What basic skills do you need to learn?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by RightHand, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I always enjoy reading the posts in the "What did you put away this week" thread but being prepared is more than having a good stash. After all, what good is 1000 lbs of raw grain if you lack the knowledge and equipment to mill it. A 6-month supply of canned goods is far less appealing if you have no way to cook it or heat it. When you run out of your bottled water, do you know how to collect more and purify it. Do you have a good water containment plan? Forget trying to collect rain water in a dozen gallon jugs. If you had no electricity, gas, or running water, how will you survive.

    At a minimum, basic survival requires that you be able to build a shelter, provide for your water and sanitation needs, build a fire, and feed yourselves from the land.

    We all hope that things never get so bad we will need these skills to survive but none of us knows what is on the horizon.

    We have a lot of great information here covering everything from fantastic bush-crafts from sticks65 to butchering stock by monkeyman.

    I urge everyone to honestly access your skills - make a list of what you can do and what you need to learn to do and what tools or equipment you will need to accomplish those requirements.

    If you want to start a list here in this thread, feel free
    arleigh, melbo and BTPost like this.
  2. mauistacy

    mauistacy Monkey+++

    I need to learn how to use herbs for Medicine. I live in Hawaii and native plants are not in common herbal study books. I am going to buy A book called Medicine under your feet.
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That's a good one mauistacy. We all need to know what grows locally can be used. There are a lot of online resources for this information but we all need to go out and find the actual plants so we can easily recognize them if the need arises.

    CANDY fISHER Monkey+

    my skills....
    I again live in the city, but will be starting a small chicken coop and stocking it with 6 chickens. ( yep we can have these in my town in the city) will be doing a garden , and acquiring the seeds to continue for several years. looked into a fire arm today, picked out and have one on order.
    I do not own land, I will not be owning any land, but I do have skills and I do think Im doing things just fine. :) as far as what is on the Horizon, I as a believer look forward to heaven, and bank on that more then anything else. I believe in My god Supplying all my needs acording to his riches in glory .
    arleigh and KAS like this.
  5. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I applaud your faith in devine provision but you're storing a lot of goods and acquiring more daily. Something tells me you also believe the good Lord helps those who help themselves.
    KAS and VHestin like this.

    CANDY fISHER Monkey+

    LOL your right girl, I do believe he gave me the brains to store up, I also give him all the credit for waking me up. Im no longer a sheeple . I believe I can be healed through prayer, but it does not hurt to have a good doctor either. Im not stupid as to sit by and say God will fill my cupboards, but I can say that my god blessed me with the money and the brains to gather what I can for my family and do all I can to be sure we are not going door to door begging. I see so many Christians today saying hey,I will rely on God and not worry, well there in for a rude awaking . But again, I do pray for the money , for the gift of gleening, ( just bought a years worth of cloths for my boys for 50.00 !! ( 25 shirts 25 pants all brand new ( at walmart :)
  7. IndieMama

    IndieMama Monkey+++

    We will need to shelter in place, as we have several small children to care for.

    Growing: We have a 40x40 garden. But I am working on learning more about edible plants and all of our future landscaping will be edible or medicinal plants. I also need to learn some more about herbal healing, etc. I have many books on this, but doing is better than reading. And my thumb is def. not green. I just keep trying.

    Preserving Foods: I have not pressure canned and would like to get a pressure canner and do some of this. My canning experience is limited to jam and pickles. I did do some peaches last fall, though. I am also working on fermenting foods. I have two ways of dehydrating foods and should be doing more of that.

    Meat & Defense: My husband knows firearms and how to hunt and we both fish. He can also trap and we own many traps. We are working on teaching our older children about firearms and we are members at the gun club for this. We just need more ammo.

    I can cook almost anything, anywhere. But I am not good with dry beans and my bread needs work. So those are probably the top two items that worry me the most. I have a lot of lentils in storage for this reason. Easy to cook!

    Water: I still need the barrels, but I know how to purify/filter and have the means to do both.

    There are probably many more things to figure out. Right now, I think the big thing that holds us up is money to purchase certain items and time to complete the projects.
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I'm on the same page. It sounds as though you are doing very well in preparing you skills along with your stores. Good breadmaking just takes practice. Personally, I've never had a piece of "bad bread." No matter how successful the baking, I love bread. I used to bake bread every Monday, Wed, and Friday so it become second nature to me. Breads like whole wheat potato is easy to make and stores very well.

    I've had my ups and downs with canning - like everything else, it got better over time. I do remember one disaster. It was very early in my canning years and I tried to put up raw frying peppers. They were so ugly I never ate them. The next year I fried them and packed them in oil. Those were really good.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I need to expand my knowledge on local wild edibles AND poisonous look alikes, stuff like poison hemlock looks VERY much like wild carrots.

    I need to figure out a good way to practice using trapping within local laws.

    I need to stop just knowing how to use and build a solar oven and work with it.

    I think I have actually gained the knowledge on most of the skills I need and my big thing is I need to do more in the way of practicing them to be sure I'm proficient with them. Many I know ar like cooking it's a big surrender between knowing recipes you read and being able to cook an edible meal.

