forgotten skills of self sufficiency

skills in self reliance

Lost skills
Self sufficiency for preppers

Survivalists, preppers and homesteaders are wise to consider adding skills to their
repertoire of days gone by! There are many forgotten skills of self-sufficiency...

Forgotten Skills of a Self-reliant Lifestyle

Forgotten skill #1: Cooking from Scratch.
At the most basic level, preppers should learn to cook with bulk foods: bake bread,
biscuits and tortillas, make pancakes from scratch, and cook rice and beans. With so
many instant rice dishes on the market, it's a wonder people know how to cook bulk
rice at all, yet rice is a prepper staple food. And what happens when the cans of
beans run out and preppers must make beans from the dried stash? Moving on to
more advanced levels, its important to know how to make yogurt and butters;  beer,
wine, and moonshine;

  • Forgotten Skills of Cooking. Reconnect with the cooking skills missed by a
    generation or two with the book by Darina Allen, Forgotten Skills of Cooking.
    This book filled with 700 recipes covers forgotten processes of cooking, such
    as curing bacon, and making yogurt and butter. The book explains everything
    in the simplest terms.

Forgotten skill #2: Gardening.
Growing food is both a science and an art. From knowing the proper ph balance of
the soil, to knowing what to plant each season, selecting the right perinnieals, to
saving seed for future, there is much to know about gardening. You can become a
home agrarian on a porch! Learn the art of small container gardening and
become a
home agrarian.

Forgotten skill #3: Canning and food preservation.
A prepper favorite is canning! Indeed canning is a lost art in our modern civilization.
Looking for an easy way to start canning? Try dry canning (vacuum sealing dried
foods into mason jars and mylar bags)! Buy in bulk and have at it. Be sure to check
out our
canning store if you want to get set up your kitchen canning operation.

Forgotten skill # 4: Cellaring.
Setting up a root cellar is a must if you are growing beets, cabbage carrots, onions,
parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, or turnips. Cellaring requires no electricity
and best of all it's inexpensive and requires little maintenance. If you have access to
straw, all the better! Another option is to create a zZer pot.

Forgotten skill #5: Composting.
Knowing how to recycle waste to create soil-nourishing compost is an old idea with
recent popularity. As an example, raising chickens will help with composting: feed
them scraps and their rich manure will support your efforts. For advice for starting
maintaining a composting system, building bins, and using compost, consider
Let it Rot: The Gardener's Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell.

Forgotten skill #6: Hunting and gathering.
Did you know that hunter gatherers worked about 20-40 hours a week? Think of
this! According to Psychology Today, "During the 10,000 years since the onset of
agriculture and then industry, we have developed countless laborsaving devices,
but we haven't reduced our labor." Hunter-gatherers were also more playful.

Forgotten skill #7: Shoemaking.
In a long-term off grid scenario, such as an EMP or long-term economic collapse,
such as the Great Depression, you will find shoemaking a necessity as is shoe
repair, discussed at the bottom of the page. It's virtually impossible to find a book
on crafting sandals and shoes on a small scale, but we found it in "The
fundamentals of shoemaking" by Sharon Raymond. Pictured at the top right of the
page, this book includes clever illustrations to give you a headstart to the craft of

Forgotten skill #8 Sewing, knitting and crocheting.
Mending and creating new clothing is a homesteading skill that few today really
know how to do well.

  • Awl for heavy fabric sewing. An awl sews a lock-stitch like a machine for heavy
    duty materials. Rothco also makes a tool for sewing or repairing outdoor
    camping equipment, athletic equipment, sails and mooring covers, saddles
    and harnesses and much more. Awl for Awl is an American made awl, also
    pictured immediate right.

  • Fabric Cement Kit. Give up on sewing? You can repair and reinforce on all types
    of canvas with Attwood Fabric Cement, pictured at the bottom of the page.

Forgotten Skill #9: Navigating by compass.
Learn how to navigate by compass. The tutorial by Trail Magazine is less than two
minutes and gets to point about how to align your compass to a map and start
walking in the right direction. Granted, there is so much more to learn about a
compass, it's a good start. Magnetic variation will require you learn to set the
compass to the right bearing. Take a few minutes right now to learn
how to use a
compass and a map.

Forgotten skill #10: Gardening, harvesting seeds and seed saving.
According to the book The Forgottens Skills of Self-sufficiency of the Mormon Pioneers,
top left of the page, the necessary back-to-basics survival skills include:
  1. Home gardening
  2. Seed saving
  3. Growing pure seed
  4. Extending the harvest
  5. Using garden boxes
  6. Growing perennial vegetables
  7. Producing fruitful grapes and fruit trees
  8. Cellaring
  9. Planting long keepers of heirloom vegetables
  10. Growing early vegetables
  11. Making a sourdough starter (pioneer yeast)
  12. Raising a backyard flock for fresh eggs
  13. Cooking pancakes, breads, omelets and more.

