prepping skills

40 survival skills for self-reliance

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First aid manual
Prepper Cheesemaking wax
Candlemaking is a prepper skill
Prepper skills
Developing hobbies and skills for self-reliance

Knowledge is your passport to survival. Your skills are your
wealth. Self reliance depends on the forgotten skills of the past
and the survival skills you build and practice upon as a prepper.
Do you have basic survival skills?

Take an assessment now. Skills might include fire-building, edible
plant identification, navigation with a compass, or medical
knowledge such as having taken a CPR class or occupational
knowledge as being an Emergency Medical Technician, Nurse or

Other skills for survival might include cardiovascular or physical
fitness, signaling or sign language skills; having a knowledge of
off-the-beaten path terrain so you can identify escape routes by
foot. Skills useful down the road might be car repair, carpentry,
welding or cooking and gardening. There are so many kinds of
prepping skills to help gain self sufficiency.

Three great books on self sufficiency (all from the same terrific
author), to get you started on the topic, include:

  • Forgotten Skills of Self Suffciency of the Mormon
    Pioneers. Another classic book by Caleb Warnock is
    Forgotten Skills of Self Sufficiency. Unfortunately it is out of
    print and in high demand. Used books are selling from
    between $95.88 to $231.37 for the 2011 book.

  • More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency by Caleb Warnock.
    Learn about self-seeding vegetables, keep chickens without
    ever buying feed, collect water from rain and snow, find wild
    vegetables for everyday eating, and even make your own
    laundry soap?

  • Herbal Healing and Family Health. Modern medicine can
    work wonders, but most of it has roots in the healing powers
    you can find in your own backyard. This informative book by
    Caleb Warnock teaches you to harvest, dry, and store herbs
    that will keep you healthy. Discover how to use natural
    remedies safely, so you can nurture your family's wellness
    without leaving home.

List of 40 Prepper Survival Skills for
Uncertain Times
Preppers are always happy to hone a skill or learn a new one!
Following are some suggestions of skills to build...

Prepper Skill #1: Archery.
Archery is a hobby that will help you hunt and defend your group.
Consider the renewable resource because arrows can be recycled
or repaired.
You can learn to craft your own arrows, much like the native
Americans did in centuries past.

Prepper Skill #2: Backpacking.
Backpacking can help you learn the basics of wilderness survival
with manmade comforts including, water filtration methods,
cooking methods and navigation. As well it can help with
endurance training. Experience backpacking further can help you
carry a bugout bag properly. (Hint: You want the weight to rest
on the hips and not have all the weight on your shoulders.)
Walking long distances through rugged terrain prepares you for
other bonuses, like learning how to keep mosquitoes and ticks at
bay, avoiding trenchfoot, and minimize blistering feet. The sense
of confidence it provides is undoubedly why the scouting
community loves it so much.

Prepper Skill #3. Baking and Bread making.
Bread is one of the staples of the American diet. There's nothing
more satisfying to the soul than crunching into a bite of freshly
baked bread. Preppers are happy to make dough rise without the
use of a bread machine in kneading by hand. The learn to make  
bannock bread, biscuits, cornbread, tortillas, flatbreads and other
peasant breads from scratch.

  • Get a Grain Mill. Milling is another skill Preppers might add
    to their repertoire .If you're interested in bread making,
    purchase "Flour Power: A Guide To Modern Home Grain
    Milling" and you'll be off-the-grid ready with bread making
    skills! Pair it with a grain mill and a cast iron Dutch Oven.

  • Make Bannock Bread. Learn to make Bannock Bread, a
    hearty survival bread.

Prepper skill #4: Bartering.
Watch the video "One Red PaperClip" which provides all the
inspiration you need. When you watch the video you will
understand how one young man took one red paperclip and
traded up until he was able to get himself a house. It's an
amazing story and worth sharing with everyone you meet.

Prepper Skill #5. Beekeeping.
You'll enjoy the very thorough beekeeping section of the book
Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for
self-sufficient livin
g, by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskins,
including acquiring bees and bee products, such as honey candy
drops and more. Read
more about beekeeping. Honey, you can do

Prepper Skill #6. Beer making.
Becoming a brew master is not only a satisfying hobby, it could
prove useful in bartering. Check your local laws, but brew making
for personal use is legal in many states. People will always want
to drink and beer is a classic. A great way to
learn the art of
brewing beer is to buy a kit and the most highly rated kit on the
market is Coopers Do it Yourself kit. DIY Beer kit by Coopers has
a near perfect rating (83 customer reviews and a 5-STAR rating).
Includes instructional DVD and step-by-step directions, bottles
and ingredients for your first batch.

