Your Skills- Get Some

*Survival thoughts

Our modern society is highly dependent upon we’ll call the “system.” Not only do we rely upon utility services to bring us electricity, water and natural gas, but also on an incredibly complex supply chain which provides us with everything from food to computers. Without that supply chain, most of us wouldn’t know what to do.

This situation is becoming worse, rather than better. When I compare my generation to that of my children, I see some striking differences. For my generation, it was normal for a boy to grow up learning how to do a wide variety of trade skills from his father, and seemingly everyone knew how to do basic carpentry and mechanic work. But that’s no longer normal.

If we extrapolate it back, we can see that my father’s generation knew even more – and my grandparent’s generation even more. Those older generations were much more closely tied to the roots of an agricultural society, where people were self-reliant. There are multiple skills they had which modern society no longer considers necessary.

But if we were to have a breakdown in society, those skills which we never bothered to learn would become essential. Those who don’t know these skills would either learn or die.

Our last Afternoon Alert discussed some of these essential but forgotten skills, and we’ll describe a few more here.

Tanning hides isn’t too difficult, but there is certainly a learning curve. Learning how to scrape away the fat on the hide without tearing it will ensure every hide you harvest will be in good shape. Hides can be used in your own home, shelter, as clothing, or for barter.

Gunsmithing is a skill that will not only ensure your guns are kept in good working order, but could also become your trade in a post-collapse world. Learn the inner workings of various types of guns and what it takes to repair them.

Construction knowledge including how to frame a house or build log cabins will be very useful. Very few people know how to make a home that is structurally sound. You’ll want to know how to make trusses, how to make foundations from stones, and the best kinds of wood to use.

Gardening is something many people dabble in, but you need to have a very firm grasp on how to till fields, when to plant, how to combat plant diseases, and when to harvest.

Gardening will be one of the main food sources after TEOTWAWKI and you won’t have time to practice when your life depends on it. You need to learn how to grow in bulk and how to raise crops you wouldn’t typically grow like wheat, oats, and pinto beans.

Food preservation without the luxury of electricity is going to be a necessity. You need to learn how to build a solar dehydrator and how to preserve meat to store for months at a time without putting it in a freezer or refrigerator. Learn how to make a smoker to preserve the meat you harvest as well.

 

Remember, we’re all in this together,

Derek P.

Thanks Derek

RECOMMENDED READING

‘Chance Favors the Prepared Mind’

-Louis Pasteur

Naked and Afraid (Reality TV)

*Survival Moment

Obviously this was developed by and for a select group of, apparently rich mentally disturbed deviants for their fun or pleasure and apparently prefer to stay in the shadows. Anyway………

NAKED AND AFRAID WIKI LINK

The contestants on Naked and Afraid probably wish they had taken a crash course in textiles before they shipped out. I don’t know about you, but I was raised with a little modesty, and enough smarts to avoid the casting calls for stupid reality TV shows.

But if the money was right, and I decided to display my bare buttocks to the world while attempting to survive in a harsh environment, you can bet my derrière wouldn’t be exposed for long. I’d find the best local materials to twist into string, and then weave the string into some clothing and footwear. We’ll talk about how.

First, collect some fiber. Hundreds of species of plants, vines, and trees around the globe have a fibrous inner bark. Strip off a large amount of this fiber and shred it into long strips. Grab a long strip with a small diameter and twist it until it kinks. Hold the kink, and keep twisting each bundle of fiber.

If you twisted clockwise to begin the cord, then keep twisting the fiber bundles clockwise, allowing them to encircle each other counter clockwise. It is the opposing force that make will make the line strong. Splice in new fibers to continue twisting as long a line as you need.

Once you have dozens of yards of string, you can start thinking about weaving and looms.

You might imagine knitting and crocheting to be the domain of sweet little grannies, but those skills allow you to crank out hats, socks, sweaters, and pretty much anything else you’d need from the clothing department.

However, knitting and crocheting aren’t easy skills to master. Creating a primitive loom is a lot easier for most folks to accomplish, and the squares of cloth they produce can be sewn into almost anything.

To make your loom, tie four softwood sticks together to make a square or rectangle. Use small metal nails, wooden pegs, or sharp hardwood thorns (like honey locust or hawthorn) to create pegs on opposing sides of the frame perimeter. This could also be done with stakes in the ground, or lines hanging from another line (as in net making). For the loom, wind some of your string back and forth between two opposing sets of pegs, tying off each end of the line.

Now tie off a new line to the first line, and start weaving the new line over/under—back and forth, just like you did when making that potholder for mom at summer camp. Each course should be pushed tight to the prior one.

In ancient times, the weaver would make the cloth and a second tradesman, the fuller, would tighten the cloth. But if you’re in survival mode, you’ll need to take care of it all yourself. Remove the textile from the loom, tie off any loose ends when finished, and use it as you see fit.

Credit: Jonathan C.

Alrighty then….Thanks to Jonathan for this survival moment.

Fix It!

