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Discussion Starter #1
So you are sitting around the house, nothing is on TV, no new or exciting news on the internet,,,,, what do you do?

You could always play some Skyrim or Left 4 Dead 2. But Left 4 Dead 2 is getting old.

What hobbies can survivalist get into that will help improve our long term SHTF survival skills?

Coin Collecting

Most of us handle money in shape for or fashion just about everyday. Why not get into coin collecting so you can start stockpiling silver and other valuable coins?

Silver and gold have been recognized as being valuable for thousands of years. At one time the US dollar was backed by gold, but now its just backed by a promise. If that promise ever falls through it would be good to have some kind of money that has a real physical value.

Ever though they are getting very rare, from time to time I find a pre-1965 quarter in my change. When I find silver coins they go into storage.

Years ago I used to take my kids down to a pawn shop in Orange Texas to buy them silver dollars and half-dollars. I was trying to teach my children the value of real money. Times change, things change, we moved away from Bridge City and Jasper Texas. The local pawn shops around here do not sell silver coins.


Depending on how much you shoot and what calibers you shoot, you may or may not be able to save money by reloading.

Twenty years ago a case of Russian 7.62×39 hollow points sold for around $89.

It would be impossible to reload 1,200 rounds of 7.62×39 for less then $89.

During the past 20 years prices have gone up, but 7.62×39, 223 Remington and 7.62x54R are still cheap.

Reloading allows people to do is stockpile resources to reload after SHTF. Reloading also allows people to stockpile ammunition while flying under the radar. Worried about the government tracking ammunition purchase? Get into reloading.


What hobby could be related to surviving SHTF / TEOTWAWKI then gardening?

Most grocery stores keep around 3 days worth of food in the warehouse, this is on top of receiving daily shipments. When panic buying kicks in, most grocery stores will cleaned out in a matter of hours, instead of days. When the grocery stores are empty, how are you and your family going to get fresh fruits and veggies?

Gardening is probably one of the most rewarding hobbies survivalist can take up. Its an easy way to spend family time, and raising your own food teaches children and children valuable life lessons.

There is no more virtuous labor, then to work the soil.

Thomas Jefferson once said – “Cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independent citizens.”

Wildlife Photography

This might sound crazy, but wildlife photography is an excellent way to hone your hunting skills. If you can get close enough to an animal to take its picture, you are also within firearm range.

Wildlife photography allows the survivalist to hunt wild game all year long, but with a camera instead of a firearm.

Out taking pictures of wild hogs, deer and small game on public hunting lands, you run into someone or a game warden, they ask what you are doing, you show them your camera and say you are a wildlife photographer.

Keep track of what animals you see, when and where, and before long you have an idea of how wildlife is moving where you would be hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI.

Wildlife photography gives you an excuse to be in the woods all year long, and nobody is going to suspect anything.


Falling right in there with gardening and hunting, there is fishing. Fishing is an excellent way to spend time with the family and develop excellent long term SHTF survival skills.

There is an old saying, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for life.” Teaching children how to fish is an essential life skill.

Fishing supplies could also be a good barter item during a long term SHTF situation. Its not like stainless steel hooks and lead weights expire after a few years.


We have discussed fishing and tracking wild game, so why not hunting?

Most states have some kind of hunting lands set-aside for the public. These public hunting lands can provide a lot cost option for parents wishing to introduce their children to hunting.

Here in Texas we can hunt wild hogs all year long by any legal means, all you need is a hunting license – be sure to check your local hunting regulations.

One of the good things about public hunting lands, nothing permanent can be put out there, such as no feeders or large stands.

Some public hunting lands have certain restrictions, such as muzzleloader only, or bow only. Those restrictions provide an opportunity to introduce children to primitive hunting techniques.

Some other random hobbies:

Target shooting
Gun collecting
Naturialist clubs
Candle making

Antique Collecting

Need an excuse to collect butter churns, plows, farm equipment, cross-cut saw and other tools used by our forefathers? You are not a prepper, you are an antique collector.

