Preparedness Skills for Long Term Disasters

If you had no other choice, could you make your own clothes? If you had to could you bake a cake from scratch? Or if you had to could you grow your own food to feed your family?

These are all skills  that just 100 years ago were necessary life skills and required for everyday life. Modern technology has made these skills obsolete, but what would happen if our society was set back 100 years? 

I personally believe we are becoming a more intelligent society and depending on our brains rather than our Brawn. Could this mean we will someday evolve into those little green men we see on T.V?

I don’t know about that but everything we do today requires more cognitive skill than was required less than 100 years ago. Everything we do today is computerized, or technology does the heavy lifting for us.

Sometimes as we look forward and plan our future we need to take a look back and remember where we came from. The same technology that affords us these luxuries today could be taken away by an EMP, our failing infrastructure or even cyber terror which is becoming a greater possibility as the days go on.

If you truly had to use them, do you know any of the lost skills listed below? What if your life or the survival of your family depended on it?

SPP282 Replay: Preparedness Skills for Long Term Disasters

This is a replay of episode 86 Lisa and I did a few years ago. In this episode we didn’t talk about the “most important” prepping skills, but rather why these skills are important. 

We did talk about some of the important skills (listed below) but there are any others that depending on the scenario would become useful in a post collapse society. 

DIY projects to Learn New Skills

DIY projects are a great way to practice and learn new skills. In the past I have done a few projects just to learn the how and why. 

The food dehydrator I made isn’t the greatest, but it taught me how the process works. A hidden storage shelf like the one I made can teach you about construction and craftsmanship. 

One of the simplest and most useful projects I have done is an under the bed slider for storing prepping supplies. 

Medical Skills

It’s no secret that medical skills are one of the most important aspects of prepping. These skill are not only useful to save money today, but they could be lifesaving in a disaster.

While it’s important to seek medical whenever available and necessary, there could be times when that help isn’t available. Putting on a band aid is fairly simple, but beyond that it can get more complicated. 

There are many options available when it comes to first aid skills depending on what you want to learn. At our Preparedness Experience conference we will be doing an advanced hemorrhage control class. 

There are also a number of other classes you can take online as well as in your local area. The American Red Cross is a great place to start. 

Gardening, Foraging, Farming

What will you do when the selves at Walmart are empty and all you have left in your home are some canned vegetables and spaghetti noodles? Do you have the physical endurance to complete these tasks on a daily basis?

Gardening and farming requires more than throwing a seed into some dirt and watering it. And finding food that grows in the wild that will not kill you is always a good skill to have. Learning some of the basics of gardening and foraging now could give you a little head start if this ever becomes necessary in the future.

Sewing, Quilting or Making Your Own Clothes

Again, you can’t just jump on Amazon or head over to Walmart to get a new pair of jeans so could you make your own clothes if you had to?

Believe it or not I have recently been learning how to sew and it requires quite a bit more skill than most of us give it credit for. All I am trying to make is a First Aid kit, and I have a feeling that if I tried to sew a shirt it might end up with one and a half arms.


I personally enjoy woodworking, but by no means would I say I am a “master craftsman.” By building things like a food dehydrator or a hidden shelf unit I am slowly getting better and gaining an understanding about how to work with wood and how to put all the pieces together in a way that they actually stay together.

Woodworking will be needed to make furniture, fencing, tools and all sorts of other things. With everything made out of particle board from factories these days, woodworking is truly a lost skill and a lost art.

Hunting, Trapping and Ranching

There are many vegetarians out there but I’m not one of them. We all need some sort of protein in our diet so at some point we are going to need meat. Hunting and trapping is something that we all feel like we could do. But if you have even been hunting you know that it takes more skill than just walking out to the middle of nowhere and waiting. Anyone can grab their rifle and go hunting, but the trick is coming back with something.

The work that goes into ranching is also sometimes overlooked. It takes a lot more than just owning a few cows, you need to feed them water them and care for them year round. Ranchers could be a very valuable part of a post collapse community because of the land and resources necessary to maintain livestock.

Primitive and Wilderness Skills

As preppers we take different skills from different hobbies and professions and incorporate them into prepping. Medical skills, military skills, and also wilderness survival skills.

While most of us have no plans to head out into the wilderness and survive on our own, some of these bushcraft skills can be useful in a number of disaster scenarios.

I wrote this article a while back that goes over some of the wilderness skills that are important for preppers to learn. These skills are useful in a disaster scenario regardless where you are. 

Cooking From Scratch,Canning, Dehydrating and Preserving Food

Lets say you have some flour, sugar and you bartered   local rancher for some eggs and milk, could you bake a cake with that? Like I said earlier if there is no Walmart and you are the family chef, what you cook is what your family eats like it or not.

Learning ways to can food, dehydrate food and preserve food are a great way of stocking up now for a SHTF scenario and also a great way of storing food post collapse when you have excess and saving it for those leaner times.

Carpentry and Construction

We don’t need to know how to build a 5000 square foot home but could you build a log cabin if you had to? This is exactly what I am going to “attempt” this summer. I have zero experience in construction but that is why I want to do it.

Carpentry and construction will be great skills to have because even though we understand that basic principals of our homes construction the skeleton that holds up the walls are hidden behind drywall and if you don’t know how to build a proper foundation your family might opt to sleep outside.

Blacksmiths and Tool Making:

In a post collapse situation the factories that make pliers,screwdrivers and chisels will be out of business. Having a blacksmith in your community could not only help repair the tools you have they could also fabricate new tools.

Blacksmiths will also be valuable for making weapons and repairing weapons as well. If you go into battle with a wooden sward that the woodworker made your odds aren’t very good, but if you were able to repair an old shotgun or make ammunition your odds might be a little better.

Lost Skills Of The Past

Learning a few of these skills will not only help you in any survival situation when you are the only one you can depend on, they will make you a valuable member of a post collapse community that needs an assortment of skilled people to thrive. Some of these skills could also help you become physically prepared to withstand the rigors of life without Walmart and our cell phones.

We have put all of our eggs in one basket and just one EMP or cyber attack has the potential to wipe away this spider web of technology we depend on today for months if not years. And although I do believe that technology will always be a part of our future my question is will we learn from this? Or will we rebuild the same monster with a different face?


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    2 replies to "Preparedness Skills for Long Term Disasters"

    • Jeff

      Hey Dale the wife and I wanted to get the dates for the prepper convention in Vegas coming up in March you mind sending us the dates . Thank you

      • Dale

        Hey Jeff, It will be March 22nd – the 24th. I’ll have more updates coming up very soon.

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