10 Skills to Learn in 2017 to Survive SHTF

farmer-1367104_1280Preparing to live after a major economic collapse or some horrible disaster isn’t just about putting food and water on the shelves. You need to be prepared to live without machinery and tools that are a daily part of life right now. You need to be ready to live like the pioneers did. You will be getting your hands dirty and you will be forced to do a lot of manual labor. Life will be a little more physical and hands on. It is important you learn some of the skills our grandparents and their parents used on a daily basis. The following skills will ensure you will thrive after SHTF.

      1. Learn how to work with leather. You will be making your own shoes and clothing once yours are ruined or fall apart.
      2. Learn how to cook from scratch. You won’t have any microwave meals or boxes that only require you to add water.
      3. Learn how to sew. Repairing the clothing you have and making other necessities will be the norm.tandoor-1532331_1280
      4. Learn how to raise animals. You will want to know how to take care of any livestock you will be relying on to feed your family. Know what it takes to keep them alive and healthy. You will also need to know about breeding animals to keep up a continual supply of food.
      5. Know the ins and outs of organic gardening. You won’t get to use pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides when they are all gone.
      6. Read up on herbal medicine. When there are no doctors or Western medicine you will have to treat yourself with homemade concoctions.
      7. Know the basics of construction. You will need to make repairs to your own house or build a new one from the ground up. You may need to build fences, barns and other outbuildings.
      8. You will need to know the basics of home food preservation. It is best if you learn some ways to preserve food that do not require electricity.
      9. Self-defense is going to be a big deal. Learn how to use a weapon and feel comfortable using it.
      10. Hunting is going to be one way you put food on the table. Learn how the basics now so you have a clue as to what you are doing when you have no other food options.

These skills will ensure you can live off the land without the benefits of technology and machinery. Life is going to be different, but it is manageable. Many of these skills have been lost over the years in favor of the easy way. Do what you can to learn them and teach them to your children. In a hands-on world, it will be knowledge that saves you, not a shelf full of food.

Preparing to Bug In

food pantry-1Survivalists and preppers like to talk a lot about bugging out. It is exciting to think about running away and leaving everything behind, including whatever trouble forced you to flee in the first place. Exciting and scary at the same time can be invigorating. It gets your blood pumping and you get a little bit of an adrenaline high just thinking about it. Unfortunately, bugging out isn’t quite as glamorous as you would hope it to be.

If you had the choice to stay home, with your own bed, blankets and all of your stockpiles of food, water and other basic supplies or flee with whatever you can carry on your back, which would you choose? Sleeping under the stars is great in peaceful times and warm weather. Sleeping under the stars when it is raining or snowing—not so fun.

While it makes sense to have a bug out plan in place, it also makes sense to plan to bug in if at all possible. In fact, it is often better to shelter in place while you wait for the immediate danger to pass and then move. There are things you can do that will allow you to hide without anybody suspecting you are there.bug out bag

Bugging in will give you time to plan your escape a little better and avoid the mass exodus that is sure to happen when everyone else runs for the hills. If you have small children or are physically incapable of walking more than 10 miles, bugging in may be your only option. Don’t simply roll over and accept defeat. Prepare and plan and then move when you can secure transportation whether that is a bike, a vehicle or even a wagon.

Don’t automatically assume you have to grab your bug out bags and go when SHTF. It doesn’t make sense to have a year’s worth of food in the basement if you are going to leave it all behind. You certainly can’t carry it all.

Run drills with the family about what they will do to bug in when it is time. Practice what each family member is responsible for when it is time to shelter in place. Cover the windows, lock the doors and put heavy furniture in front and prepare to go dark while you hideout in your home. Be prepared and you can help lessen the fear.

9 Tips for Riding Out a Winter Storm

snowFor many parts of the country, the heavy snowfall has started. Snow is beautiful, when it isn’t 2 feet deep and making life difficult or dangerous. A little snow on the ground is gorgeous and really helps to get you in the holiday spirit. If you live in an area where heavy snow is common, you are probably prepared to deal with the side effects. For those that are not used to dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm, these tips will help you prepare for some of the chaos that ensues and help you get through without any real trouble.

