don't depend on these hobbies (at the moment), practice is the only way to use them when they do.

I hope you have fun trying them out, and I hope I was able to give you some ideas and inspiration.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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