Author Topic: Skills for a new Survivalist  (Read 7346 times)

Offline Jon George

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Skills for a new Survivalist
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:58:02 AM »
I am putting together a list of skills that I need to learn over the next 2 years and wanted to know what type of skills when it comes to food storage I should learn. I don't know what I do know. 

Offline idelphic

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 11:03:35 AM »
There are a few -

Canning - Hot and Cold packing

Dehydration is maybe the 2nd easiest with Freezing being the first (an opinion...)

Canning and Dehydration are best for long term storage.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 03:33:20 PM »
This may not seem to fit, but along with the things idelphic mentioned, I'd say that gaining the skill and habit of using your stored foods and learning how to cook with them is an essential skill. Many of the types of food you store (particularly with "copy-canning") is intuitive. You already use it in the way you will be storing it. However, with dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods you purchase (no freeze-drying method available for home), canned meats, etc., it sometimes will require you to do things a little differently. It isn't hard, but just something you have to figure out for yourself and your family's particular tastes.

I also think that most folks have to consider whole grains in a long-term storage plan (wheat berries, rye berries, and the like). Most people have no idea how to grind their own grain and then to make something edible using only whole grains like this. We have several great threads on here about various brands of grinders, plus recipes for making bread with your home-ground wheat. Again... not hard, but you need a grinder and the time to experiment. Trying things out now will also help you determine if you want to keep things like vital glutin, lecithin granules, etc. in your storage for baking bread (those things are often recommended to increase the rise of your whole-wheat bread). You may also find that you prefer hard white to hard red wheat... which will help you know which to store.

Another idea... learning the skill of sprouting. If you have a good basic sprouter (not expensive) and have learned the skill, you have another way to add highly nutritional food to your diet even in winter or if your garden isn't producing. This will help you decide if keeping beans, seeds, etc. for sprouting makes sense for your family.

Good luck in your prepping!

Offline ore2u

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 05:07:20 PM »
I have been teaching myself woodworking using only primitive hand tools. All of the tools that I have for doing this have been bought at garage sales for cheap. I also think that "fast packing" is a skill to have and foraging.

Offline boboroshi

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 05:33:11 PM »
The most important thing is critical thinking.

After that, I'd say look at floating all boats equally. Lots of learning by doing.

* Gardening and preserving that harvest through freezing, canning, dehydrating, smoking, etc. is a big one. But how long does it take to get a garden producing from zero? If the weather is right, 60 - 90 days. If it's not, it could be six months. Can you eat for those six months from stored food? Have you tried to do so? Can you make more than 3 different meals from your food storage? Garden inside in pots vs outside.

* Basic defense: I'm not saying an armory here. Basic tools to add food to the table and protect you and your family if it ever comes to that (God forbid). Get trained. The NRA offers affordable classes and there's lots of other options if you can afford them.

* Physical fitness. If you're out of shape, daily life is going to get the better of you in an emergency.

* Organization. Inventory everything before you get new things. You'd be amazed at what you already have lying around. Get it organized and cleaned up. Your storage will look better, you'll be able to find things when you need them, and your significant other won't be all "what's in that pile of junk?" :)

* Threat assesment. Know your AO and what is going on there. What are the threats you're most likely to face? What are your COAs (courses of action) on each one? Where are there holes? Start fixing the most common stuff and work your way to the fringe stuff. E.g. if you don't have basic food storage, don't build a fallout shelter (unless, of course, that moves up the probability matrix)

* Basic comms. How do you communicate without cell phones or land lines? At least a HAM technician license is ideal here. You should have some way of collecting information (shortwave, etc)

* Basic alt power. A battery and the $45 watt Harbor Freight solar kit to start. Learn how it works. Play with it. Charge the battery (outside as it gives off fumes). How long can you run something on it? Document that. Know your limits. Can you run a freezer on just one battery and a solar panel in the summer? If so, you've got a LOT more options with food.

* Heating: Can you heat your house without electricity? Summer heat may be miserable, but you can cool yourself much easier than warm yourself up. I think everyone should have a wood stove in their house. Even if you rarely use it, know how and make sure it works a few times a year.

