What skills could you offer to a survival group?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Pauly Walnuts, May 27, 2008.

  1. Pauly Walnuts

    Pauly Walnuts Monkey++

    Not sure if any of you read books about survival scenarios? I've read The Patriot and Lights Out, in both books they seek individuals with talents.

    I served in the Marine Corp and could serve as a security person for both the BO spot and personnel (teach also). I do know the basics in first aid to include battle dressings. I have a fair knowledge of electronics also. My wife is a great cook, is learning how to plant and can shoot a gun decently. We have friends that have different talents also.
  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, there are few skills I have that you couldnt find others better at BUT for myself I have at least a working level of skill in a fairly diverse set of things. Heres a partial list.

    animal husbandry
    above average shot
    experience in personal security (body guard for a while when younger)
    rope rigging (includeing rapelling)
    construction, includeing log building
    electrical work/wireing
    hand to hand combat
    strong back
    fishing both sport and with nets
    some knowledge of trapping
    leather working
    leather tanning
    coal forge/hammer and anvil blacksmithing includeing forge welding
    knife makeing
    wood working
    BASIC skill with flint knapping
    bow makeing
    cooking from scratch
    basic medical knowledge for first aid and treating trauma
    strong back...for a while yet at least

    There are other skills also that could be useful that I know how to do but those would be the short list. Like I say, other than maybe the rope rigging (made a living at it for better part of a decade as a tree trimmer) there would be very few of the skills where others would be hard to find that exceded my skill level but I figure my redeeming thing is a wide variety of skills that I am able to preform well enough to get the job done and maybe even done pretty well.

    While skills at arms would hopefuly be there for ALL members of a group, I dont really think that that alone would be likely to get someone a spot in most groups. I dont say that to disparage anyone, I just figure that there will be a lot of work for keeping everyone fed and warm and it will be a lot more common than needing to fight unless its a group thats raiding others. I figure that folks that figure they will just patrol, stand guard duty, and stand at arms will be much more plentiful than the food to feed them. Now IF a person is HIGHLY skilled at arms AND has other skills to offer so the rest of the group isnt trying to keep the fed and sheltered all the time for the occasional skirmish then I figure that it could be a VERY benifical SUPLIMENTAL or additional skill to something else. If well trained in field medicine (like medic level or better) AND skill at arms or something else to bring to the table then would be great. I just figure the folks who figure their skill at arms alone will win their bread may be disapointed, or at least would be in my own group as a weapon is only a PART of a persons weight to be carried.

    Like I say, that isnt meant to insult or demean anyone, or to say that skill at arms is ALL that any particular person has to offer, but rather just to give folks who think thats all they need something to think about.
  3. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I am so screwed. I can cook, do some carpentry, some plumbing and I can do security or scrounging, also am CLS certified. It's handy, though I don't think it's bargainable enough. I need to grab up some manuals and start studying some things.
  4. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Regardless of the skills you have, you're probably be better off picking the group you want to be in before the big crisis. If I had half the skills that Monkeyman has I'd feel relatively prepared, but I'm going to have to find friends, neighbors, and aquaintences to fill in a lot of blanks.

    Forethought and planning will save you a lot of unfruitful work. Practicing the essentials will help you see what you're missing. Many wise counselors may save your life.

    Keep on improving your plans, and make sure they're actually progressing.

    As for my skills -- like TMH, I'm in trouble. I have practiced quite a bit of gardening, but I've got a long way to go.
  5. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    That is a great thought for a thread.

    Sounds a bit like applying for a job, the employer tells you what he would like, then there are the personality questions that he can't ask for, that are almost as important as the skill set that you have.

    It will also make a world of difference if you have a safe place to bug in at, that can become self sufficient with some hard work.

    If you decide to bug out without a place to go to you become refugees, and in the end if normality doesn't return in time you will more than likely perish along the way.

    Just my take on it, I have to go to work now, I'll have a think about it and get back later.

