Prepping isn’t just a matter of stockpiling supplies. It also means gathering the skills you need to survive once your initial stock of supplies is gone. When the shit hits the fan, your knowledge and talent will be much more valuable than the biggest stockpile of food and water.
Make it a responsibility for each adult member in your compound group to learn at least two crucial skills, and mix the skills up between everyone. You’ll have teachers ready for down time, plus skilled workers to help get your community on its feet.
1. Gathering and Preserving Food
You already know the environment in which you’ll settle, so the food prep people should make a point of finding out about water supplies and available edible plants and animals on your land. They’ll need to learn intensive organic gardening techniques, seed starting and saving, and food preservation methods that don’t rely on electricity. These food experts should also be proficient at hunting and trapping small game, fishing, and cleaning animals once caught.
Of course, every adult in your group should be proficient with guns, or at least competent for self-defense. Some will naturally be better than others, though, and these people are the ones who should improve their knowledge of firearms in general. Learn how to break down, clean, and repair guns of all types, not just those you own. You never know what models you’ll come upon later.
Repairing and fabricating guns—the focus of gunsmithing—is a crucial piece of knowledge for every group. As with all things having to do with prepping, the less you show the world, the better, so learning these kinds of skills online is ideal. For example, PennFoster.edu offers classes to become an accredited gunsmith. After online programs like these, you’ll be able to teach everyone else in your group these useful skills.
Almost everyone can bang a nail, but it takes a special type of mind to figure out the best way to create a strong building from available supplies. Your building experts should take building trades classes at local community colleges, plus indoor building day classes at chain hardware stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. In addition, the building specialist should take charge of learning about sanitation methods for groups as well as clearing brush and trees to create supplies and make room for paths.
The ability to look at a pile of trash and turn it into useful objects is a valuable trait in a post-apocalyptic world, and members of your group should specialize in this talent. There isn’t one clear technique that will enhance that talent, but rather a number of smaller ones that combine into excellence when it comes to scrounging talent. Learn to sew, knit, crochet, whittle, weave, manipulate wire, and recycle items into other, more useful items.
When you can turn a large can into a stove and a worn-out tire into comfortable and attractive seating, as Mother Earth News highlights, you’re on the right track. Creative people aren’t crucial in bare survival situations, but they make life much more bearable in long-term living environments, and are much more valuable than most would assume when it comes to compound living.