5 Uncommon Skills That Will Be Useful After the SHTF

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
5 Uncommon Skills That Will Be Useful After the SHTF

This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Full Disclosure Here.

I believe that community will be important in a post-SHTF society.

It is also my belief that each member of a community will need to contribute in one way or another to the group as a whole.  It is easy to think of those contributions as something physical that you can touch and feel such as food, medical supplies, fuel,  firearms, ammunition and cash. The problem, of course, is that depending on economic circumstances and logistics, even experienced preppers may have very little extra in the way of tangible assets to contribute to the community as a whole.

5 Uncommon Skills That Will Be Useful After the SHTF | Backdoor Survival

Today I would like to move beyond the need for Prepper’s to have physical and monetary assets.  Instead, I would like to suggest five uncommon skills that will be needed by every post-SHTF community.  These are skills that do not take a lot of money to learn and yet they will be extremely valuable and in high demand if the SHTF.  These are skills you may not have thought about, but important skills none-the-less.

FIVE USEFUL SURVIVAL SKILLS YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF

1.  Sewing

Anyone who was a child during the Great Depression will know that new clothes were a luxury afforded by very few.  Clothes were worn until they were literally threadbare and even then, they were patched and mended, usually by hand. In those days, one of the very first domestic skills learned by a young child was how to sew on a button.  After that, they were taught ironing, hemming, and darning.  The common opinion was that darned socks were lumpy, but they were better than no socks at all and lumpy or not, they kept your feet warm.

These domestic skills were not limited to just the girls.  As the Survival Husband will attest, little boys were also taught to sew, iron, hem, and darn.

In a world where new clothes and even bolts of fabric are precious, if available at all, sewing skills will be needed to create new garments out of old.  Such things as sanitary pads for the ladies will need to be fashioned out of discarded pieces of cloth and even washable TP from old rags may be needed.  But most of all, clothes will need to be repurposed and made usable again.  And for that, someone with sewing skills will be invaluable to the community.

2.  Barbering and Hair Cutting

How often do you get your hair cut?  Once a month? Every two months?  When there is no salon around the corner or worse, no money for a salon, the next best thing is a good set of shears and someone with a modicum of hair cutting knowledge.

At the risk of sounding frivolous, no matter how bad things get, I know that I am going to feel better if I am well groomed and look nice. I am not talking about a fancy hairdo and salon highlights (which, by the way, I do not have).  I am talking about a nicely trimmed hairstyle, nothing fancy, that keeps hair out of my eyes and is short enough to wash and keep clean using only a modest amount of water.  The same applies to men although, for many, a shaved head will be a viable option.

To get started in home barbering and haircutting, you need some barber shears and a trimmer.  I happen to use a Wahl Peanut that also does double duty for dog grooming.  A portable trimmer will run off of solar power so the lack of electricity should not be a problem although there are plenty of battery operated models to choose from as well.

The other thing you need are some warm bodies that will let you practice on them. Note that I am not suggesting that you set up shop; States have strict licensing requirements when it comes to cutting hair and barbering.  What I am suggesting, however, is that you acquire some basic skills practicing on family and friends so that when the time comes, you can perform basic hair cutting for other members of your survival community.

3.  Cooking and Baking for a Crowd

When the pioneers traveled across the country in their wagon trains, certain individuals were designated “Cookies”.  These individuals were responsible for cobbling together family style meals from whatever provisions happened to be available.

Cooks, or “Cookies” will also be sought after in a post-SHTF community.  The reason for this may not be obvious but in truth, there will be so many chores to do that for the sake of efficiency,  it will be useful to have a central kitchen, where communal meals are prepared, perhaps even outdoors over an open fire.

People need to eat and anyone who has the skill to cook and especially to bake for a crowd will find a welcome place in the survival community.

4.  Teaching

Young people are going to need to learn the basics of reading, writing, and science.  As I wrote in Education After the Collapse – A Journey Back to Little House on the Prairie, the schoolhouse of old was likely the kitchen table, with Mom and Dad pitching in to teach their children the basics.

In a post SHTF society, there will not be traditional schools to educate children.  Instead, children and their parents will be on their own unless someone is willing to step up and teach them not only the basics but also how to solve problems and how to think critically when solving problems.

