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SHTF Plan - How to Survive a Crisis

Preparing for hard times is always a sensible thing to do. However, life sometimes throws surprises that none of us could have possible foreseen or prepared for.

In this, SHTF (when sh** hits the fan) plan scenario, it’s important to have a particular set of skills that you can adapt to any situation.

Today we will discover all the basic skills that are needed for the successful survival of you and your loved ones. Our tips will help you to power through these disasters and become a winner in your survival journey!


Essential surviving skills


Even before bad things happen, you need to learn some crucial survival skills. It will make your life so much easier if you already know how to make a fire with a stick, for instance, or where to look for water in the woods.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most important skills for you that will be so useful in times of disasters.


Let’s find water


We believe that you have already seen in many movies and read in various articles that water is the first thing you should look for in the wilderness to survive.

If you are dehydrated, you cannot do essential tasks for survival at the same level of work rate as usual, which could have disastrous consequences.

However, water is a valuable thing not only for drinking, but you also for cooking and washing. In addition to this, you need water to clean your wounds if you have sustained injuries.

We hope that this will not happen to you, but anything can happen in the wilderness.

So, finding water is your first task. You can prepare yourself for this matter just with a couple of detailed maps of the surrounding areas around your home, highlighting areas with lakes, rivers and small creeks.

From the maps, you can also learn if some factories or cities are situated near the given water source, to find out where the safest place to gather the water is. This tends to be upriver towards the industrial objects.

Now you know where to get your water, but different scenarios can pollute or dirty the water.

In order to prepare for this SHTF scenario, you need to get filters for the water that cleans it from bacteria, viruses, dirt, and other toxic pollutants.

It is better to own several of them to ensure that they will last you for a long time, if required. Additionally, always follow the instructions of your filter. It will help you to prolong the filter’s life.

You can also use purification tablets (we advise you to stockpile them too) or just simply boil your water to get rid of the bacteria (at least five minutes of very active boiling to kill off the nasty stuff).

The boiling alone will not help you with all the issues, but if you don’t have any other choice, better to boil than do nothing.

The last essential thing for your water supply is containers. When you choose containers for your fresh water, make sure that they are made from suitable plastic that will not spoil the water, and that you can tightly close the container after you fill it.

These containers will save your energy, and give you plenty of pure water for survival.


Now we need some heat


Starting a fire is a simple and essential skill that will provide you with warmth and hot, cooked food so needed in desperate times.

We strongly believe that any adult should know how to start a fire with sticks, how to find and use tinder, and finally how to make a real, roaring campfire! It is must-have knowledge that will save you from any SHTF scenario; even wild animals too.

However, if you are preparing for the hard times, you can buy some cheap but very effective fire starters and have a couple of them on hand in case of emergency.

Grab some lighters and matches too, because they are practical and easy to use by all your family members.


A shelter to sleep and hide


Now we can move on to the next part and explain how to make a great shelter for you and your family.

It is one of the most essential aspects of the SHTF plan, so try to save up and buy a high-quality tent and comfortable, durable sleeping bags for all your family members.

Until it is needed for survival, you can use it for great family vacations to bond with your loved ones and practice those survival skills you’ve been learning (hopefully through our website)!

But, what if your surviving stash was destroyed, and your tent and sleeping bags are gone? In this case, you need to learn how to create a primitive hut from branches and leaves that will protect you from sunlight and rain.

It is a skill that is as important as starting a fire, and we advise you to do research and learn how to make primitive builds for survival.

Our ancestors lived their whole lives in builds like these, and they survived, and you can do it too. You just need to learn how to do it.


Store your precious food to eat


So, with your shelter, dazzling campfire, and a few containers of pure water, you need something to eat! First of all, let’s talk about the food you can store long before any catastrophe: pre-made survival foods.

You will find a huge variety of websites that offer different amazing meals for vegans, meat lovers, vegetarians, and any other person.

You will find dried fruit and vegetables, vacuum-sealed meals, full meals for breakfasts and dinners.

These meals are healthy, nutritionally balanced, and can be stored for a very long time — some of the brands even claim that their food has a shelf-life of 25 years.

The best out the lot are our good friends My Patriot Supply, so definitely check them out as they have a mammoth range of supplies on their website!

All these meals are very easy to cook. Usually, you just need to add some boiling water and cook it for 15-20 minutes. Then, you have a great meal for “on the go”!