It's lots of these things over and over.

1. Analyze your situation
2. Make categories
3. do the basic in each category
4. Move to the next level in each category

Float all boats.

Offline thezoo

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 10:39:39 AM »
it might not sound like a skill but taking a good drive around your area to scope out things like nearby orchards, water supplies(lakes streams, creeks, etc) berry patches (preferably in places no one will mind you picking)also look for farm stands, in our area we have fifteen to twenty of them one just a half mile from a major interstate the problem is one stand sells a quantity of tomatoes for almost double everyone else does(because theyre just off the interstate) meet people in your area, and learn to shop yard sales, tag sales flea markets even produce auctions
practice food recycling (for instance the wife made stirfry the other day, but made to much rice, well the rice got added to homemade gumbo, she rolls her own tortillas, the recipe makes 8 tortillas, there are only two of us, so instead of throwing out the leftover tortillas she will fry them into taco salad baskets, or chips, or make bkfast burritos) nothing or rather very little goes to waste here, we grew 5 sugar pea plants this spring, not enough for a side dish so she threw them into the stirfry.  hope that helps get the wheels turning :excited:

Offline archer

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 02:13:08 PM »

Offline d0j0w0

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 05:28:56 PM »
Use coupons, by things on sale!
I am always looking for the opportunity buy.

Offline Big Halfbreed

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 08:49:29 PM »
So far what has been most useful to me has been my ability to comunicate with my family and keeping a journal that keeps track of my money and preps as well as being here on the TSP forum

Offline caverdude

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 03:40:11 PM »
I guess begin thinking about what skills the first settlers to America needed. Then apply that to a modern world. I'd say that its difficult to be completely self sufficient without a lot of poverty in the process. Poverty is not all bad depending on the place your living and your situation.

The first settlers where concerned first and foremost about food and security, then shelter, then clothing. They had to have land and resources to harvest from said land. It was easy in their day, they just grabbed some fertile and resource packed land from the natives. We don't have that luxury.

I guess what most of us are talking about however is surviving some form of economic collapse that we hope we outlive. Dumping debt and acquiring land at the same time is a good first start. We are talking about skills here, so maybe personal finance skills are #1 on our list. Or career skills? How else will you dump the debt and acquire land so that you can build these survival skills?

Lets say you have no debt except for maybe a land mortgage. You will still need income to build this self sufficient oasis. So career skills are still on the list. If your career is in selling something produced from the land then great! You are truly living off your land. More realistically you may have some combination of commuting to some type of work and selling something you produce from your land.

No jobs, no career, no income. Now you are living off the land as the pioneers may have. Though I'm sure they quickly found something to sell or trade. Selling and trading might be #1 skills then, before the living off the homestead skills.

#1 Personal Finance skills.
#2 Career skills.
#3 Selling and Trading skills.
#4 Homesteading skills.
#5 Wilderness and primitive living skills.

Realistically we are talking about skills that will help make life easier through economic slumps and collapse. So some skills will apply to the suburbanite, the city apartment dweller and the homesteader.


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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 04:12:42 PM »
Staying with the topic of "food storage" you are concerned with . . . .  My best advice is store what you eat, eat what you store.  And rotate stored foods as you eat it.

Offline caverdude

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 05:57:57 PM »
Somehow I forgot this was in the food storage category. Sorry

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Skills for a new Survivalist
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 09:17:14 AM »
Two big things I would add to list....

Learn to cook from scratch. 
This something I have been doing for a couple of years.   I knew nothing about cooking when I started. 

I really like Alton Brown's cook books and the New Best Recipe Cook book. 

All of these explain the how and why of preparing a dish.  This is extremely helpful on learning the chemistry of cooking. 

Also learning to repair stuff and reuse stuff.    All sorts of things.  If you get in the habit of fixing things you will develop a wide set of skills and need to buy less stuff.   You Tube is wonderful for finding how too videos on just about anything.

Getting organized is a big one..... This is my big project at the moment.