The Skills That Will Really Matter After An Economic Meltdown

by | May 3, 2016 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 63 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by James Cole at

    James is the author of Civilian Commando – Special Ops Secrets To Surviving Anything, a comprehensive survival and preparedness guide – Click Here To Download It For Free!


    skills that matter

    In the middle of this catastrophe, money in the bank, gold in your home, or collector’s antiques aren’t going to matter too much. What is going to matter are skills. What goods or services can you provide that will be useful for others? During and after an economic meltdown, survival will be the challenge. The basics of food, shelter and clothing are obvious. Other skills will be extremely useful to travel, commerce, and aggressive defense.

    The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars seems almost outlandish to many people. People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and skills in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive.

    There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on.

    One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. Once society collapses, bartering will become a business, a black market business if you will, likely run by criminal elements. Individuals will have items they can barter with, but in most cases, a person would not be able to afford to part with the items they do have. Anyone not prepared will have nothing to barter with, so looters will be active as well as desperate.

    Looters and other criminals will steal so they can then use the stolen items, or just to barter with for other goods. Real trading will be based On ‘long term’ items. Seeds, not food. Arrows, not ammo. Tools, not filters. See, once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. From turning your own arrow shafts, to cutting arrowheads from old license plates; from building filtration weirs to filter water, to needing copper tubing to make ‘wood-fired-water-heaters’. Knowledge and durable supplies (axes, hammers, spoke shaves, saw blades, etc.) will be the real money.

    He who has stocked dozens of saw blades will be king. He who sits on a case of toilet paper will be sad he didn’t learn how to replace it with what they used 200 years ago, instead (FYI, toilet paper is only about a 100-year old concept – ask yourself, what did they use before that, and get a real clue – because THAT is VERY valuable in the long term!)

    So, forget stocking for that 2-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon. Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it (or need to trade it).

    Organic Gardening and Seed Saving:

    Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society. Learning to grow your own food is a must.  Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.  Understanding permaculture design for your garden can help reduce water consumption and use the lands natural resources. Aquaponics can provide plants, fish, and store water. Watch this video to understand how aquaponic sistems work.


    First Aid, CPR and Herbal Remedies

    With the possibility of illness and injury, knowledge of first aid, C.P.R. and using proven natural, home remedies will be necessary. Medical commodities will be extremely in demand in a national melt down situation. The more you are able to treat on your own, the better.

    Keep in mind, if you can go to the doctor or hospital, and use conventional medication- DO IT. You may want to have friends who know how to run a medical clinic.

    Water Treatment

    Without water, humans cannot survive. The estimated survival period for humans without water is three days. Knowing how to store and purify water will be essential. If you can store large amounts of water, not only will you be a good provider for your family, but for friends and local communities as well. Boiling water is one sure way to remove contaminates.


    The ability to build strong structures is relevant across so many different categories. Welders from Advantage Manufacturing Ltd work on everything from auto transport, to home equipment, to other specialized tasks regularly. If you can work metal, you are an asset to transportation, construction, and community defense.

    Food Preservation

    Not being able to jump in the car and go to the store, fast food restaurant, or coffee shop will be an adjustment for most of us. Knowing how to produce and preserve your own food will be an essential skill. Those who can make this adjustment will likely be the ones who will survive.

    Being at the mercy of what the land can yield will be something new to us. Vegetables only grow in seasons, unless you have a greenhouse (recommended).

    Canning, jarring, making jams, jellies, and jerky will keep food in the house when food prices drastically increase, and when you lose the fridge and freezer.

    Food Processing and Preservation:

    Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital.  Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. One necessity for every homestead is having someone who knows how to butcher animals and preserve them for future consumption by smoking, salt curing, or dehydrating. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.

    Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering:

    Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization.  Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. You should also take the time to learn or refine your skills on hunting using quiet weapons like bows, slingshots, knives, and spears.

    Animal Husbandry:

    Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.  Your farm animals are the most valuable food source you have since they can reproduce. Knowing which animals to breed and when is an important part of farming and should not be learned through mistakes.