Around December 2011 my wife and I bought an electric meat grinder. What good does an electric meat grinder do without electricity? I got on ebay and was surprised by how many hand powered antique meat grinders were for sale.

The more we know about how early settlers survived living off the land, the better equipped survivalist will be.

If you have a truck and a plow, then you can plow a field. This will buy you some time to find a plow horse. Have an old plow in the corner of the shed, oh that old thing, its just something I picked up at a flea market, I thought it looked cool.

Butter churn sitting in the corner of the dining room makes for a good conversation piece.


We have talked about hunting, tracking, gardening, fishing and general homesteading, what did we forget to mention?

I am a woman. :o)
2,852 Posts
Well, this would actually cover lots of the listed hobbies, but mine is: old and antique books, especially for "homemakers" and household arts. (Nice old recipies, how to set up a 'sick room', pest control, etc., using old timey ways and materials. The only problem is some of the advice depends on people knowing the old terms, and were a bit vague on measurements, like "take a draft of thistle berry juice", etc., lol!)

Run, you clever boy.
286 Posts
We have talked about hunting, tracking, gardening, fishing and general homesteading, what did we forget to mention?
General and preventative maintenance on vehicles and equipment, and improvements and upgrades. I did my 3000 mile maintenance/tune-up on my moped a couple of weeks ago, and I'm currently fitting a pair of 40mm ammo cans to replace the .50 cal cans I've been using so I'll have more storage room if I need it.

Exploration of one's surroundings can also be enjoyable and smart survival training. Knowing your surroundings, even if you're in a remote location, is always important. Urban, suburban, rural, doesn't matter, get out there and look at what's around you, where things are, where you might be able to go, where you can hide or find things, etc.

629 Posts
Painting, or drawing. Time goes really fast when you are doing these things. It also trains your mind to see details, which helps in hunting, scouting, etc.

Working out is also a good "hobby". When you're bored, get on your face and do some push ups.

Tinkering with mechanical things is lots of fun.

Learning to play an instrument is a good thing too.

Patient Zero of WWZ
5,334 Posts
We have talked about hunting, tracking, gardening, fishing and general homesteading, what did we forget to mention?
Bushcraft and bushcraft style camping.

A seasoned bushcrafter knows how to make primitive shelters, cordage, snares, fish traps, animal traps find and cook wild food plants, tan leather, and even make knives from rocks.

I realize not all of us plan to bug out, but "the best laid plans of mice and men....."

Forum Administrator
16,845 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
"You could always play some Skyrim or Left 4 Dead 2. But Left 4 Dead 2 is getting old.

Halo 4 did just come out ya know.
My main gaming platform is Steam (PC).

If its not on steam, chances are I am not going to play it.

What, me worry?
2,621 Posts
I like flying.
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reluctant sinner
17,914 Posts
Basket cases. Nothing sharpens the mind like putting something together that you didn't take apart.

Dead anything mechanical repair. You can get them for free and sell or give them away once working.

Forageing skills. You don't need a gun to harvest a rose hip. I really wanted to learn to garden but I doubt there will be time. I'd be happy if I could find dinner.

I love those old med books. My favorite is the Radium suppository and the mercury chloride/sulfide ointments.

Capability, not scenarios
11,850 Posts
Small engine repair? Working with steam engines, Fresnel lenses, stirling engines.

I've been reloading for going on five years. The learning curve has flattened out which means the thrill of discovery is waning.

Time to learn something new. I think it'll be one of the above.

395 Posts
antique cars
mushroom hunting, ID (still feeding them to the pigs as I'm not brave enough yet to eat them myself, but I am taking notes on what the pigs will and won't eat) :)
couponing (but not like the crazy people on TV)
food preservation
animal husbandry
chair caning
Hmm - I think I wanna quit my job - too many fun things to do!

6,706 Posts
Practical leathercraft: holsters for various calibers, slings for long guns, belts, sheaths for knives, quivers for arrows, cases for small items, leather vests and gloves and, of course, my personal favorite, *shoes and boots*. :)
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