*More Survival Ideas

For most people, purchasing enough food, water and supplies to get through a major disaster can be very difficult financially. The average person doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to put toward such a big investment. If you’re like most people, paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head is hard enough as it is.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help save a little money to put toward your prepping needs and we’ll discuss some of those things here. Every dollar you can save on household utilities, the grocery bill and so on can be put into your prepping.

Be a MacGyver and become a fix-it guru. Before sending that broken appliance to the garbage heap and replacing it with something new, try to fix it yourself. There are many web sites (www.fixya.com, http://www.instructables.com) that offer lots of how-to’s for fixing everything from your laser printer to your espresso machine. In addition, you can find service manuals for many products on line at the manufacturer’s web site.

Another thing you can do is call the manufacturer’s customer service number. Often the company will guide you through troubleshooting steps or even send you free parts. I have found that this works especially well with plumbing issues.

Move fashion to the bottom of your priorities list. Choose function over fashion. This is difficult, I know. But think about the item you intend to purchase and how it is going to be used. A fancy, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer may look great on your counter, but if you only cook the basics and bake only simple items, a $15 hand mixer may be all that you need. This same concept applies to lots of things: clothing, TVs, jewelry, you name it. Yes, this even applies to cars.

Do it yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house, give yourself a manicure, wash your own dog. Now if you truly hate to do something, don’t do it if you can afford to hire it out. Or better yet, trade a chore you detest with a chore that someone else dislikes. You both get the job done without spending a dime.

Take advantage of freebies. Use public beaches, parks and trail systems for recreational activities. Use your public library. Go online and download geographically specific recreational guides and even preparedness manuals from your state and county web sites. None of these are technically free because your taxes have paid for them, but they are free in the sense you have no additional out of pocket costs.

Speaking of libraries, have you checked yours out lately? Most libraries now have a robust collection of eBooks, audio books, audio book players, music CDs, DVDs and more. If you don’t have a library with downloadable materials, there are many that will let you purchase an annual non-resident library card. You can do a web search or start here to find a library with a large collection of downloadable materials.

Get out of debt. This is obvious. Sure, you may have a mortgage payment and possibly a car payment. But credit card debt? I hope not, but, if you are saddled with credit card debt, come up with a one or two- year plan to pay them off then toss them in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless there is a dire emergency. The old mantra “use your credit card . . .it is the same as cash” simply does not work anymore. It never did.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!

Future Provisions

*Survival knowledge

One of the main reasons for studying how people survive, whether economically or physically, is to find lessons we can apply to our own lives and circumstances. For many years, economists have been predicting an economic collapse here in America. If you are one of the 93+ million Americans who are out of work, your own personal economy has already collapsed.

Now it’s time to consider how you will earn money, whether you are currently out of work. In the days of the Great Depression, it was common for grocers and landlords to provide credit to their customers. Today? That would be a rare occurrence.

Our ancestors would be sad to see their children (us) toiling over these uncertain times. This was suppose to be a land of freedom and a new start. What happened?

From the Depression, there is an abundance of stories of neighbors and church families showing up at the door, laden with bags and boxes of food for a needy family(this act of kindness now is becoming illegal in many cities). When a desperate mom was asked by her child, “Mama, what’s for dinner tonight?”, the response was, “Whatever the neighbors decide to bring us!” I wish I could imagine that happening today, but our communities and families have become so fractured over the past few decades it would be a rare event.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Great Depression is the ingenuity of the Americans who lived through those tough times. Many continued to find ways to earn money, even when their own circumstances were dire.

To earn money, people made homemade fudge, pies and bread and sold them. Eggs could be sold for 25 cents a dozen. If a family lived near water, they could catch and sell fish, clams and crabs(this act too is becoming more and more strict). Some families grew, picked, and sold homegrown produce, and some even started lunch truck wagons (regulation of growers are also under attack).

You could also earn money selling newspapers on the corner(almost a thing of the past). Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself(no loitering now!). Odd jobs were also a popular way of making money, washing windows, loading coal, even sewing and altering clothes(days of money under the table are wearing thin).

In every case, it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.

So, what skills do you have that might offer a service during a severe economic downturn? What knowledge do you have that would be helpful, even vital, to others? What products can you produce? What skills can you teach?

Ingenuity is something which can never be stolen by thieves, confiscated by a government, or lost to flood or fire. It is possible to survive during even a newer Great Depression and there is plenty to learn from those who lived through the last one.

Find a book, read, use the internet, take notes, watch videos from people who know, from those who’ve done it. Knowledge is a good thing if used to help others. And there are plenty out there who need help.

We are all in this (and will be in the future) together; let’s help one another keep going when the SHTF!

*Thanks in more part to :Frank M.

 

Judgment Calls

*more survival tidbits

‘Young adults, people born between 1980 and 1997 (or, Millennial’s) are very different than those of us reared back in the better part of the Twentieth Century.

On the surface, some of these young people may not seem to possess skills useful to survival, but on the other hand, many of these kids are very smart and may just prove incredibly adaptable under adverse conditions.

They are an untested hypothesis—an unknown quantity.
It may serve you well to welcome them into your group if they possess the right personality, rather than the right skill set.