    Knowing how to cook without using your time-saving, electricity driven appliances may not be as easy as you think.  Practice cooking with your stored food supplies using no or very little electricity.  You will soon realize how much more time and preparation it takes to do what once was a simple task.  Learn to cook using a dutch oven, a sun oven, an outdoor fire pit, and whatever means you have for cooking.


    Someone who knows how to forage for wild edibles and can increase your food supplies, becomes an asset to any group. There will be a high demand for this skill.

    Caring for Clothes

    Keeping clothes is decent shape is something to consider. Inability to replace a wardrobe because simple items like t-shirts, socks and undergarments could cost a fortune that cannot be afforded could be problematic. Learn how to sew with a single needle and thread, instead of a machine, same with the laundry, washing by hand. Weaving and quilting could also be helpful skills.

    Climate Survival

    With the climate being as it is, heating, cooling, drought, flooding, and other extreme weather disasters are something to be prepared for. Dressing for the elements using common sense will help. The simple act of knowing how to start a fire, without matches or a lighter will come in handy. Try a magnifying glass or prescription glasses and the sun, if rubbing sticks does not work.


    Self-sustainability is one of the most important skills to learn.  You can store food, water, and everything else you may need for survival but when those stored supplies run out, and they will, how will you replenish them?  Knowing how to live off the land, grow a garden, raise animals, store seeds, hunt for food, or make your own clothing can prolong your survivability. A very important skill is knowing how to cure meats and butcher animals. This might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else. For more info about cured meats read the articles bellow.




    Communication Compensation

    It’s widely accepted that the fall back form of communication will be HAM radio in the event of a widespread disaster. Operating one of these puppies is no small task. Special training and hands on experience are required to properly use them. However, the ability to communicate on a massive scale will be extremely valuable.

    Ham Radio:

    Do you have your ham radio license or at the very least own and know how to operate a ham radio?  Having a skilled ham radio expert in your group is a necessary key component to keeping up on communications and knowing what is going on in the world around you.  Remember, tv, cell phone, the internet, will all most likely be down.  Understanding how to make and set up an antennae to improve your radio signal and knowing morse code are other valuable skills to include in your arsenal.


    Not all people know how to truly communicate well with others.  During stressful and hazardous times, people with great communication skills will be valued for their abilities.  Knowing how to handle and calm down people and even groups on the verge of fighting can save lives.


    Knowing a second language is a great skill to have.  If you were to know a second or even third language what would you choose?  Hopefully you would choose the language of your most dangerous threat.  Knowing what others are saying over radio communications can be a very valuable piece of intel.


    Take away all electricity and go back to the old ways of living.  What did your grandparents or great grandparents do?  How did people survive during the great depression or dust bowl? If we don’t understand our history we are doomed to repeat it.  Some skills that will be useful are: fire making, camp cooking, basket weaving, pottery making, animal tracking, tool making, tanning hides, rock climbing, knot tying, etc.

    Other useful skills include teaching, knitting, piloting an aircraft, sailing, music, etc.

    The only way to understand how we can live without our electricity driven modern conveniences is to live without them.


    Shelter building can really fall under two categories.  One being outdoor wilderness survival and the other would be construction to your current home and property.  In this section we will focus on the later.


    Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization.  These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight.  If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools.  There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.