Forgotten skill #11: Figuring out how to fix just about anything!
Take action in self reliance and do what it takes to fix something.

  • Shutting off water heater tank How to turn off water heater. Your hot
    water heater is a supplemental source of water, but you'll want to know how
    to shut off incoming water to avoid contaminated water to mix the safe water.
    Watch this short video on how to stop a leaking water heater, intended for
    helping deal with a plumbing problem. This information is good prepper

  • Dental repair (Dental Kit / Braces Emergency Kit. Pictured immediate right,
    this special tool includes toothed-end nippers for clipping off dangerous wire
    braces when they snap under. Fixing something temporarily will help you
    avoid emergency off hour dentist fees. See also our dental first aid kits.

  • Eletrical repair kit. Become your own electrical engineer. You'll need to learn
    how to solder too!

  • Eyeglass repair. Eyeglass repair will be essential to many individuals and if
    you're handy, it's not all that difficult. As you age, your eyeglasses will need
    repair. The prescription will change as well, but that's a problem resolved by

  • Eyeglass repair kit. The eyeglass repair kit, pictured immediate right,
    includes the correct-sized screwdriver, replacement nose piece, and
    replacement screws to fix your glasses, and more. With a magnifier, 4
    comfort nose pads, 2 plastic nose pads, 9 screws, 2 plastic starters, 1
    lens cloth, and 3 appropriately-sized screwdrivers all tucked inside,
    you'll be glad to own this inexpensive prep.

  • Plumbing repair kit. Pull up your pants and learn the art of do it yourself
    plumbing. Start with the do-it-yourself tools: a 5 piece tool set for clogs, leaks
    and drips, pictured directly below. You'll also need flat and beveled washers,
    screws, faucet packing, fiber washers and hose washers to repair and replace
    seals in faucets, toilets, sinks and drain, pictured below.

  • Root Cellaring. Set up your own natural cold storage of fruits and vegetables
    with help from the book, pictured immediate left.

  • Shoe repair. The Great Depression lasted ten years. During that time people
    had to make do with what they had and rely on their skills, such as repairing
    shoes. Knowing how to repair shoes will save your family money and add a
    valuable prepper skill. Pictured above left, is an invaluable reproduction of the
    original book "How to Repair Shoes" by Frank L. West, first published in 1912.
    More tools for shoe repair on this page include:
  • Shoe Goo repairs all leather, vinyl rubber and canvas shoes.
  • How to make tire sandals from recycled materials. Not so pretty, but
    surely functional and effective foot protection. Best of all, your sandals
    will come with a 70,000 mile warranty!

  • Watch repair. Today, if you're lucky, you can head to a fine jeweler or
    department store and get a watch repaired. As many people rely on their cell
    phones, fewer are wearing wrist watches, yet owning an old-fashioned wrist
    watch could prove essential in planning your day on the homestead. Armed
    with tools and instruction, you're halfway ready to repair a watch! At the
    bottom of the page is a good book on Beginning Watchmaking, which you may
    like to pick up as a hobby.

Of foremost importance,
consider the skills of the pioneers who forged the American
Frontier, but consider also learning from
people who survived the Great Depression
to discover more modern self-sufficiency lessons, including the art of repair.

Happy endings...
Enjoy prepping with your family. Think of it as hobby. Self sufficiency begins one
project at a time. Project by project you can begin to feel more self-reliant and
satisfy all your basic needs, starting with a minimal reliance on the grid and a small
garden and later moving towards going completely off the grid and having a full-
scale production of food with livestock and produce coming from your own backyard
and the wilderness that surrounds you.

Take a deep breath because there's much to absorb in responsibility and
commitment. For now you can take pride in being emotionally and intellectually
independent, one project at a time.

Related articles on self-sufficiency...

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article on the skills in self reliance was archived by and saved 5 times between
April 4, 2014 and March 15, 2015.
Shoe goo
Heal replacement kit
Watch repair kit
Book: crafting handmade shoes
Watch repair kit
watch repair book
Beginning watchmaking
Eyeglass repair kit
Braces emergency kit
helpign hands
Electrical repair solder
Soldering kit
Canvass fabric cement
American made Awl
Awl replacement thread
Rothco sewing awl
Electrical repair kit
5 piece tool set for clogs, leaks and drips.
Dental temp loose fillings and caps
eyeglass repair kit
Root cellaring
Happy Prepper
From Scratch Cookbook
Next Prepping Article: Stove and Campfire Cooking
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