Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Food and water. Those are the two things we all think about when it comes to surviving when the SHTF. Water is plentiful so why not use it to get your food as well? Fishing is one of the most sustainable ways to feed yourself when you can’t simply go to the grocery store and pick something up. 

In this crash course, I’m breaking down ways to catch fish without a rod, how to track the fish down, and a few expert tips to help you plan ahead. 

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Best Survival Fishing Techniques 

Catching fish isn’t that hard when you’ve got a survival fishing pole and reel, but what do you do if you have nothing? If all hell broke loose and you had no choice but to fish for your food, what would you do? Would you have any idea how to do it? Most people would likely say no, but this section will help you learn the basic primitive fishing techniques for survival.  


Spearfishing has been around for ages and it’s grown into not only a popular sport but a great tool in the arsenal of preppers all over the country. It’s a great way to catch fish without requiring a large number of tools that will weigh you down and make it more difficult to travel. 

You’ve got two choices here. You can plan to make your own spear when SHTF or you can prep your spear now and plan to take it when you bug out. 

The most important piece of every spear is the rubber sling mechanism used to release the spear and stun the fish. Most people think that a spear is simply a sharp stick and that’s not the case. 

Another misconception is that the spear impales the fish, but that’s not always the case either. A spear should be designed with three sharp prongs at the top and the purpose of the spear is to simply stun the fish, not kill it. This is called a pole spear. 

If you’re planning on prepping a spear beforehand, go with a Hawaiian Sling. These come with a mechanism that automatically releases the spear when you spot a fish you want to stun. I would personally recommend bringing one of these with you because they don’t take up a lot of space and they make fishing much easier. 

Hand Fishing (Noodling) 

This might be the most difficult method of survival fishing but it’s the one you can always count on. Noodling involves treading water and remaining as still as possible for as long as possible while waiting for fish to become comfortable around you. This could happen in a matter of minutes or it could take as long as an hour or two. 

Keep your eyes fixed on the water and your hands close to the surface. Once you spot a fish that you think you can catch, you’ll throw your hand into the water and attempt to pluck it out. 

Using a net is obviously one of the best ways to catch a larger number of fish in a short amount of time. It’s also a great way to catch bait that you can use to rig a makeshift fishing rod or a regular spinning rod if you have one. 

You’ve got three different kinds of nets and it helps to understand all of them. 

Gill nets are the simplest but they require the most effort and you’ll expend quite a bit of energy using them. But, they are a quick method to catch fish because you could go from nothing to enough fish to feed a family of four in a matter of minutes. 

When you’ve been without food for days, this sounds like a great strategy. All you need to do is throw the net into the water and use the buoys to pull it back in. You’ll want to identify an ideal fishing location before doing this and be sure that the net is coarse enough to capture even the smallest of fish. 

Drift nets are another method. These are illegal so I wouldn’t recommend trying to practice this but in a life or death scenario, it’ll work like a charm. Drift nets get pinned between two stakes that you’ll drive into the ground in a river or stream. The net will catch the fish that flow downstream and hopefully prevent them from swimming back up. The best part about this method is that it’s sustainable and requires little to no effort once you’ve set it up. 

The last method is using a standard dip net which is a net with a handle that you’d see anyone have in their fishing boat. It’ll require you to watch the water, find the fish, and then use the net to catch them. I wouldn’t recommend this strategy unless you have no other choice. 

Trotlines are a unique method where you run a line through the water with bait on it. You would preferably do this in a moving body of water like a river or stream. The line will have multiple hooks dangling from it with bait. As the fish move through the water, they’ll see the bait, and hopefully strike it.

The most important thing to remember about this is to check it regularly and make sure that everything is secure so you don’t lose your catch. 

Fishing Weir 

I saved my favorite method for last. If you really find yourself in a scenario where you have absolutely no resources to work with, you can set up a weir and catch fish for months if not years if you have to. 

