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Learning Survival Skills?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by unionman, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. unionman

    unionman Monkey+++

    I'm new to this forum and knew to figuring out survival skills. I live in an urban setting and lack most survival necessary skills...I was not raised anywhere near a farm, nor had Boy Scouts, dad never taught me to hunt and only fished a bit! I'm your basic urbanite who might be a wee bit step ahead of my neighbors only b/c I try to fix things myself first before calling a professional! (I do know hot to use firearms, but never been hunting).

    Anyone have suggestions on basic skills that I could begin acquiring? I'm particularly interested if anyone knows of a site or a book that would help me along in a "project" type mode...i.e. this weekend I'll learn canning, next weekend I'm going to learn how to build a chicken coop...etc.

    I'd especially love projects that I could do this my young sons...age 8 and 5...so they can get a better set of real life skills than I ever had!

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Welcome to the forum! As Minuteman mentioned reading up around here and askiing questions is a GREAT wealth of ideas and information on all levels of survival, beyond that what types of information would be most helpful would depend largely on where you want to end up. I say this because a great deal of the knowledge and many of the skills you would need would be totaly different based on weather you were trying to be sure you were equiped to survie if droped of in the middle of nowhere with nothing while waiting for help or trying to get out (an EXCELENT how to book with info for this and somewhat useful in most camping or survival is Naked Into the Wilderness by John and Geri Mcphearson and can be found at www.prariewolf.net ) versus preping for 'stuff' hittig the fan and rideing in out in an urban area versus doing the same in a rural area or livinng off a farm for life.

    I would say though that a few of your most basic skills that would be needed for any of these would be building a fire without lighter fluid and such (learning to do friction fires and or flint and steel is great but at least be able to do it with matches or a bic and just whats laying in the woods), shooting for defense and meat, fishing, maybe some simple basic trapping and how to clean/butcher animals/fish for eating and how to do at least BASIC makeshift shelters. The shelter building dosent HAVE to be a lot but at least understanding how to do like a debris shelter or something fully improvised,(you'll need to learn at least basic knots for a lot of this if you can learn a boline, running boline which is just the boline around the rope or a kind of slip knot, truckers hitch to tightly tie down loads and tention lines, and clove hitch and how to lash sticks together you wil have enouph to make due for most things) and how to turn a tarp and some string/rope into a basic shelter, rain fly and or tent.

    With those basics of knot craft, fire craft, shelter craft and basic shooting/hunting and VERY basic butchering skills you can boil water with the fire and provide food, water, shelter, warmth, and protection and also have the base to work from for a lot more as well as to get better at these basics but most importantly you can survive if you can acomplish just these basics in nearly any situation.

    Let me know if theres any particular areas you are looking for more info on or have any specific questions and Im sure lots of us here would love to anwser them for you and or point you in the right direction.
  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Welcome to the Board!

    I would suggest that you don't let yourself get overwhelmed.

    Start with basic preparedness. Make sure that you have set aside enough food and water, flashlights, etc. (like for power outage/bad weather) for short-term "survival". Then, step it up from there.

    A super fun, kid-friendly project is a solar oven. There are a lot of designs out there, so look for a simple box/foil design so that they can build it (and plan on them using more foil than called for ;) ). Get their favorite baked treat ready to go and let them cook it in their new oven. You'll have them wondering what they can do to help you get ready for the next power outage![winkthumb]
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    First Welcome Aboard
    Go to our front page
    and in the column on the left has plenty of reading material it will keep you busy for a long time.
  7. unionman

    unionman Monkey+++

    Thanks everyone...helpful suggestions all around...and enough to keep me busy for awhile! I think I'll start on learning the basic knots and the solar oven idea as both sound like good projects for the kids to be a part of too.

    Thanks again for everything!
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I know that one of the major tenets to survival is being able to use firearms. At the core level, survival is about utilizing whatever is in nature to fulfill your needs to survive, but only a prepared individual will make this become second nature and relatively easy. Part of being prepared is familiarizing yourself with as many tools made available to you as possible. First, comes the knife and the ability to make fire. Second, is your personal clothing and boots, to include additional clothing preparedness for extreme environments. From there it becomes opinionated, and mine is that of the use of firearms, both for protection as well as hunting. Of course, a general education on survival is certainly crucial, and you can't go wrong with the resources that are found online and in the numerous survival manuals on the subject.

    As an option, which is available at your discretion is firearms safety, both for yourself and your kids. Assuming that you require firearm training, (and as far as I am concerned even the pro's can't get enough of it) it wouldn't hurt to check into some local gun clubs or just chewing the ears of a few locals who are into hunting. Once you have become familiarized, you may then decide to teach your children about proper gun safety. I used to manufacture a .22 rifle with my highschool friend and his father, who owned "Davey Cricket", a .22 rifle designed just for youth instruction. IMHO, there are better rifles out there, and you will have to do some shopping. The Marlin .22 small youth rifle is adequate, and a weekend at a range or out in the mountains can significantly improve their perceptions about weaponry, and will definitely give them a proper education and firearm safety awareness.