On the other hand, if they seem worthless and completely lost without a cell phone in their hand—they just might be.

Another judgment call.

There are those weak souls out there, often Liberal/Democratic types, who just don’t seem to have a self-preservation instinct. They oppose firearms, national defense, corporations, national borders and mandatory sentencing for violent criminals. They are very trusting souls when it comes to people they really should not trust.

These types are more concerned about their environmental impact than they are about staying alive—but maybe that’s because staying alive has never been in doubt until disaster strikes.

These people could be a terrible hindrance to your efforts. Don’t give these people critical jobs or place too much trust in them. They don’t see the world as it really is.

Given time, the nature they want to protect will chew them up and spit them out. In the meantime, you may have to deal with them.

Building your survival coalition, like friendships, takes a little work, but it’s necessary to the long-term security of you and your family.

Better to find out now which neighbors can help and which can hurt your chances of survival.

“Come together and survive.”

Credit: Frank M.

*More great thoughts from Frank M. Thanks Frank!!!

1 Cor 6:5 “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

1 Cor 10:15 “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”

1 Cor 6:2 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”

1 Cor 6:3 “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

1 Cor 5:13 “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

1 Cor 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”

Eph. 6:10-11 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Heb 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Trust

Deciding you can trust someone isn’t always easy. On one hand, trusting the wrong people can get you killed. On the other hand, if you can’t trust anyone, you’re going to have a hell of a time surviving; like it or not, there will come a time when you’ll need help from your fellow humans. If we’re going to make it, we’re going to have to work together and trust each other.

If you have ever had your world flipped upside down and you don’t know who to trust, here are a few methods you can use in the future to determine if someone is worth your trust.

Trustworthy people are reliable with the little things. Ever been betrayed by someone only to realize how many smaller signs of shadiness you’d already let slide? Turns out, all those white lies—like how much they really spent in Vegas, or why they were always slamming their laptop shut when you came in the room—may very well be signs of bigger trouble down the road. When it comes to trusting others, if someone regularly displays small acts of honesty, he’s likely to be trustworthy with big picture issues as well (and vice versa).

A trustworthy person displays self-control. If someone can’t trust him or herself, it’s going to be nearly impossible for you to trust him. Researchers tested this theory and found that people who display high levels of self-control are perceived as more trustworthy by others – and rightfully so. If someone can’t manage their impulses in a tempting situation, it’s going to be difficult to place your trust in them. Everyone encounters temptation at some point in their lives – and how he or she reacts in those moments is the true test of character.

A trustworthy person is comfortable with compromises. Trust gets built through a series of tiny moments where our spouse or friend temporarily compromises their happiness for ours.

These instances can be as small as asking to hear about our day when they’re tired at the end of their own, or agreeing to eat something for dinner that we like but they aren’t particularly crazy about. When both people regularly engage in these behaviors, trust begins to build – if we can trust them to put the health of the relationship first on a small scale, we can trust them to do the same on a bigger scale, too.

Actions speak for themselves. When someone is constantly making excuses for their behavior or justifying their actions in retrospect, they are raising a huge red flag. Trustworthy people don’t leave room for explanations or doubts – their actions simply speak for themselves. They do what they say they’ll do, and they explain any misunderstandings or inconsistencies as they arise – not after they’ve been caught red-handed in a lie.

Trustworthy people also trust others. A recent study that examined the behaviors of video game players found that those who were comfortable relying on and cooperating with other players were less likely to betray their friends in the game. Trustworthy people understand that trust is a two-way street – they give it out and they expect it back in turn. The more suspicious someone is of others’ intentions, the more likely it is that they’re the one who can’t be trusted! (This is not always the case however, the rule but there are exceptions)

Finally, do you trust them? Perhaps the most paradoxical component of building trust is that someone’s trustworthiness is partially reliant on your trust in him or her. It’s been suggested that someone is more likely to behave in a trustworthy manner if they feel as though they are trusted.

Trust is, in many ways, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The best way to discover if you can trust someone is to trust him or her. It will not only make you come off as a more trustworthy person, but it may make them into one.
Always Safe, Always Prepared

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!!! Good info

Clusters

aspen_redwood_trees
Many living things need each other to survive. If you have ever seen a Colorado aspen tree, you may have noticed that it does not grow alone. Aspens are found in clusters, or groves.

The reason, is that the aspen sends up new shoots from the roots. In a small grove, all of the trees may actually be connected by their roots!

Giant California redwood trees tower some 300 feet into the sky. It would seem that they would require extremely deep roots to anchor them against strong winds. But their roots are actually quite shallow — in order to capture as much surface water as possible. And they spread in all directions, intertwining with other redwoods.

Locked together in this way, all the redwoods support each other in wind and storms. Like the aspen, they never stand-alone. They need one another to survive.

People, too, are connected by a system of roots. We are born to family and learn early to make friends. We are not meant to survive long without others.

And like the redwood, we need to hold one another up. When pounded by the sometimes vicious storms of life, we need others to support and sustain us.

Have you been going it alone? Maybe it’s time to let someone else help hold you up for a while. Or perhaps someone needs to hang on to you.