Prepper skill #7: Butter churning.
Butter churning provides instant gratification and while it's not
the most exciting skill, loads of people don't know that you camn
make butter by hand. The kids will enjoy the challenge and the
rewards as well. Include them in the process and learn how to
make flavored butters.

all a prepper needs to know about butter.

Prepper Skill #8: Camping.
Preppers already have a stash of camping equipment such as
backpacks, tents, camping stoves, fuel, water filters and freeze
dried foods and essentials, and it's a good idea to get out and

Stacking up on freeze dried foods for camping means that
prepping will not go to waste: you can sample your favorite
brands before buying in bulk. In the event the unthinkable
happens, the camping foods you stockpile can serve as comfort
food and a reminder of happier times.

Prepper Skill #9: Candle making.
The art of making a candle can be a simple as inserting a wick in
a can of Crisco. Want more ambiance? Consider the art of candle

Prepper Skill #10: Canning.
Preppers have learned the basic canning methods. Canning fruits
and vegetables from the yard will help them survive the lean
Winter months in the new society. Happy Preppers will be happy
to barter their canned food products should it become necessary.

Prepper Skill #11: Charcoal making.
Making charcoal is a firebuilding skill. Learn also to make a
charcloth, which will aid you in firebuilding as well.

Prepper Skill #12. Charcuterie.
Charcuterie is the craft of salting, smoking, and curing, though
originally Charcuterie was a craftsman art in creation of pork
products such as salami, sausages, and prosciutto. In modern
definition, it's the art of salting, cooking, smoking, and drying
meats. A Prepper may learn to make sausages, terrines, and
pâtés or even olive and vegetable rillettes, duck confit,
mortadella and soppressata or smoked almonds!  Immediate
"Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing,"
paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.

Prepper Skill #13: Cheese making.
Getting back to basics, Preppers know that waxed cheese can last
25 years if stored in cool temperature! They buy hard waxed
cheeses because the wax protects against mold, bacteria and
moisture. And while
preppers are happy to store cheese in
various forms (waxed, freeze-dried, powdered, etc), they find a
satisfaction in making cheese from scratch. In a new society, this
artisan craft would become an essential survival skill. Read
cheese options for preppers.

  • Learn to wax cheese to extend the life of your family's
    favorites. Red Cheese Wax, pictired immediate right, is re-
    usable,. Remember, however, cheese wax is flammable (as
    is any wax), so you'll need to use a double boiler method,
    and in this way you will avoid melting the wax on the stove
    in a pot.

Prepper Skill #14: Chicken couping.
Chicken couping is becoming fashionable and is a happy part of a
Preppers daily life. Chickens eat garden insects and scraps and
produce a beautiful and bountiful supply of eggs of different
colors. They are a natural composting agent! As a bonus,
chickens ares pets and can provide a way to reduce stress and
improve the quality of living.

Prepper Skill #15: Coin collecting.
While the government can take away silver bars and gold bars,
coin collecting provides the benefit of being a collectible, which
may Look for junk silver coins (U.S. coins dated 1964 or earlier).
Low quality is okay, you're looking for the silver value not the
value of the coin itself.

Prepper Skill #16: Cooking.
If you want to make people happy, then feed them good food!
Learning to cook with whatever is available is a skill that Chef's
often innately know, and one that could make Happy Preppers
even more happy. Skills may encompass methods for Bread
making, dehydration, canning, Cheese making and smoking
meats. Happy Preppers also know how to cook without electricity,
including how to make a pit oven.

Prepper Skill #17: Couponing.
The art of getting a good deal at the grocery store is not to be
overlooked as a prepper skill. There are ways to get what you
want at a fraction of the cost--if not free.

  • Want to get started couponing? Check out Amazon's
    Coupon page (bookmark it and visit often):

Prepper Skill #18: Dehydrating.
Owning a dehydrator and knowing how to dehydrate foods is
absolutely an essential skill in assembling foods for your storage
system. Drying foods is an effective way to preserve them
because it decreased water without thwarting unhealthy organism
growth. Have fun with the easy-to-use dehydrator, pictured top
right, which is ideal for drying fruit, vegetables, herbs, and jerky.
While an essential skill, dehydrating a three-month supply of
food for your family is very labor intensive and time consuming.
Freeze dried will last longer.

