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When it comes to prepping, once the basics are covered, skills will trump stuff. The good news is that many of the skills needed to prevail following a disruptive event are things we already know. How to cook from scratch, start a fire, grow a vegetable garden, and administer basic first aid are just a few of the skills most of us have learned over time.
Beyond the basics, there are skills that are more personality and lifestyle driven. A few examples include perseverance, frugality, and problem solving. But what about going beyond these traits?
Today I share seven more skills you need to survive. These skills are easy for some, difficult for others. Some may go against our inherent personality makeup and take some effort to master. Still, almost everything in life that is worthwhile takes some effort.
How many of these skills do you possess?
7 Survival Skills To Practice and Hone
1. Motivation. Every prepper or prepper wannabe needs to reach deep down inside and examine their motivation, if there is one. You might think this is obvious, but it is not. Prepping is serious business that takes time, effort and money. If your motivation is to acquire some shiny new toys, you are not a prepper. If your motivation is simply to have an excuse to play with guns, you are not a prepper.
The motivation has to be the desire to be self-sufficient and independent from government handouts for a day, week, or even a year. Don’t confuse motivation with accomplishment. You may not be able to achieve all of the prepping goals you set, but the motivation has to be there.
2 Project management. If the SHTF, daily life will consist of one project after another. You will need to organize the projects at hand so you see the big picture. The management part will consist of breaking each project down into small, manageable and action-oriented steps. Anything less than that will be a wasted of time and energy.
3. The ability to be a self-starter. Closely related to project management is the ability to start something without being told what to do. You need have the initiative and drive to own your projects and tasks and stay on point.
4. Curiosity. As you ramp up your preps, you need to be on constant alert to improve what you have already learned and acquired. When is the last time you sought out a new skill? Have you kept up on your reading so you are abreast of the latest world developments? When is the last time you practiced using a fire steel to light a fire? Do you remember how to bake bread from scratch? When you put your bug out bag together you practiced carrying it. How long ago was that?
All of these questions should spark some curiosity as you seek to renew, refresh, and add to what you already know.
5. CopIng. I have often written about having the ability to “roll with the punches”. Coping is the one skill I personally struggle with and honestly? I do have meltdowns when it is all to much. Yes, big girls do cry and I am not embarrassed to share that with you.
Having the ability to cope is a skill that needs constant attention. If that rings true for you, here is some additional reading: 13 Ways To Roll With the Punches
6. Thinking outside the box. Knowing how to approach problems in new and even unconventional ways will be imperative when a run to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, or local Home Depot is out of the question. It helps if you are naturally a MacGyver type but even if you are not, this is a skill that can be learned.
7. Flexibility. The reality is that more often than not, things will not go as planned. You are going to need to be flexible because I can guarantee that things will go wrong. Have a plan B and even a plan C. Remember the previous two tips? Embrace your coping skills and think outside of the box so that you can be both flexible and nimble when making decisions that affect your survivability.
This is life, after all, and things are never as perfect as we would like them to be.
Additional Reading: 12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can’t Buy
The Final Word
One of the advantages of being older is that there is a lot of wisdom couched in the lessons learned from past mistakes. Unaccounted for, however, are the ramifications of 21st century events that are so new and so terrifying that we can not draw on past experience to help guide the way.
Terrorist events, pandemics, nuclear war, and the threat of a new world order are just a few examples of what modern day preppers are preparing for. This makes for an ugly picture of life in the future. I hope never have to face any of these events but just in case, I want to be ready with the right mix of personality and psychological skills to get me through.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find some personal and BDS reader favorites.
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel: This “Scout” is the one I own. Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version and is my personal favorite.
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.
The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook: Third Edition: A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.
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.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the 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.
Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester: I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester. Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week. This newer version is an upgrade from the BAT-200 and well worth the additional dollar in cost. I especially like the redesigned side cradle that holds batteries securely in place during testing – no more erratic battery readings from movement off contacts.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness pantry.
Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none. Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people. This is worth the splurge.