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    30 Lost Survival Skills That Used to Be Common Knowledge

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    30 Lost Survival Skills That Used to Be Common Knowledge

    It’s nearly impossible for people today to imagine life without convenience. If you’re a fan of old Westerns or other period dramas, you’ve probably got an idea about how our ancestors survived. The crazy thing is it hasn’t been until the last hundred years or so that technology really started to advance. It only took two generations to forget the skills needed to survive without technology.

    We are spoiled in this day and age. Everything is done with the push of a button. Unfortunately, we’re worse off for it. If you believe things are headed for a disaster that will plunge us into some tough times, you should brush up on some of the skills our great grandparents had. Things they did without thinking. They survived without technology and Wal-Mart. How?

    Because they knew how to use their hands. They knew how to roll up their sleeves and get a little sweaty taking care of household chores and the myriad of other things that were necessary to survive. How many basic skills do you have? Could you survive without electricity? Check out the list of skills that have gone by the wayside but are critical to survival in a world without the convenience of electricity.

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    1. Animal husbandry and general care

    This might seem like the most natural thing in the world, but there are some key things you need to know about raising animals. You need to understand what the animals need to grow, thrive and reproduce.

    2. Butchering animals

    Butchering is another job that isn’t pleasant, but it is a necessity. You have to know the proper way to cut up chicken, pigs, and whatever else you harvest whether it’s from your backyard or the wild. You also want to know the most humane way to kill an animal.

    3. Candle making

    Candles are something else our ancestors relied on. With no lights and no steady supply of batteries for flashlights, you’ll want to know how to make a basic candle without all the frills.

    4. Creative thinking

    When we’re faced with a need today, it’s pretty easy to run to the store and buy what we need to fix a problem. Without stores to run to, you’ll need to think out of the box. You’ll have to repurpose and reuse. That takes creativity.

    5. Cooking from scratch

    Imagine cooking without the benefit of a microwave or even an oven. You’ll need to know how to knead dough as well as how to cook over an open flame. You’ll want a cookbook on hand, preferably one that’s old and doesn’t rely on modern technology or ingredients that will not be available.

    6. Fire making

    Fire making and building is a pretty standard skill, but you need to think about how critical fire will be to survival.

    7. First aid

    First Aid is something you’ll want to know as well. Save the surgery for the doctors, but if you fall and twist your ankle, you’ll need to know how to wrap it or splint it. Things like minor cuts and scrapes all need to be handled by you. Know what you’re doing.

    8. Fishing for real

    Not fishing for pleasure. If your life depends on what you can pull from the water, you need to know what you are doing. You need equipment and knowledge about what bait works best.

    9. Food preservation

    Preserving food in general is going to be a handy skill. You’ll need food to carry you through the winter. Learn about drying and canning veggies from your garden.

    10. Food storage

    What should be stored in a root cellar and what should be stored in a smoke house? These are things you’ll need to know before SHTF.

    11. Foraging

    Foraging is not so common these days. It is a life-saving skill to know what berries are safe to eat. Again, have a book on hand about wild edibles.

    12. Gardening

    Gardening will no longer be a hobby—it will be your survival. You need to know how to treat soil to make it ideal for growing food. Know when to plant and how to fight pests without chemicals. Gardening is a learned art, few people get lucky enough to have an actual green thumb.

    13. How to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter

    Again, it might seem pretty straightforward, but they didn’t have AC or central heat. Brush up on insulating a home without actual insulation along with some of the other tips and tricks they used to survive.

    14. Hunting animals

    Hunting was a part of life back in the olden days. You need to understand animal habits and how to track them. You’ll also need to know what weapon works best for each animal you are hunting as well as where to aim to avoid spoiling the meat.

    15. Knitting

    Knitting isn’t just for the grannies, but did you ever wonder why it’s just the older ladies that do it? Because that’s one of those skills that’s fading! Learn how, it will come in handy when you’re cold and need a warm sweater or scarf.

    16. Knots

    Knots have endless uses from securing an animal to holding down a shelter. If you weren’t a Boy Scout, you’ll want to learn some basic knot-tying skills.

    17. Leatherworking

    Leather craft is another skill that doesn’t require a lot of training, but it does require practice. There are specialized tools you can throw in your stockpile for when you need them. Every part of an animal that is harvested serves a purpose, including the hide and furs.

    18. Meat preservation

    Preserving meat is another skill you’ll need. Without refrigeration, you’ll need to use smoking and drying methods. You’ll want to learn how to build a smoker to properly dry your meat.

    19. Medicinal plants and herbs

    Medicinal plants were the only medicine for a long time. It’s almost impossible to know every plant needed to cure every ailment. It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can, but keeping a book on the shelf is even better.

    20. Milking cows and goats

    Milking farm animals is another skill few people have. Even in today’s modern world, there are machines that take care of the job. You’ll need to know how to do it right to keep from ticking off your cow. It’s also important to know udder care and what to do if your animal is experiencing problems with her teats.

    21. Navigation

    Navigating without a cell phone or GPS is something few people know. Learn how to determine true north just by looking at the sun or the stars.

    22. Sanitation knowledge

    Sanitation will be important when there isn’t running water. You’ll need to understand the basics of building a latrine along with where it should be built.

    23. Saving Seeds

    Saving seeds will also be crucial to survival. Learn how to harvest, dry, and store the seeds from your heirloom crops in order to have crops the following year.

    24. Sewing

    Sewing on a button is pretty basic, but you’ll need to know how to sew clothes in general. Learn the art of threading a needle and the various stitches needed to keep yourself clothed.

    25. Soap making

    Soap making is common among the crafty people today, but those soaps are often more about fragrance and beauty. Learn how to make soap the old-fashioned way.

    26. Trapping

    Trapping is a skill that has become obsolete for the most part. Trapping small game is something that provides fresh meat during the cold days of winter without the risk of spending hours in the cold hunting. You’ll want to understand how and where to set effective traps.

    27. Washing clothes without a washing machine

     Line drying isn’t a big deal. You probably already do it, but are you prepared to wash clothes by hand? There are plenty of videos and tutorials that provide information on how to make a washing machine from a toilet plunger and a five-gallon bucket. A washboard is also helpful.

    28. Weather prediction

    Seriously, without the guy on TV every morning or the app on your phone, how do you know when a storm is coming? Older generations can look at the sky and tell you what’s coming without ever looking at their phone. Learn how so you can protect your livestock and prepare for a storm.

    29. Wood chopping

    You’ll need wood to build and heat your home. It’s not quite as simple as swinging an ax. You need to know about wedges and which trees are suitable for burning. It’s one of those things you learn by doing.

    30. Woodworking skills

    Woodworking skills are priceless. Construction will still be needed but you won’t have electric or battery-powered tools. You’ll want basic knowledge on how to build a structure to withstand wind, rain and snow.

    Taking the time to learn these skills now can mean the difference between life and death after a collapse of society. Most of the skills are pretty simple. You can spend the weekend learning a few. Rely on your grandparents or the internet to learn how. Learn from people who know what they are talking about and then actually do it. Don’t hope the knowledge translates to the skill when you truly need it.

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