For this to work, you need to make a double heart shape like the one pictured below. You’ll make it with rocks and design it so once the fish get stuck in the weir, they can’t get out. The best place to do this is in a moving stream or river because you’ll want to keep the stream moving in the direction opposite of the exit to the weir. 

Just be sure to adjust accordingly for rising and lowering water levels. You’ll need to build it high enough for when the water level increases but not too high that it becomes unsteady. 

One thing that you’ll want to keep in mind is that practice makes perfect. All of these methods mean nothing if you never go out to the water and attempt to practice them. Teach your children, teach your spouse, and teach whoever else you’ll be bugging out with. Everyone should know how to catch fish without a rod and reel. 

Preparing and Planning

Now that you understand some of the ways to catch fish, let’s talk about how you can prepare. Preparation and planning are the keys to surviving whether it be an EMP, natural disaster, or nuclear holocaust. Preparing for each scenario will make survival that much easier. 

Pairing Your Bug Out with Your Fishing Hole 

The planning stage starts all the way back when you start figuring out where you’ll bug out to when the SHTF. If you live in a remote area and have a lot of land, you’re lucky. If you’re like most people, you’re either in a suburb or some type of urban environment that will require you to leave your current location in exchange for something more remote. 

When you’re deciding on this location, you should keep fishing-related factors in mind. Look for things like pooling water, streams, rivers, and eddies along those rivers. These are areas where fish hide and they’re the best locations to deploy some of the fishing strategies mentioned above. 

Understanding How to Catch Fish

Knowing how fish behave, when they feed, and how they feed will also help you succeed. Keep in mind that fish are most active in the early morning and at dusk. If you plan to catch them with spearfishing or even with a rod and reel, you’ll want to fish at the times when they’re out feeding. They’ll be more aggressive and more likely to come closer to you and your bait during that time. 

You’ll also want to factor in seasonal effect. If you live in a place that gets all four seasons, you should make sure to have backup food acquisition strategies because you’ll have a much harder time fishing when the water gets cold. 

Finding Bait 

Fishing with the best lures is the go-to strategy for many, but eventually you’ll run out of lures in your tackle box so you’ll have to resort to live bait. You can go around and forage for bait or try to catch it yourself using some of the netting strategies outlined above. 

I also recommend flipping over rocks near rivers and streams. This is a great way to find crawfish, grubs, and larvae which will attract fish. You can use all of these to bait your trotline which will easily result in a faster catch. 

Preparing Your Catch 

Once you’ve caught something, you need to at least have a general idea of how to prepare it. We’re not talking about Gordan Ramsay level cooking here, but you need to cook it so no one gets sick and you get the most out of every fish you catch. With many freshwater fish, they’re full of bones so it’s very easy to waste a lot of product because you’re afraid of consuming the bones. 

Another important thing to remember is that you need to keep the fish alive until you’re ready to cook it. 

Start by finding the hole under the tailfin and cut horizontally towards the head. Doing this on both sides will yield two filets and if you do it carefully enough, there shouldn’t be much meat left on the bones. This is something that takes a lot of practice, so don’t wait for chaos in the streets before you start learning how to properly filet a fish. 

Final Thoughts 

Understanding how to fish when the SHTF could be the difference between life and death. While everyone is foraging for food amongst the urban chaos, you’ll be able to escape and develop a sustainable way to feed yourself and your family. 

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We’ve all seen videos that show how quickly a fast-moving wildfire or storm can wipe out a family home or even an entire neighborhood. A disaster – human-made or natural – can change life as we know it in mere moments.

We write a lot about the things you need in order to survive after the end of the world as we know it, but what is even more important are the skills you need to possess. Supplies can burn, be stolen, or get swept away by a storm. But the survival skills you learn will stay with you.

Here are 25 basic skills you need to master before it’s too late.

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1. Finding Water

Water is essential to life. After three to five days without water, your organs begin to shut down. Therefore, having access to water is critical to survival after a disaster.

