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Monday, December 31, 2012

Skills: 12 For '13

 Like most folks, when the end of the year rolls around, I start making lists of things I want to get done for the coming year.  I personally find that if I make lists, I tend to do much better hitting my marks.

So, in the spirit of giving, I'm not going to give you a specific list, but some guidelines.  Using our "12 Impacts" approach to prepping (there are only 12 possible impacts from any sort of emergency or disaster), here are some ideas for skill building everyone should consider for 2013.

Note, it's skill building, not going out and buying a gadget.  Gadgets can get lost, stolen, or fail.  Skills give you the ability to adapt to your circumstances.

Come on - it's not that tough.  Build one new skill once a month.

Push yourself!  Develop skills in areas where you suck.  If you're a big gun guy, don't learn 6 new ways to hide a pistol on your person.  Instead learn how to set a broken bone, or make a shirt from cloth and thread.

I've got posts on a number of these items, which you can read by clicking here.

Broaden your horizons.  Try to do one out of each category.  For most folks, number 10 will be the most difficult, so make sure you do it!  Barter and negotiating are outside of the comfort zone of so many people.  Remember:  The worst that will happen is the person you're negotiating with will say No.

Or would you rather try dumpster diving, or gathering recyclables?   I've got to tell you, we have a growing number of folks coming into my precious metals store doing the whole, "hunting and gathering" gig with all types of recyclables, including gold and silver trinkets they find.  Most are earning a couple hundred dollars a week through all of their finds.  Great skill and a great way to build your war chest for buying prepping gear you can't negotiate for.

Here's the list and some suggestions to get your juices flowing...
  1. No Potable Water - build a sand and charcoal filter; make charcoal; make a solar still; learn how to locate water in all types of terrain;
  2. No Food - learn the local edible "weeds" and other flora in your area and make a salad; learn how to make 3 kinds of snares; learn to kill and clean a fish; learn how to kill and clean a small mammal;  ferment food scraps into alcohol;
  3. No Shelter (from elements) - build and test a debris shelter; learn the knots necessary to set up a tarp shelter, then set one up; sew together a simple hat from some simple cloth;  learn to water proof cloth;
  4. Lack of Safety and Security - learn to accurately shoot one handed;  learn to shoot with your weak-side hand; learn basic striking techniques for quickly disabling an attacker; learn about boobie traps and early warning devices; learn to load your own ammo
  5. No Public Utilities (electricity, gas, sanitation) - learn 2 ways on how to make fire without using matches or lighters; learn how and where to make an outdoor toilet;
  6. No Communication Services - learn about and practice a "dead drop"; become a ham radio operator; learn Morse code;
  7. Toxic Airborne Contaminants - make a homemade gas mask; learn to "air proof" a room in your home;
  8. Restricted Travel - make a drag sled; map a route through a city that bypasses all public and private cameras; hike 10 miles with a pack equal to 50% of your body weight; learn how to siphon gasoline;  learn how to use a compass;  learn how to read and use a topographical map;
  9. No Access to Professional Medical Services - learn indigenous medicinal plants and how to prepare them; learn how to set a compound fracture; learn how to clean and close a wound; learn how to stop bleeding; learn how to open a breathing channel;
  10. No Money - practice bartering (without using cash) at garage sales and flea markets; learn how to dumpster dive;  identify and collect the most abundant and the most valuable items in your area that can be gathered and sold to recyclers;
  11. Lost Records - make a "Survival Bible" and put it in paper and electronic media; make copies of your most important documents - driver's license, birth certificate, mortgage papers, etc. - and put them in a geographically distant location;
  12. Mental Health/Spirituality - learn and store games that need no electronics (dice, cards, board games);  learn games that need no tools (hide-n-go-seek, for instance);  memorize important passages from your religious text of choice;  learn about and gather flora that contains calming/soothing properties;  learn 5 yoga poses;
Everyone's list will be different.  None of us knows what kind of emergency or disaster may hit.  We don't know the breadth and depth of the impact.  We don't know where we'll be when it hits.

So we look a probabilities, at least in the beginning.  Once we acquire some skills, goods and equipment, we tend to increase our resources to cover more dire events.  It never seems as though anything is enough.  I don't know if this is good or bad, it just is.

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

Great post, chief.

This year, I want to learn how to 'rough it'....primitive camping, cooking over a fire, etc. I'm not a camper, so this is going to be a real learning curve for me.

I have plans for a small smokehouse and learning to smoke meats (and maybe cheeses?)

Finally, I'm finalizing my order for a medicinal herb garden...nothing fancy, just some perennial with anti-bac, anti-emetic properties. Probably some elderberries too.

Should be a good year!

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, good to see you out and about again!

Smoking meats is on my To Do list as well. My mom went nuts this Christmas and bought me and my two brothers each an electric smoker. I haven't even had time to read any of the particulars, but I have a smoked frankfurter recipe I've been wanting to try that going to be the first victim.