1. Go shopping before the snow starts to fall. In fact, go shopping in August if you can. You don’t want to be one of the last people to the store to get what you need to ride out winter. Things to add to your shopping list include; snow shovel (metal are best, flimsy plastic will snap), roof rake, ice scrapers, rock salt and sandbags.
2. If you have the cash and you live in an area where snow is going to be a part of your life, invest in a snow thrower (snow blower). People never realize how brutal snow shoveling is until they have to get out and do it several times a day, every day for a month.
3. If you have livestock, chickens, goats or whatever, you have twice as much work. You will want a path cleared for you to get to their food and shelters and maybe a little area for them to walk around in. They need exercise to stay healthy.
4. Use your roof rake everyday if you are in one of those storm patterns that brings snow daily. You will need to pull the snow off your home’s roof, the barn, garage and any outbuildings. Don’t wait until it is a foot deep.
5. Shovel the areas you need before the snow is too deep. Snow is very heavy and it gets tough to push after just a few inches on the ground.snow WV
6. Most importantly, be prepared to go without power. This is almost a given anytime there is a snowstorm. You need to have a back up heat source. If you don’t have a fireplace or a woodstove, you need to have a generator that can either run your furnace or a space heater. Your life depends on it. You may not be able to get out to get to a friend’s house or a hotel.
7. Have chains for your vehicle. Ideally 4wd rigs are best if you live in areas where snow is common, but front wheel drive vehicles are often just as good. Chains will help you get up hills or out of your driveway if needed.
8. Have plenty of food, water, flashlights and toilet paper on hand. If you can’t get out to get to the store, you are going to be sheltering in place. Always be prepared.
9. Have winter gear. Again, buy this stuff in August. Shop the thrift stores and have extras on hand. You absolutely need boots, coats and gloves to take care of all your outside snow duties.

These are just some of the things you can expect to deal with. Snow can be a great thing if you are prepared to deal with. Enjoy the beauty of it and stay warm and safe.

Revisiting Winter Weather Preparedness

snowWith much of the country gearing up for a wild winter, it is a good time to talk about winter preparedness. A heavy snowfall or severe weather that results in icy roads or widespread power outages can put people’s lives at risk. If you are prepared for such nasty weather, you don’t have to worry about much more than how you will pass the time.

Winter weather preparedness means you need to be prepared to get stuck at home for days on end. You will have to eat what you have in the pantry and fridge. There is also a good chance you will have to be prepared to stay warm without the luxury of your electric furnace. You will likely need a supply of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking if you don’t have a woodstove to cook on.

There are many elements to winter preparedness. You want to get prepared now, even if you don’t think you will ever need your preps. The old saying, “to have it and not need it is better than to need it and not have it.”

This list will cover the things you need to think about and prepare for.

*A backup source of heat i.e. woodstove or fireplace, if this isn’t possible, you will need to be prepared to seal off a room in the house to try and keep warm with candles, blankets and body heat

*Have a supply of non-perishable foods, you have to assume the power will go out and food in the fridge and freezer will be difficult to cook and may spoil

*Have a supply of rock salt to make the areas you need to walk on outside a little safer

*Have plenty of board games, books and your favorite nonelectrical hobby to keep entertained

*If you do have a woodstove, load up on dry wood nowwood-1767521_1280

*If possible, invest in a portable generator

*Have an emergency kit that includes candles, matches, flashlights and spare batteries

*A snow shovel will be a must, if you can get your hands on a snowblower it will save you some manual labor, don’t forget a roof rake to pull the snow off the roof to prevent a roof collapse

*Plenty of winter gear i.e. wool socks, coats, hats, gloves and waterproof boots, have backups in case the first set gets wet or tears

Usually, in the event of severe winter weather, life gets back to normal within a few days. During that time, you must be prepared to do with what you have at home. You may not be able to go to work, schools will typically be canceled and the whole family will be home. Prepare to feed, entertain and keep everyone warm. Look at it as some time to bond with the family.

Your vehicle needs to be prepared as well. We will cover that in next week’s post.