This video shows how to find water in the wilderness. And this article offers information on purifying water.

2. Starting a Fire

Fire can keep you warm, boil your water, cook your food, and keep predators at bay. Knowing how to start a fire under different circumstances is an essential life skill. Fire requires oxygen, fuel, and heat.

This video shows how to start a fire with only limited resources.

3. Foraging

Although we can survive longer without food than without water, finding food is near the top of any survival list. Finding and identifying edible plants, herbs, roots, and tubers can mean the difference between life and death in some survival scenarios.

This website is an excellent starting off point for the beginning forager.

4. Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping

These varied and essential life skills involve tracking animals, building traps, snares, nets, and learning how to clean and prepare wild food. This article is written for first-time adult hunters.

And here is a fishing guide for beginners.

5. Building Shelter

Keeping safe from the elements is a critical part of survival. You’ll want to learn how to find natural shelters as well as how to build your own with natural or human-made items.

This article describes 3 simple designs for outdoor shelters that used minimal supplies.

6. Finding Your Way

Navigation and orientation skills include learning how to read and use different types of maps, use a compass, estimate distances, and navigate using only the stars and the sun.

Check out this article as a way to get started on these crucial skills.

7. Telling Time

Knowing how to estimate time before sundown or before sunrise can help you stay safe. For example, you’ll know how long you have to build a shelter before it gets dark.

Here’s a hands-on (literally!) method to try.

8. Predicting The Weather

With a weather app at our fingertips all the time, many of us have lost the ability to recognize Mother Nature’s weather signals. However, knowing weather skills can save your life in the wilderness.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to some of the weather cues we can find in nature.

9. Tying Knots

Whether we’re fishing, climbing, or putting up a shelter, ropes can help in many survival scenarios. However, they won’t do us much good if we don’t know how to tie knots. You should learn and practice basic knot typing skills.

This article has links to videos that show you how to tie 10 different knots.

10. Using Basic Tools and Weapons

Do you know how to use a hatchet to split firewood, gut a fish with a knife, use a slingshot, handle a bow and arrow, or fire a gun? Take the time to learn and practice using these life-saving tools and weapons.

This video demonstrates how to create some ancient survival weapons in the wilderness.

11. Knowing First Aid

Having a first aid kit is essential, but knowing first aid skills is even more important. Here are some of the life-saving skills you should learn and practice.

12. Keeping Things Sanitary

Improper hygiene can lead to infection and illness after a disaster. Knowing the basics of sanitation can help keep you healthy during a time when germs are rampant.

This article has some hygiene information and links for keeping safe from germs after a disaster.

13. Learning Self-Defense

Take a self-defense class and practice these skills on a regular basis. Even better if you can find a friend or partner to practice with.

Here are some basic moves to get you started. Keep in mind that avoiding a dangerous situation is also an essential part of self-defense.

14. Knowing How To Use Camouflage

Another way to protect yourself in the wilderness from animals and humans is to use camouflage. You can hide from predators or shoot your dinner.

Here’s an interesting article that explains the science behind camouflage, also called cryptic coloration, and how to do it.

15. Hiking and Climbing

Building up your strength and stamina through hiking and climbing is an essential survival skill. Imagine trying to bug out and being too tired to carry your bug out bag any farther.

Here are some hiking and climbing skills from professional hikers and climbers.

16. Rowing

Similarly, you should learn how to row a canoe, kayak, or rowboat. Contrary to what many people think, rowing doesn’t just use the force of your arms. You need to build up your legs as well.

Here’s a video that shows you how to develop this skill with rowing machines.

17. Swimming

Swimming is another life skill you should learn and practice. Knowing how to stay calm and afloat in a water emergency can save your life.

Here’s a video that demonstrates how to float.