Prepper Skill #19. Entomology.
While it's an extreme prospect for most Happy Preppers, the
study of bugs could be an important survival tool. Being able to
recognize edible and poisonous insects could be a survival tool
even when backpacking or hiking. Crickets, for example, provide a
rich source of protein, fats and vitamins, and may be readily
available in your area. Generally, brightly colored bugs are
poisonous. There are many cultures that enjoy eating insects.
Thai people, for example, enjoy eating bamboo worms. Many
other Asian cultures incorporate. There may be a day when the
consumption of insects will be hight than the consumption of

Prepper Skill #10: Fire building.
The most basic skill in prepping is learning to build a fire.
Advanced preppers can learn how to make bow drill or a hand drill
to light a fire without matches, but first each should go with the

Prepper Skill #21: First Aid/CPR.
Take a CPR course, learn a few essential life saving skills. There
may be a day when there is no doctor around to help. Medical aid
is essential and Happy Preppers have a
first aid kit and may have
essential first aid skills. The Red Cross provides first aid classes.
If you've mastered this, and have an interest become an EMT
(emergency medical technician).

Prepper Skill #22: Fishing.
The lure of fishing is appealing to many Happy Preppers.
Depending on location, Happy Preppers hone their fishing skills in
rivers, lakes or oceans. Happy Preppers may also learn the art of
salting or smoking fish they catch, in the unfortunate event that
refrigeration is not possible.

Prepper Skill #23: Food Foraging.
Preppers are happy to learn about local vegetation in search of
harvesting the land for food. As some plants are poisonous, it's
important for preppers to know the plants to avoid and which
ones to eat.

Prepper Skill #24: Gardening, seed saving.
Preppers naturally have a green thumb! Gardening not only
improves your health in giving you physical exercise and
sunshine, it instills a sense of self-sufficiency and pride.

Harvesting foods from your own backyard (or even your porch or
balcony) is always more satisfying than getting it from the local
grocery. Anyone can start simply with a potted plant on the
terrace or
begin a sprouted seed project in the kitchen. Best of
all, starting an inexpensive container gardens is an option
available to almost anyone!

  • Backyard Winter Gardening! You can get fresh vegetables
    in any climate without artificial heat or electricity. Learn the
    way it's been done for 2000 years with Caleb Warnock's
    popular book Backyard Winter Gardening, pictured right.
    Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the
    seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people
    would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding
    your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all
    winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you
    might imagine. And you won't find better-tasting food at any

Prepper Skill #25: HAM Radio.
Communications could be the key to survival in knowing the
status of water and food supplies, the condition of neighboring
cities and of the entire country. Operating a HAM radio requires a
license, and the equipment can be expensive, but this essential
skill could mean survival for an entire community, making the
Happy Prepper an invaluable resource. Here's
how to get a Ham
Radio License.

  • HAM Radio License Manual, pictured immediate right, is the
    #1 best seller in radio reference. There's much to know and
    this book covers it all, including:
  • Radio and Signals Fundamentals
  • Electricity, Components, and Circuits
  • Propagation, Antennas, and Feed Lines
  • Amateur Radio Equipment
  • Communicating With Other Hams
  • Licensing Regulations
  • Operating Regulations
  • Safety and more

Prepper skill #26: Herbal Healing.
Essential Oils may be essential to your survival, so learn all there
is to know, along with other herbal healing.

Prepper Skill #27: Horsemanship.
Learning how to ride horses and breed them could prove valuable
in a post apocalyptic world. If you have a horse, you have a mode
of transportation!

Prepper Skill #28 Hunting and Trapping.
In times of desperation, everyone with a gun will be competing
for the same available game, whether ducks, deer, or wild turkey.
Happy Preppers know what game is available locally, and the
prepare further by honing skills necessary for preserving the meat
by smoking or salting the meat in the unfortunate event that
refrigeration is not possible.

Prepper Skill: #29. Knitting, crocheting or sewing.
Darn! Those socks aren't going to get darned by themselves. Yes,
it's back to basics, but certainly knitting, sewing or crocheting is
a good skill to have to get you through tough times. Women
during the
Great Depression were good at these skills and could
make almost any item of clothing. They had to buy shoes,
because they could not sew, knit or crochet shoes!

