Recently I asked some of the book festival authors the following question: Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?
It has been interesting to read the answers and I am always surprised that the responses are so different from each other. That just goes to show you that we all live our lives within a different context. We have different family situations, live in various geographical areas, have varying degrees of health and wellness, and span a wide range within the economic strata.
One of the more interesting responses came from Ron Brown, author of the Non Electric Lighting Series of books and eBooks. He submitted his response and then, after the fact, he submitted an alternate version. By that time it was too late to include the alternate in the article. Instead, I share with you today, the three most important survival skills according to Grandpa.
What skills did Grandpa need to survive?
We all want to “live a long time” but we don’t want to “get old.” Funny thing, language. “Survival” is the same as “living.” If we don’t survive, we die. If we don’t live, we die. Same thing, no?
When the SHTF, modern technology (cell phones, microwave ovens) will disappear and our lifestyle will return to an 1800’s lifestyle, to Grandpa’s era. What skills did Grandpa need to survive? Not just survive and hang onto life by a whisker, but survive and prosper?
The answer is simple. There are three skills that Grandpa took pains to learn: reading, writing, and arithmetic.
This is not a cute or silly answer. This is the real answer. You wanna survive in Grandpa’s era? Learn Grandpa’s skills.
You will need the ability to read directions. “Turn the adjusting screw clockwise.” Today, my neighbor’s kid doesn’t know how to read an analog wall clock. She doesn’t know what “clockwise” means.
You will need to keep a diary. “A short pencil is worth a long memory.” What was the date you started the tomato seeds last year? And what were the results? And the year before that? And what was the variety name? And how much did you pay?
Cursive writing is three times faster than printing. It’s much more efficient than printing. My neighbor’s kid cannot do cursive writing. Nor can she read it. Nor can my doctor’s receptionist read cursive writing. She’s edjumacated. She’d have a hard time in the 1800’s.
You can always hire somebody with a strong back for stoop labor. Always. You can today. You could in the 1800’s. But finding somebody who can “do” numbers. Without a calculator? Different story.
The three skills that Grandpa valued – reading, writing, and arithmetic – are the same three skills that you, like Grandpa, would need to live in Grandpa’s era. Everything else you can figure out as you go along. If you have those three skills. Next question?
The Final Word
Perhaps because of my age and because I am not around young people much, it did not occur to me that the three Rs (the three “Rs”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic) were becoming lost in the digital age. If what Ron is saying is true, however, then indeed, these are definitely skills that need to be promoted as survival skills.
In these days of computers, smartphones, eBook readers,tablets and Xboxes, it is easy to become seduced by technology. We all need to do our part to ensure that these three vital skills are not lost.
You can read Ron’s complete interview in the article Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.
Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse: Although this is a book of fiction, it is also serves as a survival manual of sorts. The depiction of society three years following a collapse is so very real that I could almost put myself in the same room as the members of the survival group that has banded together to protect each other as they live in a communal retreat. The section on a bartering market was hugely insightful and gave me some idea of how it might work in a real, SHTF situation. Considering when this was written, Patriots is eerily timely.
One Second After: For many, the novel "One Second After" was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. If you have not read this book, you really should. This is my #1 pick when it comes to survival fiction.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: FAVORITE! This is a great knife that is currently priced at about $8.65 with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Note: the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and save a couple of bucks.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.
Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: ANOTHER FAVORITE KNIFE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too. I paid $12 for this knife; it was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.07.
FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight: FAVORITE! Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.80 with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery. Pictured is one that I own in green but they come in basic black as well as some other colors.
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.
For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices. Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic. This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon - Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
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