I believe the five most important types of self-reliance and survival training are: 1) shooting, 2) first aid, 3) martial arts, 4) wilderness survival, and 5) food production.

Why bother? For me, it’s not about prepping for a financial collapse or a zombie-pocalypse, it’s about helping my family and then being in a position to help others. And even if I’m never in a dire survival situation, I’ll still be better off for the time and energy that has been invested in training.

Receiving competent professional training in firearms can be a great method for learning gun safety, self-defense and even becoming a more proficient hunter. Consider classes in marksmanship with handguns, carbines, shotguns, and precision rifles. Numerous schools around the country can provide this kind of training for adults. Some even work with kids.

First Aid
It can be hard to patch somebody up quickly and effectively, without the skills and experience that first aid training provides. First aid skills are the most likely survival skills that you’ll ever use. Learn basic first aid and CPR first, then work your way up to wilderness first aid and “help delayed” training. If it turns out to be your favorite subject, you can go for First Responder and Wilderness EMT training. Your local Red Cross can get you started. Also look at companies that specialize in medical certification.

Martial Arts
While some martial arts are not particularly suited to real world fights, any fighting skills are better than none. Try to find a local dojo that seems grounded in reality, without too much of a cultish following. Learn unarmed striking and takedown techniques, and learn weapons like the staff, knife, and baton, since that makes a lot more sense than just learning unarmed fighting skills.

Wilderness Survival
Skills in shelter, water, fire, and signaling never go out of style. Take a class, or spend some time practicing on your own in the wild. These skills are ideal for folks who travel the backcountry, and are an important supplement to the “bug out” concept.

Food Production
Learning to grow your own crops and raise livestock can lead to a great deal of self-reliance, and these skills can provide you and your family with outstanding food. These skills are about far more than just survival. Learning to do these things for yourself can serve you for a lifetime. These skills would certainly come in handy in the event of a food shortage or financial crisis.

What skills would you add to our list? How did you learn them? Please let us know in the comments.