You used to learn trade skills from your parents or grandparents, maybe how to hunt or fish, how to do basic carpentry and possibly a bit of mechanical work. Normal stuff right? Not any more…
Millions of young people are growing up with nobody to teach them these valuable skills. Its more likely these kids are learning about how to wriggle their thumbs on a playstation remote than getting out there to learn the real stuff. All those things you used to learn from your grandparents – are they just dying out? Its crazy but in a SHTF situation its exactly those skills that we are going to have to rely on.
1. Gardening for Food
Although there is a bit of a revival in this area there’s a lot of catch up to do for millions of people if we ever get into a real survival (or not even that bad) situation.
2. Animal Husbandry
Although the industrial revolution took place more than 100 years ago, many people continued to raise at least a small amount of their own livestock at home. This led to cities enacting ordinances limiting what animals people could keep within city limits.
Raising dogs and cats is much different than raising chickens, rabbits and goats for the table. A large part of being able to raise these animals is recognizing their needs and being able to diagnose their sicknesses. Farmers don’t depend upon the vet for most illnesses; they take care of it themselves.
3. Butchering an Animal
Raising an animal is one thing, butchering it is another. Few hunters even know how to properly butcher an animal. Most take them to a butcher for cutting up and packaging. Yet, an animal which is not properly cleaned and butchered can cause disease. You can also waste a lot of good meat by not doing it correctly.
4. Food Preservation
It’s rare to find people who preserve their own foods, but in our grandparent’s generation, it was common. Canning food, smoking meats and even making one’s own sausage were all common home tasks, which ensured that people had enough food to get through the winter.
If we go back very far in American live, pretty much every middle class home had a smokehouse for preserving meats.
Maybe we don’t need blacksmiths today, but if an EMP hit the country and we were without electrical power, the skills of a blacksmith would allow people to have their tools repaired — and new ones fashioned. Since the manufacturing plants presumably would be shut down, that ability would be essential for rebuilding America.
6. Basic Carpentry
Everyone should know how to make basic repairs to their home. Without the ability to repair damage from a natural disaster, it might not be possible to use the home as a survival shelter. Woodworking skills also allow one to make furniture and other items to help survive. That might include the use of or making of a home sawmill to cut up wood.
7. Basic Mechanical Repair
Depending upon the type of disaster that hits, the family car may just end up being a large paperweight. But there are many survival scenarios where it would be useful to be able to fix your car, keeping it running for general use. As long as there is gasoline, that car would be useful.
The ability to diagnose and repair an engine is useful not only for keeping a car on the road, but also for fixing lawn mowers, chain saws and other power tools.
8. Herbal Medicine
Many women also learned to use what nature provided for medicine. It was not uncommon a few generations back for mom to take care of her family’s medical needs, using recipes that she had learned from her mother. Today, that sort of medicine is called “old wives’ tales” but it works just as well as it always did.
9. Horseback Riding
This may not seem like much of a survival skill, but in the Old West, stealing a man’s horse was a hanging offense. That’s because being stranded without a horse was generally a death sentence. While horseback riding today is only done for sport, if the automobile becomes no longer usable, people will be looking for horses once again.
Breaking a horse is a skill that few know. Likewise, there are few today, outside of the drivers for the Budweiser Clydesdales, who know how to hitch and drive a team of horses. But in America’s past, our ancestors drove teams with as many as 40 horse or mules in them.
Real hunting, at least what they did in the past, involved knowing the animal’s habits and staking out a place where the animals were likely to come. It required patience, understanding of the animals being hunted — and a pretty good shot with the rifle.
Most off-gridders who live in the wild can do all of this.
This isn’t an exhaustive list at all, the point is that these skills need to be practised and retained, and passed down.