June 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm #16104
Over the past few years I’ve taken a step back from the aspect of acquiring gear/cool guy stuff, and have been focusing much more of my time and ability to learning new skills, which is far more important that having some cool ****.
With that, I’ve come across a load of different things I’ve been learning about and trying to become good at. Some things, such as medical skills, or mechanical, or construction, are all universally accepted in the prepper world as being of vital importance to our survival. Now before anyone says something like fire making or shelter building, I’d assume most of us will agree that we’re not going to be living out in the wilderness, so, although those are indeed vital, they’re not on the top of need to know skills.
Personally, I think there are a number of skill that you should try to learn, or at least know someone who does. First would be a psychologist or counsellor. In a SHTF world, many people would be hard pressed to continue their lives when all that they know has been turned upside down. Having some skills, or someone who does, who can talk to those people to help them out will be of great importance.
Another one that will become important is chemistry. Unless you’re a nerd like myself, you don’t really give much care to it, but rest assured, it’ll be VITAL post SHTF event. Those of you with gardens already understand how important it is, when it comes to how acidic or basic your soil is, which plays a large role in growing. Also, chemistry allows for the making of medicines and important chemicals.
No, those two things aren’t “super awesome tactical”, but they will be important. What else do you guys see as being an underrated, yet important or vital skill/knowledge in a SHTF world?
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.June 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm #16139
Mr. Red – I agree with you, but I’m still trying to gather items a bit at a time (then again, I’m a hoarder of sorts).
I think that being able to “make things work” from scraps or what appears to be non-useful items will be one of the most important skills you can have. With that, comes knowing the basics of machinery, mechanics, engineering, plumbing, etc. will allow someone to think outside the norm to fix things without having to take a trip down to the local ACE hardware. If you’ve got the skills to use normal hand tools to make things that will be absolutely necessary for survival, you’ll be a very valuable asset to any crew. This is why one of the reasons to move to the “country” would be so important. Most of those residents have been there for one or more generations and have self sufficiency handed down from father to son and mother to daughter.
They can cook on a wood stove or make a water filter from scratch PVC, charcoal, sand, etc. They can build a very livable cabin from trees on property. They know the mechanics of putting together a gravity fed water system that can not only feed the house, but also a hydro water turbine for power. Anyway, that’s my focus as I’ve always had an interest in how things work, how to make them better and how to fix them if they break.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas PaineJune 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm #16140
One would be physical fitness. A lot of people think of it more in terms for self defence but life during shtf will be hard and people will have to work hard to stay alive. Being in shape will make the hardship easier. I would say another good skill would be redneck engineering. Lots of things will no longer work the way they used to. Repurposing or retro fitting will be a good skill. To some it is second nature but others need to study and get some ideas.June 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm #16150
mr. red… agreed. as a prepper i went from having enough soap to how do i make enough soap. i use to envy them guys with the cool toys and flashy stuff till theyd ask if i had batteries or there just wasnt reception in them mountain valleys. most folks seem to put stock in gear, they feel safe just having stuff. this april i strapped on snow shoes instead of taking a ski-doo and pulled a sled with supplies through the bush, i didnt want to but i did want to see what it was like…tough. now i know. in may come the rain..lots of rain and run off.. dampness.a newly installed fireplace in the trailer took care of that. the wandering wildlife like bears moose, bobcat… let em know im here so i break out the cow bell. we need others.. teachers, educators, engineers, laborers, all kinds of people. id be right willing to supply firewood, tend chores, help on the hunt, and learn all the while. folks just willing to teach are gold. expanding our knowledge base is vital for growth. two months iv been in the bush now alone, i sure could use a young worker guy. now theres an underated quality right there… a healthy young worker guy. ill take two please.
Prepare, Preserve, Protect...June 10, 2014 at 5:26 am #16169
Patience. Literally, the willingness to wait and see what happens…. lots of folks seem to think that they need to be MEN OF ACTION! Well, that’s good when it is required. But being able to sit back, wait, think things through… is equally important. Also keeping a cool head. Lots of folks get rattled with **** does not go as planned (does it ever?) or when the bullets start flying. Staying composed pays big dividends…
A sense of humor. Even gallows humor. Taking everything way too seriously will put you in an early grave. If something is absurd, you have to be able to see it as such and take pleasure from it… one of the things we are never short of around here is poo. It is literally everywhere.
So, of course there are lots of poo jokes being cracked. Poo jokes never get old. No matter what we do around here, somehow poo is involved. You are either adding it to something, removing it from somewhere, scraping it off your boot, stepping in it, smelling it, looking at it, avoiding it, running over it with the lawnmower (hitting poo with a lawnmower makes for epic poo flinging!)… if I let it get to me, I would go completely insane.
So, a coping mechanism is humor. Also when things get really bad, like a couple weeks back when a storm tore off about half the barn roof… I reverted to humor. Had to.
“Well, we always wanted a skylight there..”
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1June 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm #16180
Good suggestions , thanks.
Agree with being able to have humor as a coping mechanism.
It is important to be able to cope with everything, because it is cool to have things and skills, but all is for nothing if whole situation is too much for you and you simply brake down.
Hard to train for that, but good suggestion is to be able to leave some things for later and worry only for present moment when SHTF.