    Here’s a list with the best items you can stock for trading:

    • Tools(saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads – many sourceable from auctions, garage sales, etc.)
    • A simple still(or the components to assemble one), as this will make your alcohol for drinking, cleaning, medical use, etc. (don’t forget to learn how to make the corn mash itself, or to have extra parts put back)
    • Bows,arrows and bowstrings.Learn to make alternative bows (PVC bows are excellent, weather-proof), and how to turn arrow shafts, as well as how to lace and tie bowstrings – not all string will suffice for it – dacron works well.
    • Learn to make filtration weirs for water. Forget store filtration units, understand how rain barrels work, how to purify water with boiling, and how settlement works to remove metals. Extra barrels are highly tradeable.
    • Seeds. Forget trading foods, long-term you will have far more demand for trading seeds. Those with the most-seeds and largest fresh selection will draw the best trades.
    • Salt,sugar, pepper and spices.Long-term storable items are great (salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, some cheeses, dehydrated or cured foods possibly). He who can build a primitive dehydrator, and had the parts to trade to others, will be king. Dried beans and salt-cured hams can last 24 months, these will be in demand as well. Jerky was used and looked-at differently 200 years ago (the jerky was used as a stew meat with the salt extracted to flavor soups and stews – knowing this extends the use of your stocks – and IS TRADEABLE INFORMATION!)
    • Survival informationis valuable, and in a time when it is desperately needed, being able to have a few copies of condensed information on-hand and barter-ready will be very valuable, indeed. Type up and print a dozen copies of general information that others may not readily have.
    • Ferroceramic rods and striking steels. Fire-making will ALWAYS be critical, and having a dozen extra ferroceramic rods and striking steels will be worth their weight in gold, if it all goes south.
    • Containers. Enough can’t be said for water containers. Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade. The harder to break, the better. I’ve got a dozen military 1-qt canteens laying around here and there, in a pinch, I have 2-3 I’ll use, but the rest can be had – for a price.
    • Blankets.Everyone needs a warm place to sleep. Funny thing is, linens wear out pretty fast – as do blankets. A good blanket is like a good coat. We’ve all planned for clothes (I hope), but when’s the last time you heard someone brag about having a couple of good wool blankets put back? I’ve got two good wool blankets. I paid $40 each for them. Let the power go out, in November, and you not have one. I don’t know how much you’re willing to pay for them, but I know what you’re going to trade me for them, if you don’t want to freeze at night. I won’t trade both at all, but I’ll be looking for what would be several thousand dollars worth of trade for the one I can ‘spare’.
    • Tabaccowill have a great demand. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even more valuable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.

    See, barter comes down to how desperate (or how much does your life depend on it) you are, as to how critical it really is to have for barter. Can you live without toilet paper, versus that last wool blanket? THIS is how barter REALLY works.

    Barter is far scarier than you can even understand, if you are UNABLE to assess ‘critical need’ from ‘whimsy want’ right now. Fire, water, shelter, warmth – yeah, you’re going to pay dearly for what you didn’t see fit to pack now. Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade yourself, in regards to those critical things we MUST have.

    Toilet paper? LOL, Davey Crockett didn’t have toilet paper and he did just fine. HE DID have a weapon, a knife, a fire flint, a good blanket, and good clothes and boots. He traded horses, burros, saddles and whiskey. Take a 3-year, 1,000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing, each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path?

    Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum. It might give you ‘modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.

    Did you pack them?

    James Cole is the author of Civilian Commando-Special Ops Secrets To Surviving Anything, and owner of James is a born and bred survivalist, an internet addict and a gun enthusiast. He believes a man’s word is his bond, and looks forward to teaching others what he has learned over the years. You can send James a message at contact [at] You can download his book for free HERE.


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      1. I agree with the skills,as for what you stock beyond ammo perhaps a lot of black powder and means to make more along with say 50lbs. lead,firearms covered for a long time(and you will need em!).

        I am all for skills to make bows ect. but you have the money buy one with plenty of arrows and extra strings and start shooting it now.

        There is so much you can stock besides skills/info in brain pan,you have to ask yourself,you think your place you at good for a long time or do you due to job ect. live in a place that says you will bugout at first notice of breakdown.

        Good wool blankets can be had for well under 40 bucks on a side note.

        We all have different lives/locales/may be solo -have many to care for,our lists will be very different beyond basics as is also our means of what we can afford,we can all just do the best we can with what we have/can get.

      2. “Hopefully you would choose the language of your most dangerous threat.”