  6. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Metal fabricating
    Auto body repair
    Tire changing and repair
    Auto and small engine
    Child care - predisposable and postdisposable {Child development}
    Sewing and pattern making
    Scrounging - a good scrounge has to have an imagination and be able see all of the uses that something has.
    Bartering - trading
    Off road motorcycle and go-kart riding/driving
    4x4 driving
    High-performance driving - SCCA driving school and 3 years SCCA solo racing.
    An intuitive knowledge of how mechanical thins work and how to fix them.
    Leadership skills
    A strong understanding of physical science.
    I have read over 5000 books and have a wide knowledge base to draw from.
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I suppose since I mentioned that simple skill at arms alone wouldnt IMO generaly be enouph I should also mention a few VERY important skills that many with those skills (particularly if obtained through military service) often have that would add to their value.

    ability to take direction/orders from the most qualified person to lead a given project

    ability to lead when YOU are the most qualified for a project

    ability to know the difference

    willingness to jump in,get dirty and break a sweat WORKING

    ability to work as a part of a team without haveing to be in charge

    ability to preform under pressure/in crisis situations

    These skills, to me, would be more important even than skill at arms but commonly comes along with the package for folks who did well in military.

    Kind of like the rope rigging. I can take a guy who has no CLUE about handleing loads on a rope, rigging or rope handleing in genneral and not uncommonly strong and IF he can/will follow instructions and has a reasonable ability to learn then with a few minutes of instruction I can have him LOOK like a pro when I cut loose 5k pounds of log 3' off a house and let him handle the ropes to swing it over to the far side of a tree and set the log gently on the ground in an open gate. OTOH a guy that has a little knowledge on it and is convinced he knows what to do so wont listen is going to drop that log through the roof when it comes loose.

    A person with little to no experience with arms can be taught in a couple hours to shoot well enouph to hit a torso at 100 yards and in minutes to be able to load mags for those who are better shots. A person who shot a BB gun a few times as a kid and convinced they know all about guns cant be taught much of anything.

    I have varied skills BUT would definatly have my eyes open in a total collapse for refugees with strong backs (optional if they have more to offer) and the above skills
    and looking for a chance to exchange their skills for a spot to squat and some food. Even if things fall into the skill sets I have, there arent enouph hours in the day for me to do all those things that need doing alone and if I tried my family would freeze to death when winter hit because I wouldnt have cut the wood needed to heat the house.

    The biggest point I was makeing is that I have seen a lot of folks who sem to think that because they have skill at arms they will be able to just set back with a rifle and guard the rest of the group and not have to chop wood, weed the garden, tote water, feed animals, or do any other work/labor than JUST guarding and fight when needed. Those are the folks I figure will have a rude awakening unless they are trying to go with raiding groups and then they will likely get rudely put to sleep when they find those schlubs scratching in the dirt very likely also have military experience or skill at arms otherwise obtained and have their arms ready at hand while they do the day to day work to keep fed and warm.

    So, while expanding ones resume is always a good thing, some of you figureing you are SOL likely have valuable skills and if not can work on it at the same time as daaily life since IMO good attitude is one of the most important skills a person can have.

    Know what you know, recognize what you dont, be willing to lead when fit and ready to follow when needed and always be ready to learn and to carry more than your share and a lot of doors may open reguardless of other skills.
    Capt. Tyree likes this.
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Most of my skills relate to damage control and crisis management. I tend to respond rather than react and am quite adept at planning and implementing that response in a timely manner with what assets that are available; failure is never an option, only varying degrees of success. My strongest asset is the ability to recognize strengths and weakness in people and to utilize those strengths most effectively while negating the use and focus on weakness. I do not sugar-coat or blow smoke up anyone's ass; direct communication of the facts as they exist, however dire, is still better than BS. I am at peace with God, or at least have detente: he/she isn't relied upon for anything we can do ourselves and I'll not make any special favors for her either other than an occasional grace for a damaged soul.
    The human mind is quite capable of learning many skills and I have more than a few, as resourcefulness is vital to response capabilities. My wife and I once were faced with weathering a hurricane aboard our shanty-boat. About 03:00 in the morning, several of our moorings parted and it looked as if we might end up in the water. Our third family member, Beau, a golden retreiver that had been with us for years, watched us with trust as we fought to re-establish moorings: if the last one parted, we would break-up on a concrete pier and have at least a two mile swim before the shoreline would allow exit. We wore our life jackets and I, my pistol. My wife asked why I had the pistol and I told her it was to shoot the dog if we went into the water. She thought I was crazy but no matter how much I loved that old dog, I knew that my wife would probably drown trying to save him and I would not let this happen.
    KAS likes this.
  9. Mule

    Mule Monkey++

    It is interesting to read the replies of the skills. I look at all of the skills and 90% of them are based on the current "society" and very few on a SHTF and post SHTF scenario. Look at war time <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place>, cities, refugees ect and the only "skills" that mattered was how to beg or steal a loaf of bread to eat, avoid the goons, and live for the next day.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />

    A survival group has to generate more than it uses at best and use no more than the group can sustain as a whole. Feeding, housing, clothing ect someone with skills that do not generate sustainable conditions is a luxury.

