Anyone who’s serious about Prepping should know that they need to develop knowledge and skills in critical areas. That storing food, water, and other items is simply not enough. You have to have the brain power to put your tools to work.
Of course it’s important to have plenty of supplies on hand. Everyone should have enough food, water, first-aid items, et cetera, in order to be self sufficient for at least a couple of months. This is the minimum. However even if you have all the supplies you need, if you don’t have the basic knowledge to survive on your own you’re pretty much sunk.
Some survival skills can take years to perfect. Learning small engine repair, gun smithing, hunting, or advanced self-defense are not things you pick up by watching a few YouTube videos. However there are other skills that are very valuable to have that you can learn without too much effort. I’m thinking of gardening, basic carpentry, and cooking. These are skills that will come in handy during a crunch and which you can learn while doing them as a worthwhile hobby.
Other skills like first-aid training are very valuable (actually essential) and can be had with just a few weekend courses. Just about every local community has some type of first-aid training available. Whether it’s at a local college, Red Cross, or firehouse you can get the training you need. Don’t forget to keep a few high quality first-aid manuals around as well. You may need them if you come across an injury you’re not familiar with or one you want to make absolutely certain you treat properly.
One other thing I recommend to people with a preparedness mindset is to start doing as many of their own home repairs as possible. Becoming your own handyman will teach you valuable lessons and give you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know without the pressure of an emergency situation also looming overhead. I remember as a first time homeowner I could barely change a lightbulb. Now fifteen years later I can do just about any home repairs needed and could probably patch up damage to my home without too much assistance if need be. Remember, after an earthquake or hurricane all the usual contractors are busy fixing their own houses, and those of their friends and families are next in line. You’ll be on your own for repairs for a while so best to start learning now.
Finally one of the most under-rated prepping skills that I can think of is Cooking. Yep, just knowing how to cook and having the skills to put together a basic meal without power is a valuable skill. Now, I should probably define “cooking” here as I’m not talking about the ability to whip up a gourmet meal. I’m talking about being creative with what you have on hand, being able to get some water boiling without a stove, and putting something on the dinner table that the whole family will eat and enjoy, even if it’s a basic meal.
A good cook can make a decent meal out of just about any combination of ingredients. In the past we’ve written a bit about storing different foods and I was a little surprised at the volume of requests we got for specific recipes. I myself can throw something together that will satisfy from the most basic ingredients if need be. Take either plain rice or pasta and dump a decent can of soup, beef stew, or chili on top and you’ve got a pretty good meal. It’s all about learning to combine what you have so it adds up to more than the sum of the parts.
So take the time to do a little personal inventory of the skills you have and the ones you need. Then make it part of your plan to fill in the gaps as needed.