        I know a little “ignorant liberal ass-holian.” Would that help?

        • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • Probably not as much as Spanish, Russian or Mandarin.

          • Spanish would likely be the best second language given the invasion here in USSA today of 20 million or more ?

            This is a good list. But it does not mention health and fitness or mindset ? These three components are the most important of all. Without these three all the rest will suffer greatly or be worthless when needed. I completely agree various skills are critical as well as ones stores. Like myself, this fellow has some hands on first hand experience in what he writes about !

            I would urge everyone to get out and put your skills and fitness to work and actually test all of your gear and knowledge in the field. This last winter in January I took a 50 mile hike in 3 days to test my winter gear,skills, and fitness. I carried all my needs and a rifle and 300 rounds of ammo. It was very cold but I did not suffer at all and accomplished exactly what I wanted to do. Test everything in real life conditions. I turned 68 today and am stronger with more stamina than I was in RVN in 1968 ! Anybody can do the same thing rather easily. Just gotta know how ! And the group thing , be very careful who you hook up with !

      3. Some of it I can do-

        Some of it hubby can do-

        Can any of us do it ALL?

        We will find we need each other and each other’s skills to make the long haul back.

        Be ready to teach and learn!

        • Can any of us do it all? Of course the answer is no. The thing is Even us that are prepped and have lots of skills and every possible base covered. Most of us will die. We all die eventually however I am stating we will be part of the 90% who don’t make it 6 months. So many variables and life isn’t fair. Im pretty healthy. However right at this moment im suffering from allergys. my eyes are watering and itching. Im sneezing and blowing snot. You just never know the future. So you prep and plan for the most likely things you can prep for.

          • I think you missed the point. The person was saying that a group of people (MAG’s) are the best bet to cover all contingencies.

          • Old Guy , I agree with your premise, better to go down swinging than die as a whipped dog !

          • Old Guy:

            For allergies acquire local honey. Keeping bees will keep you supplied and you can provide relief for friends, family, and neighbors. It beats conventional chemicals which merely suppress symptoms. And it tasts good, too. It is the infetisimally small amounts of local pollens in the honey that act like a vaccination allowing you to build up a tolerance. It helped me. I hope this information helps you.

            I am not a medical professional and I take no responsibility for this or any other suggestion which is not intended to replace medical care. If you have any questions about the safety of eating local honey consult your physician. Children under one year of age should never consume honey. It can cause injury or death to infants under one year.

      4. Its always amazing to me to read these articles and the writers write about how useless people are. There ARE a lot of useless people, however there are vast amounts of people who are intelligent and resourceful who will do great during any crisis. They are just locked down today by laws that make invention difficult.

        • Most folks are chained to their 9-5 and dont have a moment to breathe,

          • Maybe priorities should be reconsidered a bit ? Simply materialism is not necessarily a good thing ? We can all make choices and prioritize.

      5. I just replaced a water heater. I saved all the sheet metal for future use. Hopefully I can keep everything out of sight so it won’t look like a salvage yard here.

        • We’re saving everything we think might be useful, as well. Our big problem is how to hide ourselves and our things from others. We live about a quarter mile from a very small town and not too many people know about us, or want to know about us, since we’re outsiders. Our house was set up for solar gain and will be a nightmare to defend. On skill set, what my husband doesn’t know, I do, and together we can figure out almost anything. If this keeps taking years to come about, we’re going to be too old. We’ve made a few friends here, and have family relatively close. The plan is that they all come here and at least we can take shifts. The uncertainty is making me rattled and I wish we knew if and when “whatever” is coming. We do have well water with a pump, a wood stove, lots of wood, but we’re getting old and tired. The kids will come in handy for that except for one “princess” daughter-in-law who is going to be a huge pain. Am going to suggest she go back to her parents and live in their plush but very vulnerable house.