    As far a not needing to be able to build since have a house, it's still a good thing to have at least a basic grasp of. It is deavistating now to have a house fire or natural disaster destroy your home, just think how much more so if it happened after shtf, and all the more possible when heating means burning and lights are oil lamps and other sources of fire with no running water or fire department to put it out.

    Which brings up the thought, did everyone remember fire extinguishers a part of preps to keep the rest from being crispy?
    kellory, arleigh and melbo like this.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I need to learn to sharpen knives. I used to be OK at it when I was a youth and sharpening my Fathers knives on a whetstone but I somehow lost the touch. I tend to make a dull knife duller now and have tried all sorts of sharpening methods and tools.
    Brokor likes this.
  11. Bobb

    Bobb On Hiatus Banned

    I need to learn plants, how to distinguish them, recognize them, what they do, etc.
  12. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Of the Field has a good book on edible plants, I need to order it.
    Being a poor boy growing up, and now in construction, I can build a shelter, but I want expertise on underground homes built into a hill. Just more rebar/concrete knowledge, making forms. I've been watching them build highway projects, just to make the forms.
    My uncle was a master mechanic, so I can repair my vehicles, those two skills alone takes care the the two major expenses, but now I'm just needing to make more money to implement these skills. been self employed for many years, but the illegal hordes are devastating us out there, so I've applied for a steady job, in order to have steady money and bennies coming in. The brand new company truck will help me with gas and the wear and tear on my 2001 Jeep. General maintenance for banks and hospitals, they seem to be having all the growth right now.
  13. IndieMama

    IndieMama Monkey+++

    Well, about needing to know how to build if a fire wipes out our house when we are sheltering in place: My husband is a licensed contractor and an inventor, so I don't worry about this. He can handle it.

    We are also seriously considering digging a root cellar that is not attached to the house. It would be dbe large enough to hold our family and stores, if necessary.
  14. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    monkeyman> I've got good diagnostic photos of Daucus carota (Queen Anne's Lace/Wild carrot), Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock), and the deadliest of the deadliest.... Cicuta maculata (Water Hemlock) which doesn't always grow in wetlands but has a broad distribution range. I have some Cicuta maculata growing on my property and I leave it be... it's not bothering anything and it does serve a purpose. Can't say the same for Conium maculatum so that is removed when it shows up uninvited. Once you see the three of them side by side.... you'll be more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. I've brushed against them and even handled their leaves to get macro images without adverse affects.... the plants aren't phototoxic like Pastinaca sativa (Wild Parsnip). That Wild Parsnip is the one to watch out for IMHO.... I got clipped by that on my cheek and ear and looked like I had leprosy for a coupla months. The only look alike to that is Polytaenia nuttallii (Prairie Parsley). I've got excellent educational photos on those too if you think they might help you. You have no idea how many people get nailed by that seemingly innocuous Wild Parsnip growing across the countryside. It's an introduced highly invasive species that there's been little Federal money to do much about controlling, managing, or eradicating.
    Bobb> See if you can pick up a used copy of Botany in a Day by Elpel. I think you might find it helpful and there's an interactive classroom too, Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification. (a.k.a. Thomas J. Elpel's Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families of North America). I've got a whole shelf of plant identification books that are pretty beat up from use but out of all of them.... I think that one might be the best "starter". I don't know what state you're in but.... I've got lists of university course offerings that can be taken that could jump start you too. Keys.... once we get a little hands on experience learning how to use keys we're pretty much home free.
  15. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I seriously need to learn more machine work, especially cutting threads, etc. I have access to all this machinery and know very little about it other than turning small parts and minor milling operations. I have the equipment and the means of powering it, just don't have the skill set to use them.
  16. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    We have had gardens before but I need to get more serious on growing more of my own food.

    Learn more on the types of edible wild plants in my area.

    I need to learn to become a better hunter. Still waiting for my 1st elk in the freezer.

    I have never done any trapping
  17. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    No need for me to learn anything,I know it all..(heh heh heh)I would like to learn basketweaving and as yet I've done no pressure canning or kraut making.
  18. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    How about under water basket weaving? :)
    Actually I need to learn much more about growing food. I rely too heavily on miracle grow!
  19. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    What would be really nice would be if we could work up some kind of get-together to swap skills.I could teach someone to trap,but not to spin,weave,or pressure can..I've done a lot of woodcarving and woodwork,but no basketweaving.And it wouldn't hurt me to learn a little about blacksmithing.I'd say just about any skill we need is available on this board..
  20. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Might I suggest that if folks want to do "Get togethers" that we use the tools this site has provided, for "Virtual Gathers" in specific "Rooms" on Flashchat. Those folks that want to could set a specific time and date, to meet on Flashchat, and setup a specific "Room" to meet in, and have at the topic of discussion. Off-Grid Living, Solar, Alternative Energy, Weapons, Knives, and or any other topic is as easy as setting a time and place. Some of us are doing this for the iDen/ISm Comms stuff, and find it works well. All it takes is someone to decide to do it, and others to decide it makes sense, and to show up.....
    kellory, VisuTrac and Brokor like this.
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