The Three Most Important Survival Skills According to Grandpa

Print Friendly

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.

Three Most Important Survival Skills According to Grandpa - Backdoor Survival

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.

1. Reading

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.

2. Writing

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.

3. Arithmetic

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!
Gaye

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Top Prepper Websites Banner

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 FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  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 FlashlightFAVORITE! 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

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.

Preptember

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

If you are just getting started in using essential oils for wellness purposes, I recommend the Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit which includes all of my favorites or the Essential 4 Pack which includes Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint.

Spark Naturals Health & Wellness Kit

Be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL" to receive a 10% discount.




Comments

The Three Most Important Survival Skills According to Grandpa — 15 Comments

  1. Only thing I could add to Grandpa is the ability to think through a problem.Today too many want the answers handed to them.Problem solving is a lost art and those word problems in school become what we call life.

  2. Wow! Thank you, Gaye! I cannot tell you how much it tickles me that someone is actually listening to me (in this case you). Yippee! Hurrah! (Etcetera.) You made my day!

  3. Definitely have to agree with ‘grandpa’. Without the basic 3 R’s lots of things would be totally impossible to accomplish. Now, if we could only convince the educational system of their importance.

  4. In this day of Smart Phones and super technology, it absolutely amazes me how “dumb” many under the age of 40 are. Technology won’t feed you or keep you warm if the lights go out. I ran into a lawyer’s secretary that couldn’t even sign her own name – she just made a squiggle line! To me, that’s the same thing as making an X for your signature as people did 150 years ago.

  5. I totally agree , today’s children( and their parents weren’t) are NOT being taught how to read, write and do arithmetic. The schools have gotten away from the basics. Too many “designer” courses used as filler so the shcools can look like they are up to date and parents that are too busy to be involved, other than driving the kids here and there can pretend the kids are getting a “good” education. I remember when my oldest was in school, how astounded the 2nd grade teacher was because he could read 2-3 grade levels above the grade he was in and could discuss current events intelligently. Seriously she was surprised that our son(s) read the newspaper, listened to the news and we discussed the days happenings around the dinner table. NO matter how busy we got as a family. That’s just the way my hubby and I grew up. YES BOTH my sons are are successful in their careers. My oldest told us that because we “nudged” 😉 him and his brother it helped him as a parent as well. His children (10 and 8) are in the top of their classes and they LIKE school.

  6. If they can’t read cursive, they can’t read the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Amendments. I think that is their plan and TPTB are winning on that note.

  7. not learn cursive? imagine having to print everything! i get writer’s cramp just thinking about it. and we couldn’t read even everyday documents. bizarre. i became a serious reader at age 8, when someone gave me 3 nancy drew books for christmas. by age 10 i tested at the college freshman level in reading. that had nothing to do with school; it had to do with reading lots and lots of books, and looking up the new words in the dictionary. i learned to read (and write) by reading lots of books that were written in correct english. once a child masters basic english, she can teach herself anything she needs to know if she has access to books.

  8. With all due respect to Grandpa, I couldn’t disagree more. As the next to oldest of 10 children, I can tell you any child a few months ahead of another child can teach those 3 R’s. There are 3 survival skills which are better taught by adults even when they given over control of teaching their children to the local school district.
    School rooms by virtue of the size of the classrooms aren’t even doing what was intended, what they are doing is attempting to mold children into people who are too busy trying to please and fit in so they can’t notice or may not want to take the time to develop my top 3 survival skills. Parents have forgotten they can be the most influential, AND the first teachers to their children. So even if the schools are doing what they do, parents can teach these skills to even the youngest, age appropriately of course. My guess is almost everyone who reads and posts here has and is developing these even now, no matter what their age.
    The first one a child can learn; don’t always color within the lines all the time. At times, learn to think and do outside the box. Look at the possibilities and the “what might be’s”, it is instinctual; yet it gets suppressed in schools in the attempt to be part of the crowd. History has shown it’s those who can see beyond the box who are the ones who not only survive but change, invent and further the advancement of human beings for the good of humanity.
    The second one; critical thinking. To be able to see alternative options for what is and/or is accepted can often get us into trouble. YET, the US was founded on that independent spirit which said there is more to life than….and what is happening is just unacceptable. As part of this comes taking responsibility for your decisions/actions, accepting the consequences, good, bad or whatever, and being accountable for those decisions.
    The third one…harder to teach and most definitely hard to learn…respecting someone else’s ideas/opinions/beliefs especially when they don’t agree with yours. The US was founded by people who disagreed on many things (read the minutes which were kept of their meetings)but they had respect for what each wanted. Although it must have been very difficult, somehow they found ways to compromise. This was one I learned growing up in that family of 10 children, I’m still learned and relearning.
    Without these, those 3 Rs could just teach people to read, write and do math, but w/o my 3, we are followers to the latest charismatic leader.
    OK stepping off my soapbox/educator platform. 🙂 lol

    • You can teach “skills” . . . the 3 R’s, for example. (We may not be doing it but it is possible.) Being right-brained, however, is an attribute or characteristic, not a skill. How do you “teach” someone to think outside the box? Beat it into them? Today we spend our education budget trying to teach people to color outside the lines [sic] while abdicating the original charter. My neighbor’s kid knows all about cell phones and Grand Theft Auto, nothing about grammar or square root. Is that a good thing? It’s what our system has produced.

      • I’m sorry. It appears you haven’t had any inspiring teachers in your life. Someone to show how you can reach beyond yourself, from what is to what can be.
        As a teacher, I use ‘right or left brained’ as an assessment tool, not an excuse. I have never had to ‘beat’ a student (whether child or adult) into learning. Nor am I talking about abdicating anything. As to teaching what I call skills. I have been doing it for more than 30 years. Now I teach it to children and Millennials. The latter, so they can teach it to their children. So many will need it for what’s coming. To explain the how? I’m a poster here, as you are. I don’t have time to to do the blogging, I’m doing the teaching and also advising parents so they can teach THEIR children.
        I would suggest, if you don’t like what’s being taught in your local school(s)—what are you doing to change it? As has been said often in many of Gaye’s articles, surviving is about community. One person may survive for a time but humans are social creatures. We need people who contribute to the community, even a little is better than none.

        • Did you see my original interview with Gaye? It might surprise you. She has a link to it (above). I note you are from a family of ten. You seem to feel that gives you bragging rights. FYI, I raised a his-hers-and-ours family of eleven kids. Got custody of all of them. We home-schooled one. I even delivered a couple of them at home myself (birthing, I’m talking about). Today they are all are employed. That’s an accomplishment, no? 100% is somewhat better than the national average. And every one of them can read an analog wall clock and do cursive handwriting and do square root long method. We have our share of Ph.D.’s and successful entrepreneurs (at least they make more money than I ever had). So, although your rhetoric is great fun and your preaching is delightful, I’m going to leave off this conversation. For I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.

          Who said that?

          • As I said in my original response, I disagree with you. Then I stated my experience. I have no need to brag, I just share. You and the other readers can take what I say and disagree or agree. That is all.

  9. grandpa 3 r are so correct but the other are right up there my grand son can do calculist all the big mathews but when he has to the problems he cannot do them the old fashion way and makes no sense to him when he has to the new teacher way’s when the old way gets him to the same answer I’ve done all those new problems but dam if I can do them the way the teacher wanted them done. I think the teachers were taught that way with the new laws that required them to teach that way but they come to work the first things i made them leave home cell phone, computers calcualtor have the knowledge to do the job and their tablets they did it my way and i had to let a lot of teachers go because they didn’t have the knowledge to do it the old way we rasing educated idots

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.