          • Vicky- your outsider status may be your best asset. Not that you won’t be impossible to find but it shocks me how people thrust their presence out in their locations, announcing they have wealth behind their gates, be it estate gates or a gated community. The very worst place one could be in WROL is in an obviously fortified location. Now… the best place to be is in a not obviously fortified location. But there should be some ways to secure your weak areas such as spiny fruit trees, water features, ornamental barriers, hazardous junk art if you are unzoned. Anything someone has to climb over to get to you can be constructed to give them trouble. I used a spiny lemon tree in front of a kitchen window that I chose to leave uncurtained. One night I heard “ooch… ooch… Ooch” outside, theoretically coming out of the mouth of a would be peeker. Got tons of fruit off that tree too. Idiot who bought the house ripped the tree out.

        • Put some flowers on it and around it and call it “yard art”

        • I deliver things for a living. This also gives me an interesting opportunity for scavenging my customer’s garbage. A couple of months ago, I had a great score that my customer was annoyed about because the trash man wouldn’t take them. The find? 400 watts of like new photovoltaic panels. Yep. They threw out solar panels and were happy to give them to me so that they were out of their hair. It’s amazing what you can find in middle class trash piles sometimes. I also have a friend who is giving me an inverter with a bad fan for free. All I have left to get is a charge controller and some batteries, and I am hoping to somehow scavenge them for free too.

          • the higher class the neighborhood, the better class of trash you find

      6. Other than speaking in tongues i got this!
        I can do it!

      7. Cruz is out !!!

        “the Donald” may well have a clear path to the Repub nomination

        Hillary v Trump ?

        at least one national poll now shows Trump beating Hillary

        gonna be a VERY interesting election this Novermber

        • What if O has Trump and Hillary taken out?

          Heil O….

        • If we make it to November. May be a bit pessimistic but ive got some doubts

        • Yes Ted Cruz the only true Conservative did dropout, and to his credit after his lose in Indiana he did the best thing that he could do for We The People, he saw that there was no way for him to win so he won’t be taking delegates from Trump in the remaining primaries, and will now allow Trump to win the nomination outright. I like what Trump says but I don’t really trust him to do most of the things he says, but atleast the GOP Machine won’t be able to hand pick one of their cronies. I’m not really as concerned about who the President is as I am about who gets to select the Supreme Court Justices for the next four years. So its time to get behind The Donald and blow the Trump-et. This will really show us how all those RINO’s operate when they say “Never Trump” TPTB have always hated Cruz, but they will now hate him even more for sealing the deal. Trekker Out.

          • Cruz wife is on the CFR and is an executive with Goldman Saks. That spells ESTABLISHMENT.

      8. In Ancient Rome they liked to use natural sponges for toilet paper.

        Sponges became one of the largest industries in the empire next to wine making and the gladiator circus. There were free divers that collected them, ships that moved them, merchants that sold them everywhere in the empire.

        They’d lash sponges to sticks and children would clean people’s butts for a mite in the public bathrooms and bath houses. It wasn’t long and they realized people were getting sick from public sponges used on many people. They started using vinegar as a disinfectant, so there was always a vinegar rinse pot for the sponges.

        The orphans of the cities of Rome would show up at any public gathering with their sponges and pots of vinegar. You’d go behind a nearby bush or rock and do your business, and one of the kids would clean you for a mite.

        Such it was at public executions like crucifixions. Such it was at the execution of Jesus Christ. Just before Jesus died, he cried out that he was thirsty, they took a pot of Vinegar and a sponge on a stick and gave the son of God a drink. It was from one of the pots that had been servicing the hundreds gathered for the execution with. It was final act of hate against God by men. It was predicted it would happen hundreds of years earlier by the psalmists, even before Rome, their sponge tech, and crucifictions.

        • Ptpo, never correlated your last paragraph.
          Wish they had left some books out and put others in. Like Judges and Corinicles are basically the same books.

