Whether natural or man-made disasters, we all want to be prepared when the worst happens.
We all like to believe that we are prepared for an emergency or disaster scenario.
But the reality is that most of us are not.
So now is the time to prepare yourself with the essential skills before it’s too late.
A few of the most important skills come from the military realm that could help you survive any disaster.
Now let’s go through each of the skills in detail.
10 military skills that pay off especially when disaster strikes
Have you ever had the feeling that you were not properly prepared for a catastrophe that might be imminent?
In fact, this isn’t supposed to be about your supplies, gadgets, or other supplies, but rather your own skills.
Have you ever wished you had some military-style survival training?
If you had the skills, training, and possibly discipline that is still standard in the military today, you would probably have an easier time surviving tough survival situations, right?
After all, soldiers are prepared right from the start for exceptional situations that they may encounter in the event of war or in action.
These include, of course:
- the fight
- outdoor survival
- building their own shelter in the field
- the procurement of food
- wound care and many more
As you will notice, these are exactly the abilities and skills that you can use when SHTF or you are at least in an exceptional scenario.
Unfortunately, not everyone has such an education these days, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t able to learn these things.
In the following article, you will find out which 10 military skills are particularly worthwhile when disaster strikes.
You can learn each of these skills yourself, even without military training.
You don’t have to be a soldier to use these skills
Before I get started with the actual article, I would like to take away a few of your doubts.
Just because fully trained and daily trained soldiers have and use these skills doesn’t mean you have to be a capable commando to benefit from this guide.
The only important thing is that you discipline yourself to practice these useful skills regularly and to constantly improve yourself. Only then can the skills be useful to you.
A soldier does not master his trade by birth or through sheer innate talent, but through rigorous training.
Do the same and always strive, so you will be successful.
1. Basic survival skills
You must have expected this point, right? The reason I listed it first is because it is particularly essential.
A soldier must always be able to ensure his own survival and that of his comrades – for example when he is deep in enemy territory or during the national defence.
Supplies are limited, especially behind enemy lines, there is no safe shelter and there is a constant threat of enemy contact.
Far away from their own base and cut off from any external supply, it is all the more important that water, food and shelter can be provided independently.
Soldiers not only have to protect themselves from the enemy, but also from extreme temperatures such as extreme cold or unbearable heat. The following applies: Whatever happens, the soldier must remain able to act in order to fulfil his mission.
If you’ve already read my blog a bit, you may have already understood the importance of remaining able to act in survival situations.
In short, a soldier must be able to do the following:
- Own supply of water and food
- building a shelter
- Protection against weather and extreme temperatures
So he must be able to survive in the wild.
And? Can you see the connection between a soldier’s activities in enemy territory and the necessary skills in a survival situation?
Correct, they are the same!
Everything that the soldier learns and uses, you can also learn and use to survive exceptional scenarios.
2. Crisis planning
Something the prepper has over a non-prepper is some crisis planning and preparation. As a prepper, you know what can theoretically happen and, ideally, how you can protect yourself from the negative consequences of the scenario.
But the military is taking it even further, formulating concrete plans for life-or-death crises. These are not rigid projects that can only be implemented in one way, but rather variable and flexible solutions to several problems at once.
In the army, it’s “living in a position”.
Adaptability, quick decision-making and the essential ability to devise and execute new plans are the order of the day.
But what does that mean specifically for you? How can you acquire this set of skills? Do you even have to?
A soldier is aware that in the heat of the moment it is not always possible to develop and successfully implement completely new plans. In view of this, the army leadership always issues the main order, but this is gradually broken down to the lower management levels.
For you, that means creating a main policy, like, ” If SHTF, I’ll grab my getaway backpack and head to my bug-out location via Route X. “
Now go through your plan in your head bit by bit and ask yourself the following question:
- What if Route X is impassable? If you haven’t already, find an alternate route that will take you to your bug out location.
- How do I get to my destination? I run? Am I using a vehicle?
- What do I do if I am approached by other people?
- What if someone gets hurt?
Keep going over the plan in your head and try to think of a few contingencies that seem likely to you.
Over time, a network of plans is formed that you can fall back on.
