What would you consider necessary knowledge?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by natshare, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Not to survive, but to rebuild? As a survivalist/prepper/whatever you want to call it, we look at the relatively short term goal of surviving a "the end of the world as we know it" scenario. But what about later, once things have settled down, and it's time to rebuild society?

    Consider this scenario question. You have the capability, now, while life is "normal", to put away knowledge that could help future generations rebuild, after the SHTF. Whether it's in paper (book) form, or electronic (EMP protected tablet, for instance, with solar recharging capability), which gives you reading material AND video capability. You need to teach skills to people who previously had none, either because they worked jobs that didn't require them (white collar, for instance), or they were kids when the SHTF, and are now grown up, and needing to learn.

    So what knowledge would you consider essential to rebuild society? What sort of skills might be easier learned from videos of someone doing it, versus reading about it? Help me think outside the box, to skills long overlooked by society, that would be essential afterwards.

    Related question: what literature would you want to save? Classics? Biographies? Archie comic books?? :rolleyes:
  2. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Primarily things like Firefox (a study of the crafts of the Appalachian people), blacksmithing, wood working with manual tools (there is a series on PBS called the Woodwright's Shop. Butchering (pigs and beef, as well as game), moonshining (alcohol is a disinfectant, sedative, and has many uses), building an outdoor kiln for cooking, adobe home building, field medicine, field surgery, diseases and their prevention, how to make soap, candle making, bee keeping. So many others, but this puts you in the general mode. Two others, how to make a water wheel granary and a smoke house for preserving and jerking meat. That's just off the top of my head. Oh, one more, constructing a cistern for water storage.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I would start an Apprenticeship Program by Pairing Young Folks, with Old Folks that have SkillSets, and a KnowledgeBase, that needs to be saved and passed On. Machinists, Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, BladeSmiths, Gunsmiths, Engineers, everything BUT Politicos, and Lawyers.... ...... YMMV....
  4. Snake_Doctor

    Snake_Doctor Call me Snake...

    I can't weigh in on this one. I'm into wilderness survival, not the collapse of civilization.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

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  6. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Read my signature line from Heinlein.
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  7. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    making homemade brooms, cooking with dutch ovens, how to adjust the temps, cleaning dutch ovens, etc. And all the recipes you can muster up.

    Churning butter, cheese presses, making cheese from cows, goats, hard cheese, cottage cheese, storing ice with sawdust, cutting ice from a pond in the winter, splitting logs, making log fences, delivering babies, how to stitch a wound, plants to eat, plants for medicine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014
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  8. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    What is the difference...if the society collapses many will need to know the basics, which are the same as wilderness survival....ehhh?
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  9. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    starting yeast cultures for bread, sour dough biscuits. Keeping a starter batch going.
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  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You do not need a starter batch. Yeast can be captured. ;) try the search function.
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  11. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    true, but once captured you can keep a starter batch going in a can. Had an old ranch cook that had some going for over 50 years. He just kept feeding it new flour, water, kept it warm and covered. He could get a batch of sourdough biscuits going in just a bit, and they were wonderful.
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  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The question that leaps to mind is how far back to the stone age does society sink? How primitive do the talents have to be? I cannot, for the life of me, imagine that there won't be something left of civilization. Once again, it comes 'round in my mind that the tribe will be the prevailing social structure, not the individual. Thus, the dairy guy might not need to know how to bake bread.
  13. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    starting a yeast batch takes more time. I understood, once he taught me, that it was a shortcut. He kept it on the ranch wagon, we worked the cattle. Learned a lot those two summers.

    good thought, but who knows what skills will be available. I'd like to be able to fill in where the need is, not just wish one of the group had the skill we needed.

    I seriously doubt microwave radios will be a needed item. But have been researching blacksmithing a lot, as well as many other things. I have a lot of cheese making methods, recipes, etc for different cheeses. Learned several butter churning methods, including how to make the churn if necessary. I won't know till it happens, if it happens, whether it is back to the '50's, the 1850's or the year 50. I can't plan for the 50's and get stuck with the year 50.

    also good to know how to make a great blackberry cobbler in a dutch oven. They won't chunk you out of the clan if you are the only one knowing how to do it, lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014
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  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Don't worry, you ain't the only one.:D
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  15. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    might be the only one in my little clan, ya know????? ;)

    knowledge of trapping, fish nets, fish traps, constructing a canoe or similar craft, things of that sort.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014
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  16. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I have a little trouble with the ubiquitous prepper scenario of the whole world rolling back technologically 150 years in an instant. People argue an EMP can cause that but I am very skeptical. Why? The two primary sources of EMP are solar and nuclear device. The types of electromagnetic pulses from each are a bit different.