Prepper Skill #30: Paracord.
Paracord is a material that has a fond use with preppers. The
high-strength cordage is useful for lashing shelters and survival
"furniture", and has a myriad of camping and emergency uses.
Preppers enjoy crafting leashes, bracelets, belts and survival
keychain bombs, among many projects.

Prepper Skill #31. Navigate with a compass.
Learn to navigate with a compass.

Prepper Skill #32: Target shooting / marksmanship.
The right to bear arms is an American tradition. And while Happy
Preppers are not gun happy, they do recognize that use of a
weapon may become necessary in uncertain times. We respect
the Second amendment right to bear arms! We will protect our
family and our food reserves. The adage "Desperate actions call
for desperate measures," comes to mind. Learning how to
properly care for guns and ammunition and to practice at the
shooting range, could be an interesting hobby to pursue. Most
importantly, with gun safety, is to lock and secure firearms safely
away from children. Even if a Happy Prepper is not happy with the
idea of guns, he or she should consider the protection of a bullet
proof vest. "If guns were outlawed, then only outlaws would have

Prepper Skill #34. Raising Livestock.
Raising livestock is an ideal prepper skill and yet not everyone
can have a cow! Consider going small scale, such as:

  • Rabbits: Get a hutch, some feed, and have a willingness to
    water and care for rabbits daily. It is a commitment, but
    anything worthwhile is.

  • Goats: Goat keeping in your backyard may be more practical
    than tending the chickens or raising rabbits. Goats provide
    many benefits:
  1. Goats provide you with meat. Goat meat is comparable
    in nutritional value to lamb or beef.
  2. Goats clear the land. Goats will eat just about
    everything to keep a fire line on the perimeter of your
    homestead to mitigate the risk of wildfires.
  3. Goats produce milk from which you can make: cheese,
    yogurt and even soap!
  4. Goats are pack animals. A select few preppers consider
    their goats "bugout goats.
  5. Goats produce dung. You can use their dried dung as
    fuel or their fresh dung for composting the manure.
  6. Goats will provide you with hide and hair! Turn their hair
    into mohair and their hide into tanned leather.

  • Worms. Think of them as mini livestock!

Prepper Skill #35. Scouting.
Scouts are the ultimate preppers.Like the motto says, "Be
prepared."  The original Boy Scout manual, above left, is an
invaluable resource in bushcraft.

Prepper Skill #36. Shoemaking.
A lost art, shoemaking is an important prepping skill. During the
Great Depression, people could make most of the articles they
needed, like clothing, or make do without. Shoes were the harder
exception and as a result they had to get crafty and insert
cardboard or repair the ones they had to make them last longer.
(They often couldn't make new shoes from scratch.)

Prepper Skill #37. Self Defense.
The study of Martial Arts not only develops self confidence, it is
an extremely useful survival tool. Happy Preppers have a basic
knowledge of self defense tactics to employ. Martial Arts have
many peaceable alternatives, such as Aikido, which contains no
attacks, only defense. Without competition everyone is winner!

Prepper Skill #38. Soap Making.
Soapmaking is an essential prepper skill.

Prepper Skill #39. Welding.
Welders can offer a creative source of toolmaking from weaponry,
to repairing a vehicle, to creating an energy source. What can you
weld together for your survival. Your welding skills may help you
in a survival situation. Welding is a prepper skill recommended by
Practical Preppers.

Prepper Skill #40: Whittling.
Whittle while you work! Whittling is a skill. You can whittle
useful items as you pass away the evening time, including a
knitting needle or a crochet hook, games for the kids, a slingshot,
a bow and arrows, and so much more. Your shavings are helpful
for lighting a fire!

So what new prepping skills are you planning to acquire?
Get happy sharing your hobby ideas with HappyPreppers on
Twitter. We're Happy Preppers and happy to hear what you have
to say. Please visit us on Twitter and join the secret society of
Happy Preppers to get prepping tips, share ideas, and to learn of
new products to keep you happy and prepared. Get ready, get
prep, go!

Happy endings...
Whatever skills you choose to add to your list of hobbies will be
worthwhile! Fix-it skills, build-it skils, make-do-without it skills,
home-making skills, you have more skills and resources available
to you than you may be willing to admit. You're a prepper and
one thing's for sure, you are resourceful!

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