          Always searching for the true truth…

          • Eppe spoken like a true man, never satisfied with the way God did it, man always has a better Idea. If your searching for true truth, you’ll find it in the Holy Bible, and as for your statement, you may want to start at the very end rather than the Beginnig. Revelation. Chap.22 Vs,18,19. I also hear alot of ridicule and snide remarks on this site about Jesus Christ and Christianity, but thats alright, have your laugh now, cause eternity is a long time! Trekker Out.

        • While sponges these days are synthetic, and the ones the Romans used were from the aquatic animals, there is a sponge people can grow. The luffa gourd yields luffa sponges when dried and skinned. They grow and fruit just like any other member in the squash family.

          • Garden Nut
            I have bathed with luffa sponges, they are great. I have found that Buffalo Gourds that grow in low water areas are similar but have saponin, a natural soap, as well. I haven’t used any yet, but have 6 sprouts in my garden room. The rest of the seeds will be planted around my property. The seeds make excellent oil and can be eaten (high protein). The plants are huge and grow all along our road here. Livestock eat the leaves, nice assist on a drought year in the western states. I so want to walk down the road and collect all the dried fruits! Oh well, I will have my own soon enough and they are perennial. They have a huge root that can be turned into biofuel.

      9. i dont care what you say im going with toilet paper,In Kosovo 1 roll of toilet paper would get you 2 girls for 2 nights,man doth not live on bread alone.rangers lead the way’

      10. After TSHTF, what items are you going to take with you as barter items when you’ve got to immediately transport a deathly ill or injured child, or other family member, to a doctor or dentist for emergency treatment or a pharmacist for life-saving medicine.

        Under these circumstances, to get them through any bureaucracy to the front of possibly a mile long line also frantically clamoring for their limited services then, you never know what’s going to work, but I doubt it’s many of the items on that barter list above.

        A gatekeeper person in a position of power and in high demand for their favors may not get excited at all about anything that is on that barter list above. Not mentioned on that list is gold and silver. And, while you may swear to never take gold/silver in trade for anything you have to barter, you can’t make anyone else who will only take gold/silver to take something else you’ve got instead.

        Being prepared means being ready for anything, including dealing with those rare people in a position of power who think they’ve already got their essentials covered and thus might well still value gold/silver more than most. Not having any could have your loved one relegated to dying in the back of the line.

        Make sense?

        • The old westerns often when someone was injured the doctor came to the injured. and if the injured was a outlaw the doctor was kidnapped at gun point. So I suppose You would take a whole lot of other members of your clan with lots of guns.

      11. Skills. I can sew and cook and shoot. More than that. I can read a manual. Barter? A goodly supply of cheap wine.
        Here’s what I know for sure. If you are not learning something every day, no matter how small, you are regressing.
        My fledgling tomatoes are flowering?

      12. Dude, James Cole…
        There won’t be any ‘welding’ when the SHTF… why?
        There are several kinds of welding, but, for all modern welding you need either electricity, or a source for gas.
        BUT, there is an ancient method of welding and metalworking called; black smithing.
        If you can form, stretch, bend, fuller, upset, and WELD, with just a fire and air, then you don’t need any fancy stuff.
        Blacksmiths make their own tools, and the tools for all the other crafts.
        That’s why I quit being a robotics engineer, and took up The Craft of the gods.

        • Cool beans,,,

        • Can you make me an android ??? 🙂

          • I could, but, there wouldn’t be any electricity to run it…

            • Of course there will be electricity. It will be solar powered with solar panels from solar energy.

              Get a few solar generators, panels, lots of rechargeable batteries, and chargers.

              If humans are anything, they are adaptable. 🙂

              Even after an EMP, pole shift, epidemics, or an asteroid hit, pockets of humans will survive, multiply, and innovate once again; within a matter of years.

              Only a MASSIVE nuclear exchange would fundamentally alter human life on earth. 🙁

      13. Early American villages were self-contained sources of food, clothing, and everything people needed in their daily lives. In the 1880’s the growth of the railroad inspired Richard Sears to create merchandise available by mail order, an innovation that forever changed the self-contained nature of villages.