But be careful: Always leave room for your own decisions on site! Excessive micromanagement ruins your spontaneity and deprives you of any opportunity to react appropriately and quickly to changes in the situation.
You won’t be able to factor every single eventuality into your plans, but you shouldn’t either.
Create a guide or quest and follow it, but be flexible. That means “living able”!
3. First Aid
This point should not surprise you in any way. If there is anyone who should be able to take care of wounds quickly and effectively, it is the soldier.
In doing so, he must adapt to numerous types of wounds and injuries, ranging from gunshot wounds to frag grenades, explosions and burns to mutilation.
Realistically, you’re more likely to deal with different injuries than the average soldier.
But that shouldn’t stop you from brushing up on your first aid skills. You can always use these, both in everyday life and in survival situations.
So learn how to take care of different types of wounds. The Bundeswehr is familiar with the principle of “helping yourself and your comrades”, which pretty much says exactly what you should be able to do: take care of yourself and your comrades/companions when you are wounded.
You don’t have to reach the level of a fully equipped combat medic, and you probably don’t have the right equipment for that either.
Nevertheless, as with all other points, you should achieve the maximum possible workload.
For example, I encourage you to at least learn how to apply a pressure bandage. I have a video for you here:
Signalling is a form of communication that can help you in the event of a disaster.
When soldiers are deep in enemy territory and need to communicate with each other (sometimes over long distances), this cannot always be done through speech. Either because absolute silence is required or the communication partner is too far away.
Examples of this are:
- Morse codes
- smoke sign
- show of hands
- Interpretation of alarm sirens
You don’t have to master every form of communication inside out, but you should at least understand the basic signs and signals and be able to interpret them within your situation.
Among other things, it would be good if you know Morse code.
5. Repair and Maintenance
Every soldier is aware of what it can mean when the main tool stops working.
This can be your own weapon, the vehicle you are using, radios or other mechanical equipment. In the worst case, a malfunction ends in the inability to act and thus the death of the soldier.
That is why every soldier masters the ability to maintain and repair his main tool at least to the extent that it remains functional even in exceptional scenarios – at least in the best case.
Of course, the repair is only the last resort! It is best to treat and maintain the device used with care right from the start.
Sure, maintaining a vehicle or fixing a major piece of equipment isn’t usually quite as fun as stocking up on supplies and making new plans. Nevertheless, this aspect must not be neglected, mainly in preparation for a catastrophe.
In the midst of a social collapse or natural disaster, do you want to be unable to get to your bug out location because you neglected to properly maintain and check your vehicle?
Currently, the breakdown service might help you out of a jam in the event of a breakdown, but this will no longer be possible in exceptional scenarios. For this point, it is best to acquire the skills that others currently have for you – at least as far as you can.
6. Camouflage and deception
I’m assuming you know what a military uniform looks like.
The typical Flecktarn pattern or camouflage pattern is not intended to look extremely fashionable, but rather serves a purpose: it is intended to make the soldier as difficult as possible to identify within his area of operations.
Usually, the soldier wants to remain hidden for as long as possible – unless the order is to show presence.
If the soldier remains unseen for as long as possible, he gets the chance to strike quickly and surprisingly or to avoid enemy contact.
How long do you think a scout squad would survive in enemy forest territory if they were dressed in bright red instead of using camouflage?
Right, he wouldn’t last long because he stands out like a crying baby in a library.
The reason you should learn to cloak is not dissimilar to the soldier’s intent. Because especially in the event of a disaster, you can count on a veritable boom in crime.
When all levees burst and society collapses completely, even people who are unkind to you can make their own rules. Looting and acts of violence are to be expected. To avoid this, you should master the art of moving unseen as much as possible.
Appropriate clothing, camouflage nets or camouflage makeup can help you with this. You will also learn which routes you can move particularly unseen and which places you should avoid so as not to draw unwanted attention to yourself.
Another aspect is that you should always – ALWAYS when people are panicking – remain inconspicuous. Become the “grey man“.
Do you know that one colleague at work who you never hear from, who doesn’t say much and is always in the background? You should become that person.
7. Ranged combat
Long-distance combat may sound a bit old-fashioned at first, but it primarily means the art of shooting.
