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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event happens, what are some basic skills every survivalist should know?

Trying to balance work, family life and prepping means there is not a lot of free time. Kids birthday parties, work a garden, go to the shooting range, tend to the fruit trees, go fishing, take the kids to the movies,,, you get the idea. It would be nice to have unlimited free time to learn survival skills, but free time is in high demand.

If you had to pick certain skills that every survivalist should know, what would those skills be? After putting a lot of thought into this topic, I come up with a basic list. This is in no way a definitive or complete list. Lets consider this list as food for thought.

  • Infection Control (Epidemiology)
  • First Aid
  • Raising Livestock
  • Gardening
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Preserving food
  • How to use firearms

Infection Control (Epidemiology)

Why is infection control (aka Epidemiology) important? When a waterborne pathogen can wipe out a community in a matter of days, we should have knowledge on the most common forms of waterborne infections.

How do you make contaminated water safe to drink? What factors contribute to contamination of a water source?

If someone becomes sick, what is likely to have caused the infection? How do you prevent others from becoming sick?

What is the difference between E. Coli, Shigella and Cryptosporidium? How do we prevent the spread of each type of pathogen? What factors facilitate the spread of certain infectious agents?

First Aid

When someone becomes injured, what now?

Someone hits their foot with a hoe, what needs to be done to reduce the risk of infection?

Are you stockpiling first aid preps? Do you know hot to treat basic wounds and injuries?

Raising Livestock

Livestock helped mankind move away from the hunter gather lifestyle. Instead of having to hunt for food, livestock provide food without having to expend large amounts of energy having to hunt for it.

What types of livestock do well in your area? Do you have a place to keep livestock? What types of livestock are the most beneficial during a long term survival situation?

What types of livestock are the easiest to raise?

While reading through the forums I see people posting about the best type of goat or chicken. Ok? So what if you know “what” kind of goat or chicken is the best for a long term SHTF situation. Does that person have a source for those animals? What kind of farm animals are being raised in your area?

My favorite types of chickens are Rhode Island Reds and Bared Rocks. Both of which are raised in my area. I have 4 Rhode Islands and 2 Barred Rocks in my chicken coop right now.


What are you doing to ensure that you are able to obtain and raise livestock after TEOTWAWKI event?

Does anyone around your Bug Out Location already have livestock? Have you talked to those people? Have you made attempts to be on their good side?

Gardening

The only long term food solution is gardening. Sooner or later the #10 cans and mylar bags are going to run out. Good luck on planting a can of beans and growing a bean plant.


What plants require the least amount of fertilizer? What plants provide the highest nutritional punch with the least amount of fertilizer?

What plants grow the fastest? What plants grow the slowest?

What are the best seeds to stockpile for SHTF / TETOWAWKI?

What do you need to raise to provide a balanced diet?

What types of plants are best for long term storage? What is the difference between summer and winter squash?

Are you stockpiling seeds for a long term survival garden? Are you stockpiling open pollinated, hybrid, or both?

Have you planted fruit trees at the Bug Out Location?

Do you know how to save seeds for next years garden? Have you tested saving your seeds to make sure everything is going to work out?

Hunting

When the garden and livestock do not produce enough food, it will be up to you to put something to eat on the table. When was the last time you went rabbit hunting? When was the last time you went squirrel hunting?

Are you stockpiling ammunition for the game in your area?

If you are able to get a hog or a deer, would you know how to process to carcass?

How often do you get into the woods? How often do you go hunting? Are you on a hunting lease, have a place to hunt or have access to public hunting land?

Fishing

Fishing has helped sustain mankind for tens of thousands of years, why change now?

My personal opinion, fishing does not get the attention it deserves. Maybe its not as glorious as getting a deer or a hog? Someone says they plan on fishing during a long term survival situation, and people say something like “so what?”.

Bringing home a stinger full of fish does not have the same “wow” factor as bringing in a deer or a wild hog. Because of this, I think people overlook fishing as an essential survival skill.

In order to utilize fishing, are you stockpiling fishing gear?

Are you stockpiling gear for trotlines, hooks, juglines, rods and reels and other fishing equipment?

Every year a buddy of mine and I try to go on a camping / fishing trip on a local river. While on this trip I try to make observations and take notes. What works, what does not work, and what needs to be changed for next years trip?

Preserving Food

Once the beans, peas, squash,,, has been harvested, now what?

Do you have a plan for drying beans and peas for storage? What about corn? Is raising and storing corn included in your long term survival plans?

Do you have a pressure cooker, do you have jars and lids stockpiled?

Do you plan on using a solar dehydrator? If you plan on using a solar dehydrator, have you tested your theory to see if things are going to work out?

Firearms


During a real SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, the cities will collapse first. Those that win the battles in the cities will move into the countryside looking for food. What makes you think your handful of people can ward off dozens of looters?

While working on our gardens and livestock, a lot of survivalist do not invest enough time into weapons training.

If you want to keep what is yours, preppers need to get some trigger time. Get with some combat vets, have them do some hands on training with you.