        All long-time readers of SHTFplan are keenly aware that there are multiple threats that could make the self-contained village the only sustainable model. It’s not just about skills, it’s about skills that would have been relevant in the 1880’s such as farming, healing arts, construction, ability to make simple handmade goods, water collection and treatment, etc.

        If you think you can accomplish this on your own you are almost certainly wrong; you need a “village”. Let’s hope it never comes to this but if it does, you better come with several useful skills if you expect to be accepted into the village. Very sorry to say this but being nice isn’t a useful skill. (It’s good and it’s important but it’s not enough in and of itself.)

        Be prepared to answer this question: “How is admitting you going to benefit the group enough to justify sharing precious food and resources?” Useless eaters: There is still time to get your ducks in a row, but if you wait too long or don’t get it right, prepare to have your day ruined.

        Prepper Out

      14. Usless article. It will be a return to the stone age. Learn to tan hides and take up flint knapping.

        • Ugh!!!

        • Flint knapping. Now that does take some time and practice. Watched a vid on making/knapping arrowheads from beer bottle glass. Best I can do so far is keep my fire flint pieces sharp with a bopper and that’s it.

          • Folks weld with thermite,just another alt for welding,though like smithing tis a skill,most folks use thermite to disable,not enable.

        • ” It will be a return to the stone age.”

          Yes for most. The vast majority of people will succumb. Many will be well prepared. They will survive and thrive. Some will have sheltered books and other knowledge bases, supplies, technical skills, and banded together with like minded, educated people, with serious skill sets to match their own.

          If history is a guide, those without technology will be dominated by those who have it. These “cells” of humanity, these communities, will rise from the rubble, organize, govern themselves, and re-establish civilization. Life will go on until Jesus comes, and then it will go on after that in a new way.

          Consciousness animates the body. Not the other way around. 🙂

      15. Skills will only take you so far because resources will run out fast. All the animals will be hunted down. Killing the useless will be the key. Have to control the amount of people consuming the resources. There won’t be enough for useless eaters that don’t do any labor. Let’s be real isn’t this how it will go. It has all through history. The useless are rounded up put in labor camps those that don’t produce die early on.

        • When were labor camps used on useless people? Hitler commandeered the useless ones as his army of thugs to steal from their betters.

          • Amen Rebecca, the soldiers (thugs) in Venezuela are stealing everything in sight as we speak to feed themselves and profit from the taxpayers. Veterans, oh, how I love to hate them. thanks

        • Animals won’t be hunted to extinction. Most won’t hunt them but will still expect someone to feed them. Those will starve or be killed trying to rob or steal from others.

      16. How do you get water from a well without power/generators – 500′ of pipe, wire, water, and pump attached are a bit too heavy to pull out by hand…?

        • Grease,would use a Bison hand pump that can(with a lot of priming if not valved!)lift 500′.I would also have rain barrels ect. with purifying means for water as in pool shock.Set this up now while you have in theory peaceful times.

        • I attached a small stainless steel cable (it was originally used to work the tail and wing parts on a airplane) to my pump. all it takes is a handle on a length of pipe to wind it up and the weight is no problem. and a average male can shoulder the end and walk the pipe as its cranked out of the well. my wife and I replaced out 400 ft deep submersible pump by ourselves. She easily cranked and I walked it. we have a second well. I designed and made a sucker rod hand pump for it. using two brass check valves and $75 worth of PCV pipe & fittings. Set a 60 feet in a spring fed well that has a 12 ft static water level. nine strokes of the handle yields a quart of water. never needs priming. very easy to pump the handle. it could be set as deep as needed.

      17. I’m a fan of the movie Defiance about the Belski Brothers defending themselves from the Germans in Belarus / Poland. One scene was rather comical when the people in line we’re “interviewed” regarding their peacetime profession. The watch maker became an instant gun smith. The accountant? Cannot fodder. In WWII dentists were in a pinch turned into combat surgeons.