We highly recommend for you to have a reasonable supply of dehydrated foods to help you survive at first. With these supplies, you will also gain crucial time to gather your head together and decide what to do next.

My Patriot Supply ship all over the globe, but if you don’t have an opportunity to buy dried food, you can stock up on regular products.

You should also consider building an underground cellar to keep all your food there. You also can make it as your bunker if you wish.

The cellar will allow you to start storing fruits and vegetables from your garden and keep cans of varying foods you bought and made by yourself there.

It is advised to have at least a month’s supply of fresh vegetables and canned food in your cellar to survive disasters. At a time of writing where Covid-19 is spreading like wildfire across the planet, this advice couldn’t be more relevant.

The last thing you need to learn in this section is how to find new food. For this, you will need to learn how to hunt (with and without any weapons) and how to distinguish edible berries and plants from non-edible ones in your local area.

Put a detailed botanical book like The Lost Ways (frankly, put all the books on survival you have in your cellar — they will be gold when the time comes) with pictures in your survival kit — they might save your life someday.


First aid skills


It is crucial to have a medical kit in your survival bunker or cellar with all the basic first aid items, such as bandages and dressings to treat wounds, common ailments or diseases, to assist a person with a fracture, etc.

Also, add some fever, anti-nausea, and diarrhea pills — they can save someone’s life.

As for the skills you need to know about first aid, we highly recommend you to find and attend first aid courses in your area.

These courses are excellent and can provide valuable guidance in commonly occurring medical situations from how to treat a gash on your ankle to administering CPR.

These skills will never be wasted because knowing how to help in this way when that SHTF time comes will be the key to the survival of your whole family.


What should you do during different disastrous events?


Now you are in the middle of a real-life SHTF crisis, and you need to know what to do next. 


First scenario: you can stay at home


Firstly, go to your bunker and barricade there to wait out the first hours and days when people are in panic and can try to break into your home.

We haven’t mentioned this yet, but if you can buy weapons, like shotguns and rifles, you need to add them into your survival bunker. In an Apocalypse, every man is living for himself.

If you don’t have a bunker, (or it is not good enough for extended living there) and the catastrophe can put your family in danger, barricade your own home, and close all the doors and windows with furniture.

You need to make it difficult to break into your house and loud enough for you to sense if something is happening.

Before barricading, move all your food, water, and safety supplies from your shed or a cellar to keep it from looters. Next, it is time to create a SHTF plan for further actions.


Second scenario: it is not safe to stay at home


It is for you to decide whether it is a good idea to leave your home or not during a catastrophe. If you are sure that it is the only option to survive, here is what you need to do.

First and foremost, decide where you want to go. Remember your maps. Now you can use them to find some secluded spot to wait out the worst times. Make sure that you will be near the water sources and safe surroundings.

Next, put all your food, water supply, and backpacks with essentials into your car (if you don’t have a car, you need just grab your bag with a survival kit and go out on the road).

As for essentials, here is the rough list of all you will need in the wilderness:


  • Food and water (including filters and tablets)


  • First aid kit


  • Surviving tools like an axe, knife, collapsible shovel, tactical multitools, flashlights with batteries.


  • Warm clothes, socks, and gloves in case of cold nights.


  • Survival books


  • Radio, cellphones, or other communication equipment


  • Fire starting kit


  • A tent, sleeping bags, and emergency blankets


  • Personal protective equipment like latex gloves, masks, respirators, antiseptics.


  • Rope or a paracord


  • Weapons for hunting and protection


  • Extra fuel, if you have it.


Now you have the list, your next step will be to go to the safe place you have chosen. When you get there, start building a shelter and protecting the area from intruders.

Make a campfire to ward off wild animals and try to place fallen trees around the camp, making sure that you’re able to leave the area at speed if you need.

Your next step is to figure out what you still need in your arsenal and gather it. Maybe you do not have enough water, or you need some wood for a shelter. Whatever it is, make sure to plan strategically in order to find it.




Crisis times always come suddenly, but we can make sure that we are prepared as best as we can for these SHTF unfortunate events.

If you are in a situation where you need to survive, remember, your skills, wit, and courage will help you get through it.

You just need to stay focused and believe in yourself, and you can survive any catastrophe that may happen to our world.

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


The Survival Spirit is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to invest in this website and keep producing great content!

About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

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