18. Communicating

When the power is out, and the internet is down, you may need to find other ways to communicate after a disaster. Here are some of the skills to learn:

The previous skills we’ve listed focus mostly on wilderness knowledge, but if you’re staying in one place, you’ll also need to know and refine other basic life skills.

19. Growing Your Own Food

Do I really need to explain why the ability to grow your own food is so important? I didn’t think so.

This article covers the information beginning gardeners need to know to start a home vegetable garden.

20. Cooking Meals From Scratch

We’re so used to convenience foods and take-out and restaurant meals in our society that many people have lost the skill of cooking from scratch. But in a grid-down scenario, cooking from scratch may be your only option.

This article lists the basic ingredients you need to keep on hand.

21. Food Preservation and Storage

If you’re growing and cooking your own food, there’s a good chance you’ll have a surplus. So, the next skills you need to learn are is how to preserve and store your food.

This article explains how to store emergency food.

22. Sewing, Weaving, Knitting, and Mending

You might not think about sewing as a survival skill, but it is. Clothing and outerwear help keep our bodies safe, warm, and dry. And being able to make or repair our clothing could a critical part of staying alive after a huge disaster.

Here are some sewing basics to learn.

23. Working With Wood

Knowing basic carpentry skills and how to use woodworking tools can come in very handy during or after a disaster. You should know how to build and repair simple structures and fences, for example.

This article discusses basic carpentry skills.

24. Raising Livestock

Animal husbandry, as well as the care, feeding, and housing of animals, all take time to learn. However, farm animals can help keep you and your family alive in the aftermath of a disaster.

This book is a beginner’s guide to help get you started.

Finally, we would like to stress that you work on developing the mental and emotional skills needed to survive a disaster.

25. Developing Situational Awareness

This skill helps you to remain calm and clear-thinking during an emergency. Although some people come by this skill more naturally than others, situational awareness can be learned.

Situational awareness is based on the O.O.D.A. Loop, which was developed by U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd. The acronym stands for:

This article gives an overview of situational awareness for beginners, and this video from a retired Navy SEAL offers 10 tips for improving your situational awareness.

As we have made our way through this challenging past year, each of us has learned some tough lessons. In addition to the shut-downs and the many losses associated with COVID-19, many of us have experienced natural disasters or witnessed civil unrest in our communities.

Perhaps the most important lesson is that we now understand how life can radically change in just a short period of time. However, we also learned that we adapt to those changes when we set our minds to it.

What skills on this list do you need to learn? Which ones do your kids need to learn? The time to prepare for the next disaster is not after it has happened. It’s now.

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(Natural News)
Preppers know that home gardening is a beneficial activity because it allows you to grow crops without any harmful pesticides. Becoming a home gardener also means you have access to food after SHTF. (h/t to

6 Reasons to start a home garden

Even if the world doesn’t end tomorrow, below are six reasons to start growing fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables in your home garden.

It gives you access to organic and nutritious vegetables 

Growing your own food is one of the best ways to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) like corn, potatoes, or soybeans. Aside from being GMO-free, growing organic crops protects your family from the harmful side effects of pesticides often used on store-bought produce.

Having a vegetable garden also means you significantly shorten the process of getting produce to your table. When you buy food at the store, it’s usually stuck through a long process of being harvested, shipped and distributed.

While fruits and vegetables sit in storage or on store shelves, they lose some of their nutritional value. Consuming produce in its rawest and freshest form means you eat fruits and vegetables at their most nutritious.

Here are some of the best crops to grow in your home garden if you’re a beginner:



If you live in an apartment, you can also grow smaller plants and various herbs in containers or buckets. Utilize the space you have and grow crops that you can use to make tasty and nutritious food for your family.

Cultivating a home garden keeps you active

Home gardening offers many benefits, but it’s a task that requires some hard work. But that’s fine, especially since gardening is one of the best ways to stay active.

Maintaining a home garden is more physically demanding than buying supplies at a grocery store, but studies show that gardening offers health benefits like improving your heart health and immune system response, relieving stress and decreasing heart rate, improving fine motor skills and boosting your physical strength.