The soldier’s main tool is the rifle, and he should practice using it day by day in order to constantly improve. A well-placed shot and a quick trigger finger are often a soldier’s life insurance.
Marksmanship can also come in handy when you need to defend yourself in the event of a disaster.
Visit a rifle club and practice using firearms. If for whatever reason, you are unable to use firearms, you can also use bows, crossbows or air guns.
Basically, it’s just about being able to defend yourself from a distance if it becomes necessary in the event of a disaster.
Once society has collapsed, you will probably not be able to expect any help from the police or other state institutions. So it’s better if you know how to help yourself.
8. Hand-to-hand combat
Even if it shouldn’t come to that in the best-case scenario, every soldier knows that close combat must also become an option if necessary.
You may be ambushed or face to face with the enemy while the ammo has already been used up. Such situations are rare nowadays, but not impossible.
In contrast to the art of marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat is comparatively easy to learn in Germany. Numerous clubs offer courses that enable you to quickly learn basic skills with which you can defend yourself effectively.
It’s not just about the classic punches and kicks.
Knowing how to escape from dangerous holds is particularly important.
It won’t do you any good if you can punch hard but you’re in a headlock and you’re about to faint. Ground combat is also an important aspect to learn.
The soldier is trained to fight in any position and any way imaginable, so do the same!
9. Navigation and Orientation
Another skill that we tend to neglect in our modern society is orientation.
We rely on our GPS these days to get us safely from one place to another. Of course, the military also has such technology, but it is not always used in the field.
The soldier must be able to orient himself in open terrain, if necessary without a map or other aids. Sometimes a sketch and the use of the compass must be enough to find out where you are and in which direction you need to go.
Digital navigation systems cannot be relied on in war scenarios, as they are either spied on at lightning speed or completely neutralized by enemy forces.
How do you think you’ll fare when the shit hits the fan and your navigation system may no longer work?
You might be lucky enough to have a map and a compass – so you should at least know them!
Disorientation can cost you your life in a disaster.
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is the last thing you want in a situation like this.
So do as the soldiers do, learn how to use a map and compass and improve your general orientation skills. Tracking can also serve you well when it matters most.
Like the soldier in enemy territory, you always want to know how to get to your destination safely, wherever you are.
10. Backpack Run and March
Backpack running is often underestimated and considered a tedious skill that every soldier hones throughout their career.
Basically, it’s just a matter of covering long distances while loaded down with heavy luggage, usually in a backpack.
In this backpack, the soldier carries everything he needs to fulfil his mission.
As you can imagine, it is not uncommon for several kilograms to be weighed down on the soldier, in addition to his already heavy equipment. It is not at all easy to carry this load over several kilometres and different types of terrain.
That’s why there are regular baggage runs and marches, which are completed at different speeds and lead through different sections of terrain.
In this way, the soldier and his body can slowly get used to the stress. Furthermore, he can quickly learn where his limits are and how he has to divide his forces.
As you know, you should make sure that your luggage remains as light as possible in case of an emergency, but that you still carry what you need to survive.
First things first: Unfortunately, your backpack will not be as light as you might wish.
When you’re under stress on top of that, and you’ve never done anything like a luggage run, it becomes difficult.
Worst case scenario, you won’t be able to make it to your safe haven, or you’ll have to drop supplies to lighten the weight to get there in the first place. You want to avoid both in the event of a disaster!
When you start practising, do as the soldiers do
Start with a lightweight, so don’t pack your backpack to the brim right away. Take a slow walk, look for different types of terrain and maybe design small parkour that you would like to complete with a backpack.
Over time, you increase the load
It is best to start with the distance or the speed, and then increase the weight of your backpack. This is how you get your body used to the temporary stress and make sure that it won’t let you down if the worst comes to the worst.
Bottom line: you don’t have to be a soldier to learn and use these skills – you just need discipline and practice
Even if you are not a soldier, you can learn and use all the skills mentioned in the article.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time.
As already mentioned: In the army, too, no one starts out as a fully operational commando – you become one over time.
So give yourself this time, but it’s best to start with the first exercises today.