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"The future belongs to those who
prepare for it." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Developing your survival skills and adding prepper hobbies
Knowledge is your passport to survival. Your skills are your wealth. Take an
assessment now. Do you have basic survival skills? 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 Physician.
Other advantages to your 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.
Preppers are always happy to hone a skill or learn a new one! Following are some
suggestions of skills to build...
List of 29+ Prepper Skills for an Uncertain Future
1. 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, in
"Let's Get Primitive, The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping," by Heather Menicucci.
2. 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 living, 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 it!
3. 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.
4. Camping: Everyone should be a "Happy camper," particularly Happy Preppers.
Basic camping equipment could give the edge and a positive outcome for survival and
camping is a fun family activity. It's also fun for women to do on their own! (Try "Let's
Get Primitive, The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping," by Heather Menicucci.) Happy
Preppers have a stash of equipment such as backpacks, tents, camping stoves, fuel,
water filters and freeze dried foods and essentials in their "bug out" plans. Stacking
up on freeze dried foods for camping means that prepping will not go to waste:
Happy Preppers can sample their favorite brands before buying in bulk. In the event
of the unthinkable, the camping foods can serve as comfort food and a reminder of
* TIP: Happy Preppers know that stashing nitrogen packed #10 cans will
provide a 25-year shelf life to freeze dried foods. The most popular brand of
freeze dried food is Mountain House beef stroganoff. Read our Canned Food
tips and Freeze Dried Pantry pages.
5. 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 making.
6. Canning: Happy 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. Read more about canning.
7. Charcoal making. Making charcoal is a firebuilding skill.
8. 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 right, "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and
Curing," paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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 cook without electricity, including how to make a pit oven,
and alternative ways to start a fire.
13. 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. Learn the
difference between freeze dried and dehydrated.
14. 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 mammals.
15. Firebuilding. Learn how to build a fire.
16. 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).
17. 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.
18. Gardening and Gathering: Happy 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 Happy Preppers to know the plants to avoid and which ones to eat.
Happy Preppers have a green thumb! Harvesting foods from your own backyard is
always more satisfying than getting it from the local grocery, yet this option might not
be available to apartment dwellers. Anyone can start simply with a potted plant on
the terrace or begin a sprouted seed project in the kitchen. And starting an
inexpensive container gardens is an option available to almost anyone!
19. 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.
20. 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
21. 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.
22. Knitting, crocheting or sewing. Darn! Those socks aren't going to darned
themselves. Yes, it's back to basics. If our civilization goes indefinitely off the grid,
you'll need to knit and sew or your family will go cold or naked.
23. Navigate with a compass. Learn to navigate with a compass.
23. Target Shooting: 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 guns."
24. Raising rabbits. Get a hutch, some feed, and have a willingness to water and
care for the rabbits daily. It is a commitment, but anything worthwhile is.
25. Scouting. Leading the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts is a lot of responsibility. Like the
motto says, "Be prepared." Scouts are the ultimate preppers. The original Boy Scout
manual, above left, is an invaluable resource in bushcraft.
26. 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
27. Soap Making: Learn the art of making soaps. Spy the Amish while you're at it.
You'll eventually need a wash board and method for keeping your family's clothes
clean, so why not start with the valuable hobby? Ask Grandma or Great Grandma or
an old aunt how she washed clothes in the old days and see if she can teach you.
Why not learn to make medieval soaps? Well, it's hard work, but if you think it's fun,
go for it. Otherwise, head to the shelves and stock up.
28. 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!
29. 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.
So what new prepping skills are you planning to acquire?
Get happy sharing your hobby ideas with HappyPreppers on Twitter. We're Happy
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