What will it take to teach?  Some textbooks, paper, writing materials and flashcards will be good to have but even more important, is a willingness to share knowledge and to exhibit patience when dealing with children who have been displaced or may be confused by the scary world changes taking place around them.

5.  Entertaining

This last skill is something I have rarely, if ever, seen mentioned in prepping circles.  In a world where there are no movies, no TV, no video games and no mall, staying pleasantly occupied during leisure periods will be a challenge.  The risk, if there is no entertainment, is that you will either work yourself to death because you are bored or you will become depressed due to the lack of imaginative stimulation.

Entertaining in a post SHTF world may include singing or playing the harmonica, guitar or accordion.  It might also include teaching a group to dance, play charades or even to play a rousing round of canasta.  Knowing how to entertain others and bring a bit of fun into their lives is a special trait that can be honed now and put into use over and over again, regardless of how bad things get.

THE FINAL WORD

Let’s face it. In a post-SHTF society, there are going to be the haves and the have-nots.  As a matter of fact, one of the fears that many of us have is that someone will come knocking on the door empty-handed and will ask or even demand to join your community of preppers.  This could be a family member or neighbor or even a stranger who has done little if anything to prepare in spite of the many warning signs.

Although you may have some charitable handouts at the ready, inviting someone to be accepted into your home or community is going to require some tough scrutiny.  Part of that scrutiny will be to evaluate whether they have a useful and needed skill to bring into the mix.  And by useful skill, I mean a skill that will enhance the lives and lessen the burden of the others that are already there.  The five skills I have outlined today are the types of skills that will be sought after in such a situation.

My recommendation is that even if you do not think you will need them, it is a good idea to become proficient at one or more of these skills now. After all, if you need to bug out with simply your bug-out-bag and the clothes on your back, you may be the one knocking on a stranger’s door with nothing but your skills to offer.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: I put some thought into the things I would want to have if or when there is another Great Depression. I own all of these items.

Wahl Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer: This little clipper is easy to use on both human and doggie hair.  I know since I am the official household haircutter.  Of special note is that this clipper runs great on solar power!  There is also a battery operated version:  Wahl Professional Peanut Cordless Clipper/trimmer.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Cast iron items were at the top of the list. My readers love cast iron and so do I. Also at the top were Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers and the Lodge Max Temp Handle Mitt.

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients: Ditto.

How to Live on Wheat: Everything you need to know about wheat.

Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: The Fiskars products are easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener .

Kaito Voyager KA500 Solar/Crank Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Radio: A lot of different hand crank radios were sold but this was by far, the most popular.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.

Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: This book, by Joe Nobody, is the book you need this book if you care about defending your homestead.

~~~~~

Aff | Emergency Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

41 Responses to “5 Uncommon Skills That Will Be Useful After the SHTF”

  1. Another great habit to develop is situational awareness. Applies to every aspect of life. Not complacent, not paranoid. Helps prevent becoming a victim…even of your own thinking. For the most part, human problems are rooted in faulty thinking. The psychology of survival is incredibly important.

  2. There is one thing I have never seen mentioned. It is ‘flex glue.’ The stuff they advertise for fixing a boat etc. i think it would be great for fixing shoes, boots, torn leather, holes, or leaks or a large host of things in the home. I used it to fix the stopper in my sink, it kept coming apart. It has lasted a long time and really works. It even comes in small tubes for your bug out bag.

  3. Another thing that should probably go on this list: Basic electronic hacking.

    Not computer hacking, but things like hooking a drill battery up to a different brand of sander, or a vacuum. Things that let you repurpose technology and are generally useful.

    Also, as a side note, I have these skills at thirteen. They are not hard.

  4. My Memaw taught me these things years ago. I still have her old fashioned Singer sewing machine. I also learned to cook and bake. I’m a retired RN, I’m told that will be a great skill. I cut hair, except for my youngest son, I accidentally nicked his ear years ago and he has never let me cut his hair since. I also garden, I’m skilled in edible and medicinal herbs and weeds.
    I have passed on most of what I learned from my Memaw. At least to those willing to learn it. My two youngest learned the most, being boys we went camping a lot, so they learned to cook over a fire too. They are all claiming dibs on my cast iron LOL.

Leave a Reply