As for the “real” skills, I always admired guys who could make something out of the nothing, or those who are good with building something with very little material.
Folks who have mind for “inventing” or re-inventing things and solutions are gonna be valuable.June 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm #16183
The ‘less concrete’ skills?
1) Developing/honing organizational mindset skills. Creating order out of chaos. Ability to prioritize and set goals and shift them as needed, and quickly.
2) Knowing yourself well, now, before SHTF. Your strengths and weaknesses – look them in the face. Get to know your own bare minimums, stripped down. Listen to your body, really get to know what it is telling you. Start fasting 4/5 days every month – good for you and reminds you what it is like not to eat regularly. Practice austerity now. Learn to embrace it not rail against it. Watch your reactions and learn from them.
3) Learn how to delegate well and effectively. Learn how to deal with all sorts of people you would normally not choose to associate with. People watch. Observe and learn. It is a skill and an art and will be needed.
4) Develop your observation skills. Work at it deliberately. Learn to know what it going on around you at all times without even thinking about it. Develop the skill of seeing patterns and rhythms of things around you; so you automatically sense when something is out of whack. ‘Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson’
1) How to sharpen anything. Dull tools don’t work and make some jobs next to impossible.
2) How to organize work so it is as streamlined and efficient as possible. Always be looking for a better/easier way to do something to save your time, energy and body
3) How to interact with and handle a variety of animals/wildlife. Get to know them and their habits and habitats.
That’s off the top of my head FWIWJune 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm #16184
Great suggestions everyone. Patience and persistence are probably some of the most underrated skills because most survival activities are tedious and take a lot of time.
Most people also neglect fitness. Survival usually means hard work and using your own energy instead of having power delivered to your home.
Overall resilience is in my opinion the number one skill you want to have. The mental capability to not break down whatever life throws in your way. This is the first thing you need, everything else comes after that. Life smacks you down to the ground and you get up and carry on.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")June 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm #16186
I think there are two types of persons that really will be needed:
1. A person that knows plants and how to use them (ie food, medicine etc.)
2. A scrounger – someone who will find what you need or know the person who does have what you need.
RobinJune 10, 2014 at 11:17 pm #16225
I’m going to have to say domestic combatives. I’ve noticed among Australian survivalists a tendency to invoke past glories of the digger spirit and how we all pulled together in the great depression and how resilient we all were. The assumption is that is how we are and that is how we will be in the next big event. But I disagree. In the old days, people grew their own, made their own, preserved their own, and bartered and helped around their own communities.
That is the EXACT OPPOSITE to how it is today. When the SHTF, few people will have a clue how to survive, and if they were floating in the ocean after the ship sank, they’d try to use other people as flotation devices. Sure, at the beginning there would be cooperative attempts, but I think that would only work if supplies were coming in and the only problem was distribution. But if there isn’t enough… then the gangs go door-knocking.
So, knowing how to disguise your home and garden, stay or run, liaise with neighbours, be aware of who is behind the building or on top of the hill, and fight if necessary, are important skills to focus on.
After which, everything to do with food (how to grow it, preserve it, recognise it, prepare it, perpetuate it), and first aid/health/hygiene issues.
And bushcraft. I live is a rural area surrounded by bush. Survival is a bio-regional endevour, and if the bad guys coming up my road are too big in number to be dealt with, then getting the family into the trees is the reality around here.
One sake short of crazed!June 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm #16227
Malgus good call on humor. There is actually medical data backing up the healthy affects of humor. I won’t list them here. Laughter is often a natural reaction to a stressful situation. I was working about 180′ up on a steel platform one time. We had to rotate it. Something came loose that wasn’t supposed to and it spun 180 degrees in a split second almost throwing 3 of us over the handrail. Banged and bruised, all we could do was laugh uncontrollably laying on the grating.June 11, 2014 at 4:24 am #16250
I was told the most important skill or tool for survival is ATTITUDE. Some of what has been said really covers that. Humor, determination, but also acceptance. Those of us who expect something…a bad something.. to a degree are better of because we expect change and loss. So we know sitting around moaning about it will not do anything. You have to accept the new circumstance and do whatever is needed to make do and survive. And try to keep a positive attitude and impart that to those around you. To believe you will get thru.. and keep hope alive ( even tho you know it is possible that it might not happen).
There are so many different circumstances that I do not know a particular skill which is important. You need to know a bit of them all, and be able to make do as Selco suggests. It might be shooting… but it might be gardening.. or hunting… or foraging… or building shelter… or health care.June 11, 2014 at 5:43 am #16254
I’m going to suggest something different.
Sit back and read “Mysterious Island” by Jules Verne.
Its available free for kindle readers.
Look at it from a practical standpoint, not just the fantastic but the building of a miniature civilization.
When I see questions like this, I think of Heinlein’s qoute, “specialization is for insects”.
There is no one skill, but at the same time, if Emeril Lagasse is standing here and I have the option of putting him in the kitchen or the garage, you can guess where he will go.June 13, 2014 at 2:20 am #16420
-Real physical fitness. Not “perceived” individual physical fitness.
It’s kinda talked about, but rarely practiced by most. But, from my travels, my experiences and observations, fitness and health and neck n neck with skills and firearms.
Not having one will weaken or absolve the other.
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