    I first started using a .22 rifle around the age of 8 or 10, and slowly moved up to a .410 ga. shotgun and a .22 pistol. After I was big enough, a 30/30 became my hunting rifle, and by the age of 16 I had trained on most firearms widely used by the public. This is just one example, and it is up to you as the parent to decide what would be best. If you do decide to teach the kids gun safety, just be sure to find a safe way to get them some hands on training, as this will significantly reduce their need to become curious. ;) Of course, the standard for keeping weapons in the home with kids is to use trigger locks and keep the guns out of reach at all times. :)

    Aside from that, the suggestions on survival already posted here are always worth reading up on. I know it is difficult to get hands on training in an urban setting, so it may be best to search your local community for other possibilities. I know that many VFW members are avid hunters, and there may be some hunting clubs near the urban areas, who knows? Perhaps the kids might enjoy receiving a few subscriptions to the numerous hunting and fishing magazines out there. They might not get too involved until they become teenagers, but it is a possibility for later.

    Best of luck to you.
  9. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder


    I know this is what most people say you should do but I disagree. My 7 y/o knows where all of my guns are and she also knows that they are loaded and ready to go. But she has been trained since she was old enough to get around the house on her own that she is not aloud to touch a gun without asking. She has also been taught to treat every gun as if it were loaded weather it is or not. If she wants to see a gun I will take the time to unload it and then she can touch, not before that has happened though. I also reinforce the facts when I shoot something and say look at the damage that the bullet has done and that it will do the same thing to a human. My Dad raised my brothers and I the same way and we never touched a gun without him being there. Why because we knew what that gun would do and we knew that Dad would find out some how what he would do as well.

  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Oh, that's fine, Ozark. Hell, when I was a kid it was the same way for me as well. Trigger locks weren't even invented as far as I know back in the early to mid 80's, and my father always had rifles on a rack somewhere, while I kept my own stored in my room. But, we lived 20 miles from any city, and only a ten second walk to wilderness.

    My post was directed toward city-dwellers and urbanites who frequently have neighbors over, to include children of those other familes who may very well not have proper firearm training or respect for a rifle. ;) The last thing anybody wants to have is an accident, especially in this day and age with gun confiscators just waiting for a chance to get another bill passed.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    OGM, on that one you quoted, I think Brokor had his tongue so far up his cheek it was poking out his ear. Training and trust is the key.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Bah. I don't debate opinions. Raising ones' own children is the business of nobody else. But, I always play the safe route when giving advice. ;)
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I will put in my 2 cents on that matter. While its up to the individual how they store guns, especialy in homes with kids, be it loaded, accesable and ready to fire, unloaded, disassembled and locked up or anything in between make sure the kids know how to use it SAFELY and what its capable of. I personaly keep all guns ready to fire since they are useles for protection if you have to unlock 3 locks, assemble the gun and load it before it can be used as well as it makes sure everyone in the house KNOWS they are loaded so there can neverbe an 'I didnt think it was loaded' situation. The biggest reason though why I say to teach the kids about them and let them shoot them and such it that most any parent knows how imposible it is to keep kids out of anything, especialy things they are FORBIDEN to have any thing to do with. Think about if you bought their Christmas present a year ahead of time and tried to keep it in the house without them getting into it or finding it or how often your buddies in school got into dads Playboys or sampled (if not drained) his beer/liquor cabnet and so fourth. Sooner or later no matter how well you lock them up or hide them, if guns are a mysterious, forbiden thing kids WILL manage to get to them if for no other reason than curiosity and sooner or later some oprotunity. Their oprotunity may not even be at your house, just like 'my dads Playboys' it may well be their buddy who gets access at their house and shows them. If your kids already know real firearms safety (not just dont touch) and have been allowed to shoot them and so on then when their buddy starts being stupid with a gun they will realize it is stupid rather than 'cool'.

    One demonstration I have used with several kids and just new shooters to give them a begining of respect for firearms is to take a 2 liter bottle of water thats closed or a closed can of soda and use a .22 explaining that it is the LEAST powerful common firearm then shoot the container of liquid and let them see it explode due to hydrostatic shock.

    Then theres also the factor of just makeing it so you can pass it on to your kids and enjoy shooting with them. So long as they see what guns can do and are taught gun safety with it closely watched and enforced ESPECIALY by example then even kids as young as 4 or 5 can quickly learn to shoot and be totaly safe with firearms, certainly FAR safer than even a teen or adult who has never been exposed to them then happens across one.

    Just my 2 cents on guns and kids.
  15. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    MM's right you have to take the mystery out of it at an early age. My dad started showing me his guns when I was just a wee little lad, as I got a bit older we then went to the range, my best friend was taught the same thing, by the time we were in 6th grade we had our own supply of long guns and handguns in our rooms, we knew how to use them and respected them or we wouldn't have them. You never know what kids may do at someone else's house so you better teach them young.
  16. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder


    My post wasn't ment as an insult, just a difference of opinion. I do know what you mean by playing it safe when giving advice (something I don't do well). [winkthumb]


    Agreed. I think that childeren should be taught young and reenforced often on gun safety. I know I can give my daughter a loaded gun and not have to worry about it being pointed at me or anyone else.

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