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Skills You Should Learn Before Shit Gets Real...

Skills to know before SHTF

Would you know how to change a flat tire in less than five minutes if your life depended on it? Or start a fire in the middle of winter to boil water? The following is a list of skills that you should know before you get stuck in a SHTF situation. They are actually good skills to know in general. Aside from possibly saving your life, some of this knowledge can save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long run.

Learn How To Kick Ass and Defend Yourself! 
What good is it if you have stockpiled supplies...but don’t have the guts or the capacity to defend them with your life? Knowing how to defend yourself and your property is critical. In the post-apocalypse or any survival situation, it is important to be able to take appropriate action. Are you going to fight or flight? Sometimes the only option is to fight. Take some martial arts classes, get to know your weapons and try to stay in shape. Remember, your bug-out-bag is useless if you are not fit enough to run across the street with it because of the additional weight. I should probably take my own advice and start hitting the gym. Reinforce your home properly and make sure your attack game is as good as your defensive skills!

Know How to Operate A Gun 
Learn how to operate a weapon, period. A melee weapon is fine but sometimes the best way to avoid conflict is to be able to eliminate it from a distance. Knowing how to shoot a gun or any long distance weapon will give you an advantage. Hopefully you will never be put in a situation where you have to use it but if you had to, best know how. Why own a crossbow if you don’t know how to load the arrows properly? Or why own a handgun, if you don’t even know how to shoot it?! You can end up hurting/killing yourself or an innocent bystander. Take a training course and go target shooting once in a while to brush up on your safety skills. You don’t want to get caught in a situation where your weapon is useless or a hazard because you failed to get familiar with it.

Learn “The Art of Bartering” 
Bartering is going to be an essential skill to have in a post-collapse world. Unless you are good looking and naturally charming like myself, learning to trade and strike beneficial deals when you are limited on supplies may mean the difference between life and death. You can almost always negotiate with anyone to get better deals. Remember the basics: don’t ever trade something that you do need for something that you don’t need. Duh, right? Assess your current situation and determine which items would be most useful to you. Try practicing the art of bartering with your neighbors or friends. It is also a nice skill to master at flea markets.

Learn Basic Repair Skills 
If people had the knowledge and the time to fix their own gadgets or make house repairs they would. Truth is that most people really don’t know how things function and wouldn’t know how to piece things back together if they were to break. Would you know how to fix a leaky roof? What about knowing how to reinforce your home defense systems in case of a breach? What if the situation calls for you to bug-in versus bugging-out? This means that you should know how to improve your home security and make necessary repairs. You don’t have to be a contractor or a Do It Yourself fanatic but at least know how to make some basic repairs to your home and gadgets. In the long run, you will save a lot of money not having to pay others to fix your shit!

Know How to Fix Your Vehicle
I had never really thought about this one as being important until recently when my brother bought a new car and gave me his older vehicle. He told me it was having some engine problems and was overheating. Turns out that some of the issues weren’t even major. It was just a matter of replacing a few hoses here and there. I’m not a mechanic so I didn’t think I was qualified to diagnose and fix my own car. However, a little How To knowledge can help you avoid having to pay a lot of money. Remember, to keep all the proper tools you need in your vehicle at all times. Challenge yourself to change a tire as fast as you can just in case you are in a crazy situation. Zombie apocalypse anyone? It would be a huge bummer to be stuck in a situation that could have been easily avoided if only you knew how to make simple vehicle repairs.

Learn How to Drive (A Manual Transmission)
I remember the first time I attempted to drive a manual transmission vehicle, the engine made a loud noise that I had never heard before. It actually scared me. I vowed never to drive a manual transmission ever again. I was afraid I would hurt another poor engine. But thankfully, I recently found the courage to learn how to drive one properly. The point is, if you don’t know how to drive, learn. And if you don’t know how to drive a stick shift, learn how to do so soon. You never know when you might need to drive out of a shitty situation. It’s possible that in a SHTF situation, the only vehicle available to you will be a manual transmission. Make sure to practice enough so that you feel comfortable shifting gears and feel confident that you can bug out without any problems.

Learn Basic Wilderness Survival Skills
Every prepper should know this but for the sake of survivalism, I included them anyways. It’s important to know how to start a fire, filter water, build a shelter, hunt/forage for food, etc. These skills are useful even when you are simply camping out or having a fun time in the backyard. Even if you think that you know how to do these things well, continue to practice and improve your skills. Simply having a bug-out-bag or survival kit isn’t enough. Remember, shit happens when you least expect it!

How To Make A Lean-To Shelter [Infographic]

Just in case you didn't know how to make a lean-to shelter, check out the following infographic from The Art of Manliness folks. With a nice fire and a bottle of scotch, you are good. (Alcohol tends to dehydrate the body but if you are doing this in your backyard...what the hell, right?)

Shedding Light on Whitetail Deer Eyesight [Gifographic]

We came across this gifographic from the folks at Outdoorhub on whitetail deer eyesight.  Who would have thought that they like reading Fifty Shades of Gray? Jk. Have fun learning! Unless you have previously shapeshifted into a deer...then none of this would be news to you.

Gifographic Shedding Light On Deer Vision

10 Awesome Survival Tips You Should Know!

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Did you know that household bleach can be used to purify water? If you did know, then congratulations, you are probably a prepper.  If you did not know this then by all means…please read the following:

1.    Before you attempt this, please make sure you have the ratio correct and do more research! Remember, question everything on the internet. The ratio of bleach to water is 2 drops of bleach to purify 1 liter of water.  Do not forget to use unscented bleach only!  We prefer to boil water but if you don’t have a means of doing that, then this is another alternative.

2.    If your Zippo lighter has ran out of fuel, that’s okay.  You can still use the cotton that is inside of it and the spark from the flint to light it up! A spark from a regular lighter that has also ran out of fuel can also be used.  All it takes is a spark.

3.    Who would have thought that a simple item like a disposable rain poncho can be used for multiple things? For example, it can be used not only as a rain coat, but also as a makeshift shelter.  You can also use it to collect water and make a solar still to gather a purify water from the sea.

4.    Glowsticks are not just for going to raves, you can actually tie them to a 3 foot string/rope and twirl it in the air so that rescue helicopters can spot you in the dark!

5.    Do not throw animal entrails away. They can be used as bait for fishing and in traps.  Just make sure that you process it away from your camp.  You wouldn’t want predators such as bears visiting you because they smell food.

6.    Always make sure to carry with you some aluminum/tin foil.  There are many uses for this such as shaping a cup or potential pot with it and boiling water or lay it flat on wet ground so that you can start a fire on top of it. 

7.    Use the top of a can to make a fish hook.  Here is a picture to demonstrate how it should be cut.

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8.    Carry at least two spare socks in your survival kit.  You can actually use them not only to keep you warm but also to filter water!  They will help you get dirt and sediment out of your water supply.

9.    Did you know that termites, crickets and worms are edible? Yes indeed!  Termites have a lot of calories, about 6 per gram but they are hard to get to.  We would recommend trying to catch crickets or worms instead which have fewer calories but are much easier to catch.  By the way, all of these, especially worms, can be used as bait for fishing.

10.    Make sure to secure a location where you can bug out to.  Establish a plan of action with your family and make sure to tell them not to disclose the location to anybody else, ever.  If people knew you had a “secret” bunker full of supplies then you will most likely be raided.  When people are desperate, they are more than willing to do almost anything!