10 Skills Needed to Thrive in a Post-Collapse World
Lemme Guess, Cooking Road Kill, hotwiring a tank.
You're not sure? Tell ya what. Rescreen Mad Max
so you can see what we're talkin' about.
Getting an old car to work when there's no gas with old
cooking oil, stuff like that!
Knowledge is something that no one can take from you. It's the eternal
wealth that will help you thrive in a Post-Collapse world.
Some experts see the perfect storm emerging for a dramatic collapse of
Western civilization claiming we've reached environmental, economic, and
geopolitical tipping points. Clearly, some skills will be far more valuable
than others if this societal breakdown occurs. Sorry bankers, lawyers, and
accountants, there won't be a need for you in a post-collapse world.
Before we quantify the skill sets that will be viable, it is important to
define the severity of a "post-collapse" scenario. When taken as a whole,
together these tipping points could potentially converge to create a
post-apocalyptic Mad Max-type world for the vast majority of humanity.
However, given the advanced technology that we possess today, it is unlikely
to ever become quite that primitive ever again. Surely there will be pockets
of energy and food independence no matter what possible scenario unfolds,
but the vast majority may be left to fend for themselves.
It would take a serious cataclysmic earth event like a super volcano, a
meteor impact, major electromagnetic pulse event, or dramatic pole shift to
affect the entirety of humanity. Man-made events like nuclear war,
environmental damage, or total economic collapse, no matter how devastating,
will be somewhat isolated and contained to specific areas and populations.
Incidentally, every nation or territory that has experienced these man-made
catastrophes has roared back to life in less than one generation. The only
example of nuclear survival was in Japan, while the largest recent economic
collapse was the break-up of the Soviet Union. In both cases those
countries went through a very tough period, but ultimately they persevered.
For sake of this article, let's assume that some level of devastation is
caused by each type of tipping point in the United States. Our ever
escalating wars finally reach our shores by way of long-range nuclear
missiles, total economic collapse occurs rendering the dollar worthless, and
we would likely have less electricity and water than Iraq did after Bush's
"shock and awe" campaign. Gasoline and oil supplies would likely be down to
a trickle, halting all supply lines of food and other goods to big box
stores. Factory farming will be impossible without cheap oil products
readily available. The suffering will be dramatic.
The only question will become, how do the citizens react? Both the USSR and
early 1950s Japan were far more agrarian, and far less dependent on big box
stores than America currently is. American dependence on long supply lines,
interconnected yet vulnerable electric grid, and pharmaceutical-based
healthcare may lead to a more severe breakdown of society than witnessed in
those countries. Although, innovative technology for alternative energy and
agriculture practices will play a part in surviving; but they can only help
the few with the knowledge, means, and stability to use them. And stability
will be in low supply for some time, resulting in only small groups with
relative comfort -- those who planned for the worse. However, as an
optimist, I believe that after the initial chaos Americans will rediscover
solidarity for one-another, much like they did after 9/11, but this time it
will be more sustained out of absolute necessity.
Many articles have been written about how to survive the coming collapse, or
what is needed to survive, but not many articles have been written about
what skills will have value in a post-collapse world. Imagine fulfilling
human necessity without consistent fuel or electricity, large-scale food
production, or fully-stocked pharmacies and hospitals. The only form of
wealth in a collapsed civilization is the knowledge and skills to produce
something of human value.
Here are 10 invaluable skills that will likely help you sustain yourself in
a hand-made local world:
1. 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.
2. 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. This can
also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic
beverages from meager ingredients.
3. 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. In regards to
weapons, your ability to use them also gives you the skill of working
security. ( see FISHING IS A JOY )
4. Animal Husbandry: Notice the first four categories are related to food
production. It's that important. Just gaining knowledge of one of these
categories will give you an invaluable skill to thrive in a post-apocalyptic
world. Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of
sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.
5. Construction: 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.
6. Alternative Energy and Fuels: Having the knowledge to implement
alternative energy systems will make you a wealthy survivor in a "dark"
world. You can learn to build your own alternative energy systems, or you
can purchase back up solar generators in preparation for emergencies. There
are also small fuel refinery systems available like the biodiesel
Fuelmeister, and the new invention from Japan that turns plastic into oil.
Knowledge of how to create energy would be invaluable when oil is scarce.
7. Water Cisterns & Purification: Since it's difficult to pump well water without
electricity and with surface water likely to be contaminated, clean water
will be in very limited supply. Learning to purify water will allow you
thrive during this time. You can also purchase water filters for your go-bag
that will last weeks, and you can have back-up tablets should you need them.
However, the skill and knowledge to purify water should be the goal as that
can never run out.
8. Basic First Aid and Natural Medicine: This is another skill that can
take years to develop and learn, but that will be crucial when supply lines
of pharmaceuticals are cut off and hospitals are over-run. Knowledge of
growing herbal gardens for making medicine at home will prove to be very
important. Learning basic procedures for stitching wounds, CPR, and more
will also be of great assistance. Being the tribe's shaman with a natural
medicine chest is a prestigious position
9. Mechanics: Mechanics for cars, motorcycles, tractors and other machinery
will likely be in high demand. In addition, bicycle mechanics will also
fair well in world where fuel is very expensive or hard to come by. These
are also skills that are not learned over night, but it will be wise to at
least have access to books or how-to videos.
10. Soap and Candle Making:With long supply lines decimated and electricity
on the fritz, soap and candle makers will provide a valuable product.
Clearly some preparation of storing raw materials may be needed to achieve
trade-able levels of these goods. Even if you just had the knowledge to
make soap or candles just for your immediate tribe, you will be much better
off for it.
You'll notice that many of these skills also fall into the category of what
you would need to be self-sufficient. Again, learning all of these skills
will be virtually impossible, especially if the collapse isn't that far off
as many predict. Determine which skills that most appeal to you and focus
on them by studying and acquiring the tools needed. Since you can't become
an expert in everything it may be wise to recruit tribe members with various
survival skills. It will also be beneficial to build up your library of
"how to" books and videos for tasks that you are not proficient in. You can
download any video from Youtube by using Keepvid.com and build your library
into an external hard drive.
Remember, knowledge of and skills to produce human necessities will be the
only form of wealth creation in a hand-made world. Knowledge is something
that no one can take from you. It's the eternal wealth that will help you
thrive in a Post-Collapse world. Get Prepared Now!
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