    The solar event has a fair chance to take down the grids but it is less likely to kill all of the other electronic technology. Some? Sure, but unlikely even most. Could it happen globally? Yes, since solar events can be rather sustained or repeating. Bottom line there would still be a good amount of technology that can be employed by those who know how.

    Nuclear devices could kill much and maybe even most electronic technology but that's not going to happen world wide. If the US gets hit, Europe and Asia have enough entrepreneurs that would start importing stuff quite quickly. Will millions die and economic upheaval occur? Sure but bottom line, technology will get going again as parts and replacement of critical systems start flowing.

    So, in addition to knowledge to sustain one's self and family for a few years, being able to repair, repurpose and reconfigure technology, maybe taking it backwards a decade or two to restore most base functionality will be hugely valuable skills and talents. You don't pick this stuff up reading some manuals alone. Being able to machine, weld, rewind electric motors and alternators, convert gasoline engines to wood gas, pull fancy electronics off an engine and retrofit it with a carb and simple electronic ignition driving coils on plugs (hence no distributor needed), being able to scavenge an old vacuum tube rectifier and microwave parts and cobble together a simple x-ray machine, repairing commo gear or bring life back into old stuff, these are the kinds of skills that will be vital.

    There are indeed helpful and needed manuals. Some that come to mind:
    Refrigeration manuals for cars, hvac and freezers
    Generic electronic service manuals for appliances, etc.
    Some evil genius hackers manuals/books (how to DIY xray etc.)
    Collection of generic auto/truck repair manuals
    Motor and alternator rewinding manuals, specs.
    Misc catalogs for bearings, seals, etc to help with salvage and reuse

    Probably would be good to spend some rainy days collecting lots of YouTube videos addressing much of this if one's skills are weak. The info is good but one needs to have the tools and experience to use them as re-establishing technology to run a tractor, operate refrigeration, harvest and process food, etc. will be huge force multipliers towards feeding and taking care of your friends and family.

    Then the same discussion can be had about farming techniques. Chemicals may be in short supply and employment of organic techniques may be required. One needs to practice and learn as you don't get it right first time from a book.

    Same discussion for medical techniques. I have a couple physician buddies and their concern is getting the equipment operating again and acquiring meds. Again the engineer/mechanic/machinist/electronics tech is a key element to success here. Maybe the fancy electronic controls for a respiratory ventilator are shot but can one take the motor and pumps and cobble something together that can be made to work, maybe requiring close monitoring and adjustment but work none the less.

    This is just some of the knowledge that will be critical for long term survival and re-establishment of society.

  17. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    I'm of the "more is better"/everything crowd. Nobody knows what we're going to lose or how far back we may end up going, not instantaneously but over time as we re-learn how to do things and continue to lose ground. I look at information like a do a seatbelt. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. The website organization is awful but this site has a LOT of information (downloadable) pertaining to just about everything. The information is available as a number of DVD ISOs (over 40 at this point I think) and it's pretty in depth on a LOT...from plumbing to windmills to sewing and weaving to distillation.


    There's another one but I can't remember what it's called off the top of my head. I'll post it if I think of it.
  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    My question also. Cause once things collapse the wilderness will be what you live in if you survive.
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  19. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    A small rural town could make a go of it, once you took all the libs out and dumped lye over their bodies (or fed them to the pigs) lol. So it might not be a completely wilderness setup.
  20. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    When one considers the amount of food a person requires in a year, it is pretty certain that the "wilderness" in the terms of things like national and state forests will not support very many hunter-gatherers. Furthermore, given the number of people who suggest they will run to the hills and hunt to survive, it is probable they will over harvest and deplete the wilderness rather quickly. Seems, maybe incorrectly, it is a rather non-viable long term plan. The better long term plans probably include re-establishing pockets of reasonable society (probably around very small rural communities) and how to accomplish that seems germane to the foundation of the original post's question. But that's just my perspective. YMMV...

    Have fun.

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