Having a home garden also ensures you get regular exercise from walking around your property to inspect your crops, tilling the soil, pulling weeds by hand and watering. These routine tasks encourage your plants to grow big and strong.

At the same time, regular physical activity can help relieve your stress and anxiety.

Home gardening helps prevent vitamin D deficiency

Living in an area that has seasons means you run the risk of being vitamin D deficient, particularly during the winter months.

Fortunately, gardening means you spend a lot of time outdoors in the bright sunshine as you tend to your crops. While you can also get vitamin D from certain superfoods like cod liver oil, egg yolks, herring, mushrooms, salmon, or sardines, spending time outdoors is a great way to get your daily dose of this essential nutrient.

Home gardening gives you easy access to produce when SHTF

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first began, store shelves quickly ran out of essential supplies.

If you have a home garden, you don’t have to worry about running out of fresh fruits and vegetables amid the pandemic or other disasters or other events that can make it difficult to stock up on supplies, like:

Home gardening is better for the environment

Did you know that growing your own food is better for the environment? If more families started home gardens, fewer trucks would be needed to deliver food long distances, which emits a lot of fossil fuels into the air.

Starting a home garden also reduces your reliance on food transportation. Finally, growing your own crops means your harvest is free from pesticides that commercial farmers use, which is good for the environment and your overall well-being.

Home gardening helps you save money on groceries

Home gardening requires an upfront investment in essential tools and supplies like seeds and gardening tools, but gardening helps you save more money compared to buying produce from the grocery store.

Not sure where to start? Here are some of the tools you’ll need for your home garden:

Once you’ve established your garden, you can use the money you save on food for other projects around your homestead.

Gardening tips for beginners

Gardening may seem like a difficult undertaking, but it’s a task that’s worth all the time and effort you put into it.

If you’re a gardening beginner, you can ask experienced preppers for tips. You’ll also learn from your own mistakes. In time, you’ll have a bountiful garden that will help you feed your family even after SHTF.

Here are some tips that will help you get started:

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start a home garden. Learning how to grow your own crops ensures that you have access to food even after SHTF.

This content was originally published here.

Even if you’re well on your way to establishing a stockpile of supplies to hold you over during a major emergency, there may be one or two things that you could be forgetting. While you probably have most of the biggies covered, you’d be sorry if you forgot to have some of the ones that didn’t seem as important at the time. Sometimes you have to go back and consider what your most basic needs are to be sure that you have all your bases covered. Which in fact is what most of these items are. These are 13 things you’ll regret not having when SHTF.

13 Things You’ll Regret Not Having When SHTF

1. Soap

Proper sanitation is one of the first things that goes following a major disaster. Without having soap to keep not only all of you clean, but particularly your hands clean, it will only be a matter of time before you could get terribly sick. And if you don’t have the right medicine or even the convenience of being able to head to your doctor so they can fill out a prescription for you, your situation could wind up deadly. Make sure that when you plan on stocking up on soap, try to purchase a supply that is antibacterial. 

2. Hand Sanitizer 

No matter how much soap you have set aside, eventually, your stockpile will draw to an end.  You will want to have an abundance of hand sanitizer as one of your emergency items so that your soap supply won’t diminish too quickly. We quickly realize that this is one of those things you’ll regret not having when SHTF.

3. Bleach 

Bleach is probably the cheapest and one of the most effective ways of disinfecting contaminated water, along with keeping your surroundings sanitary. Be sure to stock up on this one as much as you can. Remember to store the variety without any scent or it will carry over to the flavor of the water, and it may not be as tolerable to your body either. Please only store what you can use within six months.

4. Toilet Paper/Kleenex Tissues 

If it came down to it, your family could definitely survive in a world without toilet paper, but would you really want to? This is why it only makes sense for you to create a huge stockpile of toilet paper that you don’t touch until an emergency.  And don’t forget Kleenex, I have so many allergies, I have to stock these all the time.