    Lawyer, banker, beggar man, thief---- I want the last two in my group

  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I want to be with people with whom I don't have to sleep with one eye open and one hand on the butt of my 1911...We're going to have enough to be concerned about( don't need) thieves in the group.
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    My list would would look alot like MM's. I don't have the construction experiance as MM though, but am not to bad in that department. A few things that would be different would be...

    7yrs as a US Navy hospital corpsman. Over 4 yrs. of it with the FMF. I did every thing from basic first-aid to minor surguries.

    I've taken a 2yr. Master herbalist course. My knowlegde of local herbs/their uses is well above average.

    For 10 yrs. I worked as a machinest.

    Have done all my own vetinary work for the last 8yrs. or so.

  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Used to be a pretty good shade tree mechanic. Highly skilled latrine digger. All around helper, sentry, marksman, possible teacher (math and science.) Can build fires and wash dishes, too.
  13. Pauly Walnuts

    Pauly Walnuts Monkey++

    In my group we have mechanics, a pilot, machinists, people good with wood, a nurse, cooks, planters, bunch of gun peeps, sewers. I'm missing some stuff. OH,I am great at negoitaitng and with people.
  14. thepatriot1976

    thepatriot1976 Resigned Membership

    No, but who would? I don't even have any good skills.
    What do you mean?
    You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.Napoleon Dynamite

  15. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    In order to sustain long term there are basicly 2 options. Have the land and people to work it and have all the skills needed for the group to be self reliant or as an individual or group thieving and or raiding to take from those in the first option. The raiding option tends to be a poor one not just for ethical reasons but for the fact that you would have to be regularly enguaging in battles where more often than not you would be attacking fortified and defended(to one degree or another) positions. Tactical stats basicly say you will need to out number the defenders at least 3 to one to have a chance and 5 ot 1 to have good probability of sucess, even more since your options will be limited as destroying the assets with the enemy means failure. Even if the raiders succeed they are still likely to take heavey casualties and eventualy they will be wiped out. Simple fact is each time they go into a battle they stand the chance of looseing and they only have to lose once to be wiped out but have to win frequently to keep from starving since they use up the supplies far fastr than the smaller groups the could stand a chance against would.

    Most of the skills listed would deffinatly translate to a post SHTF world. Skill at arms to defend the group and their assets (or to raid), rope rigging grants a means to handle heavy loads and make simple machines like primitive crains, construction will be needed to keep shelters in a livable state as well as to build/improve fortifications and new buildings (out houses, more houseing, etc), medical particularly herbal/homeopathic and treatment of trauma will be escential as the hospitals are likely to be gone, gardening and raising animals is how you will eat unless raiding for your supplies, a mechanic may be able to keep equiptment going longer or even convert it to use available fuel (alcohol or steam or what ever) to make work and needed travel MUCH easier, child care could even be very helpful since everyone needs to be working all day and if one person can take care of the small children so others dont have to devide their energy and concentration between their tasks and hearding toddlers, plumbing skills could be used to build a watter torwer or other system and retain running water, elictrician skills could be used to at the least set up simple communications. Most of the skills of current society can be applied to a post SHTF senario IF the person is creative enouph to figure out how to apply them.
  16. Mule

    Mule Monkey++

    The closest historical events which we can actually look at in modern times have been war ravaged areas or ethnic/religious conflicts. These are the most likely things to happen which will facilitate a partial or full cirsis for the individual or small community. My point is that skills are fine but often do not come into play until a societal norm with commerce returns to the area. When you look at the Balkans, Somalia, SubSaharan Africa or any other areas where there has been a collapse, you do not see the "banker or lawyer" signs out or folks looking for "crisis managers" or 90% of the "skills" as defined by our current society. If you lived in Sarajevo, you had to figure out how to be a rat amongst the concrete jungle, build tunnels, trap sewer water for drinking ect. Sorry, no baby sitters needed, no mechanics, no welders, nothing needed but your mind and determination to live.

    The "beggar man/theif" I refer to is not the ammoral goon looking for a free ride by stealing--------- I am looking for folks with the mindset of these types which think outside the box and are willing to do the most bizzarre and unimaginable things to survive until "society" returns---- and it will eventually.

