If you have already been in a few short or long term life or death situations, then you may already know there is a huge difference between prepping, camping, homesteading, and going about your daily life. While many skills overlap, there is still a special core of abilities that must come together and function as a whole before you can truly be an efficient, capable, and resourceful prepper that will survive just about any situation. This article covers 10 basic skill sets that you need to become an expert in and specific details about which elements within that skill set are most important.
From bartering for goods and services with other survivors to rebuilding a healthy social structure, negotiation and communication skills are always important. This includes being able to communicate over long distances and with people that you may never have met before. If you have already served in the military, law enforcement, or clinical medicine, then you already know just how important these skills are, and may also have some good insights about what approaches work and which ones don’t.
Did you know that in face-to-face communication, people pay more attention to your body language and facial expressions? No matter how many languages you learn or how well you arrange your sentences, people still look at your eyes, hands, and posture to determine if you are telling the truth. To make matters even more complicated, different cultures, even within the United States interpret body language cues differently. If you are going to be an effective negotiator and communicator, you need both personal ability and any equipment that may be required to transfer your information.
Here are some basic skills to master and equipment to have on hand:
Equipment: a compact mirror for signaling, smoke signal gear, a crystal radio, shielded radio, weather radio, two-way radio, parts for making spark gap transmitter.
No matter where you go or what you do in the world, you are going to need safe food and water on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in just about every crisis situation, food and water are also going to become unavailable very quickly, and will also make you a target of others that are willing to steal from you. As such, you should focus not just on the most obvious foods and water sources, but also on ones that will be difficult, if not impossible to spot.
If you take a survey of your household energy uses, you will find that a good bit of energy goes towards heating up the home or cooling it down. No doubt, you also have seasonal changes to your wardrobe so that you can avoid everything from heatstroke to hypothermia. In times when electricity, oil, kerosene, propane, and other fuels may not be available, you will need to know how to improvise using less harnessed fuel sources. Here are some things you can learn to do right now and some tools that you can keep on hand for a time of need:
If you have already taken First Aid classes and know how to use a range of modern medical equipment, then you have made a good beginning. That being said, in a crisis, some, if not all of the equipment and medications you may have learned about will not be available. For example, if you need to manage a heart attack while on a forced evacuation and know how to use a defibrillator, what good will it do when none is available. Part of emergency prepping in this area includes making sure that you can make equipment or medicine out of materials on hand. Here are some valuable skills to learn insofar as emergency medicine:
Long-term medicine is yet another area where people sort of assume that they will stumble across the right herbs or manage to keep enough medicines on hand to last until more become available. Prepping for long-term medical needs can be complicated and take time, however it is well worth your effort. Here are some important aspects to cover:
To maintain good health:
In a world where Jan Chipchase of Nokia claims “Three objects were considered essential across all participants, cultures and genders: keys, money and mobile phone.”, it may be difficult to see why gathering data would be hard in a crisis situation. That being said, as nations around the world develop internet and cell phone kill switches, EMP devices that can knock out most forms of electronic communication, and attention spans run less than 5 minutes for adults, getting information and improvising during a crisis may not be as easy as you think. Here are a few things you need to do in order to make sure you are in the best shape possible to get, use, and acquire important information:
Being able to improvise is also very important. Start off by learning how to build conventional equipment with verified plans and materials. Build your next models using natural materials, substitutes, and anything else that might be available during a crisis as opposed to what you started out using.
The real truth is very little of what we do as preppers is about us. No one really wants to be the last person alive on Earth with no friends or family to share life with. Our children are the reason why we fight for freedom, we seek to protect them, and we also aim to make sure they can take the best possible care of themselves. This is why being able to raise and educate children is a major skill that every prepper should know.
Today, conservatives, liberals, and moderates alike, both rich and poor, complain about the condition of our schools and the way our society has “dumbed down”. In many cases, you can put a stop to it in your own family by homeschooling and vigorously petitioning to remove Core Curriculum from the schools. Go back to older textbooks that actually teach in a straightforward manner and truly challenge students to think and acquire mastery of each subject. Start from now to teach your children about true healthy social values (like the right to self-defense and unfettered access to guns, honorable dating, respect for self, respect for others, kindness, common decency, independence, and honesty.)
No matter whether you prepping efforts involve family and friends, or you are planning to go it alone, eventually you are going to have to communicate and work with people from outside your immediate trusted circle. If you and the other party both have the same objectives, all your efforts may fail if you cannot form a solid team and promote leadership and a chain of command. Now is the time to take leadership oriented communication classes so that you can:
Gun control, ongoing riots, terrorism, and a number of other situations that signal pending social collapse are enough to make every prepper think just a little bit more about defense of self and personal property. Even though guns may be your first and last thought so far as protecting yourself and your family, some other skills are also needed. Here are some things you should get informed about so that you know what to do if faced with any given situation:
Aside from general navigation skills without using electronic aids, you should also know how to navigate during an emergency. Here are some basic things to have on hand, and how to prepare for a situation when roads may be closed or you cannot travel along safe or known paths:
Right now, rain, snow, heat waves and other “normal” weather patterns may seem more like an inconvenience. When you are dealing with gridlocked traffic, riots, invading soldiers, or a complete economic meltdown, the elements of nature can spread disease and expose you to many risks you hadn’t planned for. Even if you are an avid camper, never forget that in a major crisis, there may be no “end of the vacation” and no “normal world’ to return to. When it comes to managing the elements of nature, you should know the following:
If you went through this list and feel that you are fully prepared in every single area, consider yourself lucky. Should you find that some areas are completely missing, or that you do not have sufficient background, there is no time like the present to learn. I’d love to hear from you about other skills that you feel are important. How did you acquire your skills in these areas, and what methods do you recommend others use for acquiring these skills and tools? Please feel free to send a note in the comment section below this article!