Conclusion

And that is my partial list of skills every survivalist should know.

If you agree, disagree, feel free to share your opinions.
 

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Silver Wings
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All of the above, and I would add water appropriation. Drill it, catch it, store it, or move next to it, etc...

We tend to take water a little for granted in Eastern Texas. We have lots of it. But other people around the country live in more arid regions, and regions where the groundwater is hundreds of feet down.

A secure, stable, plentiful, and relatively clean water source must come first.
 

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This is my first year gardening and it's very challenging for my area. I live at 9000 feet so the summers are very short. And the wildlife eats everything including flowers along the side of the house, all except the roses. I had to build an 8 foot fence around the garden and the squirrels still go in, so I put chicken wire around the bottom and the baby squirrels still got in. Now I'm trapping the squirrels but before I can get them out of the trap the wild animals eat them and the only thing left in the trap is a head or tail. And to top it off we have moles that can burrow up from underground, luckily they haven't found my garden yet. I'm finding I have to plant several times because of the stuff getting eaten. I'm thinking my only hope is a greenhouse that is totally sealed up, but that's expensive. At least I've been keeping the deer and the rabbits out.

:wow
 

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Bushcraft skills, repair skills such as gunsmith. Animal health skills to keep domestic animals alive and free of disease. Food prep skills - cooking food by premitive means, or at least without all the modern appliances we now have. Maybe ammunition reloading or the making of weapons and tools such as knives, spears, bow and arrows. Skills that would allow you to live in an environment which you are not use to - very low or high temps, dry conditions, etc.
 

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I've got some animal husbandry skill down from years past (chickens...a little with hogs and very little with cattle). I've got some hunting skills down, shot turkey and deer and some other smaller gritters (rabbits, pheasant, squirrel).

I've got some mechanical knowledge, my biggest thing that I am lacking is medical knowledge. I've enrolled in a class this Sept. to improve that area and I am starting to collect and read books on the subject and eventually plan to get a wilderness first responder cert. and possiblly eventually EMT. This can't exactly be done in spare time, but it is doable.
 

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I am skilled in All the above, but I need to work on preserving foods besides the freezer...
 

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1. Fire starting, extinguishing, cooking over one etc., lighter repair, wood to burn for what, different types of fires.

2. Water finding, catching, purification, carrying, storage.

3. Clothes maintence, making, bag making, shoe making, repairing, hat making, glove making.

4. Hunting, farming, animal care.

5. Shelter building and maintenance.

6. Defence and security.

7. First aid

8. Survival things - using a compass etc.

Personally I would also teach how to read, write and maths.
 

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Survivalist in the making
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I am skilled in All the above, but I need to work on preserving foods besides the freezer...
How do you? I've always wondered how to preserve meat for a later date if not freezer was available.
 

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Hurry up and wait
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I call these my "hobbies":

Canning/preserving
Home brewing
Marksmanship
Re-loading
Gardening
Camping/Wilderness skills
Hunting/Trapping
Fishing
Crawfishing
Cooking
Carpentry
Working on my car
Reading


They pass the time. The wife likes doing some of them. The kids love helping. All of the hobbies have a survival application.
 

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Hurry up and wait
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How do you? I've always wondered how to preserve meat for a later date if not freezer was available.
The ways I know of are pressure canning, salting, drying/dehydrating and smoking. I pressure can and dehydrate meat but I like to keep a healthy supply of non-iodized salt in my pantry as a back up.
 

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In storing meat, I would think that eventually canning would take up too much fuel, and salting would take up too much salt (takes alot of salt to brine some pork), and so I think that would leave drying/dehydrating and smoking. Smoking takes up wood but not as much as canning would I would think. Another thing to think about, people keep wanting to get non-iodized salt, there was a reason why salt has iodine in it, first of it staves of mental retardation, second it staves off goiter in women and deficiency in iodide causes thyroid problems. Just thought I'd remind people of that.
 

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How do you? I've always wondered how to preserve meat for a later date if not freezer was available.
Meat: jerky or pemmican (a Native American way of preserving meat w/o refrigeration). There's a couple of threads here on how-to make pemmican. Or from the web: Lex Rooker's pdf file. Warning: picture heavy.

http://www.traditionaltx.us/images/PEMMICAN.pdf


(Although you didn't ask....)
Vegetables and Fruit: dehydrated, canned. Solar ovens -- commercially produced or homemade -- and automobiles :)eek:) can be used as dehydrators. Excalibers are nice, but spendy.
 

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Say What?

Some good ideas above. Just thinking outside the box...

...learn a second language. Most likely Spanish although perhaps French, particularly if up near Canada. Makes barter, travel and other negotiations go so much better when you speak or at least kind of understand what the other party is saying. No matter how deep you go into the woods eventually you will have to interact with other people, be it good or bad, and some of them may not speak English.
 

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Christian
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Great list Kev, now how about a vid series on the points you just posted?

Turn it out on DVD and I would buy it. Just a thought.
 
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