Here are 10 invaluable skills that will likely help you sustain yourself in a hand-made local world:
1. Organic Gardening and Seed Saving: Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society. Learning to grow your own food is a must. Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.
2. Food Processing and Preservation: Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital. Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.
3. Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering: Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization. Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. In regards to weapons, your ability to use them also gives you the skill of working security.
4. Animal Husbandry: Notice the first four categories are related to food production. It’s that important. Just gaining knowledge of one of these categories will give you an invaluable skill to thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.
5. Construction: Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization. These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight. If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools. There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.
6. Alternative Energy and Fuels: Having the knowledge to implement alternative energy systems will make you a wealthy survivor in a “dark” world. You can learn to build your own alternative energy systems, or you can purchase back up solar generators in preparation for emergencies. There are also small fuel refinery systems available like the biodiesel Fuelmeister, and the new invention from Japan that turns plastic into oil. Knowledge of how to create energy would be invaluable when oil is scarce.
7. Water Purification: Since it’s difficult to pump well water without electricity and with surface water likely to be contaminated, clean water will be in very limited supply. Learning to purify water will allow you thrive during this time. You can also purchase water filters for your go-bag that will last weeks, and you can have back-up tablets should you need them. However, the skill and knowledge to purify water should be the goal as that can never run out.
8. Basic First Aid and Natural Medicine: This is another skill that can take years to develop and learn, but that will be crucial when supply lines of pharmaceuticals are cut off and hospitals are over-run. Knowledge of growing herbal gardens for making medicine at home will prove to be very important. Learning basic procedures for stitching wounds, CPR, and more will also be of great assistance. Being the tribe’s shaman with a natural medicine chest is a prestigious position9. Mechanics: Mechanics for cars, motorcycles, tractors and other machinery will likely be in high demand. In addition, bicycle mechanics will also fair well in world where fuel is very expensive or hard to come by. These are also skills that are not learned over night, but it will be wise to at least have access to books or how-to videos.
10. Soap and Candle Making: With long supply lines decimated and electricity on the fritz, soap and candle makers will provide a valuable product. Clearly some preparation of storing raw materials may be needed to achieve trade-able levels of these goods. Even if you just had the knowledge to make soap or candles just for your immediate tribe, you will be much better off for it.
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