      18. I think that it is time for this writer to turn off the TV. Walking dead is not real!! Go outside …ride a bike in the park. We will get through this. In case you did not know, we had a depression in the 20’s We are still here.

      19. Ive stated it before. The best prep is Know How & Self Reliance. Get to where you could be without nothing. Stark naked. And you don’t panic and you quickly set about doing what is necessary on your own without help without much effort. Too many hoarded goods in one location leads to complacementaly. You could without being aware of it become trapped by the mental pitfall of instead of you owning your stuff. Your stuff owns you.

      20. Heres my take on gold or other so called trade goods. Why stock up on something you really can not use and apparently really don’t want. If your willing to trade something in a SHTF situation apparently that thing is excess to your needs? Why bother with it in the first place? If your gonna trade it. Trade it now when its relatively safe to trade. Why wait until SHTF to go out and try and trade when just encountering others can be dangerious?

        • Old Guy do you have any money put away for future use? If so why? If your willing to trade something in a SHTF situation apparently that thing is excess to your needs? Why bother with it in the first place?

          Just spend your extra money NOW as the fact you have extra clearly tells us you don’t need it.

          Understand now why a person would stock a bit of PM’s???

          • Actually im pretty broke. The Ponzi check came the third wednesday. and there is about $200 left in the checking account. Paid the electric bill ,the phone and internet, bought feed and fuel and vehicle licence for a truck. A couple of hundred dollars of food and sundrys and that $1075.00 is gone. Oh well Its not long till the 13th and the Ponzi eagle takes another dump. Im getting ready to sell some logs. The price of walnut logs is still pretty good. I buy extra things like salt. 100 pound bottles of LP. there is a farmer that has a lot of LP equiptment. He has a huge tank and a electric pump. He puts 24 gallons in a 100 pound bottle for me for $35 cash. He buys it in bulk when the demand is low. And I have to bring at least 4 bottles. I spent money on a small LP refrigerator. came out of a RV. If I get a windfall of money. I buy more land. I own land in three counties. On paper I am wealthy. In liquid assets that can be turned into immediate cash Im broke.

      21. I love these articles. Because every author of these ‘how to, what you need to know, buy my stuff’ articles has been through a full blown collapse in a society like the US’s. Right?

        Oh wait…no they haven’t.

        Interesting points but who knows how it will really play out.

        • I have been through a economic collapse- in South America in the 80’s.. these skills are relevant. Something I want to add is the glaring lack of government. While most of the world thinks prepping is paranoid, governments prepare more than anyone and usually survive. Also in a crisis expect martial law, it’s their goto, and don’t expect democracy back for a long time, perhaps generations. Learning to avoid military check points or having money for them should be a skill near the top of the list if survival the goal. And don’t imagine a bunch of lightly armed old preppers stand a chance against hungry young psycos in tanks..

      22. Some people just can’t be helped. I watched a news report last week about a guy that drove his car into deep water on an urban roadway somewhere in Texas, I believe. He was dressed rather nice, with a tie and sport coat. If I had to guess, I would have pegged him for a school teacher. A news crew was on the scene filming when he drove into danger. He has to ask the crew if he should get out of his car as it went under water. Really? They told him to get out. He finally does and tries to swim. He isn’t doing very well. A news man walks over and saves him from drowning. Even though his car was barely under water he could have stood up and walked away. He just absolutely didn’t have a clue. He apparently never in his life had ever thought about what to do in any situation. And he may have been teaching school kids.

        • Observer:

          Everyone has their own way of observing based on personal experience. When someone gets into an auto accident, a fall, etc.; it is best to forgo judge mental thinking. Often the persons confusion preceded the event. Mini strokes or the like may be responsible. But on the other hand, you have a good point to make. Our academic system encourages dependence on authority. People need permission to pee. And validation that they are not offending anyone. God forbid they initiate anything on their own. Seriously, it’s pitiful.

      23. Excellent ideas . Coincidentally if people require a a form , my business partner filled out and esigned a sample document here

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