These Aren’t Considered SHTF Survival Skills, But They Really Should Be

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MCan you grow your own food and raise your own livestock? Can you fix your own car? Are you a competent marksman? Can you hunt and fish? Do you know your way around a first-aid kit? Can you make your own biofuel? How about bartering?

Everyone who’s interested in prepping has heard about or considered learning some of those skills (among many others) countless times already. There are certain skills that seem essential for surviving a catastrophic event, and they are repeatedly mentioned and discussed ad nauseam in the prepper community. Of course they’re vitally important and sophisticated subjects that warrant lots of discussion, but there are a few skills that are often totally overlooked; probably because they seem mundane and unexciting.

That however, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you’re looking to tack a few more skills under your belt, or at least confirm that you don’t have any of these gaps in your prepper education, consider the following:

Learning Another Language

If society collapsed, then nation-state borders would temporarily lose their meaning. People living in immigrant enclaves, gated communities, and small towns across the country would be uprooted from their lives. Everyone would be wrenched away from their social bubbles. In other words, you would be running into all kinds of people who you would normally never meet, and a lot of those folks will speak a different language. The more languages you know, the less misunderstandings you’ll face after the collapse.

Driving Stick

As time goes on there are fewer and fewer vehicles with manual transmissions being built and sold, and the number of people who actually know how to drive a stick shift is declining. But this could become a vital skill after the collapse. Stick shifts tend to be older, and older cars tend to be easier to fix and maintain. Older vehicles are also a lot easier to hotwire (I’m not suggesting that you steal. There would be many abandoned cars if society collapsed). So if you don’t know already, now is a good time to learn how to drive a stick.

Investing

Investing sounds like a skill that is exactly the opposite of what you need to know to survive. When we think of investors, we imagine people who are reliant on the grid; people who work for investment firms and sit behind computers all day. In reality, investing is still an important skill to have when civilization crumbles. Being a good investor requires you to have a solid understanding of how the world works, so you can use that understanding to figure out what is going to be more valuable in the future. At a base level, there isn’t much difference between investing money in a promising company, and trading a can of soup for a pack of cigarettes that will be worth more in the future as supplies dwindle.

Negotiation, Persuasion, and Conflict Resolution

Preppers spend a lot of time preparing to survive violent situations. However, violence is messy and destructive. And more times than not it’s preventable with a little bit of tact and understanding. Don’t buy a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition without working on your own ability communicate with others, and find common interests with people who oppose you. If society collapsed, the only people you should have to physically protect yourself from, are the ones who refuse to talk to you.

Stress Management

In the modern world, most people deal with stress by consuming addictive substances and engaging themselves in an endless stream of entertainment. After the collapse, there will be no TV or internet, and the substances people use to take the edge off will be hard to come by. And this will happen as everyone is dealing with the most stressful event anyone has seen in generations. If you can’t handle hard times without the aid of a stiff drink and a cigarette, then you’re not ready to cope with an event that could destroy our civilization.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Book Review: Advanced Surveillance

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This training manual on Advanced Surveillance covers all aspects of carrying out a physical covert surveillance in order to gather intelligence and evidence. This is an interesting topic to read about, but be warned, it takes a lot of effort and practice time to learn how to do this. While most of us don’t have […]

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Book: The .50-caliber Rifle Construction Manual

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See larger image The .50-caliber Rifle Construction Manual: With Easy-to-Follow Full-Scale Drawings This is the book that do-it-yourselfers anxious to try building their own .50-caliber rifles have been demanding since the best-selling Home Workshop .50-Caliber Sniper Rifle videotape first came out. In this companion book, Bill Holmes uses easy-to-follow foldout drawings and precise dimensions to take you step-by-step through the process of designing and constructing your very own .50-caliber rifle easily and inexpensively. Find out this master gun maker’s professional secrets to fashioning the receiver, barrel and accessories, bolt, trigger assembly, buttstock, scope mount, bipod and muzzle brake using commonly

