Living in a large city comes with several disadvantages when it comes to disaster preparedness, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t measures you can take to better your odds. These hobbies are not only enjoyable and easily accessible to city-dwellers, they also provide skills and knowledge that will be incredibly valuable after the end of the world as we know it.
If you live in the city, consider taking up one of these 10 hobbies:
1. Strength and Fitness Training
No matter what may come, from an earthquake to a terrorist attack, few things increase your chances of survival as much as being in peak physical condition. Fortunately, living in the city offers access to well-equipped gyms and personal trainers if you can afford them.
Even if you don’t have a gym membership, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, and running require no equipment and are very effective for building muscle and improving cardio.
There are ways to defend yourself without a firearm, but none of them are as effective. No matter your size or physical prowess, guns are the great equalizer. With that said, you still have to be a skilled marksman to be effective at defending yourself with a firearm.
Spending time at the gun range is not only a fun hobby, it also familiarizes you with the weapon that could one day save your life.
This is a hobby that goes hand in hand with shooting. Many people choose to reload their own ammunition in order to save money, but in the case of a disaster scenario, buying ammunition may not even be an option.
In this instance, being able to reload your own ammo could prove invaluable. Reloading kits are readily available and quite affordable. For a few hundred bucks and some practice, you can set yourself up to reload as much ammunition as you could possibly need.
4. Lock Picking
In the midst of chaos, being able to access any building at any time could prove to be a lifesaving skill. Stealing food and supplies may not be your preferred method of survival, but desperate times often flip the perception of what’s right and wrong.
Learning how to pick locks takes time, but challenge is what makes for a good hobby. If you do purchase a lock picking kit, make sure to limit your practice to locks that you own. Breaking and entering may not be as big of a concern in an emergency situation, but in current climates it could land you in a lot of trouble, and prison is certainly not a good place to be if you are trying to prepare for a disaster.
5. Martial Arts
You may not always have a weapon available, but being proficient in one or more martial arts will allow you to defend yourself in spite of being unarmed. A good martial arts course will teach you how to fight back against attackers in any number of scenarios. You will learn to disarm a gunman, defend yourself against bladed weapons, and fend off multiple attackers.
Not only does taking up martial arts as a hobby teach you skills such as these, it also improves your physical fitness, making you better prepared to deal with any number of emergency situations.
There isn’t a much more effective way of preserving food than canning, and being able to can food means that the vegetables you grow can feed you and your family year round instead of just when they are harvested.
Canning food is also an enjoyable hobby and allows you to experiment with which ingredients and processes you like best.
Another great method of preserving food is dehydrating it. Like canning, dehydrating allows you to take food items that would otherwise have a very short shelf life and store them for indefinite periods of time.
Dehydrating food also compacts it, making dehydrated food such as beef jerky and dried fruits great for taking with you on the go.
8. Amateur Radio
Amateur radio allows people to communicate via HAM radios that can be set up anywhere, from a field in the middle of nowhere to a crowded metropolis. Best of all, HAM radios still work even if cell towers and the internet is down.
Operating a HAM radio does require a base knowledge of the technology, and you’ll need to pass an examination to obtain an FCC license in order to operate on amateur radio frequencies, but once you do, you will be able to communicate across the globe without the need for internet, cell service, or even electricity—a skill that could be very helpful in a disaster situation.
If you ever have to bug out quickly, you may find yourself cut off from any supplies. One great way to prepare for this his to hide food, weapons, and other supplies at various checkpoints you can access in an emergency. But if you have no experience hiding and finding items in this manner, it may prove quite difficult.
This is where geocaching comes in. Participating in geocaching gives you experience hiding items, marking their location, and finding items that have been marked with a GPS. It’s an entertaining way to learn a set of skills that could one day prove useful.
Being a garage tinkerer is not only a great way to pass the time, it can also teach you the skills to fix most anything when it breaks down, and even build devices of your own.
Whether you are working on something as big as a vehicle motor or something as small as a fan motor, having the mechanical know-how to fix things when they break down could be a valuable skill if the day comes where taking your car (or your generator, or your firearm, or most anything else that could break down) to the local repairman is no longer an option.