24 Most Overrated Survival Skills

Survival skills are traits that we all want to have, especially in today’s strange and unpredictable world.

Whether learning how to start a fire without matches or building a shelter with local resources, these backwoods skills can be useful in a variety of situations.

That said, not all survival skills are equal in value; some may be overvalued and have little to no practical use.

For example, some survival methods may seem necessary in dire situations, yet they are not as helpful as people say and or as fruitful when the situation arises.

This article will discuss overrated survival skills and why they may not turn out as expected when disaster strikes.

1. Plant Identification

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Knowing how to identify edible plants in the wild is not an essential skill for survival because it’s unlikely you’ll need to live off the land, especially with so many options to prepare food stockpiles in advance.

Unless you are an expert in plant identification, there is a high chance of misidentifying a plant, and many edible plants have poisonous look-alikes that can be mistaken for the real thing.

2. Shelter Making

survival shelter
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While knowing how to build a shelter may seem like a crucial survival skill, it is only sometimes necessary.

You will likely have basic camping tools or materials to construct a temporary shelter or dead trees and limbs that you can use.

3. Knot Tying

Red Paracord Knot
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While many survivalists claim that knot-tying is an essential skill to have in a survival situation, most people know enough ways to tie knots to be sufficient in most scenarios.

Just being able to tie a simple knot is enough to secure a tarp or set up a shelter.

4. Map Reading

reading a map
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If a disaster happens, you will most likely stay in your immediate area.

Unless you are lost or need to evacuate, map reading may not be a necessary survival skill, and it is more important to get to know your area and decide on a bug route beforehand.

5. Primitive Fire Starting

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While knowing how to start a fire using primitive methods, including friction, flint, steel, or even sunlight through a magnifying glass, can be fun, it is unnecessary.

Instead of using primitive fire-starting methods, make sure your emergency kit contains plenty of waterproof matches, lighters, and other fire starters.

6. Natural Remedies

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Some people may promote using natural remedies in survival situations, but not only is this overrated, but it can also be dangerous.

Without proper training and knowledge, it is best to stick to a well-stocked first aid kit and familiarize yourself with its contents before an emergency occurs.

7. Animal Tracking

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While it may seem like a valuable skill to be able to track animals for food or safety, this is another overrated survival technique.

Tracking animals can also put you in danger if you encounter a predator or trespass on someone else’s land.

8. Sewing

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While knowing how to sew can certainly come in handy, it is not a critical skill for survival.

If sewing is needed, you can do the repair using duct tape or a makeshift sewing stitch that doesn’t require extensive knowledge.

9. Trapping

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Learning how to trap animals for food may be a survival skill that makes you feel capable.

Still, the likelihood of needing to use this skill in an emergency is slim.

While some skills may seem impressive or exciting, it’s more important to think of practicality when it comes to survival.

10. Carpentry

how to build an attached greenhouse
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While you may need to build a shelter in a survival situation, knowing carpentry is not necessarily essential.

Carpentry skills are unnecessary if you don’t have access to the proper tools and plenty of building materials.

In a genuine emergency, you can create shelter by using simple materials like branches and leaves.

11. Leatherworking

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While leatherworking may seem like an excellent survival skill, it is not necessary.

The time and effort that goes into making leather goods would not be practical when trying to survive.

12. Seed Saving

sacks of seeds
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In most disasters and survival situations, you will not need to grow a garden, but if it does last that long, you should have seeds to use from your stockpile.

Most people don’t live in a place that makes it impossible to plant a garden due to climate, space, or other factors.

13. Canning

canned vegetables
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Canning food is an overrated survival skill that is not necessary for most situations.

While it may be helpful for long-term food storage, canning requires specialized equipment and access to food such as a garden or fish, which is impossible for many people.

14. Hand To Hand Combat

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While learning hand-to-hand combat for defense as a survival skill is important, it should not be a top priority.

In most disaster situations, avoiding conflict is the best approach, and most preppers are likely to have weapons they can use from a distance.

15. Animal Defense

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While knowing how to defend yourself from animals can be beneficial in certain situations, it is not a necessary survival skill.

In most cases, avoiding contact with potentially dangerous animals and seeking shelter is the best course of action.

16. Navigation

man reading compass and waterproof map
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If you are in a survival situation, you most likely won’t need to read the stars or navigate using a compass.

Knowing the area you are in and staying aware of where you are at all times by using simple map reading is more important than extreme navigation skills.

17. Foraging

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In most disaster situations, you will not have access to a natural space where you can forage for edible plants, so foraging is overrated.

However, knowing which plants are safe to eat is a good idea if you find yourself in a wilderness survival situation. Alternatively, it makes more sense to bring enough non-perishable food with you when venturing into the wilderness.

18. Hunting

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Hunting is another survival skill many people hype up, but it’s not necessary for most disaster situations.

Hunting can be dangerous and time-consuming, and in a true survival situation, firearms and other hunting equipment may not be readily available or accessible.

19. Bartering

two men bartering
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In a disaster situation, the likelihood of being able to barter is slim because most people will be focused on their survival and won’t have extra resources to trade.

Preppers plan and stockpile what they need and won’t have to rely on bartering, so focusing on self-sufficiency is a good idea rather than relying on others.

20. Outdoor Cooking

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Outdoor cooking is a useful and enjoyable skill to have, but it is a skill that is overrated.

Most people already possess the skill of cooking food over an open fire, but in a true survival situation, finding food to cook may be a more significant challenge.

21. Tourniquet Making

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Many survival shows and YouTubers emphasize the importance of knowing how to make a tourniquet in case of an emergency.

While it is a helpful skill, it is unlikely you will need to apply a tourniquet.

22. Candlemaking

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Candlemaking is another skill many touts as essential for survival, but in reality, it isn’t necessary.

Candles can be handy for providing light and warmth, but other light sources, such as flashlights and lanterns, are more efficient than candles.

23. Farming

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Farming is a great skill to have, but in a survival situation, it is overrated because it may not be practical or feasible.

To farm, you need access to land, seeds, and tools, which may not be available in most survival situations.

24. Knife Making

rock as knife blade
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Many survival enthusiasts have overrated knife-making as an essential skill to have in a survival situation.

Having a knife is useful, but learning to make one from scratch is not practical or necessary for most people.

38 Things Every Prepper Should Stockpile That Aren’t Water, Food, or Weapons

Get home bag
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This list extends beyond the basic survival trio of water, food, and weapons. It’s a given that we need to stock up on water, food, and a way to defend ourselves and what we have. But what other things will you need in a survival situation? None of us truly knows what TEOTWAWKI will really look like, although most of us have theories we think most likely. But whatever the situation is, there are certain supplies that it just makes sense to have on hand, aside from the obvious trio I mentioned above.

23 Riskiest Cities To Be During a Power Grid Collapse

New york at night

Image Credit: Shutterstock.In a world where the stability of our power grid is increasingly under threat, knowing which urban areas to avoid during a blackout is crucial for any serious prepper. And which areas to escape as quickly as possible. When you’re making your survival plans, keep in mind that these are the places you don’t want to be.

Best Hunting Rifles of the Last 50 Years

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Choosing the “best” hunting rifle is a pretty personal thing. We all have different opinions and preferences on what we like to hunt with. But still, over the last 50 years, there have been some remarkable weapons. Over the past half-century, the evolution of hunting rifles has seen so many innovations, catering to a wide range of needs from the casual deer hunter to the adventurous big-game enthusiast. What’s your favorite hunting rifle? Which weapons deserve a spot on this list?

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