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Log Splitters 101: What You Should Know Before Shopping

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Image source: hydraulicspneumatics.com

Image source: hydraulicspneumatics.com

Temperatures are cold, and your stack of already-prepared logs is getting smaller and smaller. You find yourself dreading heading out to split more logs. Perhaps this year is the time to make that purchase — you know, that log splitter you’ve been dreaming about with every downswing of your splitting maul. Manually splitting logs burns about 440 calories an hour and, for some, causes back pain. Not light work. Before you go out and buy the first log splitter you set eyes on, let’s look at a few important elements of log splitters first.

First of all, there are three basic types of log splitters (although there are variations in each): manual, electric and gas-powered. Manual log splitters can provide more power for less up-front cost, although they can be slow and cumbersome to work with. They save your shoulders, but take about the same amount of time to split logs as it does to use a splitting maul. With a splitting maul, you can estimate to split 20 to 30 logs an hour. With a manual log splitter, you generally can split between 18 and 24 logs an hour.

Electric log splitters have several things going for them. First, depending on the type, they increase your log-splitting output to about 40 to 50 logs per hour. Since they don’t generate gas fumes and are quieter, they can work nicely indoors (in a barn or on a porch, for example). A quieter system can be an excellent choice if you have noise-sensitive neighbors.

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Along with being quieter, electric log splitters tend to be lighter in weight, which translates to greater portability. However, there are a few drawbacks. Electric log splitters are less powerful. They usually only go up to about 10 tons, although there are models that can do more. One other potential drawback is that they require electric power, and so splitting logs in a remote location

Along with being quieter, electric log splitters tend to be lighter in weight, which translates to greater portability. However, there are a few drawbacks. Electric log splitters are less powerful. They usually only go up to about 10 tons, although there are models that can do more. One other potential drawback is that they require electric power, and so splitting logs in a remote location is not possible unless you also have access to a generator.

Now let’s take a quick look at gas-powered log splitters. Gas-powered splitters pack a punch of power, going anywhere from eight tons up to 24 tons and beyond. They also come in a variety of kinds — hydraulic models, horizontal-vertical models, and fast kinetic models. Gas-powered log splitters increase your log output, as well. For example, a quality hydraulic model can split between 60 and 80 logs an hour, while a quality kinetic model will do much more. These are the splitters that you will need for the larger logs (anything beyond a 12-inch diameter by 20 inches in length). But more powerful doesn’t always mean better; gas splitters come with a few negatives. They’re louder, more expensive and heavier. You wouldn’t want to run a gas splitter indoors or near animals (for safety reasons), and just like other gas engines, gas-powered log splitters require maintenance, including oil changes, air filter changes, spark plug replacements, and fuel refills regularly. However, for processing the kind of large logs most home owners find themselves dealing with, the gas-powered splitter is probably the best choice.

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But more powerful doesn’t always mean better; gas splitters come with a few negatives. They’re louder, more expensive and heavier. You wouldn’t want to run a gas splitter indoors or near animals (for safety reasons), and just like other gas engines, gas-powered log splitters require maintenance, including oil changes, air filter changes, spark plug replacements, and fuel refills regularly. However, for processing the kind of large logs most home owners find themselves dealing with, the gas-powered splitter is probably the best choice.

So, evaluate your needs. If you are cutting logs that you just hauled out of the woods, then you’ll probably want to consider a gas-powered splitter. If, however, you have smaller logs or are looking to cut logs down for kindling, then an electric splitter may be perfect for you. Some people have found it helpful to have one of each kind of splitter, the gas-powered for the main log splitting in the fall, and the electric splitter for cutting down smaller logs and kindling at the house.

To sum everything up, there really isn’t one best type of log splitter. Each kind can be quite useful depending on where and how you want to use it. But most will admit that, apart from the calorie burning perk, any type of log splitter is better than the old splitting maul.

What are your favorite log splitters? Share your tips in the section below:

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