5. Feminine Products 

For those of you who have a family with several females living in your home, you’ll be under a lot more pressure to make sure they stay fresh and clean with a stockpile of tampons or sanitary pads. They never go bad and don’t take up that much space when being stored. Don’t be afraid to make homemade ones, you may need them. In case you missed this post, How To Make Reusable Menstrual Pads  

Suffering through a headache without any form of pain relief is painful, but it is doable. Yet what about if you are suffering from a toothache or some type of serious injury? Not so easy to do. Be sure to get a number of different kinds of pain relievers because they each have their special uses. 

You also don’t have to get caught up in worrying about the expiration date on the bottles once they’re past the date. They never really go bad, but just lessen in strength over time. While you’re at it, go ahead and stock up on other medical supplies and OTC medicines that would be useful.     

7. Can Openers 

A majority of the food that you’ve stockpiled for emergencies probably comes in a can. It would be a lot harder to get the contents out of them without a manual can opener. Just to be safe, keep more than one of them around in your home. Again, please stock more than one can opener, you never know when that favorite one will break. Can Openers

8. Tools 

Having basic tools along with screws, nails, and adhesives will be crucial if you’re forced out of your home and you need to build a shelter for your family. Following a post-collapse, it’s going to take a ton of hardware materials to rebuild again, and it will also give you something that you can barter with too.  

9. Matches and Lighters 

Unless you’re skilled with making fires by using another method, you will regret not having plenty of matches and lighters set aside for a SHTF scenario. Starting a fire can be difficult as it is, especially if your knowledge is limited in that department. You will need to be able to make a fire for your cooking and lighting purposes. It doesn’t hurt to have the matches in waterproof containers in case the emergency takes place during a storm. That’s also why flashlights and a large stash of batteries would also be a must-have.  

10. Ammo 

Without ammo, it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to hunt, and your hunting rifles will be completely useless. One thing to keep in mind is that you can never have too much ammo, especially following a major disaster. If you’re in a situation that you don’t want to give away your location, stocking up on bowstrings and arrows may also be something that you should consider.    

Even if you have never touched a lick of booze in your life, it would be smart for you to have it on you if ever SHTF. Some people use it to calm their nerves in order to help them relax, but alcohol can be used to help disinfect wounds. It also holds value and would give you another bargaining item that you could use to trade with people for almost anything. This is another item you’ll regret not having in SHTF.

12. Entertainment 

When you’re left with a useless mobile device in your pocket following an SHTF scenario, you will have wished you had another form of entertainment to help you pass the time. For some people, it will take only be a short time before they experience withdrawals and a case of the jitters if they aren’t able to check their email or their social media.

Make sure that you have plenty of books, board games, playing cards, pencils, and pads of paper to keep you busy. While you may not need to be entertained, these are things you’ll regret not having when SHTF.

13. Valuable Skills 

You could have every survival item that should be included in your stockpile, but if you don’t have the skills that go along with them, your family probably isn’t going to make it. Hunting, fishing, gardening, foraging, husbandry, welding, carpentry, are just some of the useful skills that you could find very helpful to have. Your skills could be yet another bargaining chip that you could barter with. Survival skills are another area that you may need to brush up on and practice. This is one of my top posts, 30 Pioneer Skills We Cannot Lose  

13 Things You’ll Regret Not Having When SHTF

Final Word

Hopefully, you and I will never have to experience an SHTF situation in our lifetime, but there’s always that slim possibility. These are several items that you will regret not having if that day were to one day show up. Of course, having sufficient food and water are critical and that should go without saying if you are at all prepared. A camp stove, plenty of fuel, and enough warm clothing are also some that you shouldn’t forget. What are some things you’ll regret not having when SHTF? May God Bless this world, Linda.

This content was originally published here.