  17. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    S'pose I should stay on topic; (not rant about ethics)I "am "a technician/mechanic; associates in electromechanical technology,Experience in electronics (component-level repair), and controls, (admittedly not a stone age skill), hydraulics, radio, motorcycle and industrial machinery mechanics. Good scrounger with a knack for building whatever from a given box of parts...fairly well read in "survival topics"( including personal interests in "alternate energy"); military leo weapons training (.45/m9-mp5/m16-12ga), individual NBC training...
    Done some welding and machining in the course of building/rebuilding machinery.Military "Leadership/followership" training...
    Rather strong opinions on "right and wrong"; rapists and pillagers will "wake up" one day with their throats slit in their sleeping bags...or several a .22's behind the ear.
    Homeowner level construction/plumbing/ electrical skills
    I Bring an extensive library focusing on simple living and "survival topics"....Oh yeah I left out paranoid ( watchful) mindset from counter intel business....
  18. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    "Everything you can do, I can do better". :p Maybe not, but it is catchy.

    Add to construction (grew up learning carpentry/home building from basement up the old-fashioned way without all this 'specializing' crap that goes on now), basic welding (thanks to the USN) and general survival type stuff like gardening, from-scratch baking/cooking and such ---

    I can produce the cloth and thread for clothing/blankets/etc. Cloth would make a nice splurge if all you had otherwise was pelts or long-worn-out patchwork.

    Animal husbandry with common sense rather than a veternarian in the wings.

    Ditto on human care (except, of course, for chronic health issues which, as cold and hard as it sounds, those folks won't/shouldn't last long anyhow).

    I can usually talk my way around a situation rather easily, too. All it takes is a good grasp of the language and the knowledge of how to use it in its entirety, especially with the near-lingually illiterates we now have in most our society! It's a real shame when you can insult a man's ancestors all the way back to the original chimp in such a way that he smiles and genuinely thanks you for talking with him! (Sad but oh so amusing and gratifying when you're really pissed.)

    We can all come up with relatively lengthy lists of cool skills we have or are cultivating. BUT unless we're actually practising them, those skills aren't worth diddly squat. You say you can garden - show me your efforts right now. You can plumb a house? Cool, then you should have a flawlessly working system. Good shot and/or hunter? Freezer ought to be full of meat (taken in season, of course). The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. If you can't provide proof of your skills now, then you're just contributing to global warming with all the hot air you're spouting.

    I repeat, unless we're actually practising them, those skills aren't worth diddly squat.

    And no, I haven't built a house lately although we will be totally remodelling one this summer. Luckily, no one has required that I weld anything in a while, skills are almost too rusty to claim.
  19. Pauly Walnuts

    Pauly Walnuts Monkey++

    Oh yeah I worked on the NBC team while in the Corp but have no equipment to use, doh!
  20. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Well Mule the problem with you beggerman/thief mentality here in my opinion is that is fine for a lone survivor or a very small group usually a single family .

    Once you get into even just 2-3 family sized groups one of the things they will be aspiring to do is keep some semblance of normality/civilized life going for that group and then building upon it .

    Your idea is more for nomads concerned with today not tomorrow , and while they may be the ultimate "Survivalist" they are hardly the kind to rebuild anything and often in the end run out of easily found resources and die alone .

    Also as Tango points out they have very little loyalty to anyone other than themselves and will find them selves as untrusted outcasts in most groups .

    And just a thought here as to your assessment of modern day crises perhaps they would have recovered much faster if there had been a few more truely skilled "manager" types wanting to rebuild as quickly as they could .

    As far as skills like others I have mechanical knowledge , plumbing , reloading , minor carpentry , shooting and hunting with a willingness to tinker with things until they are working .

    I also have experience as a foremen/supervisor who has the patience to teach a job to some one yet see and understand when they aren't adapt to a task and reassign them to something else . I can make decisions without worrying about someones feelings when need be and do so without endless debate .

    In a mass collapse with so many talented people on hand they will tend to get bogged down debating the how and whys things should be done and in what order , the ability to prioritize will be far more important than most people think .

    Food , water , shelter and safety and yes even waste disposal will all need to be taken care of quickly .

    While this isn't a exact quote it is close enough " a good general worries about getting his men into the fight , a great one worries about getting them what they need so they can fight when they get there" .
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