Basic Skills

The modern world has brought with it a wide range of conveniences that have made life much easier for those fortunate enough to live in a wealthy country. However, these conveniences also mean that a majority of people have forgotten skills that were once basic necessities for survival.

Now, in the event of a major collapse, there are a number of skills that most people will need to relearn in order to survive. If you would like to get a head start on mastering the skills you will need to know following a major disaster, check out these basic skills that most people will be forced to learn after the collapse.

If you would like to learn more about emergency preparedness you can get my free guide Not By Water Alone by entering your information in the form on this page.

1. Animal Husbandry

Growing a garden is a great way to put food on the table, but if you want more than a vegan diet, then animal husbandry is a skill that you will need to know. This could be challenging in an urban setting but is possible with rabbits or chickens.

If it just isn’t an option, you can stock up on other items like these to last long enough to get you through until you can relocate to a more prepared community that has prepared for this, if they will let you.

IF you are ready to start prepping but not sure where to start I can help! Sign up for Your Survival Plan!

2. Bartering

In a world of cash and credit cards, bartering has become a mostly forgotten skill. There was a time, though, when most all goods were purchased through bartering – and we may very well return to that time in the event of a major collapse.

This is where other skills and what you have stockpiled comes in very useful. What you can provide is all you have to barter with. This is not always a product. It could be a service or skill that you can provide.

3. Candle Making

Life without electricity presents a wide range of challenges, and one of those challenges is lighting your home. While there are a number of ways to light a home without relying on electric power, putting up candles is one of the most effective and most convenient methods.

Also, if you know how to make your own candles you can keep your home lit for as long as you have candle-making supplies available. I will be adding this to the site once my article is complete. Takes a lot of work to go through the process and get pictures and stuff to post. please come back and learn more for I am posting new material all the time!

If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I will help!

Related: How To Make A Candle That Lasts 100 Hours

100-Hour Candle

4. Fire Starting

In almost every disaster scenario, knowing how to start a fire is one of the most important skills you can have. You can learn that here along with many other skills, you can get this book to help with learning many of the skills I refer to.

If you want to ensure that you are able to stay warm, cook food, and more when the electricity goes out, fire starting is definitely a skill that you should learn.

I am also working on more content of my own to put up on this site. There is also training on some of these techniques in Your Survival Plan if you would like to sign up for that and learns some more skills.

5. First Aid

When going to a hospital or clinic isn’t an option, even minor injuries can become life-threatening. Thankfully, most complications due to injury can be prevented using basic first aid skills.

In a post-collapse scenario, first aid is undoubtedly one of the most important skills to know if you want to survive in a world that is full of injury risks.

6. Fishing

Like hunting, fishing enables you to put fresh meat on the table at a time when purchasing meat from the store is no longer an option.

Best of all, it’s easier in most cases to have success fishing than it is to have success hunting, especially if you have access to a pond, lake, or river that is stocked with fish.

7. Foraging

There’s plenty of food to be found in the wilderness providing you know what to look for. Thankfully, foraging is a relatively easy skill to learn. To become a successful forager, you will need to know what plants are edible in your area, where to find them, and how to identify them.

Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to locate a worthwhile amount of food no matter where you might be located.

8. Gardening

Putting food on the table is by far the most concerning challenge that goes along with surviving a major collapse.

If you are able to grow a garden, though, you can ensure that you and your family are fed long after the last supermarket has closed its doors.

Related: Check out the sidebar for Survival Farm.

9. Canning

Knowing how to garden will take you a long way when it comes to keeping food on the table. However, most garden vegetables are only harvested during specific seasons and will only last for a matter of days unrefrigerated.

If you want to ensure that you have a supply of food that will last year-round, knowing how to can the vegetables you harvest is essential.

Most of them are a little work but the process is simple if you have the right equipment ready to use. We typically put up about 80 quarts of tomatoes, and a variety of pickled cucumbers, peppers, and okra, not to mention the fruit, jellies, and jams every year.

These are all items that can be mixed with the non-perishable items you have stored for long-term survival. If you don’t have that setup, I will help you with that if you sign up for Your Survival Plan.

10. Seed Harvesting

If you’ve stockpiled seeds, growing your first garden shouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge. Once you’ve run out of seeds, growing another garden the following year becomes much more difficult.

Unless you are certain that you have enough seeds set aside to keep growing food for as long as necessary, learning how to harvest and store seeds from the vegetables you’ve planted is very important.

Here is a book to help with that called The Manual of seed Saving.

Make sure you are buying Heirloom Seeds so the seeds you are harvesting will produce the next season.

11. Hunting

If you live in the right area, hunting is a skill that can enable you to put fresh meat on your table at a time when fresh meat is a rare and precious commodity.

There’s a lot that goes into being an effective hunter, though, and many of the skills necessary to bag large game can take years to master. With that said, hunting is a skill that you should start practicing sooner rather than later.

12. Butchering

Raising an animal such as a goat or a steer to maturity won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to butcher an animal. Likewise, hunting for game such as deer also won’t put any food on the table unless you are able to process your kill.

Before you go out and purchase livestock that you intend to eat or take to the woods on a hunting trip, make sure you know how to butcher an animal.

Even if you are planning to trap, hunt, or fish. You have to know how to process your prize with what you have.

13. Tanning

Fresh meat may be your primary reason for raising animals such as cows and goats after a major collapse, but there’s no sense in wasting the skin you have leftover when it can be turned into clothing, tents, and more.

If you learn how to tan hide, you can put animal skin to use for a wide range of purposes.

14. Making Butter

Butter is an essential ingredient in a wide range of recipes. It’s also something that people used to make for themselves back in the days when purchasing butter from the store wasn’t an option.

Homemade Butter

Of course, you’ll need fresh milk (and therefore a milk cow) if you want to make butter. If you do have access to fresh milk following a major disaster, knowing how to make your own butter will bring a lot of meals back onto the menu.

15. Making Soap

In addition to keeping your clothes clean, keeping yourself clean will also be much more challenging after a major collapse as well the minute your soap supply runs out.

Thankfully, soap isn’t a difficult product to make, and it’s something that almost everyone knew how to make for themselves back before the days of store-bought soap.

Related: There is a simple guide to making soap on this page.

16. Navigation

In a world where almost everyone has access to GPS navigation at all times, navigating the old-fashioned way has become a forgotten skill. But in the event of a major collapse, cell phone service is almost certainly going to be one of the first things to go.

Unless you plan to stay in one location the entire time, knowing how to navigate without using a GPS will be an essential skill. Purchasing some maps and planning your bug-out routes is a great place to start. Learning how to navigate in the wilderness using the stars and physical landmarks is also a valuable skill to know.

17. Washing Clothes by Hand

Laundry machines have turned a once-tedious task into something that no requires little effort at all. Without the convenience of electricity, though, you’ll need to learn how to properly wash clothes by hand if you want to ensure that you and your family have clean clothes to wear.

18. Sewing

When replacing torn clothing with brand-new clothing is no longer an option, sewing will be an invaluable skill to possess. Since electricity isn’t a given after a collapse, learning how to sew by hand is your best bet.

Related: Needle & Thread – Sewing 101

19. Home Maintenance

When things break down around the home and you aren’t able to call for professional help, home maintenance skills such as plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, and more will be very valuable.

You really need to think about what tools you might need to have on hand for this.

Related: Powerless Tools For When There Is No Power.

20. Vehicle Maintenance

If you’ve stockpiled enough fuel, your vehicles will continue to be a very valuable resource following a major disaster.

Unless you know how to maintain a vehicle without relying on a mechanic, though, you won’t be able to rely on your vehicles for very long.

21. Welding

Being able to weld enables you to repair a wide range of metal products as well as make new parts and products using scrap metal.

Of course, welding requires electrical power in addition to a number of supplies, so you will likely need a quality generator or pressurized gases if you want to ensure that you are able to weld, regardless of whether or not the power has gone out.

22. Well Drilling

After a major disaster or societal collapse, tap water may no longer be available. Of course, water is by far the most essential ingredient for survival.

While you may be able to gather and purify water from a nearby stream, digging a well will be a much better long-term solution. Well-drilling is a skill that most people used to know, and its one that could become very important again should there come a day tap water is no longer available.

Are You Ready

These are just a few skills that I have come up with. There are so many more that I and others have that could be used for survival but my goal is to help you identify things that you could focus on that will be essential in the event there was some sort of collapse of our society.

Some of these simple skills are explained in better detail on this site and I am working with folks individually on training in some of these also. If you would like to get in on some ways you can be more prepared. Subscribe to Your Survival Plan, and I will help YOU!



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4 Replies to “Basic Skills”

  1. Wow, that’s a lot!  Many of the skills I know and can do.  I think the majority of them.  For me the foremost concern is having enough supplies for a hurricane.  It is the season for us now, and so out of the list, I think making candles, canning, possibly making soap, and home maintenance are going to be the biggest ticket items for me.  I know that being prepared at the last minute does not work.  People plan way ahead here and buy everything out.  LOL

    • Hello Leahrae,

      I am segmenting some of these skills in different posts to make it less to absorb at once. There is some repetition to some of them but all as important as the next. If you are reading this, please come back and visit regularly to learn more!

      one thing we have learned in the past year is what you have mentioned. People, when not prepared, react when SHTF. As you said, things get bought out right away and you cannot get the things you need if you have not stocked up. That is the basic principle of prepping. 

      Be ready before you have to be!



  2. Hi and thanks for reminding me of all these skills. I was first exposed to this issue when I was very young. My aunt was a cub scout leader and we went on camp with them. I remember then that was when the scouts first started to drift away from requiring some of the most basic survival skills. I remember there was a badge for starting a fire without matches from just what you could find in the forest. Personally, I think there is a great deal to be said for cultivating these skills whether you think there is a real risk of societal collapse or not. I think there is a great deal of personal pride and satisfaction from being able to collect water in the desert, start a fire without matches, build a lean-to shelter in the words, catch and skin rabbits, etc. Thanks again for sharing this. Best regards, Andy

    • Hey there Andy, 

      I am glad you mentioned how fond you are of the memories you have from learning these skills. I too was a scout leader for several years and had the pleasure of teaching several of these skills to youngsters as they were growing up. Having adventures in the woods, camping, and staging exercises for them to practice how to react in the event of an emergency. 

      I know they enjoyed it and learned from it. I did too! One of the things I learned is that the fight or flee instinct can be overruled if prepared. This is one of the main reasons I put so much effort into this site. My goal is to help others realize they can do this.

      If anyone wants to learn how to prepare but not sure where to start, I will help. Sign up for Your Survival Plan.

      Be ready before you have to be!



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