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Necessary Skills In A Survival Situation

In the case of a complete economic collapse, large natural disaster, nuclear war, or other major breakdown, certain skills will become very valuable. In today’s modern society, people have become specialized. Each person learns a certain skill for the performance of their job. After a major disaster, many old school skills will once again become necessary for survival.

Imagine the stoppage of oil which eliminates large scale farming. Gas stations are out of fuel. Hospitals and doctors offices will be closed. Grocery stores will not be restocked. The military will be off fighting foreign wars. The tailor and dry cleaners are gone. Your local carpenter, plumber, welder are all gone. The electricity is out, leaving you with no running water, no washing machine, no heat, no air conditioning, no light. The city utilities are all gone and the toilet will not flush anymore. Imagine trying to survive without all these modern conveniences. Well, people did for thousands of years. Sure, we build up society and then start to specialize. But the families of the old wild West were multi-talented and self sufficient.

To survive a large scale disaster we will once again need to become self sufficient. It is nearly impossible for any one person to learn every skill needed for survival. But you can be as prepared as possible now to help out later on.

We will be getting back into herbal and plant based medicine. Local, family based farming and gardening will be necessary. You will need to repair or make your own tools and equipment. Cutting wood for heat without a chain saw alone is a full time job. Your clothing and shoes will start to wear out. You will need to learn to hunt and gather wild edibles. Repair and maintenance of your shelter will be on your own shoulders. Defense from predators will be necessary.

If you are reading this blog post, then you, like myself, are interested in survival. Most likely you will not have many people in your family or circle of friends who are like minded. If you do, then you are very lucky. More likely, many people will be counting on your for their own survival when the time comes.

Do not panic, but just start to prepare as well as you can now. Pick a skill that interests you the most and learn it. Study it in your free time and practice it. Research the internet for the best books on the other skills. Stock up on books that specialize in those skills where you are lacking. Spend time browsing those books in your free time to become familiar with them. You cannot become proficient in every skill overnight. But you can become familiar with your new survival library. When a need arises, you will know where to turn for the answer.

I will list a few of the most important skills we will need.

  • Natural medicine and herbal medicine
  • Gardening and harvesting of foods
  • Food preservation and storage
  • Clothing repair and sewing
  • Foraging and identification of wild edibles
  • Hunting, trapping and Fishing
  • Working with hand tools and woodworking
  • Building and shelter setup and maintenance
  • Defense and protection
  • Producing your own power

There are others, but the ones listed above will greatly help you. The old Readers Digest book “Back to Basics” is one of the best all time old school skills books on the market. It can still be found online today. Look for books about old Indian skills. Study how they hunted, trapped, preserved food, prepared shelter and clothing. Find books about setting traps, finding water, wild edibles. Look for good, quality books on the subject. There are many theoretical books with a lot of words, but no hands on skills are taught. Books with lots of drawings and photos seem to be better. Older books from the 70s and 80s are full of quality knowledge. I found a book at a used book store one day labeled “stocking up” for two dollars. It is from the 70s and loaded with practical information about what foods you need to survive, what quantities, how to store the food, and how to prepare the food. This book is one of the most valuable in my collection. I have an old book about Indian medicinal herbs and plants that is great when I need a cure for some ailment. I have an old book about survival with practical information about trapping fish and animals, stalking, walking silently, building a shelter and much more.

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The bottom line is that many people will probably be counting on you for their own survival. When you form a small group of survivors, the books you have collected will become very valuable. People can specialize their skills based on what needs the group has. Individuals can study the knowledge gleaned from books to learn old school skills that